Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
The pundit in today's story – was he not also a beautiful Taoist? Perhaps not reached the ocean, but on the way?
He can be called a Taoist, but not a man of Tao. A Taoist in the sense that he believes that Tao is true, but not a man of Tao because his belief is unfounded in experience. It is not his own experience, it is not his own existential understanding. It is still knowledge; it is not knowing. To be a Taoist is easy, it is very cheap: you can always borrow knowledge. To be a man of Tao is arduous, it needs guts.
Sometimes you may be more impressed by a Taoist than a man of Tao because the Taoist is understandable by your intellect. He has some affinity with you; he talks the same logic and the same language that you can understand. To understand the man of Tao may be difficult because there is no bridge yet between you and him. He exists in a very transcendental world, in a totally different reality. He is part of a separate reality. If he is right, you are totally wrong. The Taoist can be right and he does not make you feel that you are totally wrong. The Taoist is in tune with you, not in tune with Tao. That is the meaning of the end of the story: “The marquis was delighted…” But not enlightened.
The answer was really beautiful, delicious, but it has no nourishment in it. You can enjoy it, but you cannot live on it. It is a meaningless, substance-less thing. It is an empty gesture – however beautiful, it is still an empty gesture. It is impotent, it is not creative. Yes, it can entertain you – but that’s all.
So I can concede that the pundit, the scholar was a Taoist. He believed in the philosophy of Tao, but it was a philosophy, a dogma to be believed in. He has not lived it, he has not tasted it; it is not yet his heart. It has not happened to him. It is like a blind man who has heard many things about light, colors, rainbows, flowers, the sun, the moon, the stars, and has become very clever in talking about those things. Maybe whatsoever he says is right, but still, how can it be right? A blind man can understand all that is written about light and he can reply to your questions about light perfectly – maybe he uses the exact words that a man with eyes uses. As far as words are concerned, they are similar, but as far as experience is concerned, one has experienced, the other has not. This has to be remembered. The thing that he said, “My master can do these miracles, and he has become capable of doing them, but he is also capable of not doing them.” This is a tremendous saying, a great statement, but it is coming from a blind man.
If it comes from Lieh Tzu, it will have tremendous significance. If it comes from Buddha, it will have tremendous significance. But it comes from a pundit – it is meaningless. Remember always that it is much more important who has made the statement, than the statement itself. You can repeat the words of Jesus exactly, but you are repeating them. Your parrot can be taught to repeat the exact words of Jesus, Mohammed. But what will it mean? The parrot repeating is an empty gesture, there is nothing inside the parrot; it is mechanical. But when Jesus said those words they were coming from his heart; he was not repeating anything, he was not imitating – they were authentic, they were true.
Truth means that which comes from your own experience, arises out of your own experience; is part of your life, part of your blood, bones, marrow, circulates in your being; you breathe it in and out. Then, remember always, the statement in itself does not mean much, but from whom it comes means very much. Sometimes you will be surprised listening to me: if Lao Tzu says the thing, I will support it; if Confucius says it, I will criticize it. The same thing! The same words! If Socrates says it, I will support it, if Aristotle says it, I will condemn it. You will be surprised, you will think that this is not fair, but try to understand me. I look into the person, not into the statement. I look into the being, into the experience, into knowing. What a person says is not very relevant. What he is – the being – is relevant, not his knowledge.
So, I can concede that he was a Taoist and beautiful too, but all imitation; no real diamonds – artificial. Artificial diamonds also can be beautiful – at least, they can appear beautiful. Flowers of plastic can look beautiful, they can be made in such a way that they can attract you, but they are not real. There is deception, fraud.
The second thing: you asked, “Perhaps not reached the ocean, but on the way?” Then you have not understood me, whatsoever I have been saying here. Tao is a pathless path. What does it mean? It means that the way and the goal are one; if you are on the way, you have arrived. That is the beauty of Tao: if you are on the way, you have arrived home because the way and the goal are not separate, the journey and the destiny are not separate. The journey itself is the goal. That is the meaning of the word Tao. Tao means the way: the way itself is the goal. The means is the end, there is no other end.
Whatsoever you say looks logical, “The man may be just on the way – may not be yet enlightened, but on the way.” What do you mean? Does it mean “a little bit enlightened?” “partially enlightened?” on the way – moving toward it? There is no possibility of any partial enlightenment: either it is, or it is not. Either you have arrived, or you have not arrived, and between these two there is none. There are no midway stations. A man on the way means a man in the ocean – drowned, arrived, disappeared. As far as Tao is concerned, the way and the goal cannot be separated, they are not separate. That’s the beauty of Tao and the great understanding of Tao. Once there is a goal, then you will become tense because then there will arise the desire and the ambition to achieve it. Then you will have to prepare for it: time will be needed; methods, techniques will be needed; virtue, character, will be needed. And you will always be anxious and afraid whether you are going in the right direction or not. Will you be able to make it or not? Are you going to miss it again? The fear, the anxiety, the trembling will continue because there is a future with the goal. When the way is the goal, there is no future – future is simply destroyed, time disappears.
There is no tomorrow.
Herenow everything is available, there is no need to postpone. These are the tricks of the mind which wants to postpone, the mind which wants to postpone divides the way and the goal. And then the way is also divided into many milestones, into many stages: the first, the second, the third, one goes on dividing. Then there is much space for your mind to be projected into. Tao leaves no space for the mind. It utterly destroys the mind because there is no goal. Just think about it, contemplate it: if there is no goal, how can the mind exist? Then this moment is all there is; this is all. Desire is not possible because there is no tomorrow and there is no goal. Nothing to be achieved – then where will you go? Where will you escape to? Where will you hide? The goal gives you an escape. You can hope. “Today I am not right, tomorrow I will be right. Today I am just a beginner, tomorrow I will become an adept.” But if there is no goal, nowhere to reach, nowhere to arrive, then all tricks, devices, have been taken away; all props have been removed. Then you are left with this moment. This moment is all, and in this very moment there is liberation.
Mind liberated from desire is what liberation is. Mind no longer in desire is what enlightenment is. Mind no longer projecting, hoping, is what coming to the ocean is. Please don’t divide. Look at life as an undivided whole, as one whole.

