Joshu The Lions Roar 08

Eighth 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.

Once Joshu was asked, “What is the special teaching of your school?”
Joshu’s response was, “Though the folding screen is broken, the frame is still there.”
At another time, the same question was asked of Joshu, and he replied, “Ask in a loud voice – I’m hard of hearing.”
When the monk had repeated the question in a loud voice, Joshu said, “You ask me my special teaching – I know your special teaching.”
Once, Joshu was asked to go to a Korean temple to a meeting. When he reached the gate, he asked, “What temple is this?”
Someone answered: “A Korean one.”
Joshu said, “You and I are oceans away.”
On another occasion, a monk asked, “When a beggar comes, what shall we give him?”
Joshu answered, “He is lacking in nothing.”
Maneesha, this is the last night of the lion’s roar. Before I discuss the sutras placed before me, I have to give you a few hints to understand Joshu and his lion’s roar.
A lion is a special symbol. He walks alone, unafraid of any danger. He has nothing, but still he is called the king of the jungle.
A man of enlightenment has some similarities. He walks alone, and although there may be thousands of dead bodies following him, it does not take away his aloneness. His aloneness is something of his inner being – no crowd can take it away, there is no way for anyone to approach it. And he walks on a dangerous path.
Most people have remained outside themselves for a particular reason: to go in is a little dangerous. The outside seems to be familiar, well known. You know how to deal with it, you are well acquainted with it, you are educated and conditioned to relate with it.
But you don’t know the language of the inner, and you don’t know the sky of the inner, and you don’t know where you are going – you don’t have any map, you don’t have any guide. Nobody can come with you to help you. This creates tremendous fear. People remain their whole life outside, engaged, keeping themselves occupied. They don’t leave any time gap in their occupations because in the time gap they may become aware of something of the unknown that is always there.

One day it happened in a New York church: as the bishop entered the church he found a young man, looking just like Jesus Christ. He thought in his mind that this fellow must be a hippie…but what a similarity! He asked the man, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
The man said, “I thought you would recognize me – I am Jesus Christ!”
The bishop became really afraid: who knows, he may be! But he may be just deceiving; that too is possible. He immediately phoned the Polack pope in Rome, asking him, “A young man – who looks to me like a hippie, but also looks like Jesus Christ – is standing here. Now what am I supposed to do? I have never been taught, I have never thought that I would ever in my life encounter Jesus.”
The pope remained silent for a moment, because he himself was not prepared for such a situation. But something has to be said to the poor bishop. He told the bishop, “Just keep yourself occupied, and don’t pay any attention to him. Everything is possible – he may be Jesus Christ, he may be a hippie. Inform the police, and meanwhile keep an eye on what the fellow is doing. And you keep yourself occupied – in anything – so that you don’t become afraid or frightened. But call the police!”

