The Dhammapada Vol 2 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 2 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The perfume of sandalwood,
rosebay, or jasmine,
cannot travel against the wind.

But the fragrance of virtue
travels even against the wind,
as far as the ends of the world.

How much finer
is the fragrance of virtue
than of sandalwood, rosebay,
of the blue lotus, or jasmine!

The fragrance of sandalwood or rosebay
does not travel far.
But the fragrance of virtue
rises to the heavens.

Desire never crosses the path
of virtuous and wakeful men.
Their brightness sets them free.

How sweetly the lotus grows
in the litter of the wayside.
Its pure fragrance delights the heart.

Follow the awakened
and from among the blind
the light of your wisdom
will shine out purely.
Man is not a being but only a becoming. Man is a process, a growth, a possibility, a potentiality. Man is not yet actual. Man has to be, he has yet to arrive. Man is born not as an essence but only as an existence, a great space where much can happen, or nothing may happen. It all depends on you.
Man has to create himself. He is not ready-made, he is not given. And the creation has to be a self-creation, nobody else can make you. You are not a thing, a commodity; you cannot be produced or manufactured. You have to self-create yourself, you have to become awakened on your own, nobody can wake you up.
This is man’s grandeur, his glory, that he is the only being on the earth who is not a being but a freedom to be. All other beings are already fixed, patterned. They bring a blueprint, and they simply follow the blueprint. The parrot will become a parrot, the dog will become a dog, the lion a lion; there is no question of the lion being somebody else. But with man it is relevant to ask whether he is really a man.
Each lion is really a lion, and each elephant is an elephant, but man is a question mark. A man may be a man, or he may not be. A man can fall below the animals, and a man can rise above the gods; that ultimate state above the gods is buddhahood. Buddhahood is the awakening, the ultimate awakening, the realization of your potential in its totality.
The buddha is above gods. This was one of the reasons Hindus could not forgive Gautama the Buddha, because he said the buddha is above the gods. Gods are also asleep; of course, their dreams are nice, their dreams are not nightmares, they live in heaven. Their lives are only of pleasure. Heaven is nothing but pure hedonism, the very idea is hedonistic. Hell is just the opposite. Hell is pain, heaven is pleasure; hell is a nightmare, heaven a sweet dream. But dreams are dreams; sweet or bitter, it does not matter.
The gods are also asleep and dreaming beautiful dreams. The buddha is awakened, he is no longer dreaming. The Buddhist scriptures say the day Siddhartha Gautam became a buddha, gods came from the sky to worship him, to wash his feet. Hindus could not forgive this idea, because for them the gods in heaven – Indra and other gods – are the supreme-most. And look at the arrogance of the Buddhists who say gods came from heaven to wash the feet of a human being.
Buddhism raised humanity to its highest pinnacle. No other religion has done that. Man becomes the center of existence. God is not the center of existence, according to Buddha, but the man who has become awakened. The periphery consists of those who are asleep and blind, and the center consists of those who have eyes, who are awakened. Gods are simply dropped; they are no longer relevant. What Nietzsche did after two thousand years, Buddha had done already.
A great poet, Chandidas, was very impressed by Gautam Buddha – and who will not be impressed by this man? He has said: “Sabar upar manus satya, tahar upar nahin – the truth of man is the highest truth, there is no other truth higher than that.” But let me remind you again: when Buddha talks about man, he talks about the realized man, not about you. You are only on the way, you are only in the process; you are a seed.
The seed can have four possibilities. The seed may remain a seed forever, closed, windowless, not in communion with existence, dead, because life means communion with existence. The seed is dead, it has not yet communicated with the earth, with the sky, with the air, with the wind, with the sun, with the stars. It has not yet made any attempt to have a dialogue with all that exists. It is utterly lonely, enclosed, encapsulated into itself, surrounded by a Wall of China. The seed lives in its own grave.
The first possibility is that the seed may remain a seed. It is very unfortunate that a man may remain simply a seed. With all the potential at your disposal, with all the blessings ready to shower on you, you may never open your doors.
