The Dhammapada Vol 10 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 13 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 10 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Master your senses,
what you taste and smell,
what you see, what you hear.

In all things be a master
of what you do and what you say and think.
Be free.

You are a seeker.
Delight in the mastery
of your hands and your feet,
of your words and your thoughts.

Delight in meditation
and in solitude.
Compose yourself, be happy.
You are a seeker.
Freedom is the ultimate goal of true religion – not God, not paradise, not even truth, but freedom. This has to be understood because this is Gautama Buddha’s essential message to the world. Freedom is the highest value according to him, the summum bonum; there is nothing higher than that. But by freedom he does not mean political freedom, social freedom, economic freedom. By freedom he means the freedom of consciousness.
Our consciousness is in a deep bondage; we are chained. Inside is our prison, not outside. The walls of the prison are not outside us; it exists deep in our unconscious. It exists in our instincts, it exists in our desires, it exists in our unawareness.
Freedom is the goal. Awareness is the method to reach that goal. And when you are really free you are a master; the slavery disappears. Ordinarily we may appear free, but we are not free. It may appear that we are the choosers, but we are not the choosers. We are being pulled, pushed by unconscious forces.
When you fall in love with a woman or a man, do you think you have decided it, it is your choice? You know perfectly well you cannot choose to love, you cannot force yourself to love somebody. You are not the master, you are just a slave of a biological force. That’s why in all the languages the expression is “falling in love.” You fall in love: you fall from your freedom, you fall from your selfhood. If love were your choice you would rise in love, not fall in love. Then love would be out of your consciousness, and it would have a totally different quality, a different beauty, a different fragrance.
Ordinary love stinks of jealousy, anger, hatred, possessiveness. It is not love at all. Nature is forcing you toward something which is not of your choice; you are just a victim. This is our slavery. Even in love we are slaves, what to say about other things? Love seems to be our greatest experience; even that consists only of slavery, even in that we only suffer.
People suffer more in love than in anything else. The greatest suffering is that it deludes you, it creates the illusion that you are the chooser, and soon you know that you are not the chooser; nature has played a trick upon you. Unconscious forces have taken possession of you, you are possessed. You are not acting on your own; you are just a vehicle. That is the first misery that one starts feeling in love, and one misery triggers a whole chain of misery.
Soon you become aware that you have become dependent on the other, that without the other you cannot exist, that without the other you start losing all sense of meaning, significance. The other has become your life, you are utterly dependent; hence lovers continuously fight, because nobody likes to be dependent, everybody hates dependence. Nobody likes to be possessed by somebody else because to be possessed means to be reduced to a thing. The whole humanity suffers for the simple reason that every relationship goes on reducing you, goes on making your prison smaller and smaller.
Buddha says: “This life is not true life.” You are being lived, you are not really living. You are being lived by unconscious forces. Unless you become conscious, unless you take possession of your own life, unless you become independent of your instincts, you will not be a master. And without being a master there is no bliss, no benediction; life remains a hell.
The first sutra:
Master your senses,
what you taste and smell,
what you see, what you hear.
This sutra has been very misunderstood, misinterpreted, so much so that the Buddhists have taken exactly the opposite meaning of it. Master your senses… does not mean destroy your senses. If you destroy them, whom are you going to master? And that’s what has been done for twenty-five centuries: Buddhists have been destroying the senses. That is easier; hence the mistake. It is difficult, arduous to master your senses. It needs great consciousness to master your senses; to destroy them needs nothing.
If you want to make a beautiful house you will have to learn many things, but if you want to demolish it you need not learn anything. Anybody can demolish it, any madman can do that. In fact, a madman can do it faster than anybody else, quicker. You need not know architecture to demolish a building. Destruction needs no art, no intelligence.
That’s how this sutra has been interpreted down the ages, for the simple reason that destruction is easier; any stupid person can do it. And your so-called saints are almost always stupid. It is very rare to come across a real saint who is a creative person. They are worshipped as saints because they have been successfully committing suicide – slow suicide, of course – destroying themselves slowly, poisoning themselves slowly. We have worshipped death, destruction. It is time now that we should learn to love life and to love creativity, creation.
My understanding of this sutra is totally different. Master your senses… means become more conscious of your senses, become more sensitive. Don’t destroy them; otherwise you will be left without the doors and windows into creation, into godliness, into truth.