The second question:
I understand what you say about so-called knowledge, but it still persists.
Just intellectually understanding what I say, knowledge is not going to leave you. Just intellectual understanding is not going to help. In fact, if you only understand what I am saying intellectually, this will also become another knowledge – this will add to the knowledge that is already there; it will pile up more knowledge.
The foolish person, listening to me, will become more knowledgeable. The wise person will drop all his knowledge and will become ignorant; the foolish person will accumulate knowledge and will become more knowledgeable – it depends on you. Remember, just by understanding a thing intellectually… Of course, if you have understood totally then there is no problem, then in that very understanding the problem disappears – if the problem remains, it simply shows that it is only an intellectual understanding. Logically you feel, “I am right,” but who lives through logic? Nobody lives through logic. Logically you know anger is wrong, but when somebody insults you then all logic is forgotten, then the anger comes up. Each time you have fallen in love, you have gone beyond logic. And whenever a love disappears, you again decide: “It was foolish, it was madness. Never again! The frustration of it, the hell of it!” You are tired of it. But within only a few days you forget all about that frustration, the hell that the other had created. Again a face starts looking beautiful, again a person starts looking heavenly, again you are falling in the trap – logic is forgotten. Who lives according to logic?
When you understand me logically it is not going to help. Logic never transforms anybody because you are dominated by the unconscious, not by the conscious. When you understand that knowledge is futile, that it is just on the surface… But deep down knowledge is a great investment. It is through knowledge that you are important, it is through knowledge that you are somebody, it is through knowledge that your ego is fulfilled and strengthened, it is through knowledge that you can feel superior – superior to those who don’t know – it is through knowledge that you have the upper hand. These are all the investments in it. Unless you drop these investments, knowledge is not going to be dropped.
Habits die hard. And the habit of knowledge is the ancientmost habit that man has carried; it is the most dangerous habit. Smoking or drinking or gambling is nothing. This is the most dangerous habit because it prevents you from seeing; it prevents you from coming into deeper contact with reality. It is the greatest barrier: the Wall of China. But habits die hard, remember it, and it is the longest, the most ancient habit.

An old gambler was talking to his son as he lay dying.
“Son, promise me you’ll never touch a card. Above all, never play blackjack. It’s a game that will cost you a fortune, waste your time, ruin your health and cause you untold moments of anguish and pain. Do you promise me, here on my dying bed, with the merciful angel of death hovering about and Almighty God as a witness, that you will never play blackjack, that you will never touch playing cards?”
“Yes, Father,” muttered the pious son.
“And remember,” shouted the old gambler, “if you must play, always be sure to take the bank!”

Old habit: a gambler is a gambler. What he is saying does not matter much, deep inside he is the old gambler. All this great sermon against gambling is just superficial. Deep down, from the unconscious, arises this statement: “And remember,” shouted the old gambler, “if you must play, always be sure to take the bank!”
You listen to me; you listen to these murmurs, whisperings, of Tao. For a moment, a small light burns on the surface of your consciousness, it lights a little, but it is a very flickering light – it comes and it goes. In that flickering light, for a moment, you seem to understand. But from your deep unconscious will come the great storm and will blow out this small light very easily.
I have heard about a great gentleman…

The area had been hit with an epidemic of robberies perpetrated by the notorious gentleman burglar. One night Sadie woke and shook Hymie. “Hymie, there’s a burglar in the house,” she said.
“There is not,” Hymie said sleepily. “Go back to sleep, stupid.”
Just then a man sprang from inside a closet. “There is too,” he declared. “Now apologize to the lady.”

A gentleman is a gentleman – even if he becomes a burglar…
Just then a man sprang from inside a closet. “There is too,” he declared. “Now apologize to the lady.”
Habits die hard. They continue deep down.

Up in Dartmouth, an English professor suddenly surprised another colleague writing on a washroom wall. “Elmer!” gasped the professor. “Don’t tell me you’re the kind of fellow who writes on washroom walls!”
“Stuff and nonsense,” huffed the professor. “I’m merely correcting the grammar.”

Old habits of correcting – must have found some grammatical mistakes there.

A miser, a very famous miser…
The big crowd gathered on Coney Island beach and watched the man apply artificial respiration to the heiress he’d just rescued. Her parents broke through the crowds, joyful at seeing their daughter alive and well. “Mama,” said the old man, “give that fella a dollar. He saved her life.”
“But, Papa,” protested the girl, “I was half dead.”
“All right,” papa said. “Give him fifty cents.”

Watch what comes from inside you. Be more watchful about it – it shows deep-rooted habits, and you will have to become aware of all those habits. I am not saying fight with them, no. I am not saying drop them with effort, no. Anything dropped by effort will come back and will come back with a vengeance. Never fight with any old habit because fighting will create a split: you will be fighting with yourself. Simply understand. Become more watchful.
Now you have understood one thing – that knowledge is futile. It is just a glimpse. Now carry this glimpse deep into your unconscious. Watch. Whenever you start showing your knowledge, watch why. What are the deep motives? Look into the motives and you will find motives behind motives behind motives. When you have come to know all the motives and all the investments, when you have searched all around in your being, suddenly you will see that through understanding habits disappear. No need to fight; no need to make any effort – otherwise this small glimpse that comes sometimes will never be translated into your life.
There are two types of people: one who, once he understands something intellectually, starts thinking he has understood. He is befooling himself. Sooner or later situations will show that the understanding was just skin-deep. Scratch a little and the reality comes up. Then there is a second type of person who is not befooled by this small glimpse. It is a small window, significant, but not enough in itself to create change. It has to be translated deeply into your being, but translation means that you have to watch all the things that are against this glimpse. And watch without judging, watch without conflicting with them. Simply watch and see what is what. Once you have known who is who and what is what inside you, things will start changing; and that change will be a surprise to you because you have not done anything to produce that change directly. It comes as a by-product, as a consequence of understanding.