Strange, that if a Jesus appears in a Christian church, this will be the welcome.
With the unknown, somehow our whole stomach gets disturbed. We don’t know how to respond because our whole teaching, our whole upbringing, is to react to particular conditions for which we already have the answer.
Our mind functions almost like a computer memory and our educational system goes on pouring information into our mind computer. So whenever a situation arises for which you are already informed, you don’t get frightened – you are well prepared, you have done the homework. But for the inner you are absolutely unprepared.
Entering into the inner forest, one knows nothing about what is going to happen and whether he will be able to find anything valuable, or whether he will be able to come back again.
I have come across a man…his wife brought him to me. The man had become afraid of sleep. And his argument was perfectly right: he said, “What is the guarantee that I will not die in my sleep? Who knows, I may not get up the next morning – then what? Sleep takes you to your deeper unconscious, inward. You may go so deep that you cannot come out!”
The wife said, “Now he is driving the whole family nuts. He does not sleep, and he goes on asking everybody, ‘Are you asleep?’”
Now, to ask a sleeping person, “Are you asleep?” is to wake him up. And that was the whole strategy: everybody should be awake; alone he is also afraid because everybody is asleep and he is left alone, awake. If something happens there is nobody to look to. So neither he sleeps, nor does he allow anybody else to sleep.
He must have been taken to many people – to doctors, to psychiatrists, and finally somebody suggested, “It is better to take him to a crazier man than he is!”
So I agreed with the man. I said, “You are absolutely right. Your wife is wrong, your family is wrong, and anybody who says to you…”
He laughed, and looked at his wife and said, “See! A wise man understands, and you have been taking me to idiots.”
I told the wife, “Your husband is really doing the right thing.”
The wife said, “You are creating more difficulty! Up to now, at least he felt that he was doing something wrong, something he should not do but he was helpless. Now he will be absolutely right and everybody else will be wrong.”
I said, “That’s the truth, he is absolutely right. So you go away; we have made a communion, so leave us alone just for a few minutes and he will be back.”
The man said, “Strange that in the whole city you are the only man who has understood my situation.”
I said to him, “This is the situation of the whole humanity: nobody wants to go in. The fear of going in is that you are going into the unknown, in the darkness. And the same fear has taken over you in regard to sleep. You are a spiritual man, it is just that you have not understood the reason you are afraid of going to sleep.”
He was very happy to hear that he was a spiritual man! Everybody was thinking he was insane. I said, “You are so spiritual that death cannot do anything, any harm to you. You can sleep perfectly well.”
He said, “You are certain?”
I said, “I am certain.”
He said, “Then it is okay, I will sleep. And if you say that I am a spiritual man, then certainly I should not be afraid of death.”
The whole phenomenon of spirituality is not to be afraid of death, because death is a fiction; it does not happen. Your innermost life principle is eternal. I said, “By the way, you have found something very essential in the search of every man. Your fear is absolutely right, because you don’t know that you are deathless, that you are beyond death. Just go home, go to sleep, and I will come in the morning to see you.”
In the morning I went – the whole family was puzzled about how I had managed. That man had slept, after many days. In the morning he was very fresh and he said, “You are right. Sleep has nothing to take away; not even death has anything to take away. Death, after all, is a longer sleep.”

Zen, particularly in the hands of Joshu, becomes a lion’s roar that resounds in faraway mountains and valleys. Only a man who knows life as an experience, not as an explanation, is capable to give a lion’s roar to wake up other lions.

I have told you the story, a very ancient story, about a lioness giving birth to a cub while she was jumping from one hillock to another hillock. The cub fell into a crowd of sheep and grew up among the sheep. There was no way for him to know that he was not a sheep – perhaps that was the only vegetarian lion in the whole history of animalhood! Absolutely vegetarian, just eating grass.
Even eating grass he started becoming bigger than the sheep, longer, a beautiful specimen. But the sheep were not afraid, they never thought that he was dangerous. He had grown among them, they had relations with him, friends. Somebody mothered him, somebody was taking care of him; there was no question of being afraid. They were just concerned…what a strange kind of sheep! – looks like a lion, but must be a natural mistake. And they were very happy to have him among them. While they moved in thousands in a crowd, he stood aloof in the middle of them.
One day an old lion saw this phenomenon and could not believe it. He had never seen any lion walking in a crowd of sheep. The moment sheep see a lion they start escaping – it was a miracle.
The old lion went down to catch hold of the young lion. The sheep started running and the young lion also started running – naturally. He believed he was a sheep.
But the old lion was a man just like Joshu. He got hold of him. He started trembling, and the old lion said, “You idiot! You are trembling and weeping and crying and asking that you should be released because you want to join your group. There is something you don’t know, it seems you are unaware, and I will not leave you unless I make you aware. You come with me!”
He dragged him to a nearby lake. The lake was silent – no ripples, no wind was there. He took the young lion to the edge of the water and told him, “Look in the water. Look at my face and your face.”
Instantaneously, from the young lion a roar came out. It was not any effort, it was simply the fact of seeing that he is a lion – immediately a roar that resounded in faraway mountains.
The old lion said, “My work is done. Now do you know who you are?”
The young lion thanked the old lion and said, “You have been very kind to me. Otherwise my whole life I would have lived chewing grass with the sheep, continuously afraid of being alone. You have given me a new birth.”