There is a story of a Hindu mystic. I don’t believe that it is true because I have been deeply impressed by that mystic’s great sayings; they are so beautiful that it is impossible for me to conceive that he could have done such a thing.
Surdas is his name. He was a blind man, not born blind; that’s how the story goes. He destroyed his eyes himself because he saw a beautiful woman and became fascinated by her. She took his fancy, he started thinking of her, and he was a monk. He destroyed his eyes because he thought it was those two eyes that had made him aware of her beauty. If the eyes were not there, he would not have been infatuated.

I don’t believe the story, but it is true of thousands of other people. My own experience is that Surdas must have been blind from the very beginning, because the insight in his poetry is such that it is inconceivable that such a man would do such a stupid act.
By destroying your eyes you cannot get freedom from women or from men. You can close your eyes, but that will not make much difference. In fact with closed eyes women appear more beautiful than they are!
That’s why whenever you make love to a woman she closes her eyes; you appear more beautiful. Otherwise, looking at you she will become afraid, because the expression of passion and lust on your face can’t be described as beautiful; it is ugly, it is animal. A man full of lust is nothing but an animal. Women must have learned the art of closing their eyes seeing again and again that the man turns into an animal.
I love this famous Zen anecdote:

Two monks were coming back to the monastery; they had gone into the village to preach. It was evening, the sun was setting; soon it would be night. They came across a river. A young woman, a beautiful woman, was standing there on the bank hesitating whether to enter the river or not: it may be too deep, it appeared very deep.
The older monk followed the Buddhist rule not to look at a woman. But that is a very strange rule: first you have to look, only then will you be able to see whether she is a woman or not. You can follow the rule only by breaking it! So he must have seen, of course a stolen look, and then he must have looked down. The Buddhist rule is: don’t look more than four feet ahead. He must have been trembling inside with fear, and he crossed the river.
When he was crossing the river and reaching the other shore, suddenly he remembered his younger fellow monk, who was also coming behind. What had happened to him? He looked back. The younger monk was carrying the woman on his shoulders! The older one was really enraged; in his rage there must have been jealousy also; otherwise why be angry?
The younger one brought the girl to the other shore, left her there, and both the monks moved toward the monastery. For one mile the old man didn’t say a single word. Then, when they reached to the gate of the monastery, the old man turned to the younger monk and said, “Listen, I will have to report it to the abbot. This is against the rules. Buddha has said: ‘Don’t touch a woman, don’t look at a woman.’ You have not only seen her, you have not only touched her, you have carried her on your shoulders. This is too much! This is going against the law.”
I don’t think that Buddha has said that. A man like Buddha cannot say such nonsensical things. But twenty-five centuries of stupid interpreters have done as much harm as they can do.
The young monk said, “But I have left the woman on the bank, far behind. Are you still carrying her on your shoulders?”