The third question:
This ashram seems to me to be like an oasis in a desert, and in the middle of the oasis is an unfathomable well of pure crystal water, and the well is Osho. But round the edge of the oasis, under the palm trees, some very strange games are being played. I know it is good for children to play games; it can help them to grow up and widen their understanding of this world. But when these games get out of hand, they may easily do more harm than good, and I believe this is dangerous. And, too, thirsty pilgrims coming across the desert in search of water may see these strange games first and depart bewildered with their thirst still unquenched. I tell myself, “Judge that ye be not judged,” but I am a little troubled! Please comment.
First: whatsoever is happening here is certainly a strange game, and whatsoever is happening on the periphery, “under the palm trees,” is part of me. Remember that always: whatsoever is going on here I am perfectly aware of. You need not be troubled about it. Nothing is out of my hand, whatsoever is going on. I give enough rope: it seems everything is completely free – it is not so – just that the rope is long enough. So it is not going to come to any dangerous end. Danger happens only when there is repression; with freedom there is no danger.
Yes, total freedom cannot be given to children – not that total freedom is dangerous, no; freedom is never dangerous, but children are unaware. Total freedom to them may become suicidal. Hence the long rope, but still the rope is in my hands. The moment I see a person becomes mature, then that rope is completely broken, thrown away; then he has total freedom. But to make a person capable of total freedom, freedom has to be given to him, otherwise how is he going to practice? To make a person really capable of being himself one has to allow many things, but whatsoever is allowed is very much knowingly allowed.
It can appear to a newcomer that these games are dangerous, but you can trust me. These games cannot be dangerous; in fact, these games will help you to go beyond all dangers. The real danger comes from repression, never from freedom. If you are repressing something, one day or other, it is going to explode. And that will be the day of your madness or your suicide, or you will commit a murder or something. Humanity has trusted the technique of repression too much; hence the whole earth has become almost a madhouse. This madness that has gathered has become accumulated into the human mind and has to be released, hence all the so-called dangerous games being played around here. The madness has to be released slowly, methodically.
Somebody coming from the outside for the first time may start wondering: “What is happening here?” In fact, never has such an ashram existed. Sometimes efforts have been made on a very small scale – some Sufi schools have existed, but on a very small scale. Twenty, twenty-five persons working in a closed world; nobody knowing what is happening there. Now this is an open university. Almost all of the world is participating in it; you can find every nationality, every race, every religion represented. It is an open phenomenon. Never has freedom been experimented with on such a big scale.
On the gate of a Sufi house in Esfahan, Iran, these words are inscribed from Khwaja Esmat Bokharai. Listen to these words:
This is no Kaaba for idiots to circle
Nor a mosque for the impolite to clamor in
This is a temple of total ruin.
Inside are the drunk, from pre-eternity to the Judgment Day,
Gone from themselves.
That school of Khwaja Esmat Bokharai was a small school. What was happening inside nobody knew from the outside. Great things were going on there; great games were being played, but it was a very secret school. Such secret schools have always existed. Jesus was trained in just such a small school called the Essenes. In Zen monasteries, in Taoist monasteries in China, small groups have always existed, working together in deep secrecy and privacy.
For the first time, all secrecy is thrown away and all privacy is thrown out – for this reason: now there is no time for secrecy left. Humanity is at such a dangerous crossroads that it is very possible that within a century humanity may not exist at all. In the past there was enough time; the game of secrecy could be played, but now it cannot be played. All the secrets have to be made available to each and every one, hence I am taking all secrecy away; and as you become ready, the more I will drop other secrets. My effort will be to bring you the truth, however dangerous it is, as naked as possible because all of humanity is at stake. If man cannot be taught how to be free and yet sane, then there is no future for humanity. To teach man how to be free and sane we will have to devise all sorts of mad games. Through those mad games the accumulated madness will have to be acted out through catharses, thrown out. Hence you see so many games going around here. But nothing is beyond my vision.
I may not come out. I never come out of my room. I never go to the ashram to see what is happening because there is no need for me to go there physically. Sitting in my room, I am watching everything that is going on. I am perfectly aware; you need not be troubled. I know you have asked out of love.
It is from a new sannyasin, an old lady, Gramya. She is new, old, has much love in her heart. She must have become a little worried about what is going on. No need to be worried. You can rest at ease.
People who sometimes may come and become frightened and go back are not the people for me. So that is not a loss. If you are really thirsty in the desert, you will not bother with what games are going on around the oasis, you will rush into the oasis. If you are not thirsty, only then will you go back. It is so simple, it is so arithmetical. If you are really thirsty, who bothers? Just think about yourself. For days together you have been thirsty in the desert and you have not seen even a single tree, no greenery, all over a burning fire. And then, one day, you come across an oasis with beautiful palm trees. You come close, but under the palm trees mad games are going on. Will you bother about them? You will say, “I will see that later on. First let me go to the water. First let me drink my fill to my heart’s desire, then I will see what is going on.” In fact, you will not even be able to see what is going on if you are thirsty – you will see only water; you will hear the sound of running water. You will not be able to see because we only see that which we are interested in. If you are interested in water, you will see water. You will let those mad people dance and sing and do whatsoever they are doing. You will say, “First let me quench my thirst, then I will also rest under a palm tree and see what is going on here” – but not before that. And if you find that somebody becomes frightened and goes away from the oasis, then only one thing is certain – he was not thirsty. He may be thinking about the oasis, it may have been a curiosity, but it was not thirst that brought him here.
He is not the man for me, or the woman.
This is no Kaaba for idiots to circle
Nor a mosque for the impolite to clamor in
This is a temple of total ruin.
Unless you are ready to die, it is better you should not be here because only through your death is resurrection. Unless you are ready to be reborn, don’t waste my time.
This is a temple of total ruin.
Inside are the drunk, from pre-eternity to the Judgment Day,
Gone from themselves.
Only those who are ready to drop their egos and selves, their judgments, their rationality, their intellects, only those who are ready to cut their heads off will be able to understand what is going on here. I am interested only in such mad people.
My whole work here is not for the curious, but for the thirsty, so don’t be worried about those people who come to the gate and go away. More and more mad games will happen around here – more and more. And more and more will it become impossible for those who come out of curiosity, out of the desire to know a little bit about God, religion; for those who come in search of theories and knowledge, or in search of morality and character. No, I am not for them.
It “…is a temple of total ruin,” but only when you die totally are you born as a new being, as a new man, as a new energy. Unburdened from the past, discontinuous with the past, you become as fresh as dewdrops in the morning, and only then do you know what God is. Only in that virgin freshness do you know what God is, only in that innocence, primal innocence, do you come in contact with reality.
Gramya has asked, “I tell myself ‘Judge that ye be not judged,’ but I am a little troubled!” She has quoted wrongly. Jesus said, “Judge ye not that ye be not judged.” Judge ye not that ye be not judged. She says, “Judge that ye be not judged.” No, that is not the exact statement – in fact, it is just the opposite of what Jesus says. And she has put it in inverted commas, that’s why. Otherwise there is no problem. Remember the words are “Judge ye not that ye be not judged.” A person who goes on judging is in danger because out of all judgments a subtle ego is created.
Gramya is very simple and innocent, that’s why I have given her the name Gramya. It means “so simple,” like a villager. Gramya means one who comes from a very primitive village, not knowledgeable – simple, innocent, primitive. She is, and that’s why she feels troubled because this judgment is creating a subtle ego. “Judge ye not…” There is no need to judge. Whatsoever is happening, accept it. Whatsoever people are doing, they have to go through it. There is a method to all this madness around here; it is very methodical. You just keep quite silent, nonjudging.
It happened once…

