The Dhammapada Vol 11 01

First Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 11 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The Buddha said:
Hold your tongue.
Do not exalt yourself
but lighten the way
for your words are sweet.

Follow the truth of the way.
Reflect upon it.
Make it your own.
Live it.
It will always sustain you.

Do not turn away what is given you,
nor reach out for what is given to others,
lest you disturb your quietness.

Give thanks
for what has been given you,
however little.
Be pure, never falter.
Life is full of complications. Even when we are born there is a string attached. The greatest complication, the source of all complications, is unawareness, unconsciousness. We are focused on the objective world and we are totally unaware of who we are.
The whole message of Gautama the Buddha is to turn in. The message is simple, but the implementation is arduous. It is arduous because for many, many lives we have lived outwardly, we have lived the life of an extrovert. We have completely forgotten how to relate with our own beings, how to be with ourselves. We have forgotten the path, the language, the method. Not only that, we have become completely oblivious that there is an interiority to us. We think that we have only an outside. That is stupid. The outside can only exist with an inside; without the inside the outside is impossible. If we can see out, we can also see in. In fact, it is easier to see in because we are rooted there.
But never seeing in, we go on rushing in all directions, doing all kinds of things, not knowing why, just because others are doing them. We are imitating, following. We become carbon copies, and to be a carbon copy is the ugliest thing in life. Man can never be blissful unless he is original, unless he knows his original face.
I have heard a very beautiful story. It may be true, it may not be true. Its truth is not historical but, far more significant, it is metaphorical.
The story is:

On his way to India, Alexander the Great met a fakir sitting by the roadside with a round, small, crystal-like object in his hand.
“What’s that?” inquired Alexander.
“I will not tell you,” said the fakir, “but I will bet you that it is heavier than all your gold, silver and jewels.”
Alexander ordered an enormous balance to be brought along with all of his treasures. On one side of the balance he piled all the treasures; the fakir put his small round crystal on the other side, and lo! It was heavier. Down it went and the vast treasures were lifted into the air. Alexander was amazed.
Then the fakir said, “I will show you one more thing.” He took a little dust and spread it over the crystal. It immediately became light, went up into the air, and the treasures came down.
Alexander could not contain his amazement and asked the fakir, “Please, you must tell me. What is this object?”
Said the fakir, “It is nothing special. It is only a human eye.”

Man has the capacity to see himself, but that capacity is full of dust. We have an inner eye too, but that eye is not functioning. We have not used that eye for so long it has gone out of function completely; it has become a paralyzed part in our being.
Now physiologists have discovered a certain part in the human brain which seems to be absolutely superfluous. They are puzzled because nature never creates anything superfluous. It must have a purpose, but it seems to have no purpose, it can be removed without affecting you at all.
But all the mystics down the ages have been saying the same thing. Not in scientific terminology, of course; they have their own way of saying it. They call it the third eye. A certain part of your mind is capable of functioning in an introspective way only. Meditation creates the right atmosphere, the right climate for it to function.
Meditation simply means removing the dust that the fakir threw on the eye. That dust is nothing but the whole mind process of thoughts, desires, imagination, memory. If you become capable of a few intervals, gaps, when all thought processes cease, then suddenly you are, and the turning happens; immediately there is a radical change in your vision, your gestalt changes. The outside world disappears and the inside world appears.
It is because of this that the mystics say that the outside world is illusory. It is not that it does not exist; it does exist, but it is illusory because the mystic knows a certain state of consciousness when it simply evaporates, it is no longer found. You enter into a totally different dimension: the dimension of bliss, the dimension of peace, the dimension of Buddha, Christ, Krishna.
These sutras today are very special. This series is the last series of Buddha’s sutras. Up to now he was talking to the disciples who were getting ready. Now this last part of his sutras is meant for the bodhisattvas, for those who have become ready, for those who have experienced something of the inner. It is not for the initiates, it is not for the adepts; hence this last part is the most important part.
Buddha says there are two kinds of enlightened people in the world; he is very scientific about his approach. His categories are very significant; nobody has done this before or since. He says those in the first category of the enlightened ones are called arhats. The arhat is a mystic; he has known, he has realized, but he is utterly unconcerned about others. He has found the way. He has reached his home and he does not care about others who are seeking and searching, because his understanding is that if they seek and search authentically they will find the way themselves. And if they are not true seekers, nobody can make them true seekers; hence no help is needed. The arhat does not help anyone. He has traveled alone and he knows everybody has to travel alone.
When Buddha became enlightened, his first idea was to become an arhat. For seven days he remained absolutely silent, not saying a single word.
The story is:

The gods came from heaven. They were very worried because only once in a while does a person become awakened, and if he remains absolutely silent, the world will miss his message. And his message is medicine for those who are dying; his message is nourishment for those who are starving for truth. His message can be a boat to the other shore. His message has to be delivered, he has to be persuaded. They came, and they argued.
But Buddha said, “You must agree with me that nobody was able to help me although I knocked on many doors, because it is something which is not transferable. Even if they had it they could not give it to me; I had to find it by my own effort. Hence I think that is the only way: people have to seek and search; it cannot be borrowed.”
He was right and the gods had to agree. And he said, “Even if I say it, only one out of ten thousand people will understand. The remaining ones will not understand; on the contrary, they will misunderstand. So why create so much misunderstanding in the world? The world is already in confusion, why create more confusion? Out of compassion I am keeping quiet. The one who will understand will find it himself anyway. The man who can understand what I say is so intelligent that really he needs no help. So what is the point? Why should I bother?”
The gods were silenced. They moved into the woods to ponder over the matter. “How can we convince him? He appears to be right, he is logical, but some way has to be found.” It is good that they were able to find some way, otherwise we would have missed The Dhammapada; these beautiful sutras would have been missed. The world would have been far poorer. The whole credit goes to those anonymous gods who persuaded Buddha.
They pondered over the matter for hours; they found a way. They came back and said, “We agree with you, but there is one point on which we cannot agree. We understand that only one person out of ten thousand will understand you, so you need not bother about that one person; he will find himself sooner or later. It is only a question of time, and time does not matter because existence is eternal. So what does it matter, how does it matter, whether one achieves today and somebody else achieves tomorrow or the day after tomorrow? All those who have become awakened are contemporaries; it does not make much difference at all.”
That’s why I say I am a contemporary to Buddha, a contemporary to Jesus, a contemporary to Zarathustra, a contemporary to Lao Tzu. Once you know, you become contemporary to all who have known. All small time gaps simply disappear, they are so tiny. Twenty-five hundred years make no difference at all.
That’s why in the East we have not bothered much about time. Nobody knows when Krishna was born. We could have also created a calendar in the name of Krishna – before Krishna, after Krishna – we could have made a history. And Krishna certainly preceded Jesus by at least three thousand years, so his calendar would have been five thousand years old by now. But we have never bothered about it. Nobody knows when the founder of Jainism, Adinatha, was born or when he died. He must have preceded even Krishna by at least five thousand years. If we had a calendar then, his calendar would by now have been at least ten thousand years old. I am saying “at least,” because Jainas say that he is far older. According to them he is almost ninety thousand years ancient; it is possible.
But we have not created history, we have not written history, for the simple reason that the people who are worth writing about go beyond time; for them time becomes irrelevant. And the people who are not worth writing about, only they make noise in the world of time. Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Ayatollah Khomeiniac, these people make much noise in the world of time. A Buddha, a Krishna, a Jesus, a Zarathustra simply make no trace in time; they disappear without leaving a trace. It is as if they are not part of history, or they are part of a totally different kind of history, a history which is non-temporal.
The gods argued their one point with Buddha. They said, “We agree about that one person: he will find it whether you tell him or not, he is so intelligent; if he can understand you immediately, then he will find it by himself. And we also agree about the others, that thousands will not understand you at all; they will, on the contrary, misunderstand you. But they are already misunderstanding, what more misunderstanding can there be? So you need not be worried about that point. They are already in confusion, you cannot confuse them anymore.”
This is also my experience: howsoever I try, I cannot confuse you anymore. You have already touched the rock bottom; there is nothing below it, you can’t go deeper than that. You are utterly secure.
So the gods said, “You cannot confuse them more. They are so skillful in confusing themselves, they have done it already to the maximum. So about that we don’t argue.
“But there is one thing more: there may be one or two people among ten thousand who are just between these two sorts of people – the one who can understand you and the millions who cannot understand you and are bound to misunderstand you. Between these two do you think,” they said to Buddha, “there is a possibility that a few people, one or two or three – yes, they will be very few, they can be counted on the fingers – who may be just in the middle, neither so confused that they cannot be helped at all nor so clear that they can find their path on their own? Speak for them; they will be helped by you.”
Buddha had to agree; it was not an argument for argument’s sake. People like Buddha don’t argue for argument’s sake; he saw the truth of it. He said, “I have to agree with you. Yes, there are a few people who are exactly in the middle, on the boundary line. If I don’t say anything to them they may be lost in the crowd; if some help is given to them, a little hand, they may be pulled out of their mud. I will speak for them.”

