Tao The Pathless Path Vol 2 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Tao The Pathless Path Vol 2 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chih:
“Your craft is subtle. I have an illness, can you cure it?”
“You have only to command. Tell me the symptoms of your illness.”
“I do not think it an honor if the whole district praises me nor a disgrace if the whole state reviles me; I have no joy when I win, no anxiety when I lose; I look in the same way at life and death, riches and poverty, other men and pigs, myself and other men; I dwell in my own house as though lodging in an inn, and look at my own neighborhood as though it were a foreign and barbarous country.

“Having all these ailments, titles and rewards cannot induce me, punishments and fines cannot awe me, prosperity and decline, benefit and harm cannot change me, joy and sorrow cannot influence me. Consequently it is impossible for me to serve my prince, have dealings with my kindred and friends, manage my wife and children, control my servants. What illness is this? What art can cure it?”

Wen Chih ordered Lung Shu to stand with his back to the light. He himself stepped back and examined Lung Shu from a distance facing the light. Then he said:
“Hmm. I see your heart. The place an inch square is empty – you are almost a sage. Six of the holes in your heart run into each other but one is stopped up. Can this be the reason why you now think the wisdom of a sage is an illness? My shallow craft can do nothing to cure it.”
A parable…

Once in the garden of a master there lived a monkey. And, as monkeys are curious people, he became very curious about the master. He saw the master sitting silently, doing nothing, and by and by he started coming close to him – what is this man doing? It was a mystery. Certainly, to a monkey, the most mysterious thing is somebody sitting silently, doing nothing.
Restlessness is just natural to a monkey, but resting in silence? Has this man gone mad? By and by he started coming closer to watch him. The closer he came, the more he was surprised. Not only was the man silent but the space around him was tremendously quiet. Even the monkey could feel the vibe as he came closer.
Then he started loving the man, and just to be close to him became one of his hobbies. Whenever he could find the time and whenever the master was sitting in the garden, he would come close and sit by his side.
One day he said to the master, “What do you do? Please tell me. I surrender to you. Accept me as a disciple.”
The master looked at the monkey, felt great compassion for him, and said, “I don’t do anything. You can also do it. It is non-doing. Sitting silently, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. You simply sit silently. When the right moment comes, suddenly you are full of tremendous joy and peace and God. You are not supposed to do anything. Anything done by you is a disturbance, creates ripples, creates waves. And when your mind is wavy God cannot enter. When the mind is a quiet surface, when everything is silent and calm, God enters. He enters through the door of silence – but that is possible only when you are not a doer. So you can do it, you can try it.”
The monkey shook his head. He said, “It is impossible. I thought that if there was something I could do I would do it, but this is impossible. If you told me to fetch the moon, I could bring it; if you told me to remove the Himalayas, I could do it; if you told me to force the Ganges to run uphill, I could do it – because in the old ancient days, other monkeys like Hanuman have been known to do things like that. I am a monkey, I have the potential, I can also do it. But sitting silently, doing nothing? Sir, that is impossible. It is against my nature, it would drive me crazy. If God comes through silence then God is not for me and I am not for God.”