A great Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, used to live with his one hundred disciples in a monastery. Few travelers came. The monastery was far away from any town, far away even from any roads, but people became interested – curious people can go anywhere: they go to the moon. Curious people are curious people, they can go anywhere. They became curious and they went there. It was far away from towns, off the road, but they took all the trouble of the journey and they reached the place in the desert. The doors were not closed – because Rumi had never thought that anybody would come so far away – so they could watch what was happening inside. Exactly this scene that you see here…
Somebody was laughing loudly, madly, somebody was dancing, somebody was singing, somebody was standing on his head, people were doing a thousand and one things – and Jalaluddin Rumi was just sitting in the middle of it all, silent, with closed eyes. So they thought, “What is going on? Have these people gone mad? What are these lunatics doing here? And what is this man doing? He is simply sitting, with closed eyes. He should stop these people – it is dangerous; they may go beyond the limit.” And somebody was raving like a maniac, and somebody was hitting the wall, and everything was going on.
They became very afraid. They became so afraid that they went away. But after a year curiosity took possession of them again and they thought, “We should go and see what is happening now. Things must have gotten worse. Either they must have killed that Jalaluddin Rumi by now because he was just sitting in the middle of it, or they must have committed suicide; murders must have happened!” So they went again. They could not believe it: they were all sitting silently. Only Jalaluddin Rumi was dancing. “So what has happened? Things have completely changed.” They thought, “It seems this man has taken the madness of all, so that they have become silent and he is dancing.” But this was a worse situation because they thought at least he had been sane, now he also was insane. But they took pity on the man. They thought, “It is natural – just to be amidst these mad people for so long, he must have gone out of his mind.”
They went away. But after a year curiosity again took possession of them and they thought, “We must go and see what is happening now.” So they went there. There was nobody, only Jalaluddin Rumi was sitting alone – the whole group had disappeared. Now it was too much. What happened? They became too curious. They went to Jalaluddin Rumi and they said, “We want to ask what happened? Where are those nuts? What happened to them? And what are you doing sitting here alone?”
Jalaluddin Rumi said, “The work is done. Now they have gone into the wider world to find other nuts – to help them. The work is complete.”
Then they asked, “Why were you dancing last year when we came?”
He said, “I was dancing because I was so happy that my disciples had achieved. It was dangerous, it was very arduous, to release their madness accumulated down the centuries, but they were really capable people. I was happy, that’s why I was dancing. Now they have gone to find other mad people. Now they will make a hundred monasteries all around the earth.”

