The Dhammapada Vol 12 01

First Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 12 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

A man is not born to mastery.
A master is never proud.
He does not talk down to others.
Owning nothing, he misses nothing.

He is not afraid.
He does not tremble.
Nothing binds him.
He is infinitely free.

So cut through
the strap and the thong and the rope.
Loosen the fastenings.
Unbolt the doors of sleep
and awake.

The master endures
insults and ill treatment
without reacting.
For his spirit is an army.

He is never angry.
He keeps his promises.
He never strays, he is determined.
This body is my last, he says!

Like water on the leaf of a lotus flower
or a mustard seed on the point of a needle,
he does not cling.

For he has reached the end of sorrow
and has laid down his burden.
Man is born only as a seed, not as a flower. Flowering has to be achieved; one should not take it for granted. Birth itself is only the opportunity for life, it is not life itself. Life can still be missed, and millions miss it for the simple reason that they think just being born is enough to be alive. It is not enough. It is necessary – without it there will be no life – but it is not synonymous with life. One must be twice-born.
Jesus says: “Unless you are born again you shall not enter into my kingdom of God.”
A kind of rebirth is needed. The ordinary birth is the birth of the bodymind mechanism, but your spirit is only a potential – it has to be actualized. Abraham Maslow has called this process “self-actualization.” Gautam Buddha would call the same process “no-self actualization.” Abraham Maslow has no idea of the ultimate; he is thinking about it, speculating about it. He has stumbled upon a certain truth, but he does not know how to express it. He has not experienced it himself; it is only an intellectual understanding, hence he calls it self-actualization.
But in that ultimate flowering the first thing that disappears is the self. In fact, the self is the only barrier for that flowering. The self is the hindrance, not the help. The self surrounds you like a wall; it is not the bridge.
When you are really born, born to life or to God – to me these words are synonymous – you are no longer as you understand yourself to be. A pure emptiness prevails, an utter void prevails, a silence which is soundless. A music is there certainly, but without any sound. The Zen people call it the sound of one hand clapping. That no-self is your original face. When you are not, you are, and you are for the first time.
If Abraham Maslow had experienced the ultimate state of flowering he would never have called it self-actualization; he would have called it no-self actualization. You are born as a self, as an ego. This is the seed and the seed has to disappear before the sprout can start growing. The seed has to die in the soil; then, and only then, the life that is hidden inside the seed will start manifesting itself.
It is a miracle, but you are blind, you can’t see. So many miracles are happening all around you. When a seed becomes a sprout, a great miracle is happening. If you cut the seed you will not find any leaves, you will not find any flowers, you will not find any tree, you will not find anything at all – just emptiness. Through analyzing the seed you will not reach any conclusion. But if you let the seed fall down into the right soil, if you allow the seed to die and disappear, out of that nothingness something immensely beautiful arises, something impossible happens. Leaves come, branches come, a big tree grows. Such a small seed contains such a big tree. Now people can sit under its shade, birds can make their nests, can come to rest every night in its shelter, and thousands of flowers will bloom.
A single seed is capable of making the whole earth green. It has infinite potential, because out of a single seed millions of seeds will arise, and so on and so forth. If you have one single seed the whole earth can be a garden. Why just the whole earth? – the whole universe can be a garden. The potential is infinite; you have just to find the right opportunity for its expression, for its manifestation, for its realization.
Buddha says:
A man is not born to mastery.
Every man is born as a slave. It hurts to know it; we would like to be told that we are born as masters. We believe that we are masters – nobody doubts it. The people who start suspecting their mastery are the only people who are capable of becoming, some day, masters. You doubt everything, but you never doubt your mastery over yourself, and that is the most doubtful thing, the most doubtable thing. What kind of mastery do you have? You are a slave, an utter slave of biological instincts, of sex, of anger, of greed, of ambition. You stink of all these things, you are full of all these things. Still you go on believing deep down somewhere that you are masters.
And rather than making an effort to destroy this slavery you start proving your mastery over others. You try to become Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan or Tamerlane. That is an effort to deceive yourself. That is an effort to prove something which is not there at all. You are trying to gather proof about your mastery. Of course, if you become powerful enough over many people you can believe more easily that you are a master. It is easier for Alexander to believe that he is a master, but it is only a belief with no foundation to it. He is as much a slave as anybody else; maybe he is a far bigger slave than anybody else.