Human mind is nothing but a monkey. Man has not changed much. Charles Darwin says that man has evolved only on the surface – deep down man is as restless as other monkeys. Man has not evolved much. The real man is born only when your inner monkey completely disappears, utterly disappears.
To be a man means to be a no-mind. The constant chattering of the mind inside, the inner talk, the monologue, continues day and night, year in, year out, from birth to death. Whatsoever you are doing is irrelevant; it continues deep inside you. That chattering is the only thing that is irreligious, the only sin, the original sin. Once that chattering stops, miracles start happening to you. Such great mysteries become revealed that you cannot contain them. Such a vast sky starts pouring into you that you cannot believe it. It is incredible. You start expanding. Then the whole universe is something within you. Then you are not within the universe but the universe is within you. Then stars and moons and suns circle within your heart.
But if this happens without a master you will go mad. It is mind that is holding you together. Whatsoever you are – even if you are a monkey – it is mind that is holding you together. The mind is your illness and also your normality. Because of the mind you are tethered to the earth. Without the mind you would not be tied anywhere. You would be so loose and so free you might disperse. Who would hold you? What would your definition be then? Mind gone, ego goes. The ego is the center of the mind, the very heart of the monkey. Mind gone, greed is gone. Mind gone, ambition is gone. Mind gone, competition is gone. Mind gone, future and past are gone. Mind gone, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, are gone. Mind gone – Indian, German, Chinese – nationalities are gone. Mind gone, the body is no longer you. Your own mother is not your mother, your own father is not your father, your own son is no longer your son. All relationships disappear because relationships exist in the mind.
Just think of a moment: if the mind suddenly disappears – where will you be? What will you be? You will lose all identity. You will simply melt and disappear, evaporate. It would be maddening; hence without the master the path is very risky. When the glimpse of the beyond comes to you for the first time it will shatter you, and you will not be able to see the positivity of it. You will see only the negativity of it. You will see what it has taken away from you; you will not be able to see what it has given you. Naturally you are acquainted with your past and the past is going away fast. You will simply see yourself as disappearing.
You don’t as yet have any language for the new that is being born; you don’t as yet have any concept for the new that is being born. The new that is being born is invisible, cannot be touched, cannot be heard, cannot be smelled, cannot be tasted. It is beyond the senses. You have never before known the new that is happening, so how will you recognize it? The new will not be recognized and the old will be disappearing. You will feel yourself going mad, falling apart, dying. Death will be your experience, or madness will be your experience. You will think that it is a curse that has happened to you. The blessing will look like a curse because you cannot yet see it as a blessing; your eyes are not trained for it. You can only see the curse; you can only see the negative part of it. This is what Christian mystics call the dark night of the soul – the light is so blinding it almost looks like darkness.
Have you ever looked directly into the sun? Within seconds you will go blind; you will not be able to see. It will be so dazzling. It is not dark, but the light is too much for you and your eyes are not able to take it in; they cannot absorb it. After looking at the sun for a few seconds, if you look around everywhere, you will find a tremendous darkness. If you look long enough at the sun, you will go blind.
Why is light blinding? Why? Because we have certain capacities. Only in tiny amounts can we allow the light to enter – and we can recognize only that much. Beyond that we lose recognition. That’s how it happens: when you first enter into the world of no-mind it looks like madness – the dark night of the soul, the mad night of the soul.
All religions have noted this fact, hence all religions insist on finding a master before you start entering into the world of no-mind. He will be there to help you, to support you. You will be falling apart but he will be there to encourage you, to give you hope. He will be there to interpret the new to you. That is the meaning of a master: to interpret for you that which cannot be interpreted, to indicate that which cannot be said, to show that which is inexpressible. He will be there; he will devise methods and ways for you to continue on the path, so that you don’t start escaping from it.
And remember, there is no escape. If you try escaping, you will simply go berserk. Sufis call such people the mastas. In India they are known as mad paramahansas. You cannot go back because it is no longer there, and you cannot go ahead because it is all dark. You are stuck. That’s why Buddha says, “Fortunate is the man who has found a master.”
I myself was not as fortunate as you are; I was working without a master. I searched and I could not find one. It was not that I had not searched, I had searched long enough, but I could not find one. It is very rare to find a master, rare to find a being that has become a nonbeing, rare to find a presence that is almost an absence, rare to find a man who is simply a door to the divine, an open door to the divine which will not hinder you, through which you can pass. It is very difficult.
The Sikhs call their temple the gurdwara, the door of the master. That is exactly what the master is – the door. Jesus says again and again, “I am the gate, I am the way, I am the truth. Come follow me, pass through me. And unless you pass through me you will not be able to reach the kingdom of heaven.”
Yes, sometimes it happens that a person has to work without a master. If a master is not available, then one has to work without one, but then the journey is very hazardous.
For one year I was in the state that this parable talks about. For one year it was almost impossible to know what was happening. For one year continuously it was even difficult to keep myself alive. Just to keep myself alive was a very difficult thing because all appetite disappeared. Days would pass and I would not feel any hunger; days would pass and I would not feel any thirst. I had to force myself to eat, force myself to drink. The body was so nonexistent that I had to hurt myself to feel that I was still in the body. I had to knock my head against the wall to feel whether my head was still there or not. I would be a little in the body, but even then, only when it hurt.
Every morning I would run for five to eight miles, and every evening I would run for five to eight miles. People used to think that I was mad. Why was I running so much? Sixteen miles a day! It was just to feel myself, to feel that I still was, not to lose contact with myself – just to wait until my eyes became attuned to the new that was happening.
I had to keep myself close to myself. I would not talk to anybody because everything had become so inconsistent that even to formulate one sentence was difficult. In the middle of the sentence I would forget what I was saying; in the middle of the road I would forget where I was going. Then I would have to come back. I would read a book; I would read fifty pages, and then suddenly I would remember, “What am I reading? I don’t remember at all.” This was my situation.

The door of the psychiatrist’s office burst open and a man rushed in.
“Doctor!” he cried. “You’ve got to help me. I’m sure I’m losing my mind. I can’t remember anything – what happened a year ago, or even what happened yesterday. I must be going crazy!”
“Hmm,” pondered the shrink. “Just when did you first become aware of this problem?”
The man looked puzzled, “What problem?”

