Sufis The People of Path Vol 1 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Sufis The People of Path Vol 1 by Osho.
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A man came to Bahauddin Shah and said, “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books, and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”
The Shah answered, “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you will have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”
The man exclaimed, “This is, to me, the proof that you are the great, the real and true teacher! For none whom I had met in the past has dared to deny the value of what I had studied before!”
Bahauddin said, “This feeling is in itself unworthy. In accepting me so enthusiastically and without understanding, you are flattering yourself that you have perceptions which are in fact lacking in you.
“You are still in effect saying, ‘I am of some worth because I have recognized Bahauddin as a great man.’”
A young man has asked why there seems to be no meaning in life. Because meaning does not exist a priori. There is no meaning existing in life – one has to create it. Only if you create it will you discover it; first it has to be invented. It is not lying there like a rock, it has to be created like a song. It is not a thing, it is a significance that you bring through your consciousness. Don’t wait for it. It never comes by just waiting. One has to become a lab, one has to become a womb, one has to give birth to it.
This is one of the most significant things to be understood – otherwise you will go on missing meaning. People have a wrong notion. They think that meaning is already there, existing somewhere. It is not so. Buddha creates the meaning and then he discovers it. That’s why his meaning will never become your meaning. The meaning remains individual. Each one has to create it for himself, it cannot be borrowed.
That’s the difference between the scientific truth and the religious truth. The scientific truth is a dead thing. Once discovered by one it is discovered for all. Once Newton has discovered something – for example, the law of gravitation – then you need not discover it again and again. Then it becomes a collective property. Newton may have worked for many years to discover it, may have devoted his whole life to it, but now a schoolchild will learn it within minutes. He will not have to go through all the bother.
Scientific truth is a dead thing – it is a thing. Hence once discovered, it is discovered forever. When one person has discovered it then it becomes the property of all.
Religious truth is not a thing. It is significance, it is meaning. Each one has to discover it, each one has to go on the exploration. Buddha’s truth disappears with Buddha. Mohammed’s truth disappears with Mohammed. It was the fragrance of a flower that had opened in the heart of Mohammed – how can the fragrance remain when the flower has gone? Now the Koran is dead, so is the Dhammapada, so is the Gita, and so are all the scriptures. A scripture is alive only when the flower is there. With the flower, the fragrance is alive; when the flower is gone, all is gone.
Scientific truth can be learned. You can go to school, you can learn it from a teacher. Religious truth cannot be learned. It has to be created, not learned. You cannot go to a teacher. It cannot be taught, there is no way to teach it. You will have to go to a master not to a teacher – and that is the difference between a teacher and a master: a teacher deals in dead things, a master lives his truth.
If you are in the presence of a master you will start vibrating, pulsating. Truth cannot be given to you, but you can smell the perfume of it and then you can start searching for it in your own innermost core, in your own being. It has to evolve. It is growth; meaning is growth. You will have to devote your whole life to it.
So don’t ask why there is no meaning in life. There is none because you have not created it yet. There is for me. I have created it. But my meaning cannot become your meaning. Even if I give it to you, in the very transfer the baby will die. You will carry a dead corpse. There is no way of transferring it.
The Sufis are very particular about it – that’s why they deny knowledge. They say there is no knowledge possible. Knowing is possible, but knowledge is not possible. What is the difference between knowledge and knowing? There is no difference in the dictionary, but in existence there is a tremendous difference. Knowledge is a theory, knowing is an experience.
Knowing means you open your eyes and you see. Knowledge means somebody has opened his eyes and he has seen and he talks about it, and you simply go on gathering the information. Knowledge is possible even if you are blind. Knowledge is possible… Without eyes you can learn many things about light, but knowing is not possible if you are blind. Knowing is possible only if your eyes are healed, cured, if you can see. Knowing is authentically your experience; knowledge is pseudo.
Don’t depend on knowledge, otherwise you will go on missing meaning. Knowledge can only give you a false promise. It is never fulfilled. Knowledge can only give you pseudo coins. They are worthless, beware of them. Knowledge can make you feel very, very good because it enhances your ego. You start feeling as if you know. But remember, it is “as if,” it is not really the case. And when you feel “I know,” “I” is strengthened.
Before a man can become a man of knowing he will have to drop all knowledge. That is the real renunciation. I have seen people renouncing their children – that is foolish because children are not standing in the way of God. I have seen people renouncing their wives, their husbands – that is stupid because God is present in the husband and in the wife, God is alive there. When you renounce your wife you have renounced God – God in the form of your wife. When you renounce your husband, you have renounced God who has come in the form of your husband.
I have seen people renouncing children, wife, husband, but people don’t renounce their knowledge. They go on carrying their knowledge which is the real obstruction, which is the real hindrance – the only barrier there is.
Look… A man renounces life, goes to the Himalayas, but if he was born a Jaina he remains a Jaina. He carries the knowledge. If he was born a Hindu he remains a Hindu. Even in the depth of the Himalayas, sitting in a cave all alone, he remains a Hindu.