He was going to be an arhat, one who has arrived but is unconcerned about others, almost cold, does not care a bit. He became a bodhisattva; that is the second category.
A bodhisattva is one who is not only a mystic but also a master, who has not only known himself, but tries to make it known to others. Of course, the work of the bodhisattva is far more difficult; the arhat is in a better position. The bodhisattva has to struggle with all kinds of insanities – insane people, split people, schizophrenic people, neurotics, psychotics. Humanity is full of these people. The bodhisattva has to go into the crowd, into the mud where you are, because that is the only way to help you. Unless he comes among you, unless he lives with you, unless he relates with you, communicates with you, in a thousand and one ways seduces you, creates the longing for truth in you, he cannot help you. And these are not easy things.
People are not concerned about truth at all. They are concerned about money, they are concerned about power, about prestige. They are not interested in being liberated, they don’t want to be sane. They protect their insanity in every possible way because they have invested so much in their insanity. It is their insanity and they are very proud of it.
Are you not proud of being a Christian, of being a Hindu, of being a Mohammedan? Are you not proud of being a German or British or an Indian? You are proud of all these insanities. These divisions have been destructive. These divisions have proved curses to humanity. They have been calamities, but you are very proud. Everybody seems to be proud.
I have heard…

An Englishman was talking to an Italian. And the Englishman asked the Italian, “If you had been given a choice before you were born, what nationality would you have chosen?”
He said, “Of course I would have been British!”
And the Englishman asked, “How would you have felt?”
He said, “I would have felt very proud!”
These were the days of the Second World War and the Italians and the Germans were being defeated. They were losing their prestige and their power, they were condemned all over the world.
The Italian asked the Englishman, “If you had not been born British, how would you have felt?”
And the Englishman said, “I would have felt ashamed.”

That’s why the British seem to be the most neurotic of all – very obsessed with being British, as if it were something very great.
The same is the case with the Indians; they also suffer from the same chronic disease. They feel very proud of being Indian. They don’t think that anybody else in the world is really human; all are a little below. But that’s how everybody thinks deep down.
When the first Westerners reached China, they wrote in their diaries that they could not believe the Chinese were human. Encountering such a different race for the first time it must have been difficult for them to accept them as human. And what about the Chinese? Their records say that looking at the Western people they were very puzzled – they had never thought that monkeys could speak like human beings!
Everybody tries to protect his insanity; hence it is difficult work.

“Psychiatry is a lot of junk,” said one man to another.
“Oh?” said his companion. “Why do you say that?”
“Well, today my psychiatrist told me that I am in love with my umbrella. Have you ever heard of anything so silly?”
“It does sound rather daft.”
“I mean, me and my umbrella certainly have a sincere affection for each other. But love? That is just ridiculous!”

Affection is okay: “…a certain affection between me and my umbrella, that’s okay, but love? That’s ridiculous!”
Just watch yourself, the functioning of your mind, how you go on protecting, how you go on defending yourself. And what are you? Nothing but a bundle of insanities!
These sutras are for the bodhisattvas, for those who are going to work with the crowds, with the insane people. These are suggestions for them. Try to understand each single sutra as deeply as possible.
Hold your tongue.
Buddha says: “Speak, but speak only when it is absolutely necessary.” Speak, but speak only to those who are ready to listen. Don’t go on speaking to each and everybody as that is a sheer wastage. Speak only to the disciples because only a disciple is ready to risk. It is really a risk to transform yourself, it is a risk to encounter yourself, it is a risk to find yourself, to know yourself. It is a risk because by knowing yourself all your old projects will fall down in the dust, and your whole life that you have spent working for them will be gone down the drain. You will have to start from ABC, afresh.
Unless you are very courageous you cannot make an effort to know yourself. Yes, you would like to know about yourself; that is cheap. Knowing about is cheap because it is only information, it is not transformation. But knowing oneself is transformation; it hurts, it cuts you. It has to cut the many chunks out of your being which are unnecessary, which are only a drag on you, which are only an unnecessary weight and a barrier to your growth. It hurts because it goes against your idea of yourself, your image of yourself.
Hence Buddha says: “Speak, but be alert.” Speak only to those who are ready to listen, speak only to those who are surrendered to listening. Otherwise: Hold your tongue.
Buddha is asked thousands of questions by all kinds of people; he rarely answers. He answers only when a disciple asks.
This also happens here every day. Many people ask questions who have come just for one day – visitors, tourists, and immediately they ask great questions. I never answer their questions; they feel offended. They write angry letters: “Why don’t you answer my questions?” I cannot answer your questions unless you are ready to listen, unless you are a disciple.
A disciple means one who is ready to learn. If your question comes out of your knowledge I am not going to answer it; if it comes out of your innocence, certainly I am here to answer it. If you are asking only to confirm that whatsoever you think is right, I am not going to answer because I am not here to confirm all kinds of stupid ideologies.
Somebody believes in UFO’s and goes on asking, “What do you think about UFO’s?” Why should I think? I don’t think at all.
Just a few days ago somebody was here who was asking about the theory of the hollow earth. I laughed at his question, I joked about his question. But people are so encapsulated in their knowledge. Back in America he wrote a letter thanking me, saying, “Whatsoever you say, I know you believe in the theory of the hollow earth.” How does he know that I believe in the theory of the hollow earth? He gives the reason that it is impossible for an enlightened person not to believe. Now if I am to be an enlightened person I have to believe in the theory of the hollow earth. Buddha never heard about it and he was enlightened; Jesus never knew about it and he was enlightened. But this man writes a letter saying, “You may joke, you may laugh at it, because you don’t want to say anything about it. There may be some reasons why you don’t want to talk about it, but I am absolutely certain that you know that it is so.”
Even if you deny it, even if you laugh and joke, the people who are convinced of a certain idea, whatsoever it is, howsoever insane, absurd, will find ways and means to get support for it. If you don’t answer they will think you are not answering because other people, the common people, won’t understand it; it is such a subtle matter that only very few people can understand it.
Now one woman has inquired, “Osho, what do you say? I feel I have become enlightened.” I never asked anybody. Why should you ask me? If you are enlightened, very good. Get lost! What are you doing here? Now become a bodhisattva and help others to become enlightened. Go to California because there you will find so many enlightened people, and all confirming each other.
Buddha says: “The first thing to remember when you move into the masses is to hold your tongue.”
Once he was convinced of the fact that people are in need of great help he insisted his whole life that unless you find it absolutely contrary to your innermost nature, become a bodhisattva. But there are a few people for whom it may be against their inner nature; then they have to remain arhats. Don’t force them. Remember: people need help. If you can be of any help, do whatsoever you can, but if you cannot, if it feels simply something totally against your intrinsic nature, your inner voice, then forget all about it.
An arhat also helps in his own way; without helping, just by his presence he helps. He remains in his silence, he lives his ordinary life without telling anybody anything, without manifesting his experience, without expressing his joy. He lives joyously, but he makes no deliberate effort to communicate. Still, a few sensitive souls will be attracted to him. They will start following him silently, they will sit by his side. He will not say anything; they will listen to his silence. If he has arrived, then there is an aura around him; they will be nourished by this aura. If he has found his home, there will be such peace radiating that they will be bathed in it, they will be blessed to be with him. He will be able to help only indirectly.