It has a great truth in it: the old man was really still carrying her. You can see without seeing, you can carry without carrying, you can touch without touching. Man has great imagination.
Hence I cannot believe that Surdas destroyed his eyes; otherwise it would be impossible for him to give such beautiful insights. He must have been a man of inner vision, of inner eyes, of great understanding. So I don’t believe in the story, but the story is significant. It is true about so many so-called saints. It may not be true about Surdas but it is true about almost all so-called saints – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian.
In Christianity there has been a sect which used to cut off their genital organs in order to transcend sex. If just by cutting off your genital organs you can transcend sex, things will be very easy. You can just go to the Sassoon Hospital and they will really do a butchery on you! They are official butchers, government butchers, recognized, authorized. But by removing your sexual organs you will not transcend sex; you may become more obsessed with sex than ever before.
That’s what happens to old people; hence the expression, “the dirty old man.” You don’t say “the dirty young man.” Why? The old man is called dirty for the simple reason that now all his sexuality has entered into his mind. His sex center has moved into his mind; it has become cerebral. Now he only thinks about it, he continually thinks about it. Physiologically he has become incapable; that does not mean that psychologically he has transcended it, that he has mastery of his sexuality, no.
By destroying your senses you don’t, you can’t become masters. Then what is the way to become the master? Buddha says: Master your senses… He could have simply said: “Destroy your senses.” But mastery is a totally different phenomenon; it needs great art, skill, awareness, meditativeness, watchfulness, alertness. Only then will the senses remain there. In fact, the master is more sensitive than the slave.
My own understanding is that Buddha smells more deeply; his sense of smell is far deeper than yours. Your sense of smell is repressed, very much repressed. For centuries you have been repressing sex, and the sense of smell is very much connected with your sexuality. You have been repressing your sense of smell. You use many perfumes just to hide the odor of your sexuality. Otherwise, when a woman has her period she has a different odor; you can smell that she has her period. When a woman is sexually aroused she has a unique scent; you can know just by her scent that she is sexually aroused. And the same is true about man: sexually aroused, his body starts smelling because there are great chemical changes happening inside him. They affect his body, his perspiration, his breathing, his blood.
Man has been so afraid of his sexuality: somebody may become aware, somebody may note what is happening to him. He has used clothes to hide his body, he has used perfumes to hide his natural odors. He has tried in every possible way to appear as nonsexual as possible. And we have had to repress our noses very much.
Animals know through their noses whether the female is willing or not. Just the nose is enough to know whether the female is saying yes. Unless the nose says the female is saying yes, the male won’t approach the female. That is aggression, that is rape. No animal ever rapes, remember, except man. Man is the only rapist animal in the world. I am not including the animals who live in the zoos because they have become more like human beings. Living in the company of human beings they have been distorted; otherwise no animal rapes. Love happens only when both parties are absolutely willing. But man has lost his sensitivity of smell. It is because of the so-called religious teaching down the centuries.
My understanding is that Buddha’s sense of smell is far clearer than yours because there is no repression in him. His eyes see better than you can see because his eyes are not clouded by any prejudice, by any a priori conceptions. He hears perfectly well because his ears are not full of noise, his mind is silent.
When the mind is utterly silent you are capable of listening. Then you are capable of listening to the song of the birds, a distant call of the cuckoo. Then you are able to listen even to the silence. Just now, listen to the silence; not only sound but soundlessness can be listened to. But you have to be noiseless.
You can start smelling people not only in their sexuality, you can start smelling their anger because anger also changes their body chemistry. You can start smelling their greed, their jealousy, their hatred. You can start smelling all kinds of emotions. The moment a person comes to you, if your mind is silent and your senses are clear, unclouded, without any fog, you can smell everything that the man is carrying. He may be smiling on the surface, but deep down you can see that he is angry, a hypocrite. Try smelling people; smell their greed, their anger, their cruelty.
If you can learn to smell cruelty, anger, greed, slowly, slowly you will be able to smell more subtle things: their compassion, their love, their prayerfulness. Yes, even their meditativeness, their silence has its own fragrance. When a person is full of greed, he stinks of greed; when a person is full of silence, he exudes something of the beyond, something of the unknown.
Buddha is not saying destroy your senses. He is saying master your senses, become more aware of your senses. Bring awareness to your senses so that they become more sensitive. They are doors, windows, bridges with existence. Without them you will be just a closed phenomenon, a Leibnizian monad, windowless. You will not see the light of the sun, moon, stars. You will not feel anything.
Destroying your senses will simply mean you are killing yourself. You have five senses. Destroy your eyes and eighty percent of your life is destroyed – eighty percent because your eyes contain eighty percent of your life; eighty percent of your sensibility depends on your eyes. Hence we feel so much sympathy for the blind man. You don’t feel that much sympathy for the dumb or for the deaf. Why, all over the world, do we feel so much sympathy for the blind man? – because he is really suffering much. He can’t see colors, he can’t see the light, and life consists of light and life consists of colors. It is a rainbow. He will remain utterly in the dark, not knowing what a colorful existence was available. He will not know the butterflies and the roses and the marigolds. He will not know the green and the red and the gold of the trees. He will not know the faces of the people, he will not be able to look into the eyes of the people. His main bridge is broken.
Destroy your ears, and something more dies in you. Destroy your tongue, and something more dies in you. When you have destroyed all your senses you are just a corpse, you are no longer alive. Life means sensitivity: more sensitivity and you have more life. So I cannot say destroy your senses; you have already destroyed them. Revive them, rejuvenate them, pour energy into them. And the method to pour energy into them is by becoming aware.
Sometimes just become aware of your ears, as if you are just the ears and nothing else, as if your whole body has become the ears. Just be ears, and you will be surprised that you become aware of such subtle noises, such subtle happenings around you that you have never been aware of. You may start hearing your own breathing, your own heartbeat. You may start hearing many things, and you have lived always among these things, but you were never aware; you were so occupied with yourself.
Buddha says: …what you taste and smell, what you see, what you hear. Master your senses… Bring your awareness to taste. When you are eating, forget everything else; just become your tongue, just your taste buds. Exist there in your totality. Taste your food as deeply as possible and you will be in for a great surprise – and not only one but many surprises.
First you will become aware that you cannot eat more than is needed. You need not diet, only foolish people diet. And you can diet for a few days, and then you jump upon the food with a vengeance, and you gain more weight than you have lost! If you are intelligent, bring your awareness to your taste. Why do you eat more? The simple reason is that you don’t taste, and your hunger for taste remains, so you go on stuffing more. If you really taste, soon you will be satisfied, contented. Soon the body will say, “Stop!” And if you are alert you will be able to listen when the body says stop.
Right now you are not there at all. You are eating, but you are not there, present. You may be in your office or you may have gone somewhere else, doing a thousand and one things. One thing is certain, that you are not at the table where you are sitting, you are always somewhere else. You are never where you are; you can’t be found where you are. If you are really there, totally absorbed in eating, you will be surprised. The first thing will be that food becomes something divine for the first time.
The Upanishads say: “Annam brahman – food is God.” Such a beautiful statement: “Food is God.” These people must have tasted. Without tasting you cannot see God in food. These people can’t be against food, they can’t be for fasting, they can’t teach you to starve your body. The people who have said: “Annam brahman – food is God,” cannot be in favor of starving. Starvation cannot be anything spiritual.
Eat, but eat meditatively, silently. When you are eating you are talking. Don’t talk, because if you are talking you will miss the joy of absorbing God into yourself. You will miss the joy of eating, and when you miss the joy of eating, your hunger for taste goes on asking for more, so you go on stuffing. And it seems to be non-ending. People are stuffing the whole day and still it seems they are not satisfied. Eating twice may be enough or at the most thrice, but people are eating the whole day, particularly Americans! If they are not eating they won’t know what else to do. Just doing something with the mouth keeps them occupied. If they are not eating they are talking, if they are not talking they are smoking, if they are not smoking they are chewing gum, as if the mouth has to remain continuously occupied.