If you are a Hindu you are still part of the society called Hindu, you are not in the Himalayas. How can a single man be a Hindu? To be a Hindu one needs to belong, to be a Hindu one needs a society; to be a Mohammedan one needs a sect, a crowd. Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism are all names of different kinds of crowds.
And you say you have left the world? Then why have you brought in this crowd and this belonging? And what do you mean by calling yourself a Hindu? You mean that you carry a certain kind of knowledge – knowledge imparted by the Vedas, the Gita. Or if you think you are Mohammedan, then it is knowledge imparted by the Koran. You have not renounced knowledge.
Sufis say that if you want to renounce anything at all, renounce knowledge. That is the greatest courage – because when you renounce knowledge, the ego starts disappearing. The ego dies of its own accord, it cannot exist. The moment you say “I don’t know,” have you felt the purity of that moment? Have you felt the innocence of that moment? Have you felt the silence of that moment? When you utter, “I don’t know,” this is one of the greatest statements a man can make – and this is the beginning.
The first step of Sufism is to come to know that you don’t know. And this should not be a mere idea, it should be a lived experience. You should not only say it, it should not be only on your lips, it should be deep in your heart. You should feel it from your very guts: “I don’t know.”
What do you know? Do you know God? Do you know truth? Do you know anything about death? Do you know anything about life? Yes, you are alive, but you don’t know anything about life. Yes, God is in you and has lived in you from the very beginning – the beginningless beginning – but you have not yet made any acquaintance with him. And truth is everywhere. You are surrounded by truth, you live in the ocean of truth, but you don’t know anything about it. You are as ignorant about truth as a fish is ignorant about the ocean.
But you go on thinking that you know because you have read a book, because you can recite the Koran, the Gita, the Bible. Not only do people think that reciting, remembering, is knowledge, they think this is the only kind of knowledge there is.
Remembrance, memory is not knowledge. What do you know by remembering something? A parrot can do that, a machine can do it – and in a far more efficient way than you can do it. What is there? A computer can remember the whole of the Vedas and the Koran and the Bible and all the scriptures and can present all its knowledge whenever you ask. But the computer has no consciousness, no awareness, no soul.
A man who trusts his memory too much and thinks that it is knowing starts disappearing as a man and finally becomes a mechanism. Memory is mechanical.
So Sufis say that if you want to renounce anything, renounce the knowledge that you have accumulated in the memory. That is the real barrier. Because of this idea that you know, you can’t become innocent, you can’t become like children. When you are a Hindu, how can you be innocent? You are already corrupted, you have already gathered opinions. Scriptures, ideologies, concepts and philosophies have already entered your mind. You have already become cunning. You are clever. How can you be innocent?
When a child is born and opens his eyes for the first time, is he a Christian or a Mohammedan or a Hindu? Those eyes are the real eyes. Soon dust will start gathering. Soon we will start throwing ideas into the innocent consciousness of the child. Soon the mirror will gather much garbage and will not reflect reality anymore.
This garbage has to be dropped. The memory has to be used, but one should not get identified with it. I am not saying that you have to drop your memory, just the identity has to be dropped.
You will be surprised. When the identity is dropped you can use your memory far more efficiently than before – because then it is just a mechanism, whenever you need it you can use it. But you remain aloof, distant, pure. You remain a child.
Jesus goes on saying, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter the Kingdom of my God.”

Jesus was standing in a crowd in a marketplace one day and somebody asked, “Who will be the worthy ones? Who will enter your Kingdom of God? Who will be the chosen few, the elect ones?”
Jesus looked around… Naturally the rabbi of that small village was present and he thought, “He must choose me and show that I will be the worthy one.”
But Jesus bypassed him. The rich man of the town was there and he bypassed him. And the professor was there and he bypassed him. And an ascetic was there and he bypassed him. And then his eyes fell on a small child who was just standing in the crowd, completely innocent. He took the child up and he showed the child to everybody saying, “Those who are like this child, innocent, mirrorlike, only they will be able to enter my Kingdom of God.”

That’s why it should not be a surprise if the rabbis were very angry with Jesus. If the learned people were against him, it should not be a surprise. If the religious priests were against him, it should not be a surprise. If they all gathered together to destroy this innocent man, this Sufi, Jesus Christ, it is logical.
Sufis talk much about Jesus Christ, and they talk in a far more loving way than Christians do because their understanding about Jesus is deeper. Christians’ understanding becomes again that of dogma. Sufis have an insight and the insight comes because they have come to know the moment of not knowing. Remember these words: the moment of not knowing. Attain it. From that moment the journey starts.
So a master has to take away all your knowledge. He has to destroy all ego in opinions, philosophies, creeds. He has to be very hard. He has to hammer you. Once knowledge disappears and clouds are not there and the sun of consciousness burns brightly, things start happening, miracles start happening.