A hot and flustered city gent in his big car was hopelessly lost in a maze of country lanes. Spotting a local sitting on a gate, chewing a piece of straw, he drew up opposite and shouted, “I say, my good man, can you tell me where this road goes to?”
“No,” was the reply.
“Can you tell me where that road goes to, that turns off to the left?”
Getting quite a bit irritated, the city gent yelled, “Well, where does that road that goes off to the right go to?”
“Don’t know,” was the reply.
“You must be some sort of idiot!” yelled the frustrated gent.
“Maybe,” said the cool man, “but at least I know where I am.”

This is the way of the arhat: he knows where he is. He will not say anything about any road, anything about any way, but he knows where he is and he is utterly contented with that. You can sit by his side, you can be nourished by his presence, but he is not going to make any direct effort. Indirectly he will help. If you can drink out of his presence you are welcome, but he will not call you forth, he will not seek and search for you.
Buddha says: “Mostly it happens that fifty percent of the enlightened ones are arhats and fifty percent are bodhisattvas.” That’s how nature keeps its balance on every plane. So don’t be worried if you feel one day that you have arrived, but there is no desire to help anybody; then don’t force it. Forcing it will be ugly, will be violent, will be destructive. If it is not there, it is not there. Then existence is happy with you as you are.
But if you feel that there is a desire arising in you to help, to be compassionate, to hold somebody’s hand, to make a boat and take people to the further shore, then don’t be worried about the troubles. The troubles are there, but the world needs some people who can show the way, and only those who know can show the way. Even for them it is difficult. The world is in immense need because it is being led by stupid people. It is being guided by politicians and priests, all kinds of people who don’t know what they are doing. That’s why it is always in such chaos.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son came home late from school. The Mulla grabbed him and gave him a beating, saying, “Let this be a lesson to you not to come home late!”
The next day the boy came home with his clothes dirty from playing. The Mulla gave him a good smacking, saying, “Let this be a lesson to you not to dirty your clothes!”
The following day the boy came home with bad grades. The Mulla beat him again, saying, “Let this be a lesson to you not to get bad grades!”
The fourth day, as soon as the son came home, the Mulla just grabbed him and beat him.
“What is the matter, father?” asked the boy, crying. “Today I came on time, with clean clothes, and with good grades!”
“Let this be a lesson to you,” said Mulla Nasruddin. “There is no justice in the world!”