Stan and Sid, both on the road with noncompeting merchandise, usually traveled together, sharing the same car and hotel rooms to save money.
One evening the two friends registered at a small hotel in Schenectady, and Stan immediately sat down to write his wife a letter.
Sid happened to notice his buddy’s unusual salutation. “Tell me something, Stan,” he said curiously. “How come you always address your wife as ‘Dear AT&T’? Is she a big investor?”
“No, nothing like that,” answered Stan. “AT&T does not stand for American Telephone & Telegraph. It means ‘Always Talking & Talking.’”

People are continuously talking, and particularly women for the simple reason that man has taken every other avenue from them. They are left only with one thing: talking. They are not allowed anything else, every other door has been closed, so their whole energy is turned into talking. They are talking because their minds are too noisy and they have to pour them out: it is a kind of catharsis. Even when you are eating you are talking. How can you taste food and how can you be sensitive to taste?
When you go into the garden you are talking. If you are not talking with somebody else you are in a constant dialogue within yourself. You divide yourself into many persons, you make a crowd inside yourself. You are questioning and answering within yourself. You don’t look at the flowers. You don’t feel the fragrance, the joy of the birds, the celebration of the trees. You don’t allow yourself any sensitivity, any opportunity to be more sensitive, to be more available to existence, to be more vulnerable.
Sensitivity means openness, vulnerability, availability.
Buddha says: Master your senses, what you taste and smell, what you see, what you hear. People are either talking or reading newspapers or listening to the radio or watching the television, even five hours, six hours per day, watching television, destroying their eyes! And there is so much to see, and they are sitting before a box, glued to a chair!

In his heavenly abode, the patriarch Abraham lit the shabbes candles and then, over a glass of tea and lemon, he settled back to read the Forvetz.
Suddenly, from down below on Earth, he heard a raucous tumult.
“Now, who could be desecrating the Sabbath like that?” he wondered.
With his new laser telescope, he looked down and there he saw a crowd of at least eighty thousand people in the Houston Astrodome watching a baseball game. A quick count showed him that over thirty thousand Jews were among the spectators. Outraged, he picked up the phone and dialed G-O-D. After a few rings, the boss picked up the receiver.
“Hello,” said Father Abraham, “that you, Joe?”
“Now look here, Abe – the name is Jehovah! Show a little respect!”
“All right, Jehovah, then. I have a complaint.”
“What is it this time? Those people from the New Testament picking on you again?”
“Nothing like that. But you really must do something about all that goyishe conduct back on Earth. Did you know that at this very minute thirty thousand Jews are watching a baseball game at the Astrodome?”
“You got something against baseball?”
“No, of course not. But that is not the point. This is Friday evening and it seems to me our people ought to be a little more observant of the holy day.”
“What is the big attraction they are all watching the game?”
“Hank Aaron is coming to bat and he is about to break Babe Ruth’s record.”
“You are absolutely right, Abe. That is no excuse for them to act like a bunch of wild Republicans. Call me back after the game and I will do something about it. By the way, what channel is it on?”

