The Dhammapada Vol 8 01

First Discourse from the series of 13 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 8 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

“Everything arises and passes away.”
When you see this, you are above sorrow.
This is the shining way.

“Existence is sorrow.”
Understand, and go beyond sorrow.
This is the way of brightness.

“Existence is illusion.”
Understand, go beyond.
This is the way of clarity.

You are strong, you are young.
It is time to arise.
So arise!
Lest through irresolution and idleness
you lose the way.

Master your words.
Master your thoughts.
Never allow your body to do harm.
Follow these three roads with purity
and you will find yourself upon the one way,
the way of wisdom.

Sit in the world, sit in the dark.
Sit in meditation, sit in light.
Choose your seat.
Let wisdom grow.

Cut down the forest,
not the tree.
For out of the forest comes danger.

Cut down the forest.
Fell desire.
And set yourself free.
The way of Gautama the Buddha is the way of intelligence, understanding, awareness, meditation. It is not the way of belief; it is the way of seeing the truth itself. Belief simply covers up your ignorance; it does not deliver you from ignorance. Belief is a deception you play upon yourself; it is not transformation.
The people who think themselves religious are only believers, not religious. They have no clarity, no understanding, no insight into the nature of things. They don’t know what they are doing; they don’t know what they are thinking. They are simply repeating conventions, traditions: dead words spoken long, long ago. They cannot be certain whether those words are true or not. Nobody can be certain unless one realizes oneself.
There is only one certainty in existence and that is your own realization, your own seeing. Unless that happens, don’t become contented; remain discontented. Discontentment is divine; contentment through beliefs is stupid. It is through divine discontent that one grows, but it is the path which is arduous. The path of belief is simple, convenient, comfortable. You need not do anything. You have only to say yes to the authorities: the authorities of the church, of the state. You have simply to be a slave to the people who are in power.
But to follow the path of Buddha one has to be a rebel. Rebellion is its essential taste; it is only for the rebellious spirit. But only rebellious people have spirits, only they have souls. Others are hollow, empty.
These sutras of today are of immense beauty, truth. Meditate over them.
The first sutra:
“Everything arises and passes away.”
When you see this, you are above sorrow.
This is the shining way.
Life is a flux, nothing abides. Still we are such fools, we go on clinging. If change is the nature of life, then clinging is stupidity, because your clinging is not going to change the law of life. Your clinging is only going to make you miserable. Things are bound to change; whether you cling or not does not matter. If you cling you become miserable: you cling and they change, you feel frustrated. If you don’t cling they still change, but then there is no frustration because you were perfectly aware that they are bound to change. This is how things are, this is the suchness of life.
Remember Haldane’s Law: the universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we can imagine. And remember, you are not alone. The world really is like this.
It is a very strange world. Everything is momentary, yet every momentary thing gives you the illusion of being permanent. Everything is just a soap bubble, shining beautifully in the sunrays, maybe surrounded by a rainbow, a beautiful aura of light – but a soap bubble is a soap bubble! Any moment it will be gone and gone forever, but for the moment it can deceive you.
And the strangest thing is that you have been deceived thousands of times, yet you don’t become aware. Again another soap bubble and you believe. Your unintelligence seems to be unlimited! How many times do you need to be hammered? How many times do your dreams have to be crushed and shattered? How many times does life have to prove that clinging is nonsense? Stop clinging and then you go beyond sorrow. It is clinging that is the root cause of sorrow.
The world is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Just watch your own life and you will see it happening within your mind too. You understand things which you don’t manage; it is easy to understand things which you don’t manage.
Somebody asked George Bernard Shaw, “Do you believe that nothing is impossible?” Bernard Shaw is reported to have said, “Yes, I do believe that nothing is impossible, provided somebody else is going to do it.”
It is easy to understand what you don’t manage. What you manage you don’t understand at all. Do you understand your life? You understand about God and you don’t understand about your life energy. You understand about heaven and hell. There are people who know how many heavens there are and how many hells.

A man came to me and he said, “In our religion we believe that there are fourteen heavens. Mahavira has reached only up to the fifth; Buddha up to the sixth; Jesus, Mohammed, etcetera, only up to the fourth; Kabir, Nanak, up to the seventh. And my guru,” the man said – he belonged to the Radhaswami sect – “my guru has reached to the fourteenth.”
I said to the man, “Yes, I know. I have seen him in the fourteenth, because I have reached to the fifteenth. I am acquainted with the guy.”
He said, “Fifteenth? But in our scriptures there are only fourteen heavens, not fifteen.”
I said, “How can there be fifteen in your scriptures? – because your teacher has reached only up to the fourteenth!”