That’s exactly the function of a master: to create a situation in which the lion’s roar comes spontaneously, the recognition of your being. And Joshu was a great craftsman, immensely capable of devising new methods to wake up those who are fast asleep and completely unaware of their being.
These sutras will help you to understand his methodology.
Once Joshu was asked, “What is the special teaching of your school?”
Now such questions are very ordinary and common; you can ask them to any philosopher, you can ask them to any priest, any pedagogue. But you cannot ask such a question to a Zen master.
That is where the Zen master is a completely different category – because Zen has no teaching, what to say about special or not special. It has a method of awakening you, but it has no doctrine, no theology. It does not teach you anything, it simply wakes you up and leaves you liberated.
It does not program you for anything. Its function is finished the moment you are aware. Your very awareness will become your discipline, your compassion, your love. Your actions will be transformed by your awareness, not by rehearsals, not by repressing the opposite.
What are teachings? What are doctrines? Ways of repressing. To teach you that you are a Christian, and you should love even your enemy…now in the first place if you are really a man of love, how can you find an enemy? And if you have an enemy, then it is going to be absolutely difficult to love him. It is difficult to love even the friend. And if you want to know the ultimate fact, it is even difficult to love yourself, because you don’t know what you are. You don’t know what love is. So what will you do? You will simply impose, you will become a hypocrite.
Every Christian, every Mohammedan, every Hindu, every Buddhist is nothing but a hypocrite. He has to cover up all jealousy, hate, cruelty, greed – and cover them up with beautiful disciplines, practiced well. But howsoever you practice them, what you are doing is simply repressing. So what you have repressed remains in you, and will come out at any moment.

There was a Christian missionary who used to say in every sermon, quoting Jesus, “If somebody slaps your cheek, give him the other cheek also.”
Everybody loved the teaching – it is beautiful. But in one village, one idiot created trouble. Hearing this, he stood up and slapped the priest on one cheek, and asked him, “Now give me the other cheek!”
The priest was boiling with anger – this had never happened, this was strange. Still, he contained his anger. It is only a question of one cheek more; then he will see.
He gave the other cheek. And that man was so stupid, he hit him again on the other cheek! Just as he hit him, the priest jumped on the man and started hitting him here and there – everywhere.
The man said, “What are you doing? Have you forgotten your sermon?”
He said, “There are only two cheeks, and Jesus said nothing beyond that. Beyond that I am free.”

So how long can you…?

Once it happened to Gautam Buddha…. A man was going to spread the teaching of his master. He asked Buddha, “If somebody is very unkind, cruel, how many times do I have to forgive him?” Because that was the teaching of Buddha – forgive. But the problem is, how many times? And in the very question, “How many times?” it shows that the man has not forgiven, he is just repressing. He is asking, “How many times to repress?” – reduced to its exact meaning.
Buddha said, “Seven times.”
That man said, “Okay. The eighth time I am absolutely free.”
Buddha said, “You have not understood my idea. What do you mean by saying the eighth time you are absolutely free?”
He said, “The eighth time I will kill the man! Seven times I forgave him, now it is enough.”
Seeing the situation – still, people who make doctrines and moralities and principles to live by, can’t see the underlying repression – Buddha said, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Buddha’s chief disciple Sariputra said, “It does not make any difference. Even if you say seven hundred seventy-seven times, it does not make any difference, because after that he is free. And he is waiting for that moment when the principle comes to an end and he can show his reality.”