Not only man but even God is glued to his chair, looking at the television!
Buddha says: “Whatsoever you are doing: eating, walking, drinking water, taking a bath, swimming in a river, whatsoever you are doing, lying down in the sun, be utterly there, be totally there. Become your senses. Come down from the mind to the senses, come back to the senses.”
And what the Buddhists have done for twenty-five centuries is just the opposite: they have gone more and more into the head, they have destroyed their senses completely. They have become dead as far as their bodies are concerned. Only their heads are continuously working, occupied day and night in great interpretations, and they have created so many absurd laws in the name of Buddha that you will not believe it. Thirty-three thousand laws and rules to be followed; even to remember them is impossible. Thirty-three thousand laws and rules to be followed!
Buddha knows only one law and that is awareness, and that’s enough; it takes care of everything. He gives you the master key; you need not carry thirty-three thousand keys with you. Otherwise, whenever the time arises to open a lock you will be at a loss, searching into those thirty-three thousand keys! I don’t think you will be able to find the right key. It is impossible to find the right key, because that’s how things work. If you are supposed to take two pills, open the bottle and they will always come in threes, never twos! If you are supposed to take three pills, they will come in twos, they will never come in threes. Life is very mysterious!
Thirty-three thousand keys! And you think you will be able to find the right key when you come across a lock? Impossible! Or it will take thirty-three thousand lives for you to find it; by that time the lock will be gone. Either you will have the key or you will have the lock, but never both at the same time. In your unconsciousness how can you carry thirty-three thousand laws?

Mulla Nasruddin came home one night late, utterly drunk. He was trying to open the door, and he had only one key, but it wouldn’t go in the lock because he was trembling and shaking.
The policeman came to see because for half an hour Mulla was trying and trying. And he said, “Wait! Give me the key, I will open it.”
He said, “No need to bother with the key. Just hold the house in place and I can open it!”

In your unconsciousness, thirty-three thousand keys! You will be burdened. That’s what has happened to Buddhism. That’s what has happened to all the religions. So many laws and so many rules that people have become so burdened with them, they have forgotten all about them.
Religion is very simple. It consists of a single law – awareness – and that is the master key. Make each act of your life full of awareness. Focus your awareness on each act, and that very focusing transforms it because when you give your awareness to anything it becomes alive; you are pouring your life into it. Your senses will become totally sensitive, and because you are aware you will remain the master. Slavery means unawareness.

Karl the Knaidel, king of Kansas City, had everything in life that a man could ask for, except for one thing: he wanted a grandson to carry on the family name, to say nothing of the family business. So he was understandably happy when his bachelor son told him one evening that he had fallen in love and was planning to marry.
“It is a smart thing you are doing,” advised Karl. “Until a man marries he is incomplete.”
He pondered the wisdom of his own statement for a moment or two and then added solemnly, “He is not only complete – he is finished!”