Now these are the people who have created the world, and who are guiding it, and who are teaching. And these are the people who are bringing up new children to create more chaos in the world.
Yes, bodhisattvas are needed, but their path is far more arduous than the path of the arhats. The mystic enjoys his bliss. He is like a beautiful roseflower, fragrant, dancing in the wind, in the sun, in the rain, but unconcerned about anything else. The bodhisattva takes the burden of others on his shoulders. He tries to help people who are mostly incapable of taking any help, who are not only incapable of taking any help but who are also very stubborn in their refusal of it, who feel offended if you try to help them.
That’s why Buddha says: Hold your tongue.
Be very conscious of what you are saying, to whom you are saying it, for a few reasons. The first: the truth that you have found cannot be said; language is inadequate. You can only indicate, you can only make a few gestures – fingers pointing to the moon. You cannot argue for it. You can persuade, but you cannot convince anybody. It is not their experience, so don’t be angry if they don’t listen to you. If they go against you, don’t feel that they are ungrateful. They are simply behaving the way they can behave. You have to be very, very patient with them. You have to accept all kinds of abuse that they will throw on you. You have to accept their stones as flowers. Even if they kill you, you have to die loving them.
That’s how Jesus died: with a prayer on his lips to God, “Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
Secondly: to say the truth is to falsify it – so try to say it indirectly; never make direct statements about it. Don’t say “God is” or “God is not.” These direct statements have created much confusion in the world; rather than helping people they have created conflict, wars, murders. Don’t make any direct statement about God or truth or nirvana. You have to be very, very subtle. You have to live in such a way that people become aware that you have attained something which is missing in their lives, that there is something more in life which is not available to them. That’s all that you can do.
Speak not in prose but in poetry. Sing a song – no syllogism is needed. Let your laughter and your joy trigger some process in them so that they can also start searching and seeking. Let you be the proof rather than making great arguments. A bodhisattva is not a theologian, he does not argue for anything. He is the proof; he gives no other proof.
Truth is something which is beyond words and beyond even meaning. It is closer to music. So let there be a music around you: Hold your tongue, otherwise your words may destroy the music. Silence is more musical, more eloquent. Words give to truth a certain meaning, naturally, because words have meanings. Meaning gives a frame to the truth which is infinite.
It is like when you are looking from the window toward the starry sky and your window gives a frame to the sky. The sky has no frame; it begins nowhere, ends nowhere, but now your window is making a frame on the sky. That frame belongs to the window, but the person who has always lived inside the window, and has never gone out of it, will think that the sky is square like the window, that it has the same shape and form.
People live in words, they have never known anything wordless, so give them an experience of wordlessness. Help them to meditate. Rather than giving them a doctrine give them an experience.
Third: remember always, whatsoever you say is bound to be misunderstood by millions. So don’t feel offended, don’t feel angry, don’t feel judged. When they are misunderstanding you they are simply saying something about themselves, not about you. Unless you can remain cool with all kinds of misunderstandings being heaped upon you, you cannot be of any help to them; then you yourself will need help.

Two very hippie hippies were walking down a country lane.
One hippie turned to the other and asked, “Did you shit in your pants?”
“No,” replied the other.
A little further down the lane the first hippie again asked the other, “Are you sure you haven’t shit in your pants?”
“Quite sure,” said the other.
Further on down the lane the first hippie said, “Come on, take down your pants and let me see.”
When the other hippie had obliged, the first hippie exclaimed, “There, I told you so!”
“Oh,” said the other, “I thought you meant today!”

People understand according to themselves.

Mulla Nasruddin was going to Italy, so I told him, “Nasruddin, learn a little bit of Italian.”
He said, “I have done it. I have been taking lessons from Radha.”
When he came back from Italy he was very angry. I said, “What is the matter?”
He said, “One day I went-a to a big town to a big-a hotel. In-a the morning, I go down to breakfast. I tell-a the waitress, ‘I wanna two piss toast.’
“She bring-a me only one piss. I tell-a her, ‘I wanna two piss.’
“She say, ‘Go to the toilet.’
“I say, ‘No, you no understand – I wanna two piss on-a my plate.’
“She say, ‘You better no piss on-a the plate, you sonavabitch!’
“Later I go out to eat at a big-a restaurant. The waitress bring-a me a spoon and knife, but no fock. I tell-a her, ‘I wanna fock.’
“She say, ‘Everyone wanna fock.’
“I tell-a her, ‘You no understand – I wanna fock on-a the table.’
“She say, ‘You better no fock on-a the table, you sonavabitch!’
“So I go to my room in-a hotel and there is no shits on-a my bed. I call-a the manager and tell-a him, ‘I wanna shit.’
“He tell me, ‘Go to the toilet.’
“I say, ‘You no understand – I wanna shit on-a the bed.’
“He say, ‘You better no shit on-a the bed, you sonavabitch!’
“I go to check out and the man at the desk say, ‘Peace to you.’
“I say, ‘Piss on-a you too, you sonavabitch. I gonna go back home!’”