Foolish people! But they go on knowing how many heavens there are and how many hells there are. Jainas believe in seven hells. They have thrown Krishna into the seventh because he was the cause of the great war, Mahabharata. He persuaded Arjuna, his disciple, to fight and kill people. He was the cause of great violence so they have thrown him into the seventh, into the last. But in the days of Mahavira, one of the disciples of Mahavira, Makkhali Gosal, revolted against the master and declared that there are not seven hells but seven hundred.
People go on talking nonsense – seven and seven hundred – and they are not aware about their own inner life, from where this breath comes, to where this breath goes. They are not aware of the closest truth of their being, and they go on talking about ultimate things. This talking about ultimate things is simply to avoid the real problems of life. This is a strategy of the mind to keep you occupied with utter nonsense. Beware of the mind and its cunning ways!
Buddha says: “Everything arises and passes away.” When you see this… He is not saying, “Believe this.” He is not saying, “I have become the enlightened one, so whatsoever I say you have to believe.” He is not saying, “Because scriptures are in my favor you have to believe me.” He is not saying, “Because I can prove it logically you have to believe in me.”
See the beauty of the man. He says: When you see this, you are above sorrow. In that very moment when you have seen this – that everything is momentary and everything is a flux and everything is bound to change… Do whatsoever you want to do, but nothing is going to become permanent in this life. When you have seen this with your own eyes, and you have understood it through your own intelligence, suddenly you are beyond sorrow.
What happens? A great revolution happens in that seeing; that very seeing is the revolution. Then you don’t cling. The moment you see that it is a soap bubble you don’t cling to it. In fact, clinging to it will force it to burst sooner; if you don’t cling to it, it may remain there dancing in the wind for a while. The non-clinger can enjoy life; the clinger cannot enjoy life.

Gussie had lived a good life, having been married four times. Now she stood before the Pearly Gates.
Father Abraham said to her, “I notice that you first married a banker, then an actor, next a rabbi, and lastly an undertaker. What kind of a system is that for a respectable Jewish woman?”
“A very good system,” replied Gussie. “One for the money, two for the show, three to make ready and four to go!”

If you see, you can enjoy; then it is just a game. Then everything is totally different; then it is a big drama. Then the whole earth becomes just a stage and everybody is acting his part. But if you don’t see, you become obsessed: you start clinging to things, and deep down you know that they are slipping out of your hands.

“I had everything a man could want,” moaned a sad-eyed friend of ours. “Money, a handsome home, the love of a beautiful and wealthy woman. Then, bang! One morning my wife walked in!”