This was my situation. It was difficult to complete even a full sentence. I had to keep myself shut up in my room. I made it a point not to talk, not to say anything, because to say anything was to say that I was mad.
For one year it persisted. I would simply lie on the floor and look at the ceiling and count from one to a hundred then back from a hundred to one. Just to remain capable of counting was at least something. Again and again I would forget. It took one year for me to gain a focus again, to have a perspective.
It happened; it was a miracle. There was nobody to support me; there was nobody to tell me where I was going and what was happening. In fact, everybody was against me, my teachers, my friends, my well-wishers. All were against me. But they could not do anything, they could only condemn, they could only ask what I was doing.
I was not doing anything! Now it was beyond me; it was happening. I had done something: unknowingly I had knocked on the door – now the door had opened. I had been meditating for many years, just sitting silently doing nothing, and by and by I started getting into that space, that heartspace, where you are and you are not doing anything, you are simply there, a presence, a watcher.
You are not even a watcher because you are not watching – you are just a presence. Words are not adequate because whatsoever word is used it seems as if it was being done. No, I was not doing it. I was simply lying, sitting, walking – deep down there was no doer. I had lost all ambition; there was no desire to be anybody, no desire to reach anywhere – not even God, not even nirvana. The buddha disease had completely disappeared. I was simply thrown into myself.
It was an emptiness, and emptiness drives one crazy. But emptiness is the only door to godliness. That means that only those who are ready to go mad ever attain, nobody else.
But if you have a master things are simple. He can hold your hand when you are losing all track of your being. He can become your support. If you love your master, that love will be the last link. Every link disappears, but that link remains. It disappears only when you have attained your own perspective, your own clarity. It is just like an umbilical cord. The child lives through the mother in the womb for nine months, and if you cut the umbilical cord, he will die. He lives through it. That is the only link.
In exactly the same way, if you love the master a subtle silver cord arises between you and the master – a very invisible phenomenon to others but very visible to the disciple. He can almost touch it. You become joined together with your master from your navel. The master is your mother; the master is your womb. And this umbilical cord, this invisible silver cord, remains nursing you till you are ready and the pregnancy is ripe, until you are ready to be reborn and you can breathe on your own.
The master is a must. If you can find one, you are fortunate. Then he will interpret for you and the darkness will look like light; the illness will look like a new wellness; he will transform the curse into a blessing. In fact, it is a blessing but you interpret it as a curse. He is not doing anything; he is simply showing you what the case is.
With this background, listen to this story.
Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chih:
“Your craft is subtle. I have an illness, can you cure it?”
This man must have been like me – unfortunate. He must have been working without a master. He thought that he had an illness. It is natural, that’s how it appears – it looks like an illness. The old hold on reality is gone; your old intelligence no longer functions, your old memory no longer functions, your old identity is no longer there. You cannot say, “Who am I?” Your name, your address, has all become irrelevant. You don’t belong to anybody, you also don’t belong anywhere. For the first time you are an outsider in this world; you are a stranger. You are unrelated, uprooted – like a tree which is uprooted from the ground and has started dying.
When you enter this inner emptiness, this state of no-mind, for the first time, you are uprooted from the earth. Before you can grow your roots into the sky, if there is nobody to make you alert to the blessing that is going to happen to you, there is going to be a time gap, an interval, in which there will be much suffering,. If there is nobody to give you hope, then the dark night of the soul can become your grave.
Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chih:
“Your craft is subtle. I have an illness. Can you cure it?”
“You have only to command. Tell me the symptoms of your illness.”
“I do not think it an honor if the whole district praises me nor a disgrace if the whole state reviles me; I have no joy when I win, no anxiety when I lose; I look in the same way at life and death, riches and poverty, other men and pigs, myself and other men; I dwell in my own house as though lodging in an inn, and look at my own neighborhood as though it were a foreign and barbarous country.”
The man must certainly have been in terrific trouble, in great anxiety. He could not relate to people any more. He had lost the language to relate.
What was happening? First he said, “I do not think it an honor if the whole district praises me nor a disgrace if the whole state reviles me.” He was losing his ego. It is the ego that feels good when somebody praises you and feels bad when somebody disgraces you, insults you. You live through it, you judge your life through it – it is the way you relate to people. You say that you love somebody because somehow he buttresses your ego. You say that you hate somebody because somehow he displeases you, he disgraces you, his presence is humiliating. The way he talks, the things he says, are hurting your ego. They don’t nourish you; they starve you. You hate the person.
Sometimes it happens that you do not even know the person, you have just met him for the first time, but immediately you hate the person because somehow his vibe is against your ego. The way he walks, the way he looks at you, the way he talks – he is trying to have the upper hand. Maybe it is not conscious, but you feel that he is trying to prove that he is superior to you. Somehow he makes you feel inferior. You hate him. Whenever a person makes you feel superior, you like him, you love him; you say that he is beautiful.
Your ego is your criterion. Once you drop the ego, who is your friend and who is your enemy? Once you drop the ego, what is right and what is wrong? Once you drop the ego, how can you know what to do and what not to do? How will you be a sinner or a saint? Once you drop the ego you drop all duality – you become one. That oneness drives you crazy.
There is a beautiful parable in the life of a saint in Maharashtra, Tukaram:

One day he came home – he was a poor man, a very poor man – he was coming home. Somebody had given him ten sugarcane sticks. While coming home he met many beggars and children on the road, and he distributed the sugarcane sticks. He kept only one for himself; nine he gave away. He was very happy, happy because he could give something, happy because he had something to give, happy because when he gave those sugarcane sticks to the beggars they thanked him, happy because the children were very happy – they laughed and enjoyed them and they ran to their homes with their sugarcane sticks.
He came home very happy – very, very happy. He told his wife the whole thing, “Somebody presented me with ten sugarcane sticks. I distributed nine and one I brought for me and you.”
Of course, as wives do, she became very angry. They were poor and these ten sugarcane sticks would have been nourishment for them. For days they had been hungry, and here was this fool – he had distributed them. She became so angry that she took the last sugarcane stick and started beating Tukaram. She hit him hard on his head. The stick broke in two and Tukaram laughed. He said, “So you are a dualist. I believe in the one, you believe in two. Good. So now there are two sticks; you can have one and I can have one. But I thought that we were one so I thought one stick would be enough.”