When you are learning Italian, avoid Radha! I have also been learning from her, but since Mulla Nasruddin told me I have stopped – it is dangerous.
People have their own language, their own minds, their own prejudices, their own concepts, their own systems of philosophy, religion. When you talk to them you are talking to a mind which is full of garbage; you are not talking to somebody who is silent. And unless one is silent one is bound to misunderstand. Hence Buddha says: Hold your tongue.
And the fourth reason is: truth is something existential, it is not philosophical. Philosophy can be talked about; in fact, you can’t do anything with philosophy except talk about it. About and about it goes, round and round it goes. The word about means round and round. But truth is existential. You have to help people to taste it. So talk only if you see that through talk you can persuade a person to meditate, to be silent.
It is a very paradoxical effort, hence the difficulty. You have to talk to people to help them become silent. You have to talk about silence because people can’t understand silence directly. It is very absurd – talking about silence, teaching people to be silent – but that has to be done, particularly in the beginning.
Do not exalt yourself…
It is very natural when you become enlightened. It is not egoistic, it happens very naturally. It has nothing to do with the ego because if the ego is still there you cannot become enlightened.
Buddha says: Hold your tongue. Do not exalt yourself… because when you become enlightened the ego has disappeared – you can become enlightened only when you have fulfilled that condition – but now the experience is so vast, so overflowing, so ecstatic that it starts expressing itself. You have to learn…

It is said of al-Hillaj Mansoor – who, like Jesus, was crucified, but in a far more inhuman and cruel way than Jesus himself – it is said about him that the day he became enlightened, he shouted, “Ana’l haq – I am the truth! I am God!”
His master, Junnaid, was present. He came close to him, whispered in his ear, “Mansoor, keep it inside you. Please keep it inside you! Contain it! I know it is very difficult to contain it, it is so vast, almost uncontainable. It expresses itself. I know you are not uttering it, it is being uttered by some unknown force, by God himself, but still I say to you, hold your tongue.”
And Mansoor promised, “I will hold my tongue.” He understood the point, but again and again he would forget. Again and again he would come into that same state of inner light, joy, bliss. And again the shout – the lion’s roar, as Buddha used to call it – would come out of him in spite of himself.
He would come and apologize to Junnaid, his master, but the master would say, “Mansoor, something has to be done; otherwise you are going to get into trouble unnecessarily. You could be of great help to humanity, but this way you will be unnecessarily in trouble. And not only you, you will stop my work too. It happened to me too, but I had to contain it and you have to contain it too.”
But Mansoor was not capable of it. Junnaid sent him to Kaaba for a three-year pilgrimage. “Maybe on this three-year-long journey, being with many mystics, he may cool down. The experience is so new; by and by he will become accustomed to it.” But he could not become accustomed to it; when he came back he was again in the same state, proclaiming the same things. Because it was a Mohammedan country and it was one of the greatest crimes, the greatest sins, to call oneself God, to declare oneself God, he was caught by the king, by the people and was killed.
For centuries it has been discussed among Sufis who was greater, Junnaid or Mansoor. Ordinarily one would say Mansoor: he was really a great martyr: he suffered and suffered laughingly. He died with laughter. Even Jesus had gone to the cross a little forsaken. When the last nail was put in his hands he looked at the sky and said, “God, have you forsaken me? Have you forgotten me? Why is all this happening to me?” There must have been a little doubt, just a shadow of doubt. He understood immediately, he apologized. He said, “No, forgive me. Let thy will be done.” But for a moment he had wavered. Mansoor never wavered.
And he was killed so mercilessly that Jesus’ crucifixion seems to be very humane compared to Mansoor’s. First his legs were cut off, then his hands were cut off, then his eyes were destroyed, then his tongue was cut out, then his head was cut off. But even though all this suffering was there he was all laughter.
Before his tongue was cut out, somebody asked, “Why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am laughing because you cannot destroy my experience; whatsoever you do is irrelevant. And I am laughing because you are killing one person and I am somebody else. You are such fools, that’s why I am laughing! And I am also laughing at God. I am laughing at him, ‘You cannot deceive me. In whatsoever form you come I will recognize you. I recognize you in the butcher who has cut off my feet, who has cut off my hands. It is you who are in him, and nobody else.’”
In fact, Junnaid seems to be a little cowardly; many people think that he was a little cowardly. Why should he tell Mansoor to keep it inside? But that is not true, He was not a coward, in fact he sacrificed far more than Mansoor. Mansoor’s sacrifice is apparent; Junnaid’s sacrifice is not apparent, it is very subtle.
To contain the truth when it happens is a superhuman feat, it is a miracle. And he tries to contain it so that he can help people. He is a bodhisattva and Mansoor is an arhat. He cares nothing for the work, he cares nothing for anybody else. He has attained, now there is no problem. Death is not a problem at all, he knows he is immortal.
Junnaid is working silently, in the dark, to help people who are blind. And you don’t know his suffering. His suffering is that he has to contain something which is uncontainable.