You can’t remain in the same state for long. Life changes just like dreams. Hence the mystics have been calling life nothing but a dream; a dream seen with open eyes, a dream shared by others too. In the night the dream is private; nobody can share it. In the day the dream is public; everybody can share it. In the night the dream is subjective; in the day the dream is objective. But the quality of both is the same – writings on water. You have not even finished writing and they start disappearing. Not even writings on the sand – because on the sand the writing may stay a little longer. It will have to wait for the wind to come or somebody to walk over it. It is writing in water. You go on writing and it goes on disappearing.
Seeing it …you are above sorrow – immediately. Then nothing else has to be done. The moment you have seen it, where is sorrow? The cause has disappeared; you have removed the very cause. Cling, and you create the cause. Non-clinging is liberation.
Hence Buddha says: This is the shining way – so simple, so luminous, that unless you are utterly blind, spiritually blind, you can’t miss it. He is not talking about great metaphysical truths. He is not philosophizing. He is not using complex words and systems and theories. He is simply stating a fact that he has seen – and you can see it. It has nothing to do with Buddha, it is not his invention, it is not his idea. It is the facticity of life.
Look around. Everything is changing. It is like a river moving and moving – and you want to catch hold of it? It is mercury; if you try to catch hold of it, you will lose sooner than before. Don’t try to catch hold of it. Watch joyfully, silently. Witness the game, the dream, and …you are above sorrow. Buddha is not saying you will go beyond sorrow. He says: …you are above sorrow.
“Existence is sorrow.”
Understand, and go beyond sorrow.
This is the way of brightness.
“Existence is sorrow.” First he says that sorrow arises out of clinging to momentary things which you cannot make permanent. It is not in the nature of things. It is against the universal law. It is against dhamma, it is against Tao. You cannot win. If you fight with the universal law you are fighting a losing battle; you will simply waste your energies. What is going to happen is bound to happen: nothing can be done about it.
Your consciousness is all that you can do something about. You can change your vision. You can see things in a different light, with a different context, in a new space, but you cannot change things. If you think of the world as very real you will suffer; if you see the world as a strange dream you will not suffer. If you think in terms of static entities you will suffer. If you think in terms of nouns you will suffer. But if you think in terms of verbs you will not suffer.
Nouns don’t exist; they exist only in languages. In reality there are no nouns. Everything is a verb because everything is changing and everything is in a process. It is never static, it is always dynamic.
The second thing Buddha says is: “Existence is sorrow.” To be is sorrow. The ego is sorrow. First he says: “See the world as dream, fluctuating, changing, moment-to-moment new.” Enjoy it, enjoy its newness, enjoy all the surprises that it brings. It is beautiful that it is changing, nothing is wrong about it; just don’t cling to it. Why do you cling? You cling because you have another fallacy: that you are.
The first fallacy is that things are static. And the second fallacy is that you are, that you have a static ego. They both go together. If you want to cling you need a clinger; if you have no need to cling, there is no need for a clinger. Go deep into it. If you don’t need to cling, the ego is not needed at all, it will be pointless. In fact, it cannot exist without clinging.
The dancer can exist only if he dances. If the dance disappears, where is the dancer? The singer exists only in singing. The walker exists only in walking. So is the ego: the ego exists only in clinging, in possessing things, in dominating things. When there is no domination, no desire to dominate, no desire to cling, no desire to possess, the ego starts to evaporate. On the outside you stop clinging and in the inside a new clarity starts to arise. The ego with all its smoke disappears, the ego with all its clouds disappears. It can’t exist because it cannot be nourished anymore. For it to exist it has to cling. It has to create “my” and “mine,” and it goes on creating “my” and “mine” about every possible and impossible thing.
The ego says, “This is my country,” as if you have brought it with your birth, as if the earth is really divided into countries. The earth is undivided, it is one. But the ego says, “This is my country” – and not only “This is my country,” “This is the greatest country in the world. This is the holiest land.”
Ask the Indians. “This is the most spiritual country in the world. Everybody else is materialist and we are spiritualists.” And everybody else has his own ideas. They are great. Ask the Germans. Nobody is of pure blood, only they are – Aryan blood, Nordic blood, purest blood. God has created them to rule the whole world. And ask the Japanese. They have descended directly from the sun god; they are not ordinary mortals. The sun is their source, and the sun is the source of all life. And ask anybody. Everybody has his own ideas how his country is great, how his religion is great. Religion also becomes your possession: “My religion, my Christianity, my Hinduism.”
Who can claim religion? Who can claim that religion is a possession? You can be religious, but you cannot claim that Christianity is yours; you cannot claim that Hinduism is yours. But the ego is so stupid, it goes on claiming all kinds of things.

Mr. Ginsberg came home one day from the garment district where he owned a company and said that he must get a mistress.
“Why?” gasped Mrs. Ginsberg.
“Well,” replied her husband, “all the owners have them and it looks bad for my business that I don’t.”
“Well, if it is for business, all right,” said Mrs. Ginsberg.
Sometime later Mr. and Mrs. Ginsberg were enjoying an evening at the opera when suddenly Mr. Ginsberg said, “Look, Miriam, there is Mr. Pincus and his mistress sitting across from us in a box.”
Mrs. Ginsberg studied the pair for a long time with her opera glasses and then said, “Ours is better!”

Anything and everything will be claimed by the ego. And, “Ours is always better,” whatsoever it is. The ego exists only through such claims. The “I” exists only as an island in the ocean of “my” and “mine.” If you stop claiming things as my and mine, the ego will disappear on its own accord.
Neither the wife is yours, nor the husband, nor the children. All belong to the whole. Your claim is foolish. We come empty-handed into the world and we go empty-handed from the world. But nobody wants to know the truth – it hurts. Empty-handed we come and empty-handed we go. One starts feeling shaky, one starts feeling scared. One wants to be full, not empty. It is better to be full of anything – any garbage – than to be empty. Emptiness looks like death, and we don’t want the truth. Our whole effort is to live in convenience, even if that convenience is based on illusions.

“I demand an explanation and I want the truth!” shouted the irate husband upon discovering his wife in bed with his best friend.
“Make up your mind, George,” she calmly replied. “You can’t have both.”