The second possibility is that the seed may be courageous enough, may dive deep into the soil, may die as an ego, may drop its armor, may start a communion with existence, may become one with the earth. Great courage is needed, because who knows? – this death may be ultimate, there may be no birth following it. What is the guarantee? There is no guarantee; it is a gamble. Only a few men gather courage enough to gamble, to risk.
To be a sannyasin is the beginning of the gamble. You are risking your life, you are risking your ego. You are risking because you are dropping all your securities, all your safety arrangements. You are opening windows and who knows who is going to come in; friend or enemy, who knows? You are becoming vulnerable. That’s what sannyas is all about. That’s what Buddha was teaching his whole life; his work for forty-two years continuously was transforming seeds into plants, transforming ordinary human beings into sannyasins.
A sannyasin is a plant, a soft and delicate sprout. The seed is never in danger, remember, what danger can there be for the seed? It is absolutely protected. But the plant is always in danger, the plant is very soft. The seed is like a stone, hard, hidden behind a hard crust. But the plant has to pass through a thousand and one hazards. That is the second stage: the seed dissolving into the soil, the man disappearing as an ego, disappearing as a personality, becoming a plant.
The third possibility, which is even more rare, because not all plants are going to attain to the height where they can bloom into flowers, a thousand and one flowers… Very few human beings attain to the second stage, and very few of those who attain the second stage attain the third, the stage of the flower. Why can’t they attain the third stage, the stage of the flower? – because of greed, because of miserliness, they are not ready to share, because of a state of unlovingness.
Courage is needed to become a plant, and love is needed to become a flower. A flower means the tree is opening up its heart, releasing its perfume, giving its soul, pouring its being into existence. The seed can become a plant although it is difficult to drop the armor, but in one way it is simple. The seed will only be gathering more and more, accumulating more and more; the seed only takes from the soil. The tree only takes from the water, from the air, from the sun; its greed is not disturbed; on the contrary, its ambition is fulfilled. It goes on becoming bigger and bigger. But a moment comes when you have taken so much that now you have to share. You have been benefited so much, now you have to serve. Existence has given you so much, now you have to be grateful, and the only way to be grateful is to shower your treasures, give them back to existence, be as unmiserly as existence has been with you. Then the tree grows into flowers, it blossoms.
And the fourth stage is that of fragrance. The flower is still gross, it is still material, but the fragrance is subtle, it is something almost nonmaterial. You cannot see it, it is invisible. You can only smell it, you cannot grab it, you cannot grasp it. A very sensitive understanding is needed to have a dialogue with the fragrance. And beyond fragrance there is nothing. The fragrance disappears into the universe, becomes one with it.
These are the four stages of the seed, and these are the four stages of man too. Don’t remain a seed. Gather courage: courage to drop the ego, courage to drop the securities, courage to drop the safeties, courage to be vulnerable. But then don’t remain a tree, because a tree without flowers is poor. A tree without flowers is empty, a tree without flowers is missing something very essential. It has no beauty; without love there is no beauty. And it is only through flowers that the tree shows its love. It has taken so much from the sun and the moon and from the earth; now it is time to give.
Life always has to attain a balance. You have taken so much, now give it back; become a flower. Only when you become a flower is there a possibility of disappearing as a fragrance. But then too, remember, don’t remain a closed flower, don’t remain a bud; otherwise your fragrance will not be released. And unless your fragrance is released, you are not free, you are in a bondage.
This bondage Buddha calls sansara – the world. And he calls the freedom, the freedom of the fragrance, nirvana: total cessation, disappearance, dissolution. The part disappears into the whole, the dewdrop slips into the ocean and becomes the ocean. The day you disappear and become the ocean is the day when in one sense you are no more, and in another sense you are for the first time; you have attained beinghood.