When he was coming to India, Alexander met a rare man, Diogenes. Had Diogenes been born in India he would have been considered a buddha; he was one of the awakened ones. Even Alexander was immensely impressed by this man who lived utterly naked by the side of a river. It was early morning when Alexander went to see him; he was lying naked on the bank of the river taking a sunbath. Seeing the man, feeling his presence, Alexander for the first time felt a kind of inferiority arising in him. He had come across many kings, he had defeated many kings, but here was a real king – a master.
When you come across a master it is impossible not to feel the presence – unless you are absolutely blind, absolutely deaf, utterly dead. Alexander must have been a little sensitive, a little alert, otherwise he would not have come to see this naked fakir. Just the fact that he went out of his way to see Diogenes shows that he had some deep feeling that all his possessions were not enough to make him contented. He must have thought that there must be some other way to be contented. Life cannot be only possessions and power; life must have some more secrets to it.
He had heard many things about Diogenes: “He carries a lighted lamp in the day, in the full light of the day. He is naked, but he carries only one thing in his hands – a lamp, a lighted lamp. And people ask him, ‘Why do you carry this lamp?’ And he says, ‘I am seeking and searching for a real man; I have not come across one yet. I carry this lamp so that I don’t miss him.’”
A real man? Is he so rare? Alexander must have brooded over it. He must have thought, “I am a real man. Let me go and see this Diogenes.” He had heard many stories about him: “He seems to be the most blissful person in the world. Nobody has ever seen him in anxiety, in anguish, in fear; he is utterly fearless.”
Alexander had heard that once he had been caught, and eight people had been needed to catch this simple man. And Diogenes had told them, “Don’t make so much effort, you need not. What do you want? Simply tell me.”
The men had said to him, “We want to sell you in the slave market.”
Then he had answered them, “Then there is no need to strain yourselves so much. I hate to give trouble to anybody. I am coming with you.”
And he went with them, ahead of them. They followed him as if they were his followers. And when they reached the market where men were sold and purchased, everybody was attracted toward this beautiful man. He stood there on a platform and shouted, “Listen, all you slaves who have gathered here: a master is being sold! Is there any slave interested in purchasing a master?”
So many stories were in the air about Diogenes… Alexander slowly, slowly became so interested that he went to see him. The very interest shows that there was some deep feeling in him about the futility of his own endeavors to conquer the world. And seeing Diogenes, Alexander immediately felt himself a nonentity, while Diogenes was an authentic being. Still he tried to laugh it away.
Diogenes said, “Stop laughing. Don’t try to befool yourself. You can see the fact that you are missing life.”
Alexander said, “Yes, sir, I can feel it. For the first time I have seen a really alive person. What can I do for you? I have enough money, I can do anything. Just you say and it will be done.”
Diogenes said, “I don’t need anything. You may have all the money in the world, but I don’t have any desire, so all your money is absolutely irrelevant. But one thing you can do is stand aside, because you are blocking the sun. That’s all that I can ask from you and you will be kind enough if you can stand aside.”
He didn’t ask for anything. Alexander said to him, “If I have to come into the world another time, I will ask God to make me Diogenes instead of Alexander the Great.”
Diogenes said, “Why wait for the next life? You can be Diogenes right now. Can’t you see the point?” he asked. “Nothing is needed to be a Diogenes. You are making so much effort to conquer the world and even if you succeed, what are you going to gain out of it? You will be as miserable as ever, in fact far more miserable, because right now your mind is occupied with the idea, with the ambition of conquering the world. Once you have conquered it you will be at a loss what to do. It is better that you stop now.”
Alexander said, “I can understand – you are right – but I cannot stop in the middle of my journey. I have decided to conquer the world.”
Diogenes said, “Then go, don’t stop. But death will stop you in the middle; it always stops everybody in the middle, and then you cannot do anything. Then you will remember me. And your victories won’t help you at all. When death knocks on the door, a slave, a poor man, a great king, a world conqueror, are all the same, all equal in the eyes of death. Death cannot knock at my door,” Diogenes said. “Listen, and look into my eyes. I have conquered death. That is a real victory because I have come to know my real being which is deathless. I have come to experience my consciousness which was before I was born and which will be there after I am gone. I am eternal.”
The day Alexander died he remembered Diogenes with bitter tears, of course, because Diogenes was right: his whole life had been a sheer wastage. He had struggled and struggled for nothing.