Your understanding is different. The mind of man converts everything into two. The energy that you call light and darkness is one, but you call it by two names: darkness and light. The energy that you call life and death is one, but you call it by two names: life and death. The energy that you call hate and love is one, but you call it by two names: hate and love. You are Tukaram’s wife.
This whole human world exists in duality. Language depends on duality, expression depends on duality. When a person starts feeling that he is one – when the ego disappears and the very phenomenon of duality disappears – then he feels at one with the trees, at one with the birds, at one with the rocks, at one with the river, at one with the moon, at one with the sun. Certainly the person will start feeling that something has gone wrong. Now who am I?
In this state if a lion jumped on you, you would not be worried at all. It is possible that you might even enjoy the whole thing – the lion eating you – because you are not separate from the lion. You will adjust perfectly well. You will enjoy the fact that the lion is hungry and he is eating you. You will become the lion. There is no duality.
But in this state, in the beginning, one naturally thinks, “Have I gone mad?” No enemy, no friend, praise means nothing, disgrace means nothing.
Just the other night a young man asked me, “Osho, can I displease you?” I said, “If you like, you can do it. But you will not be able to displease me because you are not able to please me either. To please me or to displease me is impossible. What can you do to displease me and what can you do to please me? To me both are the same.”
“I do not think it an honor if the whole district praises me nor a disgrace if the whole state reviles me.” The man was disturbed, very disturbed, uprooted. What was happening? People used to insult him before and he used to get in a rage. Now nothing happened. Had he become impotent? Had he lost all energy? People used to praise him and he used to feel happy, but now nothing was happening. Now, even if people brought him garlands, nothing happened.
Or, if sometimes they insulted him and threw shoes at him, still nothing happened. Once it happened in a public meeting in Baroda that somebody threw a shoe at me. He may have thought to displease me. I asked him to give me the other shoe too because what was I going to do with only one? He became very embarrassed. He was very puzzled. Later on he wrote a letter to me: “What manner of man you are? I insulted you and you asked me for another shoe!” He was not expecting that. But when it happens for the first time you become disoriented. You don’t know now what is what.
The second thing: “I have no joy when I win, no anxiety when I lose.” Comparison was disappearing, competition was disappearing, jealousy was going – they are all shadows of the ego. When the ego goes, the shadows cannot linger long; they have to follow suit. They go with the ego, they come with the ego. They are companions of the ego.
“I have no joy when I win, no anxiety when I lose.” What is there to lose in life? And what is there to win? All that you need cannot be lost. Your essential-most core can never be lost. And the essential-most core cannot be achieved; once you start looking into your being it is already there. You are already that which you were always thinking to gain and attain; and it is something that cannot be lost, cannot be robbed. Nobody can take it away. It cannot be destroyed because it is your very nature. When you start moving into the dimension of ultimate reality, there is nothing to win and nothing to lose. Comparison, jealousy and competition go with the ego, as shadows of the ego.
The third symptom: “I look in the same way at life and death, riches and poverty.” Equanimity is born. When ego is gone and ego shadows are gone, samyaktva, equanimity, is left. You start looking at things but you don’t think “This is bad and this is good, this should be and this should not be, all is good or all is bad.” All is alike. That is the equal eye, equanimity, what in India we call samyak drishti – the eye which sees everything as equal, the eye which sees the small as the big and the big as the small, the worthless as valuable and the valuable as worthless, the eye which sees gold and mud as the same.
Life and death, riches and poverty, all looked the same to this man – and he was very disturbed. What was happening to him? Had he lost interest in life, or had he died somewhere in his being?
The fourth symptom: “I dwell in my own house as though lodging in an inn and look at my own neighborhood as though it were a foreign and barbarous country.” When you lose your mind, certainly you become a stranger. Now you don’t have any common language with anybody else. Now your language is silence, and people cannot understand silence. And you cannot understand their words. It takes time to get attuned to your inner silence and then to come back to your mind and start using it again. It takes time – sometimes years, sometimes a whole life. One has to learn from ABC.
Once your mind is gone you have to start using it again if you want to relate. That’s why Buddha says there are many people who become realized but there are only very rare people who become masters. A master is one who has become realized and has again entered the world of the mind, has again become proficient with language, has again become capable of using the mind.
The realized person is one who has gone beyond the mind but who cannot relate again to the people who are lagging behind. The master is one who has gone beyond the mind and has become capable of using the mind again. Now the mind is not using him, he is using the mind, he is the master.
Great effort is needed to come back, great compassion is needed. Unless you love people tremendously, when you attain your buddhahood, who cares? Why bother? Why not remain silent? Why not enjoy the beautitude that has happened to you, the blessing that has come to you? Why bother with foolish people? They are not going to understand anyway; they are only going to misunderstand. At the most they will not understand, at the worst they will misunderstand. And they are going to create unnecessary problems for you – they crucified Jesus, they poisoned Socrates, they killed Mansoor.
Mansoor could have remained silent; he could have avoided it all. That’s what others told him. In those days, in that part of the world where Mansoor lived, there were many enlightened people. Enlightenment comes like a wave – when it comes, then many people ride the wave. There were many enlightened people, Junnaid was one. Junnaid told Mansoor al-Hillaj, “Stop talking, keep quiet, otherwise they will kill you.” There were other enlightened people; they all came to Mansoor and told him, “Keep quiet! These Mohammedans around are dangerous!”
But al-Hillaj wouldn’t listen. He started shouting from the house-tops, “I am God! Ana’l haq, I am the truth. I have attained. Come and have a taste.” He started offering his cup of tea to everybody. People were enraged. Who is this, saying that he is a God? To people it looked like the ultimate in egoism. Somebody calling himself a god? This seemed to be the last straw – this man had become a megalomaniac; he thinks he is a god. They were very offended. They killed him; but even while they were killing him, Mansoor was laughing, and the last thing that he said again was, “Ana’l haq! I am God!”
He was a master. He was trying to help people. A master is one who has gone beyond mind and come back. A master is one who has gone to the peak and traveled back to the valley to take others to the peak. Not every enlightened person is a master. In one thousand enlightened persons only one becomes a master. To go to the peak is very arduous but to come back from the peak, back to the valley, is far more arduous. And it is a thankless job! You go to so much trouble and nobody is even going to thank you. They will curse you. They will say, “Why did you come back? Why won’t you allow us to rest? Why do you bring such great challenges to us? Why don’t you keep your peak to yourself? Why are you shouting and disturbing our sleep? We are happy wherever we are. Don’t bring these dreams about the peak to us.” They become angry.