This beinghood is real godhood. This beinghood, this crystallized, oceanic experience, is liberation, salvation, moksha, kaivalya, nirvana. You can use any word that you want to use but they all mean the same: absolute freedom of the soul, with no boundaries, with no limitations.
The sutras:
The perfume of sandalwood,
rosebay, or jasmine,
cannot travel against the wind.
Obviously! The fragrance of sandalwood, rosebay or jasmine is part of the material world. It can travel only with the wind, not against the wind. It has to follow the laws of matter. It is matter. Because it has to follow the laws of matter it is not really free; it is free only in a relative sense. The fragrance is freer than the flower, the flower is freer than the tree, the tree is freer than the seed. But these freedoms are only relative, not absolute.
And Buddha says, “Remember the target is absolute freedom, transcendence of all laws.” It is only in transcending all laws that you will become part of the ultimate law: aes dhammo sanantano. It is only by transcending all limitations of gross matter that you will be able to become as infinite as the sky.
Unless you become universal you have not attained to your potential. You are meant to become universal, and you have become small persons, confined, almost as if you are living in a prison cell, dark and dismal, no door, no window, an ugly existence, surrounded by all kinds of pathologies: ego, greed, anger, lust, jealousy, possessiveness. These are your companions. What fragrance have you experienced in life?
You have not yet known love without lust. You have not yet known any state where no limitation exists. You are bound to certain very gross laws. You are part of gravitation, you have not yet known anything of grace. You go on and on downward, because those laws of gravitation go on pulling you downward. You don’t know how to rise, soar upward; you don’t know anything about levitation.
In science, they don’t talk about levitation, they only talk about gravitation, the downward pull. But this is such a simple phenomenon to understand, that in nature everything is balanced by its polar opposite. If there is a downward pull, gravitation, then there must be an upward pull to balance it, and that is levitation. In a more poetic language it is called grace.
There are two laws: the law of gravitation, the earthly law, gross, material; and the law of grace, the divine law – what Buddha calls the divine law – aes dhammo sanantano, the eternal, inexhaustible law, the divine law, which pulls you upward.
The perfume of sandalwood, rosebay, or jasmine, cannot travel against the wind. Perfume has certain absolute limitations, it can only ride on the wind. It cannot have its own will, it is not really free. Unless you can exist in total freedom, something is missing. If you have to follow the laws, then you are a prisoner. The laws may give you enough rope, but still you are a prisoner.
That’s how things are: if enough rope is given to you, you forget about the prison. For example, these so-called nations of India, Pakistan, Japan, Germany, are all great prisons, but they are so great that you cannot see the boundaries of your prison. Cross the boundaries of your nation and you will see that you were a prisoner. But the prison is big enough; you can move anywhere you want in the prison. But move out of the prison, try to enter another prison, and then you will see the limitation.
These are man-made prisons; big enough so they can give you a false feeling of freedom, but there is no freedom. Unless all nations disappear from the world, the earth will remain a slave, humanity will remain in prisons, small and big. It makes no difference if the prison is very big and you cannot see the wall surrounding it, it remains a prison. The walls may be very subtle – of passports and visas – the walls may be very subtle, you may not see them, but they are there. You are not free to move.
Almost all the constitutions of the world say that the freedom of movement is the birthright of every human being, but it is only written in the books, it is not true. You cannot move freely. If you want to go to Russia, it is impossible; if you want to enter China, impossible.
Nations have become such great prisons, and your presidents and your so-called prime ministers are all nothing but jailers. Those who talk about freedom are nothing but policemen. They say they are guarding you for your own safety, but in fact they are prison wardens watching so that you cannot escape.
I have heard…