Buddha says: Do not exalt yourself… Avoid any exaltation, avoid any declaration unless you find it is going to help, unless you find it is going to prepare the way; then it is okay.
Buddha himself declared, “I am the most perfect enlightened one.” He knew that this was going to help. But if Jesus had asked him he would have said, “No, contain it,” because Jesus was in a wrong country with wrong people. To declare there, “I am God” was just asking for your death, nothing else.
Jesus could only work for three years. Hence Christianity is so poor, because the master lived only three years. Up to his thirtieth year he was working for his own enlightenment. When he was ready he came out of the monasteries, started working, and then lived only three years. By the age of thirty-three he was crucified. Now, three years’ time is not enough at all. Buddha worked for forty-two years; even that is not enough.
If Jesus had asked Buddha, Buddha would have told him, “Keep quiet, work silently. Just be an ordinary rabbi. There is no need to declare that you are the Son of God. You know it, that’s enough; and God knows it, that’s enough.”
But in India, Buddha himself declared it. It is a totally different milieu, it is a totally different climate. For centuries buddhas have happened in this country, they have prepared the way; hence it is very simple to declare, no problem.
Still Buddha says: Be very cautious, because your function is to:
…lighten the way…
Don’t create more trouble for people who follow you. They are already in trouble, they are living in hell. You have to make their burden light.
…for your words are sweet.
If your words come out of silence, compassion, understanding, out of absolute emptiness – if your words don’t come from somebody who is extraordinary, but from somebody who is just ordinary – then they will be sweet and they will help people far more deeply than anything else.
Follow the truth of the way.
What is the truth of the way? Buddha is always for experience and never for believing. He says: “Whatsoever you have experienced, now follow it.” Don’t believe it because it has been told by other buddhas. Follow it only when you have experienced, and follow it only to the extent that you have experienced. If you follow it to that extent, your light will fall a little further ahead and you will be able to follow in that light a little more and a little more. Just by a small lamp one can travel thousands of miles; one can pass the dark night of the soul very easily, howsoever long it is.
Remember never to find a shortcut. Belief is a shortcut; experience is not a shortcut.
Just a few days ago my samurai-in-chief, Shiva, had a fall from a wall. Now, a samurai is not supposed to be a Humpty-Dumpty! So I inquired, “What happened?” I came to know that he was trying to find a shortcut from one house to another by crossing the wall. And the shortcut turned out to be a long cut – he had twelve stitches!
Avoid shortcuts; shortcuts don’t help. There are no shortcuts in life. Life has to be lived in all its totality. A shortcut means you are avoiding a few things. You are jumping to the conclusion, avoiding the process, avoiding a few steps. You may reach the conclusion, but it will not be your conclusion. And if it is not your conclusion it is of no value, it is borrowed. You are like a parrot. Even a parrot can be very knowledgeable, but that does not make him a buddha.

Rastus, the hot, black Harlem stud, decided that he needed an exotic parrot for his classy apartment.
After searching for some time, he finally found a pet shop that sold talking parrots. The shopkeeper showed him one for twenty-five dollars.
“Polly wanna cracker?” inquired Rastus, to which the parrot did not respond. “This parrot doesn’t talk,” said Rastus, “I wants me a talking parrot. Do you have any others?”
The owner said there was one for seventy-five dollars. He brought out a cage from behind the counter and uncovered a most attractive bird.
“Polly wanna cracker?” asked Rastus again, and again there was no response. “This parrot don’t talk!” shouted Rastus with annoyance. “Don’t you have any birds that talk?”
The shopkeeper told him that he did keep another one in the back room, but that it was quite expensive – two hundred and fifty dollars.
He brought out the most beautiful bird Rastus had ever seen, and he excitedly asked, “Polly wanna cracker?” There was no response. Rastus was outraged. “Do you or don’t you have any talking birds?” he asked.
The shopkeeper hesitated and then replied that he did have one bird that was quite exceptional, and although he had not planned to sell it, for two thousand dollars he would consider it. He led Rastus to a room at the very back of the shop. There, surrounded by one of the most complete libraries Rastus had ever seen, was the parrot. He was sitting in an overstuffed chair under a reading lamp, book in his lap, wearing glasses, a smoking jacket and slippers. He was smoking a pipe, deeply involved in his reading.
“Polly wanna cracker?” inquired Rastus breathlessly from the doorway.
Slowly, slowly the parrot looked up from his reading and wryly responded, “Nigger want a watermelon?”

Even then a parrot is a parrot!
Unless you have experienced, whatsoever beliefs you have are absolutely worthless. Hence Buddha says: Follow the truth of the way. He means that which you have experienced by moving on the way of meditation.
Reflect upon it.
Before you start helping others, reflect upon the experience that has happened to you through meditation – because it is one thing to experience, it is totally another to express. Meditation is not as difficult as expressing the experience of meditation and persuading people to meditate. Mystics have been many, masters are very few.
A master has a golden touch. The moment he touches you, something in you starts growing. He is like a gardener who has a green thumb.
Reflect upon it.
Make it your own.
Absorb it totally. Meditation in the beginning is just an experience and you are the experiencer. Slowly, slowly the distance between the experiencer and the experience disappears; it takes time. Unless the experience and the experiencer become one you cannot help others. Unless meditation becomes your very heartbeat you will not be able to persuade anybody. It is almost a seduction. Make it your own.
Live it.
Before you start helping others, live it in all possible ways. Walk meditatively, eat meditatively, sit meditatively, even sleep meditatively. Let meditation be spread all over your life. It should become a twenty-four-hour phenomenon, like breathing, so much so that you need not remember to meditate. It becomes so much your own that it is always there like an undercurrent. Only then can you help.
Live it.
It will always sustain you.