One can understand their anger. You disturb their life. They are settled in the valley, enjoying a thousand and one trips. Of course, all are dreams, meaningless, but at the moment they look meaningful; at the moment even the dream looks real and they are absorbed in it. Then comes a man from the peak back to the valley, and he starts shaking everybody up and he becomes an alarm and it disturbs everybody’s sleep. Somebody was having a beautiful, sweet dream – he becomes angry because you disturbed his dream. He has to take revenge. “Why don’t you go to your peak? If you have attained, go. Forget us. We don’t bother you, so why should you bother us?”
Those few people who have come back to the valley are the rarest. Their compassion is infinite. To attain to God is just selfish; to bring it to others is service. Buddha has insisted again and again that while you are meditating, always remember compassion. Don’t forget compassion. It is very easy to forget compassion while you are meditating, so you must continuously remember it. When you have come to the fulfillment of your meditation, don’t forget compassion. Bring it back to people. Grow in compassion and meditation so simultaneously that when meditation brings you home, compassion takes you back to the valley. Takes you back to the foreign lands where barbarous people dwell, where they will not understand your language, where there is more possibility that you will be crucified. But that is nothing – for an enlightened person to be crucified is nothing. It makes no difference. If crucifixion can help people, he will love to be crucified. Whatsoever can help people he would love to do.
There is every possibility that Jesus helped those people who were going to crucify him. There is every possibility that Judas was not against Jesus but was an agent from Jesus. There is every possibility that Jesus planned the whole thing – because those people were so fast asleep that unless something very sensational happened they would not wake up.
The crucifixion was something really sensational. For two thousand years it has not allowed many people to go back to sleep again. It has been the most sensational thing in the whole history of humanity. Jesus left the deepest mark. Buddha did not leave such a deep mark; neither did Mahavira, nor Patanjali, nor Lao Tzu. Jesus left the deepest mark. It is as if, with the crucifixion, history split in two: before and after. All that was before Jesus became irrelevant and all that came after Jesus took on a new significance.
The Christian calendar is the most important calendar. There are other calendars, but no calendar is as important. Jainas have their calendar – their calendar starts with Mahavira – but it is not important. Hindus have their calendar – their calendar starts with a great emperor, Vikramaditya – but a king is just a king, nothing compared with the Christian calendar.
With Jesus, history simply split into two parts. With Jesus, something of tremendous value entered into human consciousness. And that happened because of the crucifixion. His blood is still alive, his blood still shouts, his blood still calls people. If he had not been crucified, he might have been forgotten. Many people have been forgotten, completely forgotten. There is every possibility that he conspired with the conspirators, that he helped them.
But when for the first time the glimpse enters your being you will feel: “I dwell in my own house as though lodging in an inn and look at my own neighborhood as though it were a foreign and barbarous country.”
That is because you lose your old language and the new one must be learned. It is arduous to learn the new language; it needs real effort to learn the new language – because when you have attained to the inner silence, if you make a word the word melts and disappears. You try hard to create a word, but you cannot create it – it disappears. For a man who has attained to the innermost silence all language is as if one is writing on water, you have not even written it, and it has gone.
The fifth symptom:
“Having all these ailments…”
Naturally the man thinks he has become very ill, these are ailments…
“…titles and rewards cannot induce me, punishments and fines cannot awe me; prosperity and decline, benefit and harm cannot change me…”
When equanimity happens, when you have become samyak drishti when you have attained to the equal eye… Jesus says, “Attain to one eye, and if you can attain to one eye your whole body will become full of light.” When you start looking at things as if they are the same – nothing is inferior, nothing is superior, the dunghill and the diamond have the same value, or same nonvalue, no actual difference exists – then this fifth state, transcendence, comes.
“…titles and rewards cannot induce me, punishments and fines cannot awe me, prosperity and decline, benefit and harm cannot change me… Things happen but I remain transcendent, I remain aloof, nothing touches me.” One has become a lotus. The lotus is in the water but the water does not touch it, the lotus comes out of the mud but is beyond mud, beyond all mud. Can you find anything like the lotus? It is difficult – that’s why in the East the lotus has become the symbol of enlightenment itself. Buddha is depicted sitting on a lotus. Vishnu is standing in a lotus. And the ultimate state of consciousness, sahasrar means a one-thousand-petaled lotus.
The lotus is a symbol, a metaphor, for transcendence. You move but nothing touches you – that is what Zen people mean when they say, “When a master walks in a river the water does not touch his feet.” He is transcendental. He lives in the world and yet he lives not in the world. This is not an illness; it is a great siddhi a great achievement. But when it happens for the first time it looks like an ailment.
The sixth symptom:
“…joy and sorrow cannot influence me.”
When joy and sorrow cannot influence you, you suddenly feel that you have become a desert. Your whole life consists of joy and sorrow – you don’t want sorrow, you hanker for joy. Your whole life exists on these two wings – joy and sorrow. When joy and sorrow both disappear, or both become meaningless, or you have attained the equal eye, equanimity, you have attained transcendence, joy and sorrow look alike. Whatsoever comes is okay – then you will feel that you have become a desert. This is the state which in India they call veetraga. This is one who has gone beyond attachment, detachment, like, dislike – one who does not know at all what is beneficial, what is harmful, one who has become a child again.
…the seventh symptom:
“…it is impossible for me to serve my prince, have dealings with my kindred and friends, manage my wife and children, control my servants. What illness is this?”
The seventh sign means freedom. When you are completely free of the ego and all the shadows that the ego brings in, when you are free of all duality, when you are free of all distinctions and you start living in a world which is one energy, nothing lower, nothing higher; when Devil and God lose their definition, embrace each other, fall in love, make love to each other; when life and death meet and become one; when the whole world is one – in that state you are free. But first the freedom will look as if you have gone utterly mad.
“…it is impossible for me to serve my prince…” It is impossible to serve anybody now. “…have dealings with my kindred and friends…” It is impossible now. They will think you are a madman, and to you they look like phantoms, ghosts, not real.
“…manage my wife and children, control my servants.…” In this state you cannot serve and you cannot control. You are not – so how can you serve and how can you control? Freedom means you are not; freedom means to be free from one’s self. Freedom does not mean that you have become free; freedom means that you are no more; freedom means that you have become free of you. Now there is nobody; just a deep emptiness exists.
This emptiness will look empty to a person who has no master. It looked empty to me also. There is no way to go back, so one is simply helpless. One cannot go back; one does not know how to go ahead because there is no longer any ahead – all paths have disappeared. This is the moment when Tao arises. That’s why I say “the pathless path.” Tao is the pathless path. This is the moment when all paths disappear; you look back and there is nothing.
There is a beautiful Buddhist story in China:

In a certain town a very beautiful young lady suddenly arrived out of the blue. Nobody knew where she came from; her origins were completely unknown. But she was so beautiful, so enchantingly beautiful, that nobody even thought about where she had come from. People gathered together, the whole town gathered; and all the young men, almost three hundred young men, wanted to get married to the woman.
The woman said, “Look, I am one and you are three hundred. I can only be married to one, so each of you do one thing. I will come again tomorrow; I give you twenty-four hours. If one of you can repeat Buddha’s Lotus Sutra, I will marry him.”
All the young men rushed to their homes; they didn’t eat, they didn’t sleep, they recited the sutra the whole night, they tried to cram it in. Ten succeeded. The next morning the woman came and those ten men offered to recite it. The woman listened. They had all succeeded.
She said, “Right, but I am one. How can I marry ten? I will give you twenty-four hours again. The one who can also explain the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, I will marry. So try to understand it because reciting is a simple thing. You are mechanically repeating something and you don’t understand its meaning.”
There was no time at all – only one night – and the Lotus Sutra is a long sutra. But when you are infatuated you can do anything. They rushed back, they tried hard. The next day three young men appeared. They had understood the meaning.
The woman said, “The trouble still remains. The number is reduced, but the trouble remains. From three hundred to three is a great improvement, but again I cannot marry three persons, I can marry only one. So, twenty-four hours more. The one who has not only understood it but tasted it too, I will marry that person. So in twenty-four hours, try to taste the meaning of it. You are explaining, but this explanation is intellectual. Good, better than yesterday, you have some comprehension, but the comprehension is intellectual. I would like some meditative taste, some fragrance. I would like to see in your presence that the lotus has entered you, that you have become something of the lotus. I would like to smell the fragrance of it. So tomorrow I will come again.”
Only one person came, and certainly he had achieved. The woman took him to her house outside the town. The man had never seen the house; it was very beautiful, almost a dreamland. And the parents of the woman were standing at the gate. They received the young man and said, “We are very happy.”
The woman went in and he chitchatted a little with the parents. Then the parents said, “Go. She must be waiting for you. This is her room.” They showed him. He went, he opened the door, but there was nobody there. It was an empty room. But there was a door entering into the garden. So he thought maybe she had gone into the garden. Yes, she must have gone there because on the path there were footprints. So he followed the footprints.
He walked almost a mile. The garden ended and now he was standing on the bank of a beautiful river – but the woman was not there. The footprints also disappeared. There were only two shoes, golden shoes, belonging to the woman. Now he was really puzzled. What had happened? He looked back – there was no garden, no house, no parents, nothing. All had disappeared. He looked again. The shoes were gone, the river was gone. All that there was, was emptiness – and a great laughter.
And he laughed too. He had gotten married.