Exactly. When you come new to this ashram, it does not appear like an ashram. People have very different notions about an ashram. If you go to other ashrams, the first thing: you will never find young people there. You will always find old, dead people because people go to the ashrams only when they think that now one foot is already in the grave. So, to bribe God, they go to the ashrams. Of course they are dull, dead; they sit there with their malas, turning beads – that’s all they can do. All their energy has gone. In fact, nothing is left. They are no longer rivers of energy but dry stream beds, drying up every moment. They are already too late. And their religion is not true, cannot be true because it has not come out of understanding, it has come out of fear. Now death is approaching…
When a man becomes religious because of life, then it is true religion. When a man becomes religious because of death, it is an untrue religion. Here you will find young people. Even if you find old people you will find them very young. In fact, to be old and here with my young sannyasins is almost impossible. If some old person can tolerate these people, that simply means he is young, spiritually young. He has the quality of youth, he is not yet dead. Maybe the body is getting old, but his spirit is young, adventurous, courageous.
These people are here because of life problems. They want to solve their living problems; they want to solve the mystery of life, not the fear of death. These people are here not in search of any God; they are here in search of their own being. They are here to know what truth is; not a truth of the scriptures, but something existential that they feel in love, that they feel in happiness, that they feel in sadness – that they can touch, that they can live, go into, feel, enjoy, dance about. They are in search of a celebration; they are in search of a dance. They are in search of the song that they feel is there in their heart, but they are not capable of singing it. They have not been able to find the way to allow this song to be expressed, to become manifest. They are in search of the fragrance that they are carrying, but they have lost contact with their source and they want to release this fragrance to the winds.
This is a totally different phenomenon. For these people, religion means simply to be more alive. These people are not serious people because seriousness is a disease. These people are in search of delight. Naturally, the whole approach is different, and I am interested only in these people. They will be coming by the thousands soon. They will come from all over the world; they will have to come. Whosoever is in search of celebration will have to come.
Of course, the whole approach is so diametrically opposite. I am not against love: I am all for love. If you go into the ashrams, the first thing they will start destroying is your love: they will teach you brahmacharya, celibacy. I know the beauty of brahmacharya, but that beautiful brahmacharya comes only out of deep experience of love – never otherwise. It is not an imposition, it is a flowering. Loving the other, by and by you are thrown back again and again to yourself. One day you realize that the search for the other outside is meaningless; it is doomed from the very beginning. Loving the other, looking into the eyes of the other, you are reflected again and again. Through the other is self-knowledge: the other functions as a mirror. Once you have realized it, you start settling into your aloneness. And a celibacy arises which is not a practiced celibacy, which is not afraid of love, which is not afraid of relationship, which is not afraid of the woman or the man, which is not afraid at all, which is so confident, so strong, so well-rooted…
In fact, a well-rooted tree waits for the storm to come because that will be a challenge, and when the storm comes, the well-rooted tree knows how well-rooted it is and feels the strength, the vitality. The storm is not the enemy but a challenge which takes away all dust, which takes away all frustration, which takes away all sadness. And the tree starts celebrating again, feels alive to the very roots, becomes young again. Each storm makes the tree younger, again and again young.
A celibacy that comes out of fear is escapism; you become weak. You become so weak that even seeing a picture of a woman, and you become afraid. Even the idea of a woman, and you start trembling. This is stupidity; enough of it! Humanity has suffered enough of it. This chapter has to be closed completely.
You have been taught and told in other ashrams down the centuries to enforce a character upon yourself. No, I am not doing that here. I would like a character to arise in you, but not a structure. A structure is an armor; a structure is a dead scaffold around you – it kills, it imprisons you. You are already imprisoned. My whole effort is to help you to get out of the prison.
Just the other day I was reading a story…

The lawyer of a man who was imprisoned for life came to see him. The man asked, “What are the prospects of my getting free again?” and the lawyer said, “I appealed to the District Court and the case has been filed, the appeal has been rejected. And then I appealed to the High Court, the case has been filed, the appeal has been rejected. Then I appealed to the Supreme Court and the case has been filed and the appeal has been rejected.”
Desperate, the prisoner said, “Then do something else! What else do you have to do? Where can you appeal?”
The lawyer said, “Now there is no other court, they have all filed your appeal. So the last thing is this: I have brought this for you.” He opened his bag and gave the prisoner a metal file and said, “Now you can start filing the bars; I have done enough of filing, myself,” he said, “now the last recourse is for you to file the bars!”

My whole effort here is to help you to file the bars, and sometimes those bars are exactly the thing you call character, morality, sanity, responsibility, duty – duty to the society, to God, to the church, to the nation. These are your bars in which you are caged like an animal. So, naturally, the effort to make you free will create many sorts of absurd things around here – absurd because they are not expected of you; absurd because the society has completely forgotten about them. They have to be brought into consciousness, hence Gramya’s fear. She is innocent, compassionate, a very loving old lady, but she had to understand what is happening here.
The work that is being done here is very invaluable work. It is not cheap. It is not even valuable. Value is not the name for it.
I have heard…

“Listen, Sol, what a bargain! If you go to Radio City before noon, it is only a quarter. Such a gorgeous place. Chandeliers, rugs, plush seats, full-length feature movie, short subjects, newsreels, animated cartoons, fifty beautiful girls, a one hundred and ten piece orchestra…”
“All for the same quarter?”
“All for the same quarter. And what is more, when you leave the movie you can go upstairs and see a real art show.”
“All for the same quarter?”
“All for the same quarter. And then they give you a delicious cup of coffee.”
“All for the same quarter?”
“All for the same quarter.”
“Hmmm… Must be an awful cheap brand of coffee.”

The churches, the temples, the mosques are giving you a very cheap brand of religion at no cost at all. You don’t really have to pay – it is cheap; naturally, at the most a consolation, not a revolution. Here, what we are doing is a revolution, it is not a consolation.
Man has come to a point where evolution has stopped, now only revolution can help. Evolution means unconscious growth – it has come to a point beyond which it cannot go.
Can’t you see that for centuries man has remained the same? Everything else has changed: the bullock cart has become the jet, but man? The man who was driving the bullock cart and the man who is piloting the jet plane are not different at all – exactly the same. A sword has become a hydrogen bomb, but the man who was wielding the sword is not different from the man who is holding the key for the hydrogen bomb. Everything has changed except man. If a man from the times of the Vedas became alive again, he would not be able to understand anything except man. He would not be able to understand what these trains are, these cars, these airplanes, the radio, the TV, the electricity, the movie – no, he would not be able to understand anything except man. Man would be absolutely understandable. There is no difference at all: as jealous as ever, as mad as ever, as angry as ever, as violent as ever. What does this mean? It means that man has attained to the last stage that can be attained through unconscious evolution. Now everything is stuck.
People come to me and they say, “We are feeling very stuck.” It is not an individual problem; all of humanity is stuck, everybody is stuck. A cul-de-sac has come. Now evolution is not going to help. You will have to take the reins in your own hands – that’s what revolution is. And when you start evolving on your own, naturally you are taking great risks; it is a great adventure. And it is costly.
So this is my suggestion for Gramya: please, don’t get troubled. If you start getting troubled, one trouble will create another trouble; it is a vicious circle. So, from the very beginning, be alert.

A little old lady entered a suburban home and found a lad of four in sole possession playing with his toy train. “You don’t know me,” the old lady said, “but I’m your grandmother – that is, on your father’s side.”
Without looking up from his train, the lad replied “Well, I can tell you right now – you’re on the wrong side.”