The first miracle is that when you don’t know you start knowing. When your eyes are no longer full of opinions they become clear, transparent. You attain insight.
Before we enter this beautiful parable of one of the greatest masters, Bahauddin Shah, a few more things have to be understood – in reference, particularly, to the modern mind.
The modern mind is feeling more meaningless than has ever been the case because the past centuries lived in a kind of stupor, sleep. There was much orthodoxy. Convention was heavy and strong. The citadel of religion was very, very great, powerful, dictatorial. People lived for centuries in belief.
This century has dared to drop beliefs. Those beliefs used to give people a feeling that there is meaning in life. Now those beliefs have disappeared. This is good. As far as it goes, it is good that beliefs have disappeared. This is the first age of agnosticism. For the first time man has become mature, mature in the sense that he does not rely on beliefs, on superstitions. We have dropped all superstitious beliefs.
So a kind of vacuum has come into existence. The beliefs have disappeared – and with the beliefs the false sense of meaning has disappeared. An emptiness has settled in. We have done the negative part, we have demolished the old building. Now the positive part has to be done – we have to erect a new building. The old temple is no more, but where is the new temple? Belief has been destroyed, but where is trust? Belief has gone – this is good – but this is not enough. It is necessary, but not enough. Now you will have to grow into trust.
Let me explain these two words to you. Belief is borrowed; somebody else gives it to you – your parents, your society, your priest, your politician, they give it to you. Immediately the child is born we start – either we circumcise the child or we baptize the child. We do something. Immediately we start conditioning him. Before he becomes alert, beliefs have gone deep into his blood and bones, even into his marrow. Before he becomes alert and before he can think clearly, he is already poisoned. The beliefs have become unconscious. He has already been conditioned. He is not free to think.
That’s why all religions are so interested in teaching children religion. They are interested immediately: the first thing they want to do is to teach children religion. Psychologists say that the only possibility to teach a child religion is to teach him before he is seven. Once he has passed the age of seven then it will become more and more difficult to teach him because he will start questioning, he will start arguing. He will become doubtful, he will become skeptical. Up until the age of seven a child simply trusts the parents, he believes that whatever they do is right. He has no doubt. This is a natural phenomenon. The child has to trust the mother. The child is so helpless that he cannot exist on his own. It is a necessity, a must for his survival, to trust the parent. And he trusts.
Religions use that natural trust to condition the child. The mother takes him to the church or to the temple, to the priest or to the minister, and the child follows the mother and the parent and the family. By the very atmosphere of the family a subtle conditioning starts going in. By the time the child can think, can formulate, he is already conditioned. Those conditionings have gone so deep now that he will never be able to drop them easily.
A master will be needed to hammer. You will need somebody whom you can love more than you love your father, whom you love more than you love your mother. You will need a master – only then. The master can go to those deepest layers of your being where conditioning has happened, and he can destroy. Unless the master becomes more significant than your parents it is not possible, it is not psychologically possible.
That’s why Buddha says, “Until you destroy and kill your father and mother, you cannot come to me.” A strange statement. Jesus says, “If you don’t hate your father and mother you can’t follow me.” It does not look very good. Jesus, the apostle of love and peace, Buddha, the most compassionate human being that has ever walked on earth, talking about hating? Not only hating, but killing?
What do they mean? They don’t mean your actual parents, they mean the parents that have gone deep into your being, that have become your base. That base has to be destroyed. Once that base disappears you will become again a child. Once that conditioning has been dropped you will suddenly become again a child, innocent. And this time you will be in a far better situation because you will not be helpless, you will be on your own feet – and innocent like a child.
This is the meaning of sannyas. This is the meaning of initiation. This is the meaning when Sufis say that somebody has become a sadhaka, somebody has become a disciple.
In this age, slowly, slowly belief has disappeared. And nothing has appeared in its place.
You must have heard about a German thinker, Ludwig Feuerbach. He seems to be the herald of the contemporary mind. Feuerbach explained God away in terms of the infinite desire of the human heart. He said, “There is no God. God does not exist as an objective reality. It is only a wish-fulfillment. Man wants to become omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. Man wants to become God – this is man’s desire, the desire to become infinite, the desire to become immortal, the desire to become absolutely powerful.”
This was the first hammering on the belief of God: that God is not objective; that God is not there; that God is just a projection in the human mind; that God has no ontology, he is only a psychological dream; that man is thinking in terms of God because he feels himself impotent. He needs something to make him complete. He needs an idea that gives him a feeling that he is not a stranger here; that in this world there is somebody who looks after him. God is nothing but a projected father. Man wants to lean upon something. It is just a pure desire. It has no reality.
Then came Karl Marx. Marx explained God away in terms of an ideological attempt to rise above the given reality. Marx said that because people are poor, in suffering, in misery, they need a dream – a dream that can give them hope. People are living in hopelessness, in such utter misery, that if they cannot dream that somewhere in the future everything will be perfect they will not be able to tolerate this intolerable reality. So God is the opium.