An old Russian was dying, and he heard a knock on the door. He asked, “Who is there?”
And some very ghostly voice said, “Death.”
The old Russian said, “Thank God! I was thinking it is the secret police.”

There are prisons within prisons like Chinese boxes, boxes within boxes. India is a big prison; then there are Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians and Sikhs and Jainas and Buddhists, and these are small prisons. The Christian can go to the church, he cannot go to the temple; the Hindu can go to the temple, he cannot go to the church. He has been taught and conditioned that the church is not a religious place; the Christian has been told that the church is the only right place to go, all other religions are false, and all other religions lead you astray. Unless you are a Christian you cannot be saved. Then within Christianity there are Catholics and Protestants, and then among Protestants and Catholics there are smaller and smaller subsects, and prisons become smaller and smaller.
Then there are political prisons: somebody is a Communist and somebody is a Socialist, and somebody is a Capitalist, and so on and so forth. And you are not satisfied even with these; you make Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs. Your thirst to be a prisoner is such that you can’t simply be a human being. You have to be a Rotarian and you proudly declare, “I am a Rotarian,” “I am a Lion.” You are not satisfied with being simply a human being, you have to be a Lion. And then there are smaller and smaller confinements.
Rather than getting out of these prison cells, we go on decorating them; we go on making them more and more comfortable. We are living under the law of gravitation, we are living as prisoners. We cannot go against the wind, our life is gross. Buddha says: “Be aware of it: what are you doing with your life?” Reconsider, meditate over it, what you have made of yourself.
But the fragrance of virtue
travels even against the wind,
as far as the ends of the world.
Buddha says: “But there is a flowering of your inner being, which is far more beautiful than sandalwood, rosebay or jasmine. Its beauty is its absolute freedom. It can go against the wind. The really virtuous man lives in freedom; he follows no commandments, he follows no scriptures, he follows nobody else but his own inner light. He lives according to his heart, he is a rebel.”
Buddha is talking about the fragrance of real virtue. He is not talking about the so-called righteous, he is not talking about the so-called “people of character,” your so-called saints and mahatmas. He is not talking about them; they are not free people. In fact, the fragrance of sandalwood, rosebay and jasmine is far freer than your so-called saints. They live according to man-made laws. The fragrance of rosewood, the fragrance of sandalwood, and the fragrance of other flowers at least follow the laws of nature. But your saints, your so-called virtuous people, follow laws which are man-made, laws made by blind people, laws made by ignorant people, laws made by people who are not yet awakened, who know nothing of awareness.
Who makes your laws? Who makes your constitutions? Who is responsible for running the society and arranging and managing the society? – people as blind as you, maybe more learned, maybe more informed. But it makes no difference whether a blind man is more informed about light or less informed about light – a blind man is a blind man. Just watch your saints, and you will be surprised to know they live in far deeper bondage than ordinary people.
A Jaina monk wanted to come to see me. He sent a message that he had been longing to see me for many years, and now he was in the town and he wanted to see me. But his followers didn’t allow him; the Jainas won’t allow him to come to this commune. Now what kind of saint is this man whose followers decide where he should go and where he should not go? But there is a mutual arrangement: the followers call him a saint, they worship him, now he has to concede, compromise. He has to follow the followers.
Your so-called saints and leaders are followers of their own followers. It is such a stupid world, so ridiculous, the whole situation. On the surface it seems the saint is the decisive factor; he gives people advice to follow him. But if you look deep down, you will be surprised to find that the saint is following his own followers.
In fact, followers decide. And they have decisive power because they can worship you and they can insult you. They can worship you if you follow them, if you go according to the ideas, prejudices that they carry in their minds; otherwise you are no longer a saint. They can degrade you: they have the power to raise you to sainthood or to degrade you to being a sinner. If you want to be a saint you have to follow all kinds of stupidities. You may know deep down that this is stupid.
I sent the Jaiina monk a message saying, “This is stupid, ridiculous! Why should you ask your followers? Who is the follower, you or they? Why should you ask them?”
He said, “You are right, but I have to depend on them. At my age I cannot leave them because I have never worked in my life. I depend on them for my food, for my clothes, for everything.” Now you see the arrangement. This is called spirituality, and the arrangement is financial!
A really virtuous man is certainly free, and is so free that he can go against the wind, he can go against the whole society, he can go against the whole past, he can go against all conventions. He does, in fact, because in going against all the conventions and the dead past he asserts his freedom.
It is because of this that I am being condemned all over this country and now, slowly, slowly, all over the world. The only reason is that they wanted me to go with the wind, they wanted me to be conventional, orthodox. They were ready to worship me; they had come many times to me saying that if I could simply follow the traditional religion they would worship me as a saint. I said, “I am not interested in being worshipped or in being a saint. I just want simply to be myself. And I am not going to compromise with anybody, whoever he is. Compromise is not my way.”
Because I am going against the wind they are very offended. But if you are virtuous… And what is virtue? It is not some character cultivated from the outside. Virtue is the fragrance of meditativeness, virtue is the fragrance of the flower of meditation; hence, I say it is not righteousness, it is not moralistic.
I have heard…

The town whore in Jerusalem is being stoned. When Jesus says, “Let whoever is without sin among you cast the first stone,” an old lady struggles over with an enormous rock, drops it on the town whore’s head and polishes the bitch off.
Jesus looks down and says, “You know, mother, sometimes you really piss me off.”

The righteous, the moralistic, the puritan, is always ready to condemn. In fact his whole joy is how to condemn, how to send more and more people to hell, how to crucify people, how to kill and destroy. He is ready to suffer, he is ready to be a masochist, he is ready to go through all kinds of foolish austerities, just to enjoy the feeling of superiority, the feeling of holier-than-thou, the feeling, “You are all sinners and I am a saint.”
The real saint has a totally different quality. He is not moralistic; he knows how to forgive, because he knows God has forgiven him so much. He knows human limitations, because he himself has suffered through those human limitations. He can forgive. He is understanding.
The moralist is never understanding, he is never forgiving; he cannot forgive because he has been so hard with himself. He has attained to his so-called character with such difficulty that the only joy, the only pleasure that he can get is that of holier-than-thou. How can he forgive? If he forgives then he cannot enjoy the egoistic trip that he has been on. The ascetic is the most egoistic person in the world. The virtuous person is not an ascetic.
The story is told about Buddha himself…