You are not only falling in love, you are falling in a thousand things – in anger, in greed. You are continuously falling, falling victims of some unconscious forces within you that you have carried from your animal heritage.
We have to make our unconscious full of light, no nook or corner should be left without light. Only one tenth of our mind is conscious; nine tenths is in darkness, deep darkness. We are like an iceberg: one tenth shows up, nine tenths is hidden underneath, and that nine tenths is nine times more powerful.
So you may decide something, but you will not be able to follow it; that nine tenths will destroy it any moment. You may decide to get up early tomorrow at five o’clock, but this decision is only by the one tenth of your mind; nine tenths is completely unaware of your decision, absolutely unaware of your decision. So when in the morning the alarm goes off, nine tenths of the mind says, “What is the hurry? And it is so beautiful and so cozy and so warm. Dynamic Meditation can wait! Tomorrow we can meditate.” And of course, tomorrow never comes. Then when you wake up you will feel guilty, but this is again not the same mind that stopped you from waking up which is feeling guilty; it is another one tenth which is feeling guilty.
This goes on your whole life, this hide-and-seek: one part decides, another part cancels. And the part that cancels is nine times more powerful. You have decided many times not to be angry again, but all your decisions are impotent because that nine times more powerful unconscious is always there and it won’t allow the one tenth to take possession, to be powerful.
Hence the transformation is not through decisions, through taking vows; the transformation needs a totally different approach. You have to change your unconscious slowly, slowly into consciousness. That’s what meditation is all about: it is making your light grow bigger, spreading it deeper, slowly, slowly diving deeper into your own being.
As more and more of your unconscious is reclaimed by the consciousness your decisions will start becoming great fulfillments. Then you can promise yourself something. Right now all your promises are false; you know they are not going to work. You know you have failed so many times and you know you will fail again; but you go on hoping against hope.
The ordinary religion taught in the temples and the churches by the priests teaches you character. The real religion, the religion of the buddhas, the awakened ones, teaches you consciousness, not character. Character is a by-product; when you are conscious, character comes on its own accord. The ordinary religion teaches you conscience; it is cheap. The buddhas teach you consciousness, not conscience.
Buddha says:
In all things be a master
of what you do and what you say and think.
Be free.
Man can be divided into four parts. The outermost circumference consists of action, what you do. The second layer, a little deeper than your action, consists of your speech, what you say. A little deeper, the third layer consists of your thoughts, what you constantly think. And the fourth is not a layer; the fourth is your reality, your being. That is your center, the center of the cyclone. Your center, your being is surrounded by three concentric circles: thinking, saying, doing.
Buddha says: In all things be a master of what you do… Are you aware of what you are doing? Are you doing it consciously or just because others are doing it? Are you an imitator, just following the crowd like a sheep? Be a man, don’t be a sheep! Don’t follow the crowd, be individual. Only then can you be a master; only individuals can be masters. In the crowd you have to be a slave, the crowd consists of slaves. The crowd wants you to remain a slave, as only then can the crowd remain powerful. All the politicians and all the priests of the world want you to remain slaves, only then can they be priests and great leaders. Otherwise who will follow your stupid leaders? Who is going to follow your so-called religious priests?
If you are a little alert, aware, you will be able to see perfectly well that your leaders are hocus-pocus, that your priests are pseudo, that you need not follow them, that following them you have been falling in ditches. Who is going to follow Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Ayatollah Khomeini? Who is going to follow these people? Only slaves, only people who don’t know what they are doing.

A young sports car enthusiast saved up enough money to buy the latest model of sports car. After trying out the car, he went to his favorite pub to brag to all his friends about it. “Shit, man, my new car is so fantastic! I just went from London to Liverpool in one hour!”
The next day he was back at the pub again, bragging to his friends. “Today,” he said, “I made it from London to Liverpool in forty minutes!”
The day after, the young sports car enthusiast was again at the pub. “Today,” he said, “would you believe it? London to Liverpool in twenty-eight minutes!”
After an absence of two days, to the astonishment of his friends, the young man arrived at the pub on foot.
“Where is your car?” asked his friends.
“I’ve sold it,” he replied sadly.
“But why?” they asked incredulously.
“I could not help it,” he told them. “What the fuck was I supposed to do in Liverpool every day?”

But people go on doing it! This man must have been a little intelligent. People go on going to Liverpool, never thinking why.
Why do you go to the church? Why do you go to the synagogue, or to the mosque, or to the temple? Why do you go on following stupid ideologies, ridiculous politicians? Why? You have never asked.

I have heard about a man who went to the court and wanted his name changed. The magistrate was a little puzzled, but he could not object. He was puzzled because the new name that he had chosen was very strange. His new name was “None of the above.”
The magistrate said, “What kind of name is this?”
He said, “But this is what I want.” So he was allowed. He changed his name; he became “None of the above.”
Then he ran for president, and the secret was known. All other candidates who running for president objected because this man is dangerous: his name is “None of the above.” Anybody marking his name on the list of candidates meant canceling everybody else. They objected. The man was called back to the court.
The court said, “Your name is a little deceptive.”
He said, “Whatsoever it is, it is my name and I want to change the president. I want to give people a chance to cancel everybody else. I am not interested in being the president myself; my whole interest is to cancel all the others because everybody knows they are all fools, but you have to choose somebody. So I simply want to give them a chance: if they want to reject all, they can reject. They can simply mark on my name: ‘None of the above.’”