Either you can have the explanation or the truth. And people are more interested in the explanation than in the truth, hence so many philosophies. They are all explanations to explain away things, not to give you the truth; explanations to create great smoke so you need not see the truth. And Buddha’s insistence is: “See it! – because without seeing it you can’t go above sorrow.”

James, to his wife: “I am in the mood and you are so beautiful!”
Katherine: “What makes you think I am beautiful?”
James: “When I am in the mood, everybody is beautiful!”

The whole question is of your mood. If you are in the mood of an ego trip, then you will not listen to the buddhas, or you will listen in such a way that you can manage, distort, interpret those truths according to yourself, to support you. If you are still interested in the ego you cannot understand these sutras.
If you have become fed up with the ego, if you are tired of its games, if you have seen that it brings only suffering and nothing else, then these truths are so simple to understand that in fact no explanation is needed. And I am not explaining them to you. I am simply hammering them on your head, from this side and from that side. You try to dodge, you try to escape, you try to close your eyes, but I go on shouting in your ears, hoping that sooner or later you will be able to understand – because without this understanding happening to you, your life will be a nightmare. And you have wasted many lives in nightmares. It is time to wake up!
“Existence is sorrow.” Understand, and go beyond sorrow. This is the way of brightness. Buddha says: “This is the way of intelligence. This is not for dull, unintelligent, mediocre minds.”
The way of Buddha is for those who are intelligent. And who is not intelligent? If you decide to be intelligent, you are intelligent. You are born with great intelligence, but you keep it repressed. You are afraid of your own intelligence because your own intelligence will disturb your settled routine of life. Somehow you have managed to settle, and your own intelligence will keep you moving forward. It will go on telling you, “This is not the truth. Again you have fallen victim to a dream. Move on. Unless you reach the truth, there is no way to rest in peace. Move on!” Because intelligence goads you to move on, you repress it.
Everybody is born intelligent. I have never come across a child who is not intelligent, but it is very rare later on to find intelligent people. What happens in the meantime? Every child turns out to be stupid later on. By the time you come from the university you are fully established in your stupidities. The university is a guarantee that you are now intelligence-proof. Nobody can make you intelligent again – they have sealed you.
Socrates says: “Know thyself.” Buddha also says: “Know thyself.” And both have been misunderstood, Socrates more than Buddha. When Socrates says: “Know thyself,” people think there is someone inside who has to be known. There is nobody inside. When Socrates says: “Know thyself,” he is simply saying, “Go in and see what is there.” He is not saying that there is someone that you will come to know; he is simply saying go in. But he does not make you so scared.
Buddha says clearly that there is no one: “Go in and see.” There is only seeing, but not a seer. There is understanding but nobody who understands, knowing but not a knower. This has to be understood. This is Buddha’s very emphatic message: that there are processes, certainly, but there is no center to those processes. Yes, there is love but no lover, and there is meditation but no meditator, and there is liberation, but nobody is liberated. It looks very strange, but now modern science agrees with it.
As far as objective reality is concerned, modern science agrees with Buddha more than with anybody else. Hence Buddha has a great future, because science will come closer and closer every day to Buddha. Science is going to speak in the same language as Buddha. Science says there is energy but no matter. That’s what Buddha is saying for the inner world: there is energy, movement, processes, but no entity, no ego.
“Know thyself” means: know that you are not. Great courage is needed to know this. People want to know that they are immortal souls. Then they are very happy: “We are immortal souls.” And Buddha says, “Don’t talk nonsense. You are simply not. Immortality is there, but you are not immortal. When you disappear completely, whatsoever is left behind… That cleanliness, that purity, that innocence, that nobodiness, that nothingness, that shunya is immortal. It has no beginning and no end, no birth and no death.”
But rather than going in and finding the basic illusion of the ego, rather than going in and finding the root cause of all your misery, you go on throwing the responsibility on others.

Murphy’s famous maxim: the man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on.

Everybody is trying to blame his misery on somebody else. And that’s how we remain in misery, because this blaming is not going to help. In the first place it is wrong – nobody else is the cause of your misery; the cause is within you. You are living with a fallacy. But even if you are living with a fallacy, the mind enjoys the idea that somebody else is responsible – “I am not responsible”; you feel relief.

“Doctor, you’ve got to do something about my husband.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“He’s convinced that he is a refrigerator.”
“That’s terrible!”
“You’re telling me!” snapped the wife. “He sleeps with his mouth open, and the light keeps me awake all night.”