You have heard the proverb: Nothing succeeds like success. That is absolutely wrong. I suggest to you another proverb: Nothing fails like success. But because very few people succeed very few people come to know about it. Those who succeed always come to know the utter impotence of success.
Buddha says: A man is not born to mastery. The first thing to be understood is that you are a slave of unconscious forces. This is the beginning; the first step toward mastery is to recognize your slavery. To see that you are unconscious is the beginning of consciousness. But you go on throwing the responsibility on others, you never look inward; not for any cause do you look inward.

The judge looked sternly down at the defendant. “Young man, it is alcohol, and alcohol alone, that is responsible for your present sorry state.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that, Your Honor,” the man replied with a sigh of relief. “Everybody else says it’s my fault.”

Nobody wants to recognize that he is responsible for the sorry state he is in. You always try to find some excuse. Any excuse will do; if you cannot find one, you can always invent. But you never feel responsible.
The beginning of a religious life is taking total responsibility for yourself. Whatsoever you are, you are responsible and nobody else. And your life is a mess.

Have you heard about the Polack who tried to throw himself on the floor – and missed?

Your whole life is a failure – whatsoever you do, even throwing yourself on the floor – because you are not conscious at all, not aware at all. You are living in such unconsciousness, you are almost a machine.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, “You are not men, you are machines.” And people used to feel very offended; nobody likes the idea that he is a machine. “I, a machine? Me, a machine? Others maybe!” But Gurdjieff was saying something very essential: man is a machine. Everybody else can see it; everybody else can see it about you, except you. But that is not going to help unless you see it.

There were three travelers – a Jew, a Hindu and an Italian – who needed a place to stay overnight. They knocked on a farmer’s door. The farmer said he only had room for two in the house, but one could sleep in the barn. The Jew said he would sleep in the barn.
They all settled down for the night. A little while later there was a knock on the door. The farmer answered it; it was the Jew. He apologized, but said there was a pig in the barn and as pigs were not kosher he could not spend the night in the same place as them. The Hindu said he would sleep in the barn as pigs did not bother him.
Again the farmer went back to bed. A little while later there was a knock at the door; it was the Hindu. He apologized and said he was sorry, but there was a cow in the barn and as cows were sacred animals it was not proper for him to sleep in the same place as them. So the Italian offered to sleep in the barn as he had no problem with cows or pigs.
Again the farmer went to bed, but a little while later there was a knock at the door. The tired farmer got up and answered it. There stood the cow and the pig!