This is a beautiful Buddhist story. He got married to emptiness, got married to nothingness. This is the marriage which all the great saints have been searching for. This is the moment when you become a bride of Christ or a gopi of Krishna.
Everything disappears – the path, the garden, the house, the woman, even the footprints. Everything disappears. There is just laughter, a laughter that arises from the very belly of the universe.
But when it happens for the first time, if you have not been led slowly, slowly, you will go mad.
This Buddhist story says that he was led slowly, slowly. The woman was the master. The woman is symbolic of the master. She led him slowly, slowly. First, recite the sutra; second, understand it intellectually; third, give a sign that you have lived it. These are the three stages. Then she led him into nothingness.
The master leads you slowly, slowly; makes you by and by ready. Lung Shu was not fortunate enough to have a master. He had come to the emptiness, to the ultimate emptiness but he thought that it was an illness.
“What art can cure it?”

Wen Chih ordered Lung Shu to stand with his back to the light. He himself stepped back and examined Lung Shu from a distance facing the light. Then he said:
“Hmm. I see your heart. The place an inch square is empty – you are almost a sage. Six of the holes in your heart run into each other but one is stopped up. Can this be the reason why you now think the wisdom of a sage is an illness? My shallow craft can do nothing to cure it.”
This is the difference between modern and ancient medicine. Ancient Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, is not as gross as modern medicine. Neither is ancient Indian medicine, ayurveda, as gross as modern medicine. Modern medicine is concerned only with the physical; it knows nothing of the beyond. Ancient Eastern medicine is more concerned with the metaphysical, with the paraphysical. Now a few insights in the West are gaining strength slowly; radionics, Kirlian photography, acupuncture and ayurveda are entering Western consciousness.
Ancient Eastern medicine was not just medicine, not just a cure for the body, but a cure for the soul. The East says that the body only shows the symptoms – the symptoms are not the real illness. And the symptoms should not be treated directly. The illness should be treated directly then the symptoms will disappear. The allopathic approach is to treat the symptom and to think that the illness will disappear. That is not possible; that is going from the outer to the inner, which is not possible. What happens? It becomes a sort of repression.
Maybe the whole Christian tradition of repression is the cause. The whole Western mind is repressive. So wherever a symptom is found, suppress it. The symptom is suppressed and the illness is not treated at all. The illness remains within so it finds another way to come out. You treat one illness and another illness is born; you treat that, and a third one is born.
In the East, we have never been much interested in the symptoms. The symptoms are not to be treated; the person is to be treated. One thing more, the East knows that illnesses are not always illnesses – there are a few illnesses which are blessings. When a person moves beyond the body, the body will never be healthy in the same way it was before, it cannot be because a distance has happened between the innermost being and the body. The bridges have been broken. That’s why an enlightened person will never be born again. He cannot enter the body again because the bridges are broken. So the enlightened person, once enlightened, can never come back. Then he is gone forever: gate gate para gate; gone, gone, gone forever – gone to the beyond whence there is no coming back, gone to the point of no return.
The thing starts happening in this life. If you become enlightened, you become loosened from your connection with your body. The body can never be as healthy as it was before, cannot be healthy in the same way that it was before. Those illnesses are not really illnesses; they are simply symptoms that your inner being is being transformed. Something of tremendous revolution is happening within you; a radical change is happening within you. So the body will go through many changes.
This physician, Wen Chih, must not have been only a physician; he must have been a man of great insight. What does he say? He says, “I see your heart. The place an inch square is empty.” This is the beginning of enlightenment. The man is just one step below. One step more and his whole heart will become an empty space; for the first time he will have what is called heart space. Ordinarily your heart is cluttered, cluttered with a thousand and one things: useless, useful; essential, nonessential; discarded rubbish. Your heart is cluttered – it has no space.
Unless the heart has space, God cannot enter you. He comes only when the space is ready, when you have the room ready for him – your heart is the room.
According to the Taoist mapping of inner consciousness there are seven holes. That is exactly the same as the seven chakras. Each Taoist hole is concerned with one chakra of Yoga. There are seven chakras: muladhar, svadhisthan, manipura, anahat, vishuddhi, agna, sahasrar. These seven chakras of Yoga are concerned with each hole in the heart. When you pass through one chakra, then one hole opens in the heart; when you pass through the second chakra, the second hole opens in the heart; when you pass through the third chakra, the third hole opens in the heart. In Yoga they have not talked about those seven holes because that will make it very confusing and complex. There is no need. One map is enough.
The Taoists have not talked about the chakras because there is no need – their map is also enough. When one hole opens, you have passed through one chakra; when another hole opens, you have passed through another chakra.
This man has six holes, only one is still blocked. That means in Yoga mapping he has reached the agna chakra, the third eye – that’s why he has become one-eyed. He has passed beyond duality, he has transcended. He is just below the seventh. If he passes to the seventh, his seventh hole will be opened. When all seven holes are open in the heart, you disappear because you are nothing but the furniture that is cluttering the heart. Once all blocks disappear, then those seven holes are not seven because there is nothing to divide them. They become one hole. The heart space is created.
This is what Buddha called emptiness, anatta, nonbeing. This is what Buddha called shunya, zero experience. And when your heart has become a zero then nothing is missing. Your seventh chakra has opened; you have become a lotus. All one thousand petals have opened, your fragrance is released. You have become a buddha.
The physician was really a rare man and had a rare insight into Tao. In fact, in the ancient days, a Hindu physician, an ayurvedic physician, had to go through Yoga. You will be surprised; you will not see what the relevance is. Not only did he have to go through Yoga, he had to study poetry. In the old days the Hindu physician was called kaviraj, the poet. This is nonsense! Why should a vaidya, a physician, be called kaviraj, a great poet? What has poetry got to do with illness? What has poetry got to do with treatment?
It has a function. Man is not just physical, man is not just prose. He has poetry inside. Man is not just that which appears to the eyes, man has an invisible realm of poetry, song, dance, celebration. The Hindu ayurvedic doctor had to understand the subtle layers of the poetry of life, the song of life, the rhythmic flow of the inner being. And he had to be a great adept of Yoga too.
The same was the case with Taoist physicians. They had to go through deep meditation because in the old days many people were searching. The world was not as poor spiritually as it is now. It is materially very rich today, it has never been so rich; but it is spiritually very poor, it has never been so poor. The world was spiritually very rich and millions of people were searching; millions of people were coming close to innermost reality. Naturally they had to go to the physician when things like this happened.
It was an everyday thing, it was not rare. The physician often came across such people. They were not really ill but had moved within themselves so much that their body was suffering, their mind was suffering. Or at least it looked like suffering. So the physician had to tell them that this was not a physical illness.
“I see your heart. The place an inch square is empty. You are almost a sage.” Notice, he says “…almost a sage” – just on the brink of it, almost a sage, not very far, the goal is just around the comer, very close by, within reach, one step more and the journey will become complete.
“You are almost a sage. Six of the holes in your heart run into each other but one is stopped up.” Just one. He is still holding on to something of his individuality, still holding onto something of the ego – the last remnant, the last shadow, the last mark of the ego.
“Maybe that’s why you think …the wisdom of a sage is an illness. You have come upon a treasure, the greatest there is, you are blessed, but you think that you have an illness. That may be the cause,” the physician said. “One hole is still closed and because of that you may be holding this wrong notion that you are ill.”
This man needed a master. For this man a master would have been the only physician there could be. Buddha said again and again, “I am not a philosopher, I am a physician.” So said Nanak, “I am not a philosopher, I am a physician.” The great sages have been physicians – better to call them metaphysicians because they treat not the physic but the metaphysic, the beyond. Or call them paraphysicians – they don’t treat the body, they treat the soul. They don’t treat the form but the innermost emptiness that is covered by the form. Your body and mind are just forms. You are empty.
But if you are close to a master you will never feel it as emptiness. The moment it happens the master will help you to understand it and it will start looking like fullness. It is fullness; it is not emptiness, but it is so new that you feel it as emptiness because all that you have known is no longer there. So you feel as if all that you have known has gone and everything is empty.
Just think, in your room you have much furniture. Once I stayed in a very rich man’s house. As it always happens, rich people don’t have much taste. It is very difficult to have both taste and money; it is a rare combination to be cultured and to be rich, to have a higher flight of the soul and to hoard money. It is very difficult to manage both. It rarely happens, and then only by accident.