Religion is the opium of the masses. It is a drug. It helps, consoles. It is a kind of tranquilizer. You are in such pain that you need a painkiller. God is a painkiller: the idea that today, yes today is miserable, but tomorrow everything is going to be good.
Marx says that’s why Jesus’ beatitudes have become so important: “Blessed are the poor.” Why? Why, “Blessed are the poor”? Because “They shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” Now the poor can hope. Here he is poor, but there he will inherit the Kingdom of God. Not only that, Jesus says, “Those who are the first here will be the last there and those who are the last here will be the first there.” Now the poor man feels really happy. He forgets his poverty. He is going to be the first there. Jesus has different meanings for these statements, but Marx thinks these are just drugs.
Marx also looks very logical. When people are in misery they have only one way to tolerate it: to pass the time away they can imagine a better future. You are in hospital – you can imagine that tomorrow you will be getting out of hospital and you will be going home and everything will be okay. It is only a question of a few hours more. You can tolerate it.
This world is a question of a few years, don’t be worried about it; soon paradise is waiting for you. And the poorer you are, the higher you are going to be in paradise. And all that you are missing here is abundantly supplied there. You don’t have a beautiful woman? Don’t be worried. In paradise everybody will be having as many as they want – and the most beautiful women you can conceive of, apsaras. They are so beautiful that they never age, they never become old, they have golden bodies and they always remain stuck at the age of sixteen. They never grow beyond that. These are the dreams of man.
Here you can’t get alcohol – or even if you can it is difficult or it is costly, or there are a thousand and one problems in getting it. The politicians are always thinking about prohibition. But in firdaus, in paradise, there are streams of wine, alcohol – all kinds. You can drink as much as you want, you can swim, you can absolutely soak yourself in it.
These dreams are just consolations for those who are downtrodden, oppressed. So Marx says that religion is just a trick, a trick to exploit people, a trick to keep them under rule, a trick so that they cannot rebel. He hammered very hard on the old beliefs.
And then the third hammerer came in with Friedrich Nietzsche. He said, “God is nothing but a weakening of the will to live.” When a person becomes old or a society becomes old, rotten, dull and dying, it starts thinking of God. Why? Because death is coming close by and you have to accept death. You are going to renounce life, life is slipping out of the hands, you cannot do anything about it – but you can accept death. God is a trick to accept death. And death is accepted only by those who have become weak, weaklings.
Nietzsche used to say that the very idea of God comes out of the feminine mind. He used to say that Buddha and Christ are both effeminate. They are not really masculine, they are too soft. They are the people who have accepted defeat. They are no longer fighting, they are not fighting for survival. When a person stops fighting for survival he becomes religious. When the will-to-power is no longer functioning, you start shrinking and dying and you start thinking of God and other related things. God is against life. Life is the will-to-power. Life is struggle, constant struggle. Life is conflict, and one has to win. When people become too weak and cannot win, those defeated minds start becoming religious. Religion is defeatism.
Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, these three together created the atmosphere where it could be declared that God is dead and man is free.
This is the situation in which you have been born. If you are contemporary at all, this is the situation. You are more in tune with Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche than you are in tune with Patanjali, Kapila, Kanada. They are far away; we don’t belong to them, they don’t belong to us. The distance is too much. Our real prophets are these – Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Darwin. And these people have destroyed the whole fabric, the whole structure, the pattern of belief. And I would like to tell you that they have done a great service to humanity.
But don’t misunderstand me. They have cleaned human consciousness completely of belief, but this is only half the job. Now something is needed. It is as if you are preparing for a garden and you prepare the ground and you throw away all the weeds and you throw away all the stones and the ground is ready – and then you simply wait and you don’t bring the rosebushes and you don’t sow new seeds.
These people have done a great service to humanity. They have uprooted all the weeds. But just by uprooting the weeds the garden is not ready, cannot be ready. It is part of preparing a garden to uproot the weeds, but this is not the garden itself. Now you have to bring the roses. Those roses are missing, hence the meaning is missing.
People are stuck. Either they have become communists or they have become Freudians or they have become fascists. And they think that this clean patch of ground where no belief grows, where no desire springs up about the unknown and the beyond, is the garden. Then you are looking all around and there is nothing, it is a desert. These people have cleaned the ground, but have only created a desert out of it.
Man has become very, very anxious. Anxiety has been created. The anxiety has been repressed for centuries because of conforming with the political party, with the religion, with the sect, with the society. For thousands of years the anxiety has remained locked. Man has functioned as a slave. Now the lock has been broken, man is no longer a slave and the whole anxiety, repression, of thousands of years has broken loose. Man is turning mad.
What these people have done can turn into a great liberation or it can become just a loss. It depends. If you use this situation rightly and you start growing rosebushes in your heart, soon you will find a great thankfulness toward Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and all the people who have destroyed belief, who have destroyed the old religion. They have prepared the way for a new kind of religion – more mature, more adult, more grown up.