All discipline is limited. You cannot condition a man absolutely. You can cover him up with a thin layer, but just scratch the layer and immediately all discipline is forgotten. All Christianity is forgotten, all Buddhism is forgotten; immediately your animal comes out.
Hence, masters like Joshu have improved immensely on Gautam Buddha. Although they are disciples of Gautam Buddha, he has shown the way…but the way is always capable of being refined, more refined.
Joshu has made a great contribution. He has no teaching, no “special teaching.” He simply wakes you up and then it is up to you how to live. If your wakefulness does not prevent you from being greedy and ambitious, hateful, jealous, revengeful, then nothing can transform you. The ultimate principle of transformation has been given to you. You are awake, alert, responsible – now you are free. You can do whatever comes spontaneously to you. There is no abiding teaching, no abiding theology. You are your own decision, your own discipline.
That is the beauty of Zen that no other religion has.
Once Joshu was asked, “What is the special teaching of your school?”
Joshu’s response was, “Though the folding screen is broken, the frame is still there.”
The man who has asked the question was Joshu’s own disciple. He is saying to him, though the folding screen is broken, the frame is still there – the frame of the window. The screen is broken, but the frame is still there. You have been with me, you understand that I don’t have any teaching. So you are asking, “What is your special teaching? Must be to the very intimate, inner circle that you give the special teaching.” So the folding screen is broken – a part of your mind, that there needs to be a teaching, is broken. But only a part; the frame of the window is still there. You are again asking the same thing, just by joining on the word special. There is no teaching, and there is no special teaching.”
Zen is the only way of life which has nothing to teach you. It does exactly what the English word education means in its original roots. To educate means to bring out what is inside you. It is almost like drawing water from a well.
All our educational systems are doing just the opposite. They should not be called educational institutions. But such is the blindness and such is the unintelligence, the retardedness, of the people who decide the fate of millions – the politicians, the priests. They can’t see a simple thing, that your educational institutions are feeding things from outside into your mind. They are programming your mind, they are not doing education. They are not drawing your life to the circumference; they are not drawing your innermost awareness into your life.
I have been fighting with the Indian government for my whole life but they cannot understand the simple fact that this is an educational institution and what you call educational institutions are not; they are programming schools. But it is almost one man against the whole world. They go on denying that this place is a place of education. They don’t understand the meaning of the word at all.
Zen is not a teaching but it is an education. It draws out whatever you have in your innermost core – the joy, the bliss, all the flowers that are possible; compassion and love, all the songs that are hidden in you, all the dances, all creativity. You are part of a creative universe; you must have some part to play in the whole creativity that is going on everywhere.
But your so-called educational systems, rather than bringing anything out from you, do just the opposite: they force things upon you. Your religions do the same, your society, culture, everybody is doing the same. Nobody is careful of the delicate seed. They go on throwing all kinds of rubbish and the seed is covered, is never given the right soil, is never given the right climate. Its season never comes. It never becomes a sprout, green and living and radiant. It never becomes foliage; it never brings roses, which you all are carrying.
I am calling those roses hidden in you “the buddha.” Everybody is carrying a buddha within him, just it has to be carried out. Devices have to be made so that you can carry your center out to the circumference. This is the only education in the world. Everything else is a teaching, not education; and teaching is always in the favor of the vested interests.
Teaching can never be revolutionary. The teacher is the servant of the vested interests. Only a sannyasin can be a revolutionary because he has no vested interest, no obligation to any investment. He has liberated himself from all connections, all dominating forces. He stands alone. He is capable of giving a lion’s roar, which may trigger the same roar in you also.
Only very few sannyasins in the world have been authentic rebels. Joshu is a great rebel, a whole rebellion.
At another time, the same question was asked of Joshu, and he replied, “Ask in a loud voice – I’m hard of hearing.”
This question was also from a disciple. And everybody knew that Joshu is not hard of hearing, he just wants to wake up the man by asking him to speak loudly. Perhaps by speaking loudly you may come out of your sleep.
Have you ever experienced that in sleep, if you speak loudly in some dream, you are immediately awake. You can go on talking in a normal way, but there are situations in dreams where you have to scream. Perhaps you are falling from a cliff and you have to scream, and suddenly you are awake. Every nightmare ends up in your waking because the nightmare brings you to a position where you have to scream loudly. Nobody has commented on Joshu’s answer, even in Zen circles: why did he say, ask in a loud voice – I’m hard of hearing.
When the monk had repeated the question in a loud voice, Joshu said, “You ask me my special teaching – I know your special teaching.”
The man was a missionary type. He was a disciple but he was a disciple just to gather some more knowledge so he could go pretending to be a master himself.
He missed the whole device. If he had understood why Joshu was saying, “Speak in a loud voice” – and he knows that he is not hard of hearing, so there must be some point to be understood. He is asking for loud speaking so that you can wake up. But the man missed the point. He repeated the question in a loud voice. If he had got the point, he would have touched the feet of Joshu.
In awareness, there is no teaching, no special teaching; one just goes on acting spontaneously. Whatever situation arises, one is a mirror, and goes on reflecting whoever comes before the mirror.