For six years after he left his palace he lived through great austerities; that was the traditional way of seeking and searching for the truth. He tortured his body, he fasted so much that it is said that he became absolutely thin, just bones; you could have counted his ribs. He became so thin that his stomach was touching his back; there was nothing left between the stomach and the back. He became so weak that he could not cross a small river, the Niranjana. I went to the place just to see it. The Niranjana is such a small river, and it was not the rainy season, but he could not cross, he could not swim the river. He must have been utterly weak.
That day, a great revelation happened to him: “I have been doing unnecessary violence to myself.” He had five followers; they were all ascetics and they had become followers of Buddha because he was far ahead of them. They could only do so much, but he was doing many times more; hence they were followers. That evening Buddha decided, “It is stupid to torture the body, and how can you attain to the soul by torturing the body? There seems to be no logical relationship.” And he saw, “If I cannot even cross the river, the poor river Niranjana, how am I going to cross this huge ocean of the world? The body needs food, the body needs nourishment, the body needs strength, so that I can meditate, so that I can contemplate, so that I can inquire, with zest, enthusiasm, energy.”
He decided to drop all austerities. His five disciples immediately left him. They said, “Gautam has fallen from his holy state, he is no longer a saint.” They left him immediately; they were not with him. They were only with him because of his masochistic lifestyle, they must have been masochists themselves.
And Gautam Buddha became enlightened the next day. Dropping all austerities, dropping all that unnecessary inner conflict, that civil war, he became so quiet, so silent, that the next morning he could see, he became perceptive. In his silence, all turmoil, all chattering was dissolved. In the early morning as the sun was rising, he started rising within his being. He was awakened, he became a buddha.
Virtue came out of silence, out of meditativeness, out of relaxation, not out of effort, not out of tension, not out of struggle. He went in search of his five old followers to give them the message: “Don’t torture yourselves anymore. This has nothing to do with holiness. This has nothing to do with religion.”

Meditation has to happen first, then character comes as a shadow to it. And if meditation does not happen, then your character is just hypocrisy and nothing else. Your saints are great hypocrites; they say one thing, they think another, maybe just the opposite. They do one thing, but they want to do something exactly the opposite. On the surface they show one thing, but deep down they are just its contrary.

A girl confesses that she let her boyfriend put his hand on her knee. “And is that all he did?” asks the priest.
“No. He slid his finger under the elastic of my panties too.”
“And then what?”
“And then he spread open my fuzz and began to tickle my doo-funny.”
“And then? And then?”
“And then my mother walked in.”
“Oh shit!” says the priest.

These priests, these saints, are far uglier than you are, far uglier than you ever can be, because they are far more split, divided. They are so repressed that their conscious and unconscious have fallen apart. They preach one thing, they practice another. At their front door you will find one person, at the back door you will find a totally different person. You will not even be able to recognize them, they wear masks.
These are not virtuous people. Buddha is not talking about such virtue; he is talking about the virtue that arises out of the flowering of meditation. Buddha is insistent on dhyana – meditation. That is his basic contribution to the world. His most fundamental approach is that first you have to become awakened at the center, then your circumference will be full of light of its own accord, not vice versa.
You have been told by the priest to first practice character, and then your center will change. That is nonsense. The center can never follow the circumference, because the center is far more important, far more basic; it is the center, it cannot follow the circumference. But the circumference always follows the center. Transform the center first, and don’t be worried about the circumference. That’s my insistence too, there I absolutely agree with Buddha. Meditation first, and then all else shall follow of its own accord.
Jesus says: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all else shall be added unto you.” What Jesus says with “kingdom of God” Buddha says with “meditation.” Buddha’s words are far more scientific than Jesus’. Jesus is more a poet than Buddha; Jesus talks more in parables than Buddha. Buddha talks in a clear-cut, logical, mathematical way. He is a man who does not want to say anything in any way which can be interpreted in many ways. He does not want to use poetry, because poetry is vague, can have many interpretations. He talks as a mathematician, as a logician, so that each word has a fixed meaning and a fixed connotation.
…the fragrance of virtue
travels even against the wind,
as far as the ends of the world.