I am all for them, but I don’t stop with them. If you stop, meaninglessness will be your destiny. Yes, it is good that there exists no God – the God of belief – but then, then start finding what exists in your inner being. Then go on an exploration and you will stumble upon God. And this God will not be the God of the belief. This God will be the God of your experience.
They have created a situation in which you can say, “I don’t know” – that’s what agnosticism is – now use this as a jumping board to go into the unknown. You are ready to go into the unknown. Knowledge is not binding, nobody is fettering your feet. You are free for the first time – but what are you doing standing there? You were standing there because you were chained and now you are still standing there although the chains have been removed. Move forward. Now explore! The whole of existence is yours. Explore it with no concept, with no prejudice, with no a priori philosophy. Explore it with an open mind and you will be surprised to find that God is.
But this will be a totally new God, utterly new, absolutely new. This will be the God one comes to know, not the God one believes in. This will be an alive God that throbs in your heart, that breathes, that flowers in the trees, that sings songs in the birds. This will be the God of the mountains and the rivers and the stars. This will be the God of life. This will not be a God who exists somewhere in heaven, no, this will be the God who exists herenow – in me, in you, in everybody. This is the God that is equivalent, synonymous with existence.
But this God can come only through knowing, not through knowledge. Knowledge has been destroyed and that’s good. These three people – Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzsche – have done a good job of clearing away the whole nonsense of centuries, but remember, even they were not benefited by it. Nietzsche died in a madhouse, and if you are stuck with Nietzsche you are waiting for madness and nothing else. Nietzsche did a great service, he was a martyr, but he became stuck in his own negativity. He destroyed the belief, but then he never went to explore what is there. Without belief what is there? With no belief what is there? There is something. You cannot say there is nothing. There is something: What is it? He never went into meditation. Thinking, logical thinking, can do one thing: it can destroy belief. But it cannot lead you into truth.
You can be led into truth only by the door of meditation or by the door of love – marifa or mahaba, either by knowing or by loving. Either by becoming a lover, an ashik, a bhakta, a devotee; or by becoming a yogi, dhyana, a meditator. These are the only two ways – either through intelligence or through feeling. These are the two doors to godliness.
Man has to create meaning now. The meaning is no longer given by the society, no longer by the church – is no longer given by anybody else. Martin Heidegger says, “Once one has become aware of the meaninglessness of life and existence there arises great anxiety, angst, anguish. This happens through unlocking that which subjection to conformity and conditioning of centuries had locked. Once this liberation has happened one can act – but not according to norms given by anybody or anything. One has to fall upon oneself.”
Heidegger is right. You have to fall upon yourself. Now you cannot lean on anybody. No scripture will help. The prophets are gone, the messengers are no longer there. You will have to lean upon yourself. You will have to stand on your own feet. You will have to become independent. Heidegger calls it resolve. You will have to come to a resolve, a resolution that “I am alone and no help is coming from anywhere. Now what am I going to do? And I don’t know anything. No belief exists to give me a map. No chart exists and the uncharted is all around. The whole of existence has again become a mystery.”
It is a great joy for those who have courage because now exploration is again possible.
This is what Martin Heidegger calls resolve. This is what Hindus have called sankalpa. Now you have to resolve. He calls it resolve because through it the individual becomes resolute, the individual becomes individual. No God, no conventions, no laws, no commandments, no norms, no principles – one must be oneself and one must decide where to go, what to do, and who to be. This is the meaning of the famous existentialist motto: Existence precedes essence. That is, there is no essential human nature. Man creates what he is, man projects himself.
The meaning has to be projected, the meaning has to be created. You have to sing your meaning, you have to dance your meaning, you have to paint your meaning, you have to live your meaning. Through living it will arise, through dancing it will start penetrating your being, through singing it will come to you. It is not like a rock lying there, it has to bloom in your being. It has to become an inner lotus.
Now this beautiful parable.
A man came to Bahauddin Shah and said, “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books, and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”
When you go to a man like Bahauddin you are coming close to danger, you are coming close to fire, you are coming close to death. This man must have gone to this teacher and to that. There are millions of teachers; masters are rare. You can find teachers by the dozen very easily, they are cheap. To go to a master you are taking a risk.
This man says to Bahauddin – as he must have said to other teachers – “First I followed this teacher and then that one.” People are like that. They think that this is something very glorious. People come to me and they say, “First I have been to Guru Maharaji and then I went to Muktananda and then I went to this and that. Now I have come to you.” They think that they are great pilgrims, they think they are great seekers. By enumerating all the names they feel very good. They are simply showing that they are still stupid.
A real seeker will not be bothered by teachers, will not become attached to teachers. Even if he goes to a teacher he will see through and through that this is just a teaching and he will escape as fast as possible. He will not go on bragging about it because there is nothing to brag about.