Awareness is just a mirror, and your response is not a repetition from an old teaching. Your response is fresh, of this moment. Even you were not aware that you would respond in this way, because you are not repeating a memorized answer; you are simply responding with full awareness. Seeing the situation, whatever is needed in this moment comes out of you from the very center – not from the memory but from your very being.
The man missed. And because he missed, Joshu told him:
You ask me my special teaching – I know your special teaching.
Zen is a very subtle game. It is very delicate. You have to be very alert and watchful of what is happening.
Joshu said, “You are asking my teaching – I have not asked your teaching but I know your special teaching because all that you have are the scriptures. Everything is borrowed, nothing is your own contribution, so anybody could know what your special teaching is.”
He did not say to him directly, “You missed,” but indirectly he has pointed out to him that all teachings are borrowed, all disciplines are borrowed. That a man of awareness acts in the moment according to his own awareness, not according to some principle.
But all the religions are full of principles. And those principles have destroyed humanity, its awareness, its responsibility.
I have told you, when God made the world he went around asking different people – the Babylonians, the Egyptians – “Do you want a commandment?”
The Babylonians said, “First we would like to know what the commandment is. Without knowing, we don’t want one.”
He sad, “You should not commit adultery.”
The Babylonians said, “Then what shall we do? Keep your commandment.”
He said to the Egyptians, “You should not steal.” And they said, “Life will not be so juicy. We are not interested in such commandments; stealing is a game.”
Then he met Moses. And you can see immediately the response of Moses – he did not ask, “What is the commandment?” He immediately asked, “How much?”
God said, “It is absolutely free.”
Moses did not even ask what the commandments were. He simply said, “Then I will have ten, if they are free.”
Now, those ten commandments are not just in the Jewish tradition. Similar commandments are in every tradition: you should do this, you should not do this. Times change, life goes on changing, but those commandments remain heavy on the heart.
For example, Mohammed gave the commandment to the Mohammedans, “You should not take interest on money.” Now, all business depends on interest. If Mohammedans are poor – and they are poor everywhere around the world – the simple reason is that they are still following a strange idea that you should not give or take interest on money. Now, no bank can give you money without interest. Even the richest people go on borrowing money from banks because they can use it to earn much more than the interest, but the Mohammedans are carrying a heavy principle on their hearts, that it will be a betrayal to the religion if you take or give interest. So obviously they are poor. In India the poorest jobs are being done by the Mohammedans. It is just an example.
Zen emphasizes the fact that man’s consciousness in its ultimate form is enough to decide how to respond in any particular situation. So the only important thing is to become as conscious as possible. All these commandments are for children.
Once, Joshu was asked to go to a Korean temple to a meeting. When he reached the gate, he asked, “What temple is this?”
Someone answered: “A Korean one.”
Joshu said, “You and I are oceans away.”
He is saying that the Buddha can not be Korean, can not be Japanese. Awareness belongs to no land, to no country. How can this temple be Korean? It is a temple of Buddha. It cannot belong to any country, to any nation, to any race. Buddha belongs to the whole of humanity.
The very word buddha simply means awareness. It is not his personal name. His personal name was Gautam Siddhartha. When he became awakened, those who realized his awakening started calling him Gautam Buddha. They dropped his personal name, Siddhartha. The word buddha comes from a Sanskrit root budh. It simply means one who is fully awakened.
How can awakening belong to any country? That’s why Joshu said, “You and I are oceans away.” Although we are standing in the same temple, the distance between you and me is oceans away. You think it is a Korean Buddha, it is a Korean temple? Can’t you see that buddha consciousness is simply everybody’s? It is not the monopoly of anybody special.
It is in the normal course of things that everybody has to become a buddha one day. You can avoid it as long as you want – you have been avoiding for centuries. But you cannot escape, because it is your intrinsic nature. Sooner or later you are bound to be fed up with the outside world and look inward. And that inner reality belongs to no nation.
On another occasion, a monk asked, “When a beggar comes, what shall we give him?”
Now, in the English translation of the word beggar there is bound to be some misunderstanding. In India, what you call a beggar is called bhikhari. Buddha called his sannyasins another name, which also means bhikhari; he called them bhikkshu. Both words can be translated as beggar, but the two words are as far away from each other as possible. The bhikkshu is one who has renounced all ambition, who has renounced the objective, greed, who has renounced all jealousy. The bhikkshu is one who has found himself and now he is enough unto himself; he does not need anything more.
So bhikkshu is a very respectable, honorable word; bhikhari is just a beggar. This translation… “When a beggar comes, what shall we give him?” You should remember that English does not have a word like bhikkshu. It is saying, “When a bhikkshu comes, what shall we give him? One who has renounced everything, one who has found himself, who has found his nothingness – what shall we give him?”
Joshu answered, “He is lacking in nothing.”
That answer will make it clear to you that the word beggar is not an appropriate translation. A bhikkshu is one who is lacking in nothing, who is so contented you cannot give him anything. He needs nothing; he has come to a place where he is absolutely satisfied. So the bhikkshu is really the emperor without any outside empire. He has an inner empire which is far more valuable than anything in the outside world can be.
So Joshu said, “He is lacking in nothing. Please don’t think that you can give him something.” But the translation gives a wrong indication. If you say, “When a beggar comes, what shall we give him?”…a beggar is not a bhikkshu. A beggar has come to beg. He has all the desires and all the ambitions, everything. Begging is his profession.