How much finer
is the fragrance of virtue
than of sandalwood, rosebay,
of the blue lotus, or jasmine!
The fragrance of a blue lotus or jasmine or sandalwood is fine, subtle, but compared to the fragrance of virtue it is very gross. Virtue really has a fragrance, and it travels to the farthest corners of the world.
How have you come here to me? From different corners of the world you have traveled, sometimes not even exactly clear as to why; but something has been pulling you, some unknown force has moved your heart, something has been felt by the deepest core of your being. Sometimes you have come even against yourself. Your mind was saying, “Don’t go! There is no need to go anywhere.” Still you have come. You must have smelled a perfume which has nothing to do with the visible. It is an invisible phenomenon.
Many, many more people will be coming soon. The fragrance is reaching them, is bound to reach. Anybody anywhere who is really in search of truth is bound to come. It is irresistible, it has to happen. That’s how it has been happening all along, down the ages. Thousands of people traveled to Buddha, thousands of people traveled to Mahavira, to Lao Tzu, to Zarathustra. They came for no reason at all, because whatsoever they were saying was available in the scriptures.
What I am saying here you can read in the Bhagavadgita, in the Bible, in the Koran, in The Dhammapada, what I am saying you can find easily in the Upanishads, in the Tao Te Ching, but you will not find the fragrance. Those flowers are old, dead, dried up. You can keep a roseflower in your Bible; soon it will be dry, the fragrance will be gone, it will be only a corpse, a remembrance of the real flower. So are the scriptures. They have to be made alive again by another buddha; otherwise they cannot breathe.
That’s why I am speaking on The Dhammapada, on the Gita, on the Bible, to let them breathe again. I can breathe life into them. I can share my fragrance with them, I can pour my fragrance into them. Hence, the Christian who is really a Christian, not just by social conditioning but because of a great love for Christ, will find Christ alive again in my words. Or if somebody is a Buddhist he will find in my words Buddha speaking again, in twentieth-century language, with twentieth-century people.
How much finer is the fragrance of virtue than of sandalwood, rosebay, of the blue lotus or jasmine! It is so fine it can travel against the wind, it can travel against all the laws. It can go against gravitation, it can rise upward, it can reach the highest skies.
The fragrance of sandalwood or rosebay
does not travel far.
But the fragrance of virtue
rises to the heavens.
The fragrance of the flowers cannot travel far. It is momentary, it is finite; it can go only so far and then it disappears. But the fragrance of buddhahood can travel to the very ends of the world because it is infinite, and it is something beyond time, beyond space. In fact, even when the body of a buddha is gone, the fragrance continues to travel.
Those who are really perceptive, sensitive, can catch hold of it even when a buddha has been gone for centuries. It is possible to be a contemporary of Buddha even now, to have a communion with Jesus even now. The flower is no more, but the fragrance has become part of the universe; the trees have it, the winds have it, the clouds have it. Now Jesus is not in the physical body, but Jesus has become universal. If you know how to drink out of the universal, if you know how to contact the universal, you will be surprised: all the buddhas become alive because they are all contemporary, time makes no difference.
That’s my whole effort here: to make you contemporaries of Jesus, of Buddha, of Zarathustra, of Lao Tzu. If you can be contemporaries of these awakened souls, what is the point of remaining contemporaries to your ordinary world and its ordinary citizens, the so-called human beings, who have nothing of humanity in them, who have not yet become beings, who are just hollow, empty, meaningless? What is the point of living in the neighborhood of empty cells when you can be a neighbor of Gautama the Buddha?
Yes, that is possible. It is possible by transcending time and space. And in meditation you transcend both. In meditation you don’t know where you are, you don’t know the time, you don’t know the space. In meditation, time and space both disappear; you simply are.
That moment, when you simply are, Buddha is just by your side; you are surrounded by buddhas of all the ages. You will be living for the first time a life worth living, a life of significance: when you can hold hands with buddhas and krishnas, when you can dance with Krishna and sing with Meera and sit with Kabir. It is possible because only the flowers have disappeared. The fragrance is eternal, it cannot disappear.
And then all the scriptures become alive for you. Then reading the Bible, you are not just reading a book; then Moses speaks to you, Abraham speaks to you, Jesus speaks to you, face-to-face.
Desire never crosses the path
of virtuous and wakeful men.
Their brightness sets them free.
Desire means greed for more and more. Desire means discontent, discontent with what is, discontent with the present; hence you seek contentment in your hopes for the future. Today is empty; you can live only by the hope of tomorrow. The hope that tomorrow will bring something, although many tomorrows have come and gone and that something never happens, but you go on hoping against hope. Only death will come.
Desires are never fulfilled. In the very nature of things they cannot be fulfilled. The wakeful person looks into the desiring mind and laughs. The desiring mind is the most stupid mind, because it is desiring something which cannot be fulfilled in the very nature of things. Just as you cannot get oil through sand: you can go on and on working on the sand, but you will not get oil out of it, it does not exist in the sand, it is impossible – exactly like that, desire is just a deception.