One has to find, one has to go on groping in the dark. But when you are groping for a door sometimes you fall in one corner of the room and there is a wall, and you are struck and your head hurts. And then you fall on some furniture and then this and that. And then you come to the door. When you come to the door, do you relate how many times you have stumbled before? In what corner? With what furniture? How many times your head has been hurt? You don’t. All that is meaningless. When you have found the door all those gropings and stumblings in the dark are finished. Then there is nothing to brag about.
In fact, when you say that you have been to Muktananda or Guru Maharaji or Sai Baba or this and that, you are simply saying that you don’t have eyes to see. You are simply showing your unintelligence. This has been my experience. People come and relate these things to me.
There are three kinds of people in the world. The stupid people, they are the majority; then the mediocre people, a little better; then the intelligent people.
The stupid people are in three divisions – as every kind of people are in three divisions. One: the person who functions through his mind. He does not have much, but still he functions through it – so, the stupid intellectual. Whenever somebody says, “I have been to Prabhupad,” then I know he is the stupid intellectual. The second is the man who is stupid but emotional. He functions through emotion. Then he will go to Guru Maharaji. He will become a premi, a lover. Or, the third possibility: the stupid person who has will, stubbornness, or is seeking some willpower. He will go to Satya Sai Baba – miracles. He will be interested in magic.
When you come to me and you say that you have been here and there, you are simply showing all the nonsense that you have been doing in your past.
The second kind, the mediocre minds, are also in three divisions. If the mediocre mind functions as intellect then he will go to Sri Aurobindo. Or if he functions through feeling then he will go to Muktananda. Or if he functions through will then he will follow some hatha yogi. He will find some gymnast and will start torturing his body. Or he may become a follower of a Jaina muni. He will be a kind of masochist. He will enjoy torturing himself. Through torture he will feel powerful.
And then there are the intelligent, the really intelligent people. They also have three approaches. If a person really functions through intelligence then he will go either to Krishnamurti or Ramana. Or if he is a man of feeling then he will find some master like Meher Baba. Or if he is a man of will then he will find a master like Gurdjieff.
But if you have found a master, you will not need to come to me. Once you find a master you will not go anywhere. Your journey is complete. If you have not yet found a master, only then do you go on looking. So when you say, “I have been with this and I have been with that,” it simply shows that you have not found yet.
It does not show that you have gained anything, it simply shows that you have been stumbling here and there but you have not found yet. It simply shows that something has been missing and has not been found. It is not really your autobiography because it has not even started yet.
When you find your master – finished, full stop. Then the door has arrived. You enter through it. Then you don’t go anywhere else. So if you have not found yet, then all that you think you have been to is meaningless.
This man came to Bahauddin and said: “First I followed this teacher and then that one.” What is he saying? He is saying, “I am no ordinary man, I am a great seeker.” He is introducing himself and showing his autobiography: “You should not take me for an ordinary person. I am a great seeker, a great devotee. I have been to this teacher and to that.” That’s his idea. But he does not know Bahauddin, what Bahauddin will think of it.
“Next I studied these books, and then those.” Then there are people who will enumerate what books they have been reading. Just a few days ago I received a long list from somebody in a very high post in Nepal. He sent a list of books: “I have been reading these books. What do you think?” Why should I think about what books you are reading? “And if you think that any books are missing, can you suggest…?” he asked me. I have suggested that he burn all these books. Books are not going to help. But by the way he has written the letter, he was feeling very great – as if he has been doing something great, as if he has been obliging the whole of existence by reading these three hundred books. He must have gathered much knowledge, and through knowledge, the ego.
“I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.” Look at the foolishness of it. He says, “Although I feel that I know nothing of you and your teachings, still this experience of going to this teacher and that, and my studiousness with this book and that has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.” He does not know what Bahauddin has to teach – because a master has nothing to teach. A master destroys all teaching. A master takes away all that you have learned; a master does not give you anything more to learn. He puts you into a different kind of process – the process of unlearning. A teacher teaches. A teacher gives you so much to learn. If you want to learn, go to a teacher; if you want to unlearn, go to a master. The master takes away all that you know. He has to be very destructive because only when all that is useless is destroyed will you be able to be born anew.
The Shah answered, “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here.”
It must have come as a shock to the great seeker. Bahauddin says, “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here.” Nothing, unconditionally. He says, “Nothing you have learned in the past is going to help you here because here we don’t help learning. Here we help unlearning. So all that you know has to be dropped irrespective of what it is.”
All that you know… If a Hindu comes to me he has to drop his Vedas; if a Mohammedan comes to me he has to drop his Koran; if a Buddhist comes to me he has to drop his Dhammapada; if a Christian comes to me he has to drop his Bible. It is not relevant to know what he has to drop – all that he carries within him has to be dropped.