I have heard about a beggar who used to stay by the side of a bridge where there was much traffic. And one man, every month when he would get his salary, would give him something. Just by chance, it was a little late in the evening that he came back from the office. He had been given his salary, so he wanted to give something to the beggar.
He found that somebody else was sitting there – but it did not matter, the other beggar was blind, and this one too was blind, so the man gave him a one-rupee note. The beggar looked at the note and said, “This note is fake.”
The man said, “You are blind – how did you manage to see it?”
He said, “I am not blind, and this is not my usual place. I used to be blind before, but people were cheating me just because I was blind. They would give all kinds of false coins and I could not say anything. I could see that they were cheating me, but what to do? So I dropped being blind. Now I am deaf. And my friend, who usually sits here, has gone to see a movie today. So he said, ‘You just take my business. It is only a question of two or three hours and I will be back. I have not seen a movie for many days.’”

Beggars have their accounts in the banks and they are perhaps even more desirous than other people. They don’t have anything, they want everything of the world. The English language is poor in the sense that it does not have any word equivalent to bhikkshu. It is better to remember that a bhikkshu is not a beggar; the bhikkshu is a master.
And the tradition in Zen is that when a bhikkshu comes because he needs food just for one meal, you give him food and you feel obliged that he thought you worthy enough to ask you for food. First you give him food and then you give him something as a thankfulness, because “I am grateful that you knock on my door – a man of your quality. I hope that some day I will also be in the same consciousness as you are. But even to provide food for you, just for one day, is a great virtue. You have made me happy – accept my thankfulness.” And the person may give a blanket, or something that can be used by the bhikkshu.
A bhikkshu is not a beggar. Only then will Joshu’s answer be right: “He is lacking in nothing.” You cannot give him anything, you can only ask for his blessings. You can only touch his feet and feel gratitude that he has allowed you to touch his feet.
Su Tung-Po wrote:
In the teachings of the creek’s sounds,
in the purity of the mountain’s hues,
a hundred thousand hymns
came to me last night –
but today, how am I to talk about them?
In a very beautiful way he is saying, “Last night, in the teaching of the creek’s sounds, in the purity of the mountain’s hues, a hundred thousand hymns came to me last night – but today, how am I to talk about them? They were so beyond words, they were such existential experiences that even if I want to say something about them, it will not be right. Only silence, perhaps, may be able to convey something. Or a dance, or a song. But straightforward prose will not help.”
This is not only about the creek’s sounds, it is about every aesthetic, spiritual, mystical experience. When it overwhelms you, you feel you will be able to convey it. But when you try to convey it, you find yourself utterly helpless. No word seems to be the right word. No language seems to be appropriate to convey the depth, the height.
In fact, mind is not made to communicate the inner experiences. Inner experiences only transpire, are only transferred from one being to another being. It is a heart-to-heart communication. Head to head, it is impossible.