To Gramya I have to say this, that if you start judging, from the very beginning you are on the wrong side. Drop it from the very beginning; forget about it. Start enjoying. Forget what others are doing. Do what you always wanted to do and have not done yet. You wanted to dance? Dance. You wanted to sing? Sing. Nowhere can you get so much freedom as is possible here, and nobody will make any judgment about it; nobody is going to interfere. That’s how an ashram should be – a freedom, a non-interference. Nobody should interfere; unless you start interfering in their life, nobody should take any notice of you. You do your thing, they are doing their thing. By and by understanding will arise: understanding arises only when you are, exactly, doing your own thing.
One more anecdote for Gramya…

Grandma had already extended her unannounced visit for three weeks, and her daughter-in-law and son were slowly going crazy. Finally they concocted a scheme: they would fake a fight and the one with whom she sided would tell her the other was so insulted that she’d simply have to leave.
So that night the wife deliberately spilled a plate of hot soup down her husband’s neck. “You’re the clumsiest, ugliest, stupidest clunk I’ve ever seen,” roared the husband.
“And you,” shot back the wife, “are the laziest, demandingest, meanest poop in the world. What do you say, Grandma?”
“I’m not saying a word,” replied Grandma cheerfully. “I’m staying two more months.”

Keep that attitude. If you want to stay with these people, don’t say a single thing, just be cheerful.

The fourth question:
Krishnamurti is vehemently against gurus, meditation techniques and “all the rest of it.” Apparently you are a guru and giving meditation techniques. To me, you and Krishnamurti are both showing the truth, each one in his own way. What is your feeling about Krishnamurti's objections concerning guruhood?
I enjoy them, and especially so when they come from such a big guru. And remember, he is not “vehemently against,” whatever the appearance; he cannot be vehemently against anything. Yes, sometimes he almost looks in a rage – that is all acting. Don’t pay much attention to it. I know him better than you: that is his game, and he has to at least act in that way because that is the path I call via negativa.
On the negative path nothing is to be allowed. No has to be said to everything: no to methods, no to gurus, no to scriptures; no to everything. No is the method. Denying all methods is the method of the path I call via negativa. No guru is needed – but even to say this, a guru is needed. He has been saying this for fifty years, continuously. In fact, nobody has been working as hard as he has been working. Even in his old age he is running from one town to another, from one country to another, around the world, telling people that the guru is not needed. Why do you bother at all? People are so stupid that even this has to be said, so what about other things? Even to make them alert that the guru is not needed, a guru is needed. To tell them that methods are not needed, that techniques are not needed, somebody is needed to tell them. People are so unaware. They have to be guided. Even on the negative path they will not move on their own.
Once a Krishnamurtite came to me and he said, “I don’t believe in any techniques, and I don’t believe that anybody can be a guru to anybody else, and I don’t believe in any meditation methods.” I said, “Perfectly good. Just tell me one thing. Could you have discovered this without Krishnamurti telling you?”
He became sad. He pondered over it, and he said, “It would have been difficult for me to have come upon it by myself.”
Then I said, “What is the point of saying all this? Even to say this somebody was needed, a guru was needed.”
What is a guru? You are unaware, so somebody is needed to make you aware – that’s all that a guru is about. You are so fast asleep that you need the alarm, that’s all. If you can wake up on your own, good – at least I will be very happy if you can wake up on your own: you will save me much trouble. But it has never happened.
Krishnamurti is the purest example of the negative path, as pure as Lao Tzu, as pure as Ashtavakra. A very pure statement, but pure statements become very difficult because you cannot understand them; they are so far out. You can only misunderstand them. So he has been misunderstood. He is the most misunderstood man. Nobody understands him, not even those who say that they follow him. They also cannot understand because he says, “No following is allowed. You should not become imitators.” And they have become imitators. He says, “You cannot learn from me.” And they have learned from him. That’s why he sometimes beats his own head.
Again and again, people ask the same question. He went on saying for one hour that there is no method, and then a gentleman, a very old gentleman who may have been hearing him for forty years – is as old as he himself – and was nodding continuously, “You are right. You are right,” then stands up and says, “How to attain it?” How? Naturally he becomes very vehement. For one hour he has been telling you that there is no method, now you again ask how. “How” means that you ask for the method: “how” means method.
Nobody understands him because people are in such deep sleep that they cannot understand such a superb statement. They have to be led slowly, persuaded slowly; by and by they gather courage, in small steps they gather courage. It is his compassion, but it has not worked. He has worked hard, but whatsoever he has been working at has not given any result. That’s why, as he becomes older, he becomes more and more vehement because he can see that his whole life he has been struggling with these people, and they go on asking the same stupid questions. If they had really understood him, they would have left him.
This is exactly what happened to Jalaluddin Rumi – sitting alone, and all the disciples gone. That would have happened to Krishnamurti if people had understood him. Then what is the point of coming to him, listening to him, reading his books? The guru is not possible, it cannot be taught, so what is the point of coming to him and listening to him again and again, year by year, for half a century? If you had understood, you would have said good-bye, and he would have been left alone. But no, people go on listening.
My feeling is that his compassion is infinite, but it has not been of much use because he cannot see a simple thing: that the people who go on listening to him, listen to him, even pretend that they believe in him, for a wrong motive. The wrong motive is that whenever somebody says to you, “There is no need of a guru, and there is no need for a scripture – no need to follow anybody,” your ego feels very good. You feel very good: “So there is no need to surrender? Good, perfectly good.” He says, “There is no guru, no guru is needed.” You feel, “Perfectly right. So I need not become a disciple.” He denies the guru; you deny the disciplehood. It looks almost alike, but it is not.
My observation has been that Krishnamurti is surrounded by the most egoistic people of this world, and the reason is because there is a safe place – no need to surrender, no need to drop your ego, no need to follow anybody. Your ego feels very strengthened and your ego feels that many rationalizations are given to you. So you protect yourself with those rationalizations. His compassion is infinite, but it has not worked. My feeling is that if a person is egoless, no guru is needed. But the paradox of life is that the only people who become interested in the teaching that “no guru is needed” are the egoists. If a person is an egoist, then the guru is a must. But the egoists never come to a person to surrender. This is the problem, the dilemma. The egoist becomes interested in the teaching of Krishnamurti and the non-egoist becomes interested in the teaching of Meher Baba.
For the non-egoist there is no need for the guru because the whole need consists in canceling your ego – the guru is nothing but a cancellation of your ego. You surrender unto somebody’s feet and you say, “Now I will listen to you and I will not listen to myself. Now my will is surrendered, and your will, will be my will. Now even if you tell me to jump into the abyss I will jump without thinking about it. Now I am no longer the controller of my life. You will control it.” This is a way, just one way, to drop the ego. If the ego is there, then a guru is a must because the guru is just a device. If the ego is not there, then the guru is not needed at all. When you are ill, the medicine is needed. When you are not ill, the medicine is not needed at all.
Krishnamurti is talking to ill people and telling them that the medicine is not needed. Only those people who are afraid of taking the medicine come to him, and they are the people who are most in need of medicine. If the people who surrounded Meher Baba were with Krishnamurti, there would be no trouble – much would have happened. But they never go to Krishnamurti, they go to Meher Baba. They are egoless people – they can surrender. And had the people who are surrounding Krishnamurti, gone to Meher Baba, they would have been tremendously benefited, but they never go. This is how life is – a dilemma: the ill avoid the doctor and the healthy go to the doctor.