Even cows can see, even pigs can feel that you are an Italian, but not you. You never look at yourself, you always look at others. You are focused on others. You are such an extrovert that you don’t know how to turn your eyes in. And a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn is needed. Unless you start seeing yourself there is no possibility of mastery in your life; you will remain a slave.
When you fall in love you think you are a master. Are you, or is it just a biological, chemical phenomenon? If it is a biological and chemical phenomenon you are not the master. When somebody insults you and you become angry, are you angry or are you just a victim of some unconscious force that is being released in you? When you are angry, enraged, you are almost temporarily insane; you can do anything. You can destroy, you can kill, you can commit suicide. But whatsoever you do, if you survive the moment you will repent. You will say, “I cannot believe how it happened, how I could do such a thing? I did it in spite of myself.”
That expression is significant. Whenever you say, “I did it in spite of myself,” you are recognizing, without knowing it, your slavery: that things happen in you which are happening without you, and you are just a victim.
Nobody is born as a master, but everybody is born with a tremendous potential to be a master. Everybody can be a master, but very rarely do people attain to their potential. Very rarely do people attain to their maximum peak, to the crescendo of their being.
The psychologists say that the ordinary person only uses seven to ten percent of his potential in his whole life; ninety percent or more remains unused. This is about the ordinary person, and the psychologists say that even the talented people, very talented people, use no more than twelve to thirteen percent. And the people we call geniuses use no more than fifteen percent of their potential.
Just think, if the whole of humanity were using one hundred percent of its potential – which it is capable of – there would be no need to imagine a paradise, we could make it here. We will be in paradise if one hundred percent potential is being used by everyone. But if you don’t use it, it remains like a weight. Rather than being a help in your life it becomes such a weight, like a rock hanging around your neck. That which could have become a boat becomes the cause of your drowning.
Religion is concerned basically with helping you to bring your potential into action; to make your potential actual, so it is not just there as a seed but becomes a flower and a great fragrance is released.
That’s what happened to Gautama the Buddha, that’s what happened to Jesus Christ. These few people were just like you, made of the same stuff. There is nothing special about them, they are not special beings. Forget that idea. The priests have been preaching down the ages that they were special, that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. It is all sheer nonsense. You are as much a son of God as Jesus was, no more or less; there is no difference between you and Jesus. As far as the potential is concerned you are absolutely alike. But Jesus actualized it and you have not even touched it, it is simply lying there. It is a treasure which has not been used, and anything which is not used for a long time dies, becomes stale. It goes rotten, it becomes a dead weight on you, it makes you heavy and ill.
Buddha has nothing special in him. Of course, the Buddhist priests say that he is special. Why do these priests go on saying that Buddha is special, Mahavira is special, Jesus is special, Krishna is special? Why? – for a simple reason: it helps to protect our egos. They are special, what can we do? If they became enlightened they were bound to become enlightened, they came with a special capability. We are normal human beings, they were avatars. They were direct descendants of God, we are very, very faraway distant relatives, and the distance is so great that it is impossible to bridge it. They were coming directly from the above; they were messengers of God, messiahs, prophets, tirthankaras, and we are ordinary people. This is a way of defending our egos, a very logical way, a very rational way.
Do you think you are paying respect by saying that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God? You are not paying respect, you are being very cunning; you are trying to protect yourself. You are saying, “You are special and we are ordinary, so we have to behave in an ordinary way. You can behave like an enlightened person. What can we do about it? We are made in this way. The responsibility is God’s, not ours. It is not our fate to be a Buddha or to be a Krishna or to be a Lao Tzu. It is not our destiny to be a Zarathustra. They were destined and we are not destined. So if something happened to them it was bound to happen, and if nothing is happening to us, nothing is happening to us because nothing is destined for us.”
This is a trick, a strategy. Buddha wants you to be reminded that you are made of the same stuff, the same blood, the same bones, the same marrow, the same consciousness. The only difference is that you are not working on yourself, you are not using the opportunity, you are not transforming yourself. And you go on finding excuses: “How can we do it? We have children, a wife, a husband, parents, and we have to work in the world, we have to earn money and a livelihood.” You go on making excuses.