Maneesha has asked a question:
What is the difference between a puzzle and a mystery?
Maneesha, a puzzle is solvable. However difficult it may be, you can find the solution. The mystery becomes more mysterious the more you search. You cannot solve the mystery, you can only dissolve into it.

I have heard about a professor of mathematics. It was New Year’s Day and he wanted to purchase some toy for his child. Being a mathematician, he looked for some kind of mathematical puzzle. The owner of the shop said, “I have got absolutely the right thing for you. I know you are a great mathematician and this is the latest toy. But before giving it to your child, please try to solve it yourself.”
The mathematician tried to solve it, this way and that way – in every way it was wrong. Desperate and perspiring, because it was looking very awkward…other customers gathered, the salesmen gathered, the owner was watching. With tremendous interest, everybody was watching to see whether a professor of mathematics could solve a simple child’s puzzle or not. Finally he gave up. He said to the owner, “I don’t see any way to solve it.”
He said, “You need not be so sad, and don’t perspire and don’t be worried. This toy is made in such a way that any way you try, you will be wrong. This toy is meant for a certain purpose: to teach children that this is how life is. You try it any way, and you will end up in a wrong place.”

You can ask anybody. Everybody has ended up in the wrong place. It is very rare to find a buddha, who ends up in the right place; otherwise everybody is trying hard, but always reaches the grave with empty hands.
A puzzle, Maneesha, can be solved. The mystery cannot be solved. That is the difference. The mystery becomes more mysterious as you try to solve it, and sooner or later you find that the mystery is so big, by and by you are dissolving into it rather than solving it.
Kabir, one of the most important mystics of India, made a statement worth remembering:
Herat, herat, he sakhi Kabir raha herai.
He is saying, “My friend, I was searching and searching, and rather than finding I have lost myself.”
The mystery is that in which you will be lost. It will dissolve you. You will become part of the mystery itself.
But the puzzle is a small thing, it can be solved.

It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.

Mick and Stella McManus live on a small island off the west coast of Ireland. They have fourteen kids, and life is hard. One day, Mick decides that he has had enough.
“Stella!” he shouts, “I’m leaving you!”
So he jumps into his little rowing boat and starts rowing toward the mainland, leaving Stella standing on the beach.
“But Mick, what about the house?” shouts Stella.
“I’m sorry Stella,” replies Mick, “but I’m leaving you!” And he keeps on rowing out to sea.
“But Mick!” pleads Stella. “What about the children?”
“It’s no good Stella,” replies Mick, “I am leaving you!” And he keeps on rowing.
“But Mick!” cries Stella, pulling up her dress and displaying her feminine charms. “What about this?”
“Ah! God!” mutters Mick, rowing back to the beach. “One of these days I am really going to leave you!”