The fifth question:
I am sixty-five and yet not decisive about sannyas. What have you to say about it?
I will just tell you an anecdote and will not say anything.

The tail gunner was being tried for dereliction of duty and the court-martial proceedings were very stern. “Tell us what you heard in the headset,” the court demanded.
“I heard a squadron leader hollering, ‘Japanese planes coming in at five o’clock. Japanese planes coming in at five o’clock…’”
“Then why didn’t you do something?”
“Why should I? It was only four-thirty.”

The sixth question:
If some day it happens that there is nobody in the Chuang Tzu auditorium for the morning talk except Teertha to read the sutra, what will you do?
Years ago, a circuit rider, just starting out, went to a small country church to preach. Only one farmer showed up. They sat there waiting in mutual embarrassment. Finally the young preacher put it to the farmer. “My friend,” said he, “if you took a load of hay down to the pasture for your cows, and only one cow showed up, would you feed her?”
The farmer considered. “Yeah, preacher,” he finally said, “I believe I would.”
The preacher took the challenge, got up, sang a few songs, passed the collection plate, preached for an hour, pronounced the benediction, and walked out with the farmer.
At the door they shook hands, and the farmer said, “You know, preacher, I been thinkin’ while you was preachin’. If I took that load of hay down t’ the pasture, an’ only one cow came up, yeah, I’d feed ‘er all right, but I don’t believe I’d give ‘er the whole load!”

The seventh question:
Disciples need a guru, does a guru need disciples?
The guru exists only because the disciple needs him. The guru does not exist for the sake of the guru himself; it is the disciple’s projection. When the disciple has understood, there is neither disciple nor guru. When the disciple is in need of understanding, there is a disciple and a guru. The guru and the disciple both exist in the mind of the disciple.
It has to be understood; I exist not as far as I am concerned, I exist in your mind. You also exist in your mind. It is your need to know that projects gurudom. You start thinking of me as the master, as your master; it is part of your disciplehood. The day you will have understood and have awakened, your disciple will disappear. In the same moment the guru will also disappear.
As the peak exists, so the valley exists by the side of it. When the peak disappears, the valley too has disappeared; no valley can exist without a peak. You see a big wave in the ocean. Following the wave comes a hollow wave, the valley wave, in the wake of it; they are both together. When the wave has disappeared, the hollow wave that was following it has disappeared also. Silence exists with sound. If sound disappears, silence will disappear.
Silence exists between two sounds as an interval. If those two sounds disappear, the silence will disappear. There is a state of silence and there is a state beyond silence and sound both. The man who is really a master – and when I say really a master, I mean one whose presence can help disciples; not that he does anything, his presence is just a catalytic agent – in his presence things happen.
When something happens to you, I don’t feel that I have done it. I am not here to do it. I simply know it has happened. You may feel grateful to me, but I know well that it is just a happening: I have not done it. You have allowed it; I have not done it, hence it has happened. It is, more basically, dependent on your allowing it. If you allow, things will happen in the presence of a master. If things happen in the presence of a master when you allow, then he is a master. That’s what I mean when I say a master; he is not a doer, but just his presence helps things to happen.
He has no need, no need for the disciple; the leader has the need for the follower – that is the difference between a leader and a master. A master is not a leader. The leader cannot exist without the follower, the leader needs the follower. In fact, the leader needs the follower more than the follower needs the leader. The leader goes on persuading followers: “I am very much needed,” but he depends on the follower. A leader is a follower of the followers. He looks at the followers – what they want, and he will do that. Remember, Jesus is a master, the pope is a leader. The original Shankaracharya was a master, the shankaracharya of Puri now is a leader. Mohammed is a master, but the Maulvi is a leader.
A master is one whose needs have disappeared, who himself has disappeared – where can needs cling? Needs need an ego to cling to. He has no need: whether you are there or not makes no difference.
Just look at it in this way: the sun rises in the morning and the flowers open and the birds sing. If no flower opens, it does not make any difference to the sun – it will go on rising. There are millions of stars where no flower opens, there are planets where no flower opens, but the sun goes on shining. The flower cannot open without the sun – that is certain – but the sun can go on rising without the flower opening. The master is just a light. If you open, if your flower opens in his presence, good. If nothing opens in his presence, good. There is no difference between the two. If there is a difference, then the master is a leader, not yet a master.
A flower opens in a deep forest. Nobody will ever pass. The fragrance will still continue to spread around. It does not wait for a traveler, does not wait for somebody to come and appreciate it – that’s not the point at all. If somebody comes and appreciates it, good; if nobody comes and nobody appreciates it, it is as good as the other. There is no distinction, no difference.
The master and the disciple both exist in the disciple. When the disciple’s mind becomes awakened, he will laugh and he will come to know who is a disciple and who is a master. The whole game becomes ridiculous. But since the disciple is not yet alert, the game continues. Krishnamurti is right when he says no master is needed. Yes, one day you will also know that no master is needed, but you will know only when somebody has awakened you, or you have become awakened in somebody’s presence. Then you will know, you will say, “Krishnamurti is right.” But if you listen to Krishnamurti right now and believe that no master is needed, you will never come to know that Krishnamurti is right. You will remain unawakened.
This will look like a paradox. Listening and believing in Krishnamurti you will never come to know that he is right. If you want to know that he is right, forget all that he says; find a master; and one day you will know that the master is not needed, was never needed really. But it will be known only when you have become awakened. When you look back, then you will be able to say, “Yes, the master was not needed really. I could have become awakened…” But you could not, remember.
This looks like a puzzle – it is not, it is simple. Have you not noticed it sometimes? You are trying to solve a riddle, a puzzle, a crossword puzzle or something. The moment it is solved, you start feeling very ridiculous. Why, for hours, could you not solve it? Now you see that it is so simple. It is so foolish – to struggle for three hours and you could not solve it, and now it is so simple. Once solved, it is so simple that you know anybody could have solved it, but you also know that for three hours you were struggling, or for three days, and you could not solve it.
It happens to every scientist. When he makes a discovery, sometimes it takes ten years, twenty years, to work. The day it is solved he simply cannot believe how he was missing it. It was so simple. Why were twenty years wasted? Why could it not have happened on the first day?
Once anything is known, it looks very simple, but it looks simple only when you have known it. After knowing, after experiencing, truth is so simple, so available, so “already there.” But right now, when you are fast asleep and lost in your dreams, somebody is needed to shake you out of your sleep. This need is yours.
The master has no need of the disciple. In fact, a man is a master only when he has no need of the disciple. If he still hankers for disciples, then he himself is fast asleep and snoring. Avoid him! Escape from him!