It keeps you occupied, obviously. Its whole purpose is to keep you occupied, it keeps you hoping, it keeps promising you. Desire is a politician: it goes on promising you, “Just wait, just five more years and everything is going to be absolutely right. Just five more years and the world is going to become a paradise.” And the politicians have been saying that for thousands of years. And look at the unintelligent humanity: it still goes on believing in the politicians. It changes politicians; when it becomes tired of one, it starts listening to another. But that is not change at all. One politician is replaced by another; hence democracies live as two-party systems.
One party remains in power for five years; according to the promises that were made, you go on hoping, then you are frustrated because nothing happens. Things get worse than they were before. But by this time, the other party that is not in power starts promising you and stupidity is such that you start believing the other party. You bring the other party into power; for five years it will deceive you. By that time the first party that has deceived you before has again become creditable; again it has criticized the ruling party and again it has gained respect in your eyes. And again it has stirred your hoping mind. People’s memories are very short; hence politicians go on deceiving.
Desire is a politician. One desire keeps you occupied for many years; then, frustration in your hands, you are tired of it, weary of it, you drop out of it; and immediately you enter into another desire. Another politician is waiting for you. You were after money; then tired, you forget all about it and you start rushing for power or for fame.
Desire is so cunning that it can even take the form of religion, it can become religious. It is ready to have any mask. It can start thinking of heaven and heavenly pleasures. It can give you the idea that this life it is not possible, but next life you are going to be in paradise. And in paradise all kinds of fulfillments, wish-fulfilling trees… You just sit underneath the tree, you wish, and it is fulfilled. What are you going to wish for? Your wishes will be stupid because they will come out of your mind. What pleasures are you going to seek in heaven? Just think that one day you have reached heaven: now what do you want? You will start asking for a hotel, for a movie house, for a woman, for a man, what else? The same things! And the same frustrations will follow.
Desire never crosses the path of virtuous and wakeful men. Buddha says: “I call that man virtuous who has become utterly aware of the deceptiveness of desire and hence desire never crosses his mind.” His mind remains desireless. The only way to be desireless is to be wakeful, watchful. Watchfulness creates a light in you, and in that light the darkness of desire cannot enter.
Their brightness sets them free. And when you are watchful there is luminosity in your being; a great intelligence arises in you. Ordinary man lives in stupidity; the ordinary man lives in a very foolish way. The moment you become attuned to your inner music, you become attuned to meditativeness, great intelligence is released. In that intelligence it is impossible for you to be deceived by desire. In that intelligence for the first time you start understanding things as they are, you stop misunderstanding. Ordinarily all your understanding is nothing but misunderstanding. You may think that you are very intelligent, but only stupid people think that they are intelligent. Intelligence itself is very unselfconscious. It functions, functions perfectly, but it creates no self-consciousness, it brings no idea of the ego, no superiority. It is very humble, it is very simple.
But as ordinary man exists, he goes on misunderstanding. You read the Bible and you misunderstand. Even those closest disciples of Jesus never understood him. I say again and again that Jesus is one of the most unfortunate masters who has ever walked on the earth, not only because he was crucified and had only three years to work, but because he had a very stupid lot of followers.
The day Jesus was going to be caught, and it had become absolutely certain that he had been betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas, he asked his other eleven apostles, “Have you something to ask me?” And do you know what they asked? They asked such foolish things. Jesus must have cried. He may have prayed deep down in his heart, as he did later on again on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are asking.”
What did they ask? They asked, “Master, now that you are leaving, a few things have to be made clear. In the world of God, in the kingdom of God that you have talked about so much again and again, you will certainly be on the right hand of God; then who will be on your right hand? Among us who is going to be second to you and who is going to be third and the fourth? What will the hierarchy be?”
See the question! The master is going to be crucified tomorrow, and these foolish people are worried about hierarchy, who will be the highest. They are ready to concede to Jesus, “Okay, that much we accept, that you will be second to God, but who will be third and the fourth and the fifth? Let it be decided clearly, because now you are leaving and we may not meet again soon, so everything has to be certain!”
The desirous mind, the ambitious mind; they have not understood Jesus at all. And it is said Jesus fell on his knees and prayed and tears rolled down his cheeks. Nobody knows what he prayed, but he must have been praying: “Forgive these people, they know not what they are asking.” And he must have been crying because these people were his whole life’s work. And he has been telling them not to desire, not to be ambitious. He has been telling them, “Those who are the first in this world will be the last in the kingdom of God, and those who are the last will be the first.” But they have not understood that he is telling them not to be ambitious.
Just the other day, Premgeet sent me a small anecdote on misinterpretation:

The frantic nurse ran after a screaming patient down the corridor of the ward, carrying a bowl. She was stopped by the surgeon who said, “Nurse! Nurse! I told you to prick his boil!”

You get it? She was boiling his prick! But this is exactly what goes on happening; the mob mind cannot understand. Misunderstanding is inevitable, because the mass mind is deaf. While you are talking to people they are not really listening, they are only pretending to listen. A thousand and one thoughts are crossing through their minds; they are not really there, they are never present to any situation, they are always absent. They are not where they are, they are always somewhere else. When they are in Pune, they are in Beijing; when they are in Beijing, they are in Pune. Strange people! Wherever they are you can be certain that there at least they are not; anywhere else in the world they can be. How can they understand?
They listen only to words, they never listen to the meaning, because the meaning can be listened to only by the heart. The words can be listened to by the head. Now, they don’t know how to listen through the heart. Listening through the heart is the meaning of being a disciple; listening through the heart means listening in love, in trust, in deep sympathy, and finally in deep empathy. Listening through the heart means listening as if you have become one with what is being told to you. It is when the disciple becomes so attuned to the master that even before the words are uttered he hears them, and not only the words but the meaning, the fragrance that is carried by the words. But it is very invisible. The head is gross.
The invisible can be caught only in the net of the heart.
People even follow, but then too they follow out of misunderstanding. Just becoming a follower does not change anything in your life. It is not a question of following somebody: it is a question of understanding somebody who is awakened. Hence, I don’t call you my followers but only my friends. If you can be my friends, if you can be in deep love and trust here in my presence, if you can be present to my presence, if we can face each other and mirror each other, tremendously important things will start happening of their own accord, because your heart will understand, and when the heart understands, immediately transformation happens.
When the head understands, then it asks, “How? Yes it is right; now, how can it be done?” Remember this difference: in the head, knowledge and action are two different things; in the heart, knowledge is action.
Socrates says: “Knowledge is virtue” and he has not been understood down the ages. Even his own disciples, Plato and Aristotle, did not understand him rightly. When he says that knowledge is virtue, he means there is a way of listening and understanding in which the moment you understand a thing you can’t do otherwise. When you see that this is the door, then you cannot try to get out through the wall, you will get out through the door. Seeing means acting, seeing brings action.
If when I tell you, “This is the door. Whenever you want to get out, please get out through this door, because you have hurt your head enough by trying to get out through the wall,” you say, “Yes, sir, I understand perfectly well, but how to get out through the door?” your question will show that the heart has not listened, only the head. The head always asks “How?”
The head always asks questions which seem to be very pertinent on the surface but are absolutely ridiculous. The heart never asks; it listens and acts. Listening and action are one in the heart; love knows and acts accordingly. It never asks “How?” The heart has an intelligence of its own. The head is intellectual, the heart is intelligence.
How sweetly the lotus grows
in the litter of the wayside.
Its pure fragrance delights the heart.
Remember it again and again because you will forget again and again that it is a question of the heart. If the heart delights in something, then you can be certain your life is growing, expanding; your consciousness is becoming clearer, your intelligence is being released from its bondage.
How sweetly the lotus grows in the litter of the wayside. The word for lotus that Buddha uses is pankaj; it is one of the most beautiful words. Pankaj means that which is born out of the mud, out of dirty mud. The lotus is one of the most miraculous phenomena in existence; hence in the East it has become the symbol of spiritual transformation. Buddha is seated on a lotus, Vishnu is standing on a lotus. Why a lotus? – because the lotus has one very symbolic significance: it grows out of dirty mud. It is a transformation symbol, it is a metamorphosis. The mud is dirty, maybe stinking; the lotus is fragrant, and it has come out of the stinking mud.
Buddha is saying that exactly in the same way, life ordinarily is just stinking mud, but the possibility of becoming a lotus is hidden there. The mud can be transformed, you can become a lotus. Sex can be transformed and it can become samadhi. Anger can be transformed and it can become compassion. Hate can be transformed and it can become love. Everything that you have that looks negative right now, mudlike, can be transformed. Your noisy mind can be emptied and transformed, and it becomes celestial music.
Follow the awakened
and from among the blind
the light of your wisdom
will shine out purely.
The only possible way out of this mess is being in tune with somebody who is already awakened. You are asleep; only somebody who is awake can shake you out of your sleep, can help you to come out of it.
Gurdjieff used to say: “If you are in jail, only somebody who is out of jail can arrange things so that you can escape from jail; otherwise it is impossible.” And you are not only in jail, you have been hypnotized and told that this is not a jail, this is your home. You are not only in jail, you have believed it to be your home and you are decorating it. Your whole life is nothing but decorating the jail, and you are competing with other prisoners who are decorating their dark cells.
Only somebody who is free, who has been in jail once and is no longer, can manage to wake you, to make you aware of the reality. He can manage to dehypnotize you, he can help you to be unconditioned, and he can devise methods and means so that you can escape the jail. He can bribe the warden, the jailer; he can bring a ladder close to the wall, he can throw a rope inside. He can make a hole in the wall from the outside; there are a thousand and one possibilities.
But the only hope for you is to be in deep contact with somebody who is awakened. The awakened one is called the master – satguru. If you can find a master, don’t miss the opportunity; surrender, relax into his being, imbibe his awareness, let his fragrance surround you. And the day is not far away when you will also be awakened, you will also be a buddha.
Keep on reminding yourself that unless you are a buddha, your life is a waste. Only by being a buddha does one’s life have grace, beauty, intelligence, significance, benediction.
Enough for today.

Spread the love