Kowalski and Zabriski go moose hunting every year in Canada, to try and catch moose for the local zoo. This year, as usual, they hire a seaplane and a pilot. They fly deep into the Canadian wilderness, and land on a lake.
As the pilot drops them on the shore, he gives them a warning.
“Now remember,” he says, “only one moose, or we will have too much weight to take off again. I will be back to pick you up in a week.”
The plane takes off into the air and the two Polacks, armed with a crate full of vodka, take off into the wilderness.
One week later, they are standing on the shore with two moose when the plane arrives.
“I told you guys, only one moose!” cries the pilot.
“Come on,” replies Kowalski, “last year the pilot took us with two moose. He was not afraid!”
Eventually, after a lot of vodka and persuasion, the pilot agrees and they push the two moose onto the plane.
The plane starts from the shore, but there is too much weight to take off and they crash into the trees at the other end of the lake. The moose escape and run off into the forest.
Kowalski and Zabriski wake up and look around at the wreckage.
“Where are we?” asks Zabriski, completely dazed.
“Ah!” says Kowalski, looking back at the lake. “About a hundred yards further than last year!”

Kevin McMurphy, a good Irish Catholic boy, goes to see the priest, Father Dingle.
“Father,” says Kevin, “my wife Kathleen is going to have a baby!”
“Praise the Lord!” exclaims the priest.
“Yes, Father!” says Kevin, “and it being our first, Kathleen and I were wondering if you could be praying in the hospital chapel while she is delivering it?”
“Say no more, my son. It shall be done,” says Dingle. “And bring along your parents and Kathleen’s family to help with the praying.”
When Kathleen goes into labor, Kevin phones Father Dingle and both sets of parents. And half an hour later, Kevin is pacing up and down outside the delivery room when the nurse sticks her head out.
“It’s a boy!” she cries, and Kevin runs downstairs to the chapel, where everyone is praying.
“A boy! A boy!” cries Kevin, and dashes back upstairs.
As he arrives back at the delivery room door, the nurse pops her head out, and cries, “Now it’s a girl!”
“Holy Jesus!” cries Kevin, and runs back down to the chapel.
“Twins!” shouts Kevin, “I am the father of twins! It’s a girl!”
Father Dingle and the families start singing “Hail Mary’s” to the blessed Virgin.
Kevin races back upstairs, and as he reaches the delivery room he hears the doctor say, “Another boy!”
Kevin turns round and rushes back downstairs, flings open the door of the chapel, and shouts, “Triplets!”
“Triplets?” cries Father Dingle.
“Yes,” screams Kevin, “and for God’s sake, Stop praying!”





Be silent. Close your eyes, feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now look inward, with total consciousness and with a great urgency, as if this moment is your last moment.
One should live in the same way. Every moment is the last moment. Then only can one live totally.
Go deeper, make a spear of your consciousness. The moment you touch your center of being, flowers will start showering all over.
Just be a witness of the silence, of the peace, of the deep contentment, of the immense sky that opens up from your center.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Simply witness: you are not the body, you are not the mind. You are only a witnessing consciousness.
This witnessing consciousness is the door to the divine.
This witnessing consciousness is what we have been calling the buddha.
This buddha has to be brought to every act, to every gesture, to every word, to every silence. It has to become a reality, twenty-four hours. Only then is life a perfection, a completion.
One has come home.
Gather as many flowers…and the stars and the fragrance. You have to bring the buddha with you. Soon Nivedano will be calling you back. As you get up, get up with grace, with beauty, with silence, with immense blissfulness surrounding you.
This moment, the night has become the most blissful it has ever been.
This moment, the Buddha Auditorium is just a lake of consciousness. You all have disappeared in it. Ten thousand buddhas have just become a lake of consciousness.



Come back, but come back as buddhas – with as much grace as possible, with great serenity and silence – a few minutes just to sit and recollect where you have been.
Remember the center, and the path that leads to it. You have to go on this path again and again till your circumference and center become one. Till you are a buddha, without any doubt.
It is everybody’s destiny.

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