A woman called a psychiatrist on the phone and cried, “Doctor, you’ve got to help me. My husband is driving me crazy. He keeps insisting that he is Moses.”
“That sounds serious,” replied the psychiatrist. “I think you should bring him to my office tomorrow.”
“Ah, I will,” she replied, “but in the meantime how do I keep him from parting the water every time I try to take a bath?”

Even if you are mad, the mind would like to believe that somebody else is responsible, somebody else is mad. People are ready to believe that the whole world is mad, but not themselves. In fact, a madman never accepts that he is mad. You can go to a madhouse and you can ask all the mad people, and you will be surprised: not a single mad person will agree that he is mad. The whole world is mad, he is perfectly sane.
In fact, those who understand mad people say that once a madman accepts that he is mad he is no longer mad; sanity has already started coming into his being.
That’s what all the buddhas have been saying: the moment you understand “I am ignorant,” the first glimpse of knowing has happened. The moment you say “I am not,” for the first time, real existence has penetrated you. The first time you say “I don’t possess anything,” the whole world is yours. The first time you say “I am not separate,” “I am one with the whole,” you become the whole. The dewdrop does not really disappear; it becomes the ocean. By knowing one’s emptiness, one’s egolessness, one loses nothing, one gains all.
And the third sutra:
“Existence is illusion.”
Understand, go beyond.
This is the way of clarity.
Buddha does not give you doctrines, he does not give you dogmas. He is not a bit interested in giving you philosophies of life. His whole concern is one: how to make your mind clear, how to impart clarity to you so that you can see unhindered, so your eyes no longer carry any dust, so your eyes are without dust and you can see through and through as things are.
Ordinarily whatsoever you see is your projection. That’s what you call existence – you project. Existence functions only as a screen and the projector is inside you; and you go on projecting your desires, your imaginations, your hopes, your dreams, and you go on seeing things which are not there.
People go on projecting to the very end. Even if you meet them after their death you will find them in the same mess.

Business had been terrible for Blum and he cut down on his help. In a month he had to cut down still further, and everyone said that this terrible strain became a fixation that hastened his death a few weeks afterward.
As they were carrying his body down the aisle of the chapel, Blum suddenly sat up in the coffin and asked, “How many men are carrying me?”
“There are eight pallbearers, Mr. Blum,” said the undertaker.
“Better lay off two,” said Blum, lying down again.