Conditioning has to be dropped. Who has done the conditioning is not the point. A mind has to come to a point where it can feel a deconditioning – a freedom that brings insight, eyes that are no longer foggy with concepts. Life is very green; theories are very gray. When your eyes are full of theories you cannot see the greenness of life. Life is new each moment, theories are always old. When your eyes are full of the old you cannot see the new. Life is very, very silent; theories are clamoring, noisy. Theories create a marketplace in your head and life is very meditative. Through theories you will not be able to contact this eternal silence.
And let me tell you – it may look paradoxical, but it is so – even if you find sound in life it is the sound of silence. It is only man who creates noise. These birds, they sing silence; these trees, they sing silence; these rivers rushing toward the ocean, they sing silence. Yes, there is sound, but the sound is born out of silence. The sound has no noise in it. It is only man who is noisy, chattering. It is man who has brought language into existence. It is man who has brought words into existence – and through words he has lost all. He has become lost in the jungle of language.
A master helps you to burn the whole jungle of language. He brings you to a nonlinguistic space.
Hence Bahauddin says:
“…Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you will have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”
Bahauddin seems very hard. One feels he should have been a little more courteous with the poor fellow. But masters are hard; they can’t be courteous with you. They cannot follow the ordinary etiquette, they have to be rude because only through their rudeness are you shocked. And if you are not shocked you are never aware. Only through shocks do you by and by become alert.
Gurdjieff used to say that people have created shock absorbers around them. Etiquette is one of the shock absorbers. It is like a spring. You sit in a car, the car has many springs. Those springs are helpful – you bump less. The road may be rough, but you don’t feel the roughness too much. Trains have buffers, between two compartments there are buffers. If something happens those buffers absorb the shock.
Man has created many buffers, many springs, many shock absorbers. You see somebody, you meet somebody on the way, you say, “Hello! How are you? Good morning.” This is a buffer. You may not feel good. You may be feeling very bad seeing this man early in the morning, but you have to say, “Good morning,” you have to say, “Glad to see you.” This is a buffer so that you can hide the real fact. And he also says, “Very glad to see you.” Both are miserable at seeing each other. They are not seeing into each other at all, they are avoiding. They are just throwing out these words so that an ugly situation can be avoided, an uncomfortable situation can be avoided and polished.
But a master has to hit you so that you can become alert and awake. There is no other way; you have to be shocked into wakefulness. So the master never misses any opportunity. Whenever you make any opportunity possible, if he can hit, he hits. He certainly hits. He never misses any opportunity.
Now, this man must have been shocked. He was being polite, mannerly, and he had not said anything wrong to the master. He was just saying, “I have been to this master and to that and I have been reading these books.” He is simply saying, “I am worthy of your attention, please. You can accept me. I am ready. I have prepared. All my studies and preparations have led me to you.” Now, he could not have expected this. The shock has to be unexpected, remember. If you can expect it, it is meaningless. If you expect it, you are already ready to absorb it. When you cannot expect, when it comes suddenly, from a corner you would never have expected it to come, only then does it enter you – otherwise you become ready, you become defensive.
So a master cannot repeat. He cannot use the same situation again and again in the same way. With each disciple he is different because once it becomes a stereotyped thing it doesn’t create the shock, the needed shock.
“Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you will have to abandon all pride in the past.” You have to abandon the past and the pride in the past. All pride comes out of the past. You are born to a very rich family, you are born to an aristocratic family, you are born to a very famous family, you are born into a very, very noble family. You have studied at Harvard or at Oxford or in Varanasi. You are a brahmin, your father was a great scholar, you have many degrees. The pride comes from the past and a disciple has to drop the past. When you drop the past the future opens its door. If you cling to the past you remain looking backward. And this is the situation – that’s why you are constantly in trouble and constantly moving into accidents. You are like a car driver who is driving ahead and looking backward. An accident is certain. If sometimes it doesn’t happen it is a miracle.
People go on looking back. The rearview mirror is always in their eyes. They see the path that they have traveled already and they don’t see the path that is ahead. And that has to be seen; if you want to avoid accidents that has to be seen. One has to be utterly free from the past, only then are the eyes open to the future. You cannot see both together, remember.
The master makes the future available, and it can be made available in only one way – the past has to be burned, totally. Sometimes when I say to my sannyasins, “Drop the past,” they say, “All? Total? Do you think all is wrong in my past?” They are saying that some good things can be saved – there may be some bad things, they can be burned. But that is not the point. You can save the good things, but again you will be looking at the past. It is not a question of good and bad, it is a question of a choice between the past and the future, remember. It is not a question of you having to choose the good and drop the bad – you have to drop it all. Only then will the eyes be turned toward the future. And the future is potential – because the future is the future.
“…you will have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.” Bahauddin is saying that this “I have been to this teacher and to that, have been reading this book and that, have been practicing Yoga and doing Zen and have been into Subud and all that” is a kind of self-congratulation. He has hit hard.
The man exclaimed, “This is, to me, the proof that you are the great, the real and true teacher!