The last question:
I also feel on both paths, but you said that it is not possible to be on both paths.
I said it is not possible, but I have not said that if you try hard you cannot succeed a little bit. If you try hard, really hard, you may succeed a little bit. Even the impossible can become possible if you do really hard work. And I know you can do really hard work because you have made many impossible things possible.
For example, to be miserable is an impossibility. Through hard effort and perseverance you have made it possible. To be happy is natural; to be unhappy is unnatural. It needs really great effort, much capacity, much ability, efficiency, to become miserable; it needs long practice. In fact, when I look at you and I see that you are miserable, I am simply surprised: it is a miracle. How are you doing it? In the first place, it should not be there, it cannot be there. But man is a very impossible animal: he can do things.
I say it is difficult to be on both paths – the negative and the positive – because they are diametrically opposite, but you can try. Listen to this anecdote.

The rather broad lady showed up at the theater just before the performance started and handed the usher two tickets. “Where’s the other party?” asked the usher.
“Well,” said the lady, with a blush, “you can see one seat is rather uncomfortable so I bought two. But they’re really both for me.”
“Okay with me, lady,” the usher replied, scratching his head. “But you’re gonna have a rough time. Your seats are numbers fifty-one and sixty-three.”

But you can go on trying – you can sit on this seat for a few minutes and then you can move to the other, and then come back again; you can alternate.
To be on both the paths is impossible really, but you can alternate. For one day you can be on the path of the positive, another day you can be on the path of the negative – and your mind is so contradictory that you can make it possible. So one day you make something, another day you destroy it. Ultimately you will find that eventually you are standing where you have always been; you have not moved a single inch. In the day you make the house, in the night you destroy it; the house is never built. Yes, you can do both. You can be both the builder and the destroyer, but it is impossible.
To be on the positive needs a totally different approach: affirmative, yes-saying. To be on the negative needs a diametrically opposite approach: no-saying, negating, eliminating, neti-neti, neither this nor that. On the positive you become bigger, bigger, bigger – so big, so huge, one day, the whole existence is covered with your being, the whole existence becomes part of you. On the negative you go on denying, denying, denying, and you come to a point where you are just a zero, a nonentity.
Ultimately both bring you to the same goal. Either you become so huge that you are the whole existence or you become so much a nothingness that you are just a zero. In both cases duality disappears – I and thou disappear. In one case, thou is dissolved into I; in the other case, I is dissolved into thou. But the ultimate result is one: that there remains only one, two are no longer. The positive person will try to grow, to expand; the negative person will try to shrink and disappear.
Either grow so big that only you exist and nothing else, or become so small, so small, that everything exists except you; and from both viewpoints you will take the jump into oneness, the organic unity of the whole.
Expressions will be different. One who has moved on the positive path will say, “I am God,” “Aham brahmasmi.” Ana’l haq,” “I am truth.” And the person who has moved on the via negativa will say, “I am not.”
Anatta, nonbeing. But you will see that both are tremendously blissful, silent. Their silence has the same taste, and their blissfulness has the same color. If you meet Buddha, and if you meet Krishna, you will find that they are the same, but they talk differently. Krishna talks in positive terms, affirmative, and Buddha talks in negative terms. But if you watch them, you will find the same presence, the same overflowing love, compassion, blissfulness, cheerfulness; the same silence, the same celebration – but their statements will be different because they have learned different languages.
One who is still trying to seek cannot be on both. One who has arrived, both have dissolved for him. One who has not yet arrived, it is better for him to choose. That will be more practical and you will be less in trouble, conflict, schizophrenia. Never choose two opposite things together, otherwise they will create a split in your being.
Enough for today.

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