That’s why my insistence is that none of my sannyasins are to leave the ordinary world. They have to become enlightened in the ordinary world so that this excuse, this traditional excuse, can be dropped forever.
There have been people who have become enlightened living very ordinary lives. Kabir was a father and a husband, and he worked his whole life – he was a weaver – yet he became enlightened. He didn’t renounce the world, he didn’t escape. Or Raidas who was a shoemaker, continued his work, remained in the world, and became enlightened.
There have been many, but you will be surprised to know that priests don’t talk much about these people because these people are dangerous. They talk about the renunciation of Buddha, that he renounced the world, went into the forest; they talk about Mahavira who renounced his kingdom. In the first place you have to have a kingdom to renounce. Where is the kingdom? And if you don’t have the kingdom, then in this life at least you can’t become enlightened. Even if you have the kingdom, then you have to renounce it.
Jesus is presented in such a way that it becomes almost impossible to conceive of him as a human being. He is born out of a virgin mother – now, what nonsense! You are not born out of a virgin mother, so at least this life you have missed the train. Next life choose a virgin mother because everything starts from there. In the first place you have chosen a wrong train. But there are difficulties: if you choose a virgin mother you are a bastard. If Jesus chooses a virgin mother he is simply exceptional – it is God’s grace.
The priests have been trying to create a distance between you and the enlightened ones so that you can feel at ease. And the effort of all the buddhas is not to let you feel at ease, to make you restless, to make you divinely discontented; to make you aware that you are capable of tremendous bliss and you are missing it; to make you alert that it is your birthright and yet you have not claimed it.
A man is not born to mastery.
A master is never proud.
But Buddha immediately in the second sutra says something very significant, because there is every possibility that he will be misunderstood; hence the second statement. He says that mastery is an achievement, but not in the ordinary sense of the word, because whenever you achieve something you become proud. You think, “I have achieved this.” If mastery is an achievement – which certainly it is – it is in a totally different sense from ordinary achievements. It is not like becoming a president of a country or becoming the richest man in the world; it is not like becoming famous. It is totally different. The difference is that in the very achievement of it the achiever dies.
Remember it, never forget about it, otherwise your spirituality can also become a new ego trip. Hence, immediately, Buddha adds: A master is never proud. He cannot be – because he is no more. This is a very strange achievement: in the very process of achieving it, the ego melts, disappears. In fact, it happens only when the ego is no longer found. It is a very paradoxical achievement: an achievement certainly, but there is no achiever. Just as a sugar cube dissolves into the tea, the achiever dissolves into the achievement itself. He is no longer found anywhere. He becomes one with the achievement. The achievement is not something that he can brag about, it is simply a natural flowering. He is not proud of it.
Roses are not proud, lotuses are not proud, of course, however beautiful they are. The sunrise is not proud, the sunset is not proud, the night full of stars is not proud, the full moon is not proud. It is natural; there is nothing to say about it. It is how it should be. There is no question of being proud about it, no ego enhancement about it.
Beware of the ego. If you start bragging about your spiritual attainment you have missed the whole point. It is no longer spiritual at all; it is again the same game played with new words. Only the words have changed, but nothing has really changed; there has been no transformation.
People play the game of the ego in many ways. The Indian thinks that he is the holiest, the most spiritual person in the world; now that is the same game. The American thinks, for different reasons, that he is special, that he is higher than anybody else. And so is the case with everybody. You will not find a single race in the world, a single nation in the world which does not think that it is special. Now the game is played in the name of nation, race.
Every religion thinks, “This is the only way, the true way: all other ways are false.” If you ask the Jaina he thinks all other ways are pseudo. If you ask the Christian he has the same idea: “Unless you are a Christian you are not going to be saved, you will suffer in hell.” Ask the Mohammedan… And you will be surprised to see that they belong to different religions, but do they really belong to different religions or do they all belong to the same religion – the religion of the ego? They all belong to the same religion: the religion of the ego.
The white man thinks he is special, the black man thinks he is special…