This man was very rich. He was a bidi king, one of the biggest bidi manufacturers in India. And, naturally, when you manufacture bidis you cannot have much taste. I stayed in his house. He had given me the best of his rooms, but it was very cluttered with furniture. He had all sorts of furniture in there; in fact, there was no room and to go in and out was difficult.
He asked me, “How do you like the room?”
I said, “There is no room at all. There is no question of liking and disliking. Somehow I managed to enter and somehow I managed to leave. There is no room at all.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
He had gathered all designs of furniture, antique, modern; all sorts of things – radio, TV – everything was there, but there was no room. His concept of the room was these things.
He asked, “But what is missing here? The TV is here, the phone is here, the radio is here, the fax is here – what is missing? Just tell me and we will order it.”
I said, “You don’t understand me. Your concept of the room is nothing but the list of the furniture here, and my concept of a room is of the emptiness that is within those four walls.”

The word room means emptiness. So if the furniture were removed completely, when this man came into the room he would say it is empty because to him his room is the furniture: the fax, the TV set, the radio, and this and that. That is his concept of a room. If everything is taken out, he will say, “What has happened to this room? Everything is empty. This is just empty.” This would no longer be a room for him.
To Lao Tzu this would be a room; to me this would be a room. Now one can expand in this room, one can be in this room, there is space, there is spaciousness.
So when for the first time your mind goes off you suddenly feel empty because all that noise was what you used to feel you were; that was your concept of your being. When the mind goes off suddenly you will feel empty.
I have heard about a man who used to take care of a watchtower…

It is an old story, maybe a hundred years old. In those days each watchtower had a gun and the gun used to go off every five minutes continually, twenty-four hours a day. That was the only way to give signals to the ships passing by.
This man used to live there, he used to sleep there, and although the gun would go off each five minutes he was never disturbed. For thirty years he lived there.
Then one day something went wrong and the gun didn’t go off. He was fast asleep; it was the middle of the night. He jumped up and said, “What happened? What went wrong?” He felt very uneasy.
His mind had become accustomed to the gun going off each five minutes. It was no longer noise, it was his atmosphere, it was his mind, it was part of his mind. Now suddenly the gun was not going off and because of that his sleep was broken. But the noise of the gun had never broken his sleep.

This is how it happens: when whatsoever you know about yourself suddenly stops, you feel empty. It is not empty. It is full of silence. It is a new fullness; it is a totally new well-being. Godliness is descending on you but you cannot feel godliness. You go on groping for your old furniture and it is not there and you become very afraid: “What has happened to me? Have I gone mad?”
“I see your heart,” said the physician. “The place an inch square is empty. You are almost a sage. Six of the holes of your heart run into each other but one is stopped up. Can this be the reason why you now think the wisdom of the sage is an illness? My shallow craft can do nothing to cure it.”
This parable is very relevant to my whole life. I was also taken to a vaidya, to a physician. In fact, I was taken to many doctors and to many physicians. Only one ayurvedic vaidya told my father, “He is not ill. Don’t waste your time.” Of course, they were dragging me from one place to another. And many people would give me medicines. I would tell my father, “Why are you worried? I am perfectly okay.” But nobody would believe what I was saying. They would say, “Keep quiet. You just take the medicine. What is wrong with it?” So I used to take all sorts of medicines.
There was only one vaidya who was a man of insight – his name was Pundit Bhagirath Prasad. His daughter lives here in Pune and is married to a physician. That old man has gone but he was a rare man of insight. He looked at me and he said, “He is not ill.” And he started crying and said, “I have been searching for this state myself. He is fortunate. In this life I have missed this state. Don’t take him to anybody. He is reaching home.” And he cried tears of happiness.
He was a seeker. He had been searching all over the country from this end to that. His whole life was a search and inquiry. He had some idea of what it was about. He became my protector – my protector against the doctors and other physicians. He said to my father, “You leave it to me. I will take care of it.” He never gave me any medicine. When my father insisted, he just gave me sugar pills and told me, “These are sugar pills. You can take them just to console them. They will not harm you, but they will not help. In fact, there is no help possible.”
This man, Wen Chih, must have been a man like that. He said: “My shallow craft can do nothing to cure it.”
You have to go through it. Although you will be in search of somebody who can help, remember that the help will not be a cure – nobody can cure it. The help will only be able to help you to understand what is happening, to help you accept it, and fall en rapport with it so that the process becomes speedy. Then the one who is almost a sage becomes a perfect sage.
Enough for today.

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