If you look at the situation of the world you will be able to see what these politicians and priests have done to humanity: they have made it a hell. There is no need to ask for any proof. Now there is no need to ask whether hell exists or not. Politicians and priests, in a deep conspiracy, have made hell a reality on the earth. Who is going to follow them? That’s why they don’t want you to be intelligent, they don’t want you to think, they don’t want you to be alert. They want you to live in a kind of deep sleep. They want you to be machines, not men.
Buddha says: In all things be a master… so you cannot be reduced to a machine …of what you do… Watch what you are doing and why. Is it worth doing? Is it worth wasting your life and your breath? Are you just doing it because you don’t know what else to do? It is better to do nothing than to do something without knowing why, without knowing …of what you do and say and think.
You say things and you suffer because of what you say. Many times you have decided not to say such things because unnecessarily you get into trouble; you say something and you are in trouble. But still you will go on saying the same things and getting into the same trouble, as if you never watch yourself, never see what you are doing. You are moving like a somnambulist in your sleep.
Have you ever looked at what you think? Have you ever looked inside? You will be surprised: you are carrying many, many mad people inside you. But nobody looks inside; people are continuously occupied on the outside. Nobody thinks about what he is doing, what he is saying, what he is thinking.

Rabbi Isaacs was quite fond of the Shapiro family whose members were long-time congregants of his temple. So it was understandable that he would react sympathetically when they asked him to have a serious talk with their daughter, Rachel, who was unmarried but pregnant again for the third time.
He confronted the young lady on the following evening. “I can’t understand how a nice Jewish girl could allow such a disgraceful thing to happen,” he began severely. “Three times yet! I suppose the babies all have different fathers!”
“Ah no!” said Rachel. “It is the same fellow.”
“He is single, this man?”
“Certainly. You think I would go with a married man?”
“Then why don’t you marry him?” demanded the rabbi.
“Well, frankly,” Rachel answered with complete candor, “he does not appeal to me.”

Just look at yourself and you will not laugh at Rachel. People are living with each other not knowing why. So many people come to me, or write letters to me. They say, “I am living with a man for fifteen years. I don’t know why because all that he gives me is misery, suffering.” Maybe that’s why! – because you are a masochist. You love being miserable, you want to suffer. That man is giving you good service! People write to me, “I am living with a woman and my life is hell.” But why are you living with that woman? Nobody is forcing you. People say to me, “I am working in a job that I hate” – but why? Get out of it immediately! Walk out of it!

I was a professor in a university. One day I was talking to the vice-chancellor and I told him, “This whole thing is nonsense. Just give me a piece of paper so I can write my resignation.”
He said, “What are you doing? Are you mad? Such a good job with so little work!” He said, “I know perfectly well that you don’t do even that!” And that was true. “Why are you leaving?”
I said, “It is just nonsense. Enough is enough!”
He said, “But wait! I have been in this business for thirty years, and I also know it is all nonsense. But how can you leave like this? I have not been able to leave. Many times I have decided, but now look – I have succeeded. I have become the vice-chancellor. One day you may become the vice-chancellor.”
I said, “Forget all about it!”
When he saw me leaving his office, he rushed out. He pulled me back inside. He said, “What are you doing? Think it over.”
I said, “Finished is finished! I don’t think twice!”
He thought I was ill or something, or I had taken some drug. He said, “Wait! I don’t think you are in a state to drive back home. I will come with you.”
I said, “Don’t be worried. In fact, this is the first time I am perfectly sane. I was insane when I joined this university!”
But he came with me just to see whether I could drive back home. For two or three days he continued to come. He said, “Think – I am still keeping your resignation, I have not sent it. I have not told anybody.”
I said, “That’s up to you. I am not coming back.”
The fourth day he said, “You are really a man! I have also thought many times to divorce my wife, and I could not. Now I have seven children!”
Seven children from a wife he always wanted to divorce, why was he with her?
I asked him, “Are those children really yours? If you wanted to divorce the woman, why were you making love to her?”
He said, “You are right, but what else to do?”
For thirty years he had been thinking to drop out of the job because he always wanted to be a musician. And now the poor fellow is dead – just two years ago he died. He could never become a musician; he died a vice-chancellor. What a failure! What frustration! But that’s how things are.