I have heard a story about Dr. Radhakrishnan. He was the president of India and he was talking to a few friends.
One white man said, “We are the best – otherwise why did God make us white?”
Radhakrishnan said to the white man, “You are half-cooked, that’s why you are white!”
A black man was also present; he was very happy. He said, “That’s right. We are the best!”
Radhakrishnan said, “You are cooked too much – you are almost burnt! We are the best, we are just in the middle, neither white nor black. Cooked just right.”

People go on trying to defend their egos in every possible way.

An Egyptian and an Indian archaeologist were vying with each other.
“In our recent excavation we came across lengthy cables and have deduced that there was some kind of a telephone system then,” the Egyptian boasted.
“We dug and dug and could find no cable. We have reached the conclusion that there was wireless during those times in India,” said his Indian counterpart.

Beware! We are playing the same game in the name of religion, in the name of nation, in the name of race, in the name of color, but the game is the same. The name of the game is ego.
The spiritual man is one who has stopped playing the game. He is the master.
A master is never proud.
He does not talk down to others.
He has no holier-than-thou look. But look at your so-called saints – they are all looking at you with deep condemnation. They know you are sinners and they are saints. They are higher beings, superior beings; you are mundane, worldly, ordinary. What have you done? What virtue can you claim? They can claim that they have been fasting for years, that they are celibates, that they eat only once a day, that they sleep only three hours per night. And they have invented many kinds of torture for themselves. And of course torture has been thought for centuries to be the way toward spirituality. It is masochism, pure masochism: it has nothing to do with spirituality. But when a person tortures himself, of course he can feel his ego fulfilled. You cannot do it and he is doing it; you certainly start feeling inferior because it is difficult for you to do it.
If you see a man lying down on a bed of thorns, you cannot do it. Certainly he is higher, has superior powers. And if he looks at you as the condemned, as the people who are going to hell, you have to accept it because he is earning rewards. What have you done? You have not done anything like that. You cannot sleep on such a bed; you are a very ordinary human being. His will is like steel, just look at his willpower.
And it is nothing. He is simply more stupid than you are, he is more dull than you are, his body is less sensitive than yours. There are methods to make your body less and less sensitive. If you sit naked in the hot sun your body starts getting burnt; slowly, slowly all the sensitive parts which are very fragile become hard, they have to become hard. You become thick-skinned and the thicker the skin, the more easily you can lie down on a bed of thorns.
Have you not watched? Women can use sleeveless clothes more easily than men for the simple reason that their arms are less sensitive – more beautiful but less sensitive. Even in cold countries they can move very easily with sleeveless clothes; man finds it difficult. Man’s body is more sensitive in that way and more fragile. In cold countries he needs a necktie to prevent any air going in. And look at the women – their clothes are almost disappearing.
Their bodies are just less sensitive; they have to be less sensitive because they have to be mothers. Giving birth to a child and having a very sensitive body will be difficult, will be very painful, will be utterly painful. If the body is very sensitive then carrying the baby for nine months in your belly will be a great torture. Imagine yourself, a man, carrying a baby in your belly for nine months. You will commit suicide. It will be impossible. Nature makes the woman’s body less sensitive and compensates it with more beauty and more roundedness. Man’s body is not that beautiful, not that rounded, but more sensitive – sensitive to cold, sensitive to heat, sensitive to many things.
That is one of the causes of the constant conflict between men and women: because the woman comes to orgasm very slowly; her sensitivity is much less. It takes a longer time for her to come to an orgasm. Man comes quickly; his body is very sensitive. The gap between the man’s body and the woman’s body creates a great problem. Unless the man is very alert and takes every care to move slowly with the woman’s body, the woman will never be satisfied.
Her dissatisfaction will show in many ways: your tea will be cold, your vegetables will have too much salt. The whole day, from the kitchen, such noises of breaking things will come, as if you are living in an earthquake. Not that she is doing it consciously, that too is absolutely unconscious – nobody is a master, all are slaves – but she is taking revenge in her own way.
So whenever you want to make love to a woman, immediately she has a headache, she is tired, she is no longer interested, for the simple reason that she never achieves an orgasm. Why should she participate in a game in which she is always the loser? It is only recently that man is becoming aware of the difference; that difference can be bridged, but skill is needed.
Just ask your wife to prick your back with a needle on many places, and you will be surprised: there are a few places which are so insensitive that the prick will not be felt at all, and a few places where the prick will be felt. A few spots are blind. Those people who are lying on a bed of thorns have simply arranged the whole thing in such a way that the thorns are touching the blind spots. It is just a kind of skill; there is nothing in it, nothing holy in it.
You can eat once a day. There are tribes, many aboriginal tribes in India, in South Africa, in the Himalayas, who eat only once a day. The body is so adjustable: you can eat once a day, then it eats too much. You can eat twice, you can eat thrice, then it divides. You can eat five times even, and in fact, to eat five times is far more scientific than to eat one time, because to eat one time means putting too much load on the system. It is better to divide the load. And if man has really come down from the monkeys, look at the monkeys – they are eating the whole day. Americans are doing exactly that, so whether Darwin is correct about anybody else or not, he is correct about the Americans.
You can eat one time a day; the body will adjust to that. These things have nothing to do with spirituality, but these are the things that your so-called saints go on bragging about.
A real master is not proud: He does not talk down to others. The real master is one who has recognized that everybody has the same potential. How can he talk down to others?
Buddha has said that when he became enlightened, immediately he saw that the whole universe had become enlightened with him. This is true as far as he is concerned. Of course the whole universe has not become enlightened – you have not become enlightened yet – but as far as Buddha is concerned it is absolutely true. He saw the potential, he saw that everybody is the same. Just that a few people are awake and a few are asleep; that is the only difference, and that is not such a big difference. Don’t make such a fuss about it.
Even if your saints don’t say directly, “We are holier than you,” in a thousand and one indirect ways they go on telling you.

Every time the cowboy rode through the Indian village he would wave at the aged chief. In response the old man would give him the finger in the usual vertical manner, then he would turn his hand so that the third digit stuck out horizontally.
After a few weeks the cowboy could stand it no longer. He stopped his horse and said to the redskin, “I know what it means to get the finger straight up, but what does it mean when you turn it sideways?”
“I don’t like your horse either!” replied the chief.

There are direct ways and indirect ways, gestures. The way your saints look at you – they may not say a single word – the way they behave, all points to one thing: that they are higher than you. And they keep you constantly afraid of hell. They are telling you, “Beware of hell. You are bound to go to hell.” So they are making you alert in advance.

Preacher Pitts had undertaken that morning to describe the terrors of hell to his congregation.
“Brothers and sisters,” he intones, “some of you have seen melted iron running out of a furnace, haven’t you? It’s white, sizzling and hissing. Well, in the place I’m talking about they use that stuff for ice cream!”