The man is also extraordinary. He must have been with many teachers and sometimes may have even stumbled upon some masters. He is trying to defeat Bahauddin. Look, he has a shock absorber there too. He says, “Okay, you are hitting me, but you cannot hit me. I have a defense there too.” He suddenly turns. He is defensive in a very subtle way. He says:
“This is, to me, the proof that you are the great, the real and true teacher! For none whom I had met in the past has dared to deny the value of what I had studied before!”
He is really a cunning and knowledgeable man. He would have deceived if there had not been a man of the quality of Bahauddin there. If there had been even a small iota of ego in Bahauddin, this man would have deceived, would have managed.
Now he seems to be saying something perfectly true when he says, “This is precisely the case. Now I see you are the real teacher, the real master as you have dared to say such a thing.” Otherwise teachers persuade, they are salesmen; they try. If you say something to them they always pat you. They say, “Good. What you have done is the right thing to do.” They will not hit you so hard because they are in search of disciples. They can’t miss a customer so easily. A customer has come and you are the shopkeeper – how can you hit him? You have to persuade him, you have to tolerate his nonsense, you have even to appreciate his nonsense.
If you go to a teacher, an ordinary teacher, and if you say that you have been studying this and that, he will say, “Very good. This is how it should be. You are a great soul.” If you say, “I can recite the whole of the Vedas,” he will say, “This is the right thing to do. Now you are ready. So I will not have to work much on you. You have already done half the work.” He will make you feel very good.
Remember, only somebody who is not trying to exploit you in any way can hit you. If he has some ideas of exploiting you he cannot hit you.
“This is, to me, the proof that you are the great, the real and true teacher!” Now he has praised Bahauddin like anything.
“For none whom I had met in the past has dared to deny the value of what I had studied before!”
Bahauddin said, “This feeling is in itself unworthy.”
He hits again and hits even harder.
“In accepting me so enthusiastically and without understanding, you are flattering yourself that you have perceptions which are in fact lacking in you.”
“Now don’t try to befool me,” says Bahauddin. “What do you think you are doing? Do you think you are praising me? In an indirect way you are praising yourself. You are praising yourself and saying that you are so perceptive – and you are not. You are trying to prove that you can recognize when there is a great master in front of you. How can you recognize? You are blind. All your praise of the sun is meaningless.”
Bahauddin can see that the man is blind and yet he is saying, “You are the greatest light.”
“How can you see? You are without understanding and you are praising me so enthusiastically?” It takes time to praise a master. It takes years to praise a master. Only through understanding… If you praise a master through understanding he will accept it. If you praise him only out of enthusiasm he will not accept it. Only your insight can be accepted, not your flattery – because the flatterer indirectly only flatters himself.
Bahauddin said, “This feeling is in itself unworthy. In accepting me so enthusiastically and without understanding, you are flattering yourself that you have perceptions which are in fact lacking in you.”
“You are still, in effect, saying, ‘I am of some worth because I have recognized Bahauddin as a great man.’”
This is the quality of a master, and particularly of a Sufi master. It is very difficult to befriend a Sufi master. It is very difficult to have his grace, his baraka. It is very difficult to become worthy of receiving him in your heart. But it has always been so – because if you become worthy of receiving a master, you have taken a great step toward God. You are becoming worthy of accepting God. The master has to make you utterly naked because before God you will be standing utterly naked.
The master has to be hard. It is his compassion. It is only because of his compassion that he is hard. Remember, when you can come across a master who is hard, recognize it as a fact that he has compassion for you. If he has no compassion he will be polite: Why bother?
I go on hitting on your head mercilessly for only one reason – that I would like to help you.
Just the other day I said something about theosophy and some woman has written: “Your remark was very derogatory. Theosophy has helped many people and theosophy is a great science. What about Madame Blavatsky? She says exactly the same things that you are saying.” Remember, I did not condemn theosophy, I condemned this woman. What have I to do with theosophy? Madam Blavatsky is not here. What is the point? But I am hitting all those here who think they are theosophists.
When I say something against Satya Sai Baba, I am not saying something against Satya Sai Baba. What do I have to do with Satya Sai Baba? I have no business… But I am hitting all those who think they are related to Satya Sai Baba. Remember it always. What do I have to do with Muktananda? A poor fellow. But when I say something about Muktananda, I am hitting you. This has to be remembered always, otherwise you will misunderstand me.
When Bahauddin said to this man that he would have to drop all his past, he was saying, “All those people who have come in your past were wrong.” He was not saying, “You will have to forget all your scriptures because they are wrong” – no, not at all. He was saying only one thing, a simple thing: that pride in the past is egoistic, and a man cannot grow through the ego. If you want to grow you will have to drop all pride in the past.
If you are here with me and if you want to stay here with me, meditate over this small parable. This will give you an indication of what I am doing here with you and what I am going to do again and again. In a thousand and one ways my hammer will always be destroying your skull, your head. If I really love you then I have to behead you, I have to destroy you; I have to become a crucifixion for you – because only after crucifixion is resurrection.
Enough for today.

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