Watch your life. Buddha is all for watchfulness. In all things be a master of what you do and say and think. Be free. If you can be a master, if you can be watchful, freedom comes on its own accord. Freedom is the shadow of being a master of your life.
You are a seeker.
Remember, always remember. Buddha insisted again and again: “Remember you are a seeker.” You are seeking your true home; you have not yet found it. Many lives you have been seeking, this life also you are seeking. Have you found it? Don’t waste your time, don’t go astray. Pour your whole energy into seeking because nobody knows about tomorrow. This may be your last day. Find it so that you can live joyously and you can die joyously. You are a seeker.
Delight in the mastery…
The only delight in life is when you master something. And when a man has mastered all his being – his action, his saying, his thinking – his delight is infinite. Delight in the mastery…
…of your hands and your feet,
of your words and your thoughts.
Buddha never divides your bodymind. He says: “Be a master of both because you are psychosomatic, you are bodymind. So be a master of your body and be a master of your mind. Then you will know who you are. Then you will know the master is you beyond bodymind. Then you will know you are pure consciousness.”
Delight in meditation…
Delight in silence, stillness; that is meditation.
…and in solitude.
Delight in being alone. Enjoy being alone as much as feasible, as much as practical. Delight in solitude.
Sitting silently, doing nothing,
the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
If you can sit silently doing nothing, the spring is not far away, the spring is bound to come. It always comes in silence. It always comes when you know how to delight in your aloneness because only then are you independent. If you delight in others’ company you are dependent. If you feel lonely when you are alone you don’t know aloneness yet.
Loneliness and aloneness are two different things, no matter what the dictionaries say. In dictionaries they are synonymous, but in existence they are totally different. Loneliness is negative. It means you are dependent, you are hankering for the other, you are suffering. Your being alone is not a joy, it is a misery. You want to be occupied.

The zookeeper guided the visitors to the next cage. “Now here, ladies and gentlemen, we have the laughing hyena. Now, the laughing hyena has sex on only one night in the year.”
“Well, what has he got to laugh about then?” asked a young lad in the group.
“Aha! Well, tonight’s the night!”

People are happy with others, but that happiness is dependent; it can be taken away. It will be taken away, it is bound to disappear. It can’t be permanent, it is momentary.

Raleigh Rosenblum, the romantic young bachelor of Palm Beach who was also a big spender, telephoned the girl he had just met the night before. She was not only gorgeous but had also proved to be a real swinger. He wanted another date. To his surprise, however, she turned him down.
“How come you are refusing to go out with me tonight?” he demanded. “Only yesterday you said there was something about me you adored.”
“There was, baby,” she crooned in a husky voice, “but you spent it.”

All happiness that is dependent on others is bound to disappear sooner or later. It is temporary, it is momentary, it is illusory. Only that joy is yours which wells up within your own being. Hence Buddha says: Delight in meditation and in solitude.
Aloneness is the joy of being just yourself. It is being joyous with yourself, it is enjoying your own company. There are very few people who enjoy their own company. And it is a very strange world: nobody enjoys his company and everybody wants others to enjoy his company! If they don’t enjoy he feels insulted, yet alone he feels disgusted with himself. In fact, if you cannot enjoy your own company, who else is going to enjoy it?
Aloneness, solitude is positive. It is overflowing joy for no reason. It is our very nature to be joyous; hence there is no need to depend on anybody else. There is no other motive in it, it is simply there. Just as the water flows downward, your being rises upward. Just give it a chance – give it solitude. And remember again, solitude is not solitariness, just as aloneness is not loneliness.
Compose yourself, be happy.
You are a seeker.
Buddha reminds you again: You are a seeker. Compose yourself… Be harmonious, be graceful. Learn the art of being alone and yet utterly happy. Then one day, in that solitude, something starts happening which you had never expected. Something immense, something vast descends in you. Something of the beyond penetrates you. A great uplift, a great feeling of levitation arises in you. You are being uplifted, you start rising toward the ultimate. Call that ultimate God, truth, whatsoever you prefer to call it. Buddha calls it freedom, nirvana: cessation of the ego, freedom from the ego, freedom from all bondage, freedom from all dependence on others. You become unbounded, you become as vast as the sky: even the sky is not your limit.
Master your senses,
what you taste and smell,
what you see, what you hear.

In all things be a master
of what you do and what you say and think.
Be free.

You are a seeker.
Delight in the mastery
of your hands and your feet,
of your words and your thoughts.

Delight in meditation
and in solitude.
Compose yourself, be happy.
You are a seeker.
Enough for today.

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