Their whole effort is to make you as frightened as possible. Look at the great idea of ice cream! If you want to go to heaven you have to follow their advice, you have to follow in their footprints. You have to become imitators, and imitators are pseudo people. A real master is never an imitator.
Hence I say to you, never become Christians, be a christ, and never become Buddhists, be a buddha. Your potential is of such infinite possibility that why should you settle for some small thing? Just being a Christian is a poor substitute, why not be a christ? Why not be a buddha yourself? Why be Buddhists?
But your preachers are telling you: be Christians, be Buddhists, be Jainas, be Hindus. They are not telling you about your ultimate potential, they want you to be followers. And of course there is no Buddha, no Jesus available, so they are the representatives. They have created a strategy: follow Jesus. But where is Jesus? Of course you will have to follow the pope. The pope is the representative and the pope is infallible. Look at the foolishness of it all. Only a fool can say that he is infallible, not even God is infallible.
Fallibility is part of the fun – God must be fallible; otherwise he would not have made you. God must be fallible; otherwise why and how did he manage to create man? And since then he has not created anything; he stopped. Seeing what he had done he stopped the whole process. Since then nothing has been heard about him, where he is, what he is doing.
The Bible says that in six days he created the world – okay. The seventh day he rested. What about the next week? Did Monday come or not? Since then what has he been doing? Seeing that he has committed a mistake he must be escaping as far away as possible.
Now the scientists say the world, the universe is expanding. The simple reason is that God is escaping, so with him of course the world goes on expanding; the boundary goes on expanding with tremendous speed. Do you know at what speed he is escaping from you? – 186,000 miles per second. That is the speed at which the universe is expanding; that must be the speed of his escape. And I don’t think we will be able to catch him. It seems impossible to make spaceships which can go at that speed, because that is the speed of light and anything moving at that speed will immediately become light. So if you are moving at that speed, the plane and the passengers and the pilot will all disappear; they will become simply pure light. With that speed everything will melt and become light. Unless we can find some way not to follow him but to try to find him from the other side…
I think that is the way of the buddhas. They don’t try to reach God, they don’t run after him, they simply stand silently. That is the other way, the other way round, because how long can he escape? If the universe is also round, finally he will come back to where these people are standing – and there is the possibility of meeting.
He does not talk down to others.
Owning nothing, he misses nothing.
The buddha simply uses, the master uses. He owns nothing, he is not an owner. Either he owns nothing or he owns the whole universe which is saying the same thing in two different ways. There is no need to own anything. He uses. You use the sun, you use the moon; you need not own them. So, if one day the sun is cloudy, you need not become anxious, you need not go mad, you need not get worried: “What is happening to my sun?” It has nothing to do with you. If one day the moon has an eclipse you are not worried at all because you don’t own it; if you own it, then trouble arises. If you own the garden and the roses are not blooming, then there is anxiety; if you don’t own it, then you just enjoy.
The master enjoys existence but he owns nothing; because he owns nothing he misses nothing.
He is not afraid.
There is nothing to lose, why should he be afraid?
He does not tremble.
Søren Kierkegaard says that every man is trembling inside, there is a constant trembling. He is right; the fear of death keeps you constantly trembling. You may keep yourself occupied in a thousand and one things and you may forget about your inner trembling, but it is there.
Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most important thinkers of the Western hemisphere. What he is saying he must be saying from his own personal experience; he was very much afraid of death. He was afraid only of two things: death and money. He never earned any money. His father had left a certain bank balance for him; he lived on it. On the first day of each month, he would go to the bank and withdraw a certain amount and live on it. He lived in a very, very economical way, but he was very afraid: sooner or later the money was going to be finished, and that was his constant worry. People had seen him in Copenhagen going to the bank and coming home always in a state of trembling.
Then death… And death is certainly related to money. People who are very much afraid of death start accumulating money as a protection, as if money can protect. People who are not afraid of death don’t care much about money; they use money, but they don’t care about it.
A strange thing happened to Søren Kierkegaard. He died on the road the day he withdrew the last amount of money from the bank. He was coming home from the bank; this was the last amount, the bank balance was finished. The manager had said, “Next month you need not come as all the money is gone.” Kierkegaard never reached home; he fell in the middle of the road and died then and there. If the money is finished, life is finished. He must have been a man of tremendous fear.
When he was young he loved a woman, a very beautiful woman, Regina. For three years the love affair continued and finally, when they were going to get married, he refused. It was very strange because Regina was a beautiful woman and he was an ugly man. If Regina had refused it would have been logical, but why did Kierkegaard refuse? He refused out of the simple fear: “If we get married and some trouble arises, then? If some fighting arises or if she falls in love with somebody else? – she is such a beautiful woman…” Afraid of the possibilities of the future, he simply refused. He refused to live. He never left the city, he was so afraid of accidents. So when he says man is a trembling he is saying it from personal experience.