Do not turn away what is given you…
Remember, meditation will give you many joys, many blessings, many gifts will descend on you.
Do not turn away what is given you… Don’t be a miser in receiving. People are miserly in giving, they are miserly in receiving too. When great gifts descend on you, you shrink away, you back away; you become afraid because those great gifts are so great that you feel you may be drowned. When bliss comes to you it is like a flood.
Hence Buddha says: Do not turn away what is given you… because if you turn it away you will miss the opportunity, and it may not knock on your door again for a long time. One never knows when the moment will come again. So whenever something happens to you in meditation, open your heart. Even if you are afraid of the unknown, still go into the unknown. And go dancing, go joyously, because in meditation nothing wrong can ever happen to you. In meditation, only blessings are possible.
…nor reach out for what is given to others…
But that’s how our minds function. Even when the minds are gone, even when the snake is no more, it leaves its trace on the sand. People become more interested in what is happening to others. Rather than receiving that which is happening to them, they start becoming interested in what is happening to others; they start striving for those things.
Remember, that which is happening to you is yours, and that which is not happening to you, you are not yet ripe for. It cannot happen before its time, so don’t hanker for it. Wait. Keep yourself as patient as possible. Receive whatsoever comes and don’t hanker for that which does not come on your way; it will come.
…lest you disturb your quietness.
You can disturb your quietness in two ways. One: by refusing that which comes to you, out of fear. And two: by asking for that which has not come to you, out of ambition.
Give thanks…
For all that comes to you, be grateful.
…for what has been given you,
however little.
Be pure, never falter.
Whenever Buddha uses the word pure he always means innocent. Don’t become knowledgeable. Even if you have come to know yourself, don’t become knowledgeable. Even if you have encountered godliness, don’t become knowledgeable. Whatsoever you have known, forget all about it. Become again innocent. Remain always in the state of not-knowing, then much more will go on happening to you.
What ordinarily happens when you move into meditation is that something happens, but you don’t feel grateful. On the contrary, you feel this is your due – in fact it should have happened long ago. You are such a worthy person, so virtuous, so holy, and you have done so much; why should you be grateful?
That is a wrong approach; that means you are stopping the process. In gratefulness much more will come to you. So even if a little glimpse comes to you, feel grateful. If just a ray of light comes, feel grateful, as if the whole sun has come to you. The whole sun will be coming, following the ray. But if you are not grateful you become closed; even the ray will disappear and you will again be in your darkness, back in your darkness.
Remember to remain always in the state of not-knowing. Don’t start becoming knowledgeable, don’t start philosophizing, don’t start creating systems of thought. This happens; that’s why Buddha is making his bodhisattvas alert.
I would like you to remember these sutras because many of you – at least fifty percent of you – are going to become bodhisattvas sooner or later. So remember these sutras – they are for you. I am not interested in The Dhammapada, I am interested in you, I am speaking for you. The Dhammapada is just an excuse. I would like to say the same things to you, but Buddha has said them so beautifully, so poetically that I don’t see any need to say them on my own. I can just comment on him, because the truth is eternal and it remains the same forever.
Avoid philosophizing when you enter into the world of meditation. It arises, it arises inevitably – the itch to philosophize – because so many beautiful things are happening and you would like to create systems of thought around them. All the philosophies in the world have arisen in this way. Something, just a little, had happened, and they started creating a big palace out of that. Just a brick was there and they made a big house, a palace, just an imaginary palace, out of it. Even the brick is lost in that imaginary palace.

Three small mice were sitting in front of their holes in a field. They were in a sad mood, as they silently watched the birds flying from one tree to another. After a while one mouse said, “It must be wonderful to be a bird and to fly in the sky.”
All three mice pondered about it for a long time and became sadder.
Eventually the second mouse said, “It would be very nice to be one bird, but it would be even nicer to be two birds. If you were two birds you could fly behind yourself.”
The mice thought about this even longer and they became even sadder than before.
After a long time the third mouse said, “The most beautiful feeling must be to be three birds, because then you could watch yourself fly behind yourself!”

This is what philosophy is. People just go on thinking things which are nowhere. But you can enjoy it. Philosophy is enjoyed by many people for the simple reason that everybody can afford it. If these three mice can afford it, what about man? Every man is a philosopher.
Buddha is very much against philosophy. He says philosophy corrupts, it makes you knowledgeable; without making you a knower it makes you knowledgeable. It brings impurity, it pollutes your inner being.
Be pure and never falter from your purity.
If you want to help people, these sutras have to be remembered constantly. Meditate over them, make them your own, live them. They will always sustain you; they are a great nourishment.
Enough for today.

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