Buddha says that the master does not tremble. All his trembling disappears because he knows there is no death. Knowing himself he has transcended death. He has no fear of the future because he lives in the present. He is not possessive; hence nothing can be taken away from him.
Nothing binds him.
He is infinitely free.
Nothing binds him because he is nonpossessive. He is freedom, absolute freedom.
So cut through
the strap and the thong and the rope.
Loosen the fastenings.
Unbolt the doors of sleep
and awake.
Three things are our bondage: body, mind, self: …the strap, the thong and the rope. So cut through… Be aware you are neither the body nor the mind nor the self. Awareness is the sword with which to cut through.
Loosen the fastenings: lust, greed, anger, hatred, ambition, jealousy, possessiveness.
Unbolt the doors of sleep: awaken yourself, become conscious.

On a crowded subway a well-built mulatto secretary felt behind her the presence of a sexually excited soul brother. She tried to move away, but her fidgeting only made things worse. Finally she turned around and snapped, “Mister, you are vulgar!”
“I didn’t do nothin’ wrong, honey!” said the black man. “But I can understand why you’re a little peeved. I got paid tonight, the boss had nothing but small change, and it makes a lump in my pants pocket. Believe me, baby, that’s all there is to it.”
“I suppose,” said the woman, “you also want me to believe that all the time we’re standing here your boss is giving you raises!”

Just look at your sex, at your anger, at your greed. You are utterly in their power, helplessly in their power.
Buddha is not a metaphysician; he is a superb psychologist. He is the first to create the psychology of the buddhas. He is saying: “Cut through all this slavery,” Unbolt the doors of sleep and awake.

Mrs. Rafferty was sitting at home in Dublin with her children, all waiting for the man of the house to come home from his job in the local brewery. A knock came at the door. When Mrs. Rafferty opened it she saw Mick standing with downcast eyes and a sad look on his face. “Bad news,” he said. “Pat fell into a vat of whiskey and drowned this afternoon.”
Mrs. Rafferty and the children burst into anguished tears, but she managed to stammer, “Oh Jesus, did he suffer? Was it a painful death?”
Mick coughed reverently and took off his hat. “No, ma’am,” he said, “I don’t think so. He got out twice for a piss!”

Be awake. Just see what you are doing, just see what your life consists of. Is there any awareness, or is it just an unconscious play of unconscious forces? Are you just a victim of forces you are not aware of – either from where they come, or what they are doing to you? Are you going to die in this way?
The master endures
insults and ill treatment
without reacting.
The master cannot react. He responds, but he never reacts. Reactions come from the past, response is spontaneous; it is in the present. The slave reacts, the master responds. The unconscious mind reacts, the conscious man responds. He has no ready-made answers. He encounters the situation, he reflects the situation. He accepts the challenge of the situation and acts accordingly. His action is born out of the present.
Remember one fundamental secret of life: if the action is born out of the present it is never binding. If it comes out of the past it is binding, it is karma. If the action comes out of your present awareness it is not karma, it is not binding. You do it and it is finished, you do it and you get out of it; it never accumulates in you. The master never accumulates the past; he dies every moment to the past. He is born anew every moment.
The master endures
insults and ill treatment
without reacting.
For his spirit is an army.
He need not react. Insults cannot insult him, ill treatment only brings his compassion because he knows his awareness is a citadel, is a shelter which cannot be broken. It is an ultimate protection; he is ultimately secure in his awareness.
He is never angry.
He keeps his promises.
He never strays, he is determined.
This body is my last, he says!

Like water on the leaf of a lotus flower
or a mustard seed on the point of a needle,
he does not cling.
He does not cling to anything – body, mind or self. He clings not, he is no longer there to cling. He is just pure emptiness. And out of that pure emptiness arises innocence, out of that pure emptiness arises godliness.
For he has reached the end of sorrow
and has laid down his burden.
According to Buddha the only burden is the self, the ego. Put the burden aside and you are absolutely free. He does not talk about God; he only talks about the burden, the ego. Put it aside and you will know what God is. There is no need to talk about God; talking about God is utterly futile. He emphatically avoids talking about God; it is useless. He gives you the right way to experience godliness.
You are gods. Just the seed has to die, the self has to die, and you will start growing. That growth is divine. Religion is the process of inner growth, the process of actualizing the potential, the process of being reborn. Unless you are born again you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Enough for today.

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