Even after death the old obsession continues! And don’t take it as a joke – this is how things are. People go on believing in the same things after death; they go on continuing the same desires. That’s how they go on coming back again and again to the earth to fulfill the same unfulfilled desires. And those desires are unfulfillable, so they go on coming again and again, millions of times.
Buddha calls it a vicious circle, a wheel which goes on moving. You are just like a spoke in the wheel. Sometimes you come up and sometimes you go down. But the wheel goes on moving up and down, up and down; life and death, life and death; one moment of success, another moment of failure; one moment of hope, another moment of despair. It goes on and on, and it has been going on for eternity. And this whole thing is your own projection – it is not reality.
Reality can only be known when you have nothing to project. That state of non-projection Buddha calls clarity. Clarity means you have no desire, you don’t want things to be in a certain way, you are ready to see them as they are. You are simply a mirror, not a projector.
When you are a mirror, this is samadhi, this is satori. You simply reflect like the silent, clear, cool water of a lake reflects the full moon and the stars. When you are absolutely clear, no dreams, no desires, no imaginations, no memories, the whole mind put aside – the mind is a mechanism to project – then there is clarity and things are reflected as they are. And for the first time you know what is real. Otherwise: “Existence is illusion.”
Understand this: that whatsoever you think as existence is illusion. Understand it, and go beyond. This is the way of clarity.
You are strong, you are young.
It is time to arise.
So arise!
Lest through irresolution and idleness
you lose the way.
In ancient India, when Buddha was delivering these sutras to his disciples, this was the accepted tradition, that a man should become a seeker only in the last stage of his life. If you assume life to be a hundred-year span, then the Hindu idea is to divide life in four parts of twenty-five years each.
The first twenty-five years are for education, brahmacharya. You go to the university, you live with a master to learn the skills of the world, the arts, the craft, the science. And after twenty-five years you come back into the world, you get married. And for twenty-five years now – the second stage – you live as a householder, as a husband, as a father, fulfilling the duties of life.
And then comes the third stage, again of twenty-five years: you prepare to renounce the world. The third stage is called vanaprastha. First is brahmacharya – celibacy – so that you can devote your whole mind to your studies, no distractions. All your sexual energies have to be concentrated in studies. Then the second stage is called grihastha – the stage of the householder. You devote all your energies to family life: make a house, create a big business, earn money, raise children. And then the third is called vanaprastha. Vanaprastha means: “facing toward the forest.” Now prepare yourself to leave the world – prepare for twenty-five years! Live still in the house, but turn toward the forest. Slowly, slowly disconnect yourself. Go on giving your responsibilities to your children, who will now be coming back from the university.
And the fourth stage – after seventy-five years – the last twenty-five years, you become a sannyasin. This was the routine, accepted, conventional thing in India.
In the first place, people don’t live a hundred years, and particularly in those days not at all. All the scientific research that has been gone into proves that people in Buddha’s time lived at the most an average of forty years; forty years was the average life. And it does not seem too bad because even now in India, sixty years is the average life. With all the new medicine, medical help, hospitals, if India has only sixty years as the average life, then in those days, with no science, with no medical facilities, if people lived an average of forty years they were doing perfectly well. So people were not living for a hundred years. By the time one was seventy-five, one was gone. So for the majority of the people, the time for sannyas would never come.
It seems it was just an effort to postpone it. And even if somebody lived after seventy-five – a few people lived, Buddha himself lived for eighty years – if a few people lived after seventy-five, their lives would be almost without energy. They would be dead, walking corpses. They would not have energy enough to meditate, to rise to the highest peaks of consciousness. They would not be able to transform their beings into buddhahood; that would be impossible for them.
Buddha brought a great revolution and India has never forgiven him for that. He destroyed the whole nonsensical idea of stages. It is nonsense, because there are a few intelligent people who can be sannyasins even while they are young, and there are a few superintelligent people who can be sannyasins even when they are small children.
Shankaracharya became a sannyasin when he was only nine years of age. Buddha became a sannyasin when he was twenty-nine years old. So it is foolish to postpone it. And why go on postponing truth to the very end when you will be almost a corpse, no energy left? And then you will try to soar high into the sky? When the days have come to go into the grave, you will try to take flight toward the sun? It is impossible.
Buddha was the first in India to introduce the idea of a young sannyasin. His emphasis was that youth is the best time to be a sannyasin because great energy will be needed for the inner transformation, for inner work. It can’t be postponed. And who knows about the future? Who knows even about tomorrow or even about the next moment? He says: You are young, you are strong – then this is the time. It is time to arise. Don’t postpone. There is no need to postpone. Don’t say “I will wake up only after seventy-five years of age.” A person who has been dreaming for seventy-five years will find it very difficult to wake up after seventy-five years of dreaming. Dreaming would have become almost a second nature to him.
As you grow old you become more and more stubborn, less and less flexible. As you grow old you become more and more mechanical, less and less alive. Your ways of life become so settled, your ways of thinking become so fixated, that it becomes impossible to change them. That’s why it is so difficult for an old man to learn anything new. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Children learn very easily; old men find it very difficult to learn because they already think they know. Their whole life’s experience is there, and their life’s experience starts dominating them; it goes on dominating them to the very end.

Zeb and his wife, Addie, had had a reputation for being the stingiest couple in the hills. Zeb died a few years back, and his kin had been downright embarrassed about the way Addie went on about the cost of the funeral. She even insisted on having the coffin closed so she would not have to pay the undertaker for a room to hold the viewing.
A few years later, Addie got sick and it looked like she was going to meet Zeb in the hereafter. Addie called her only friend to her side and made her promise to see to the funeral.
“Promise you will bury me in my black silk dress,” she said weakly. “But you may as well cut the material out of the back of the skirt. It is good material and it surely is a sin to waste it.”
“Now, Addie,” replied her friend, “I just couldn’t. When you and Zeb walk through those Pearly Gates, you surely don’t want to go with no back to your dress.”
“Don’t give it another thought,” replied Addie. “They will all be looking at Zeb anyway.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I buried him without his pants.”

If you are miserly your whole life, then even in death you will be the same. As you grow old you become more and more settled.
Youth is the best time for inner transformation because youth is the most flexible time. Children are more flexible than young people, but they are not as understanding. They need a little experience. Youth is exactly in the middle; you are no longer a child, no longer ignorant of life and its ways and not yet settled as an old man. You are in a state of transition, and the state of transition is the best time that you can jump out of the wheel of life and death. Youth is the most significant time to take any jump, because the jump needs courage, it needs energy, it needs risk, it needs daring.
Buddha says: You are strong, you are young. It is time to arise. To be a youth, to be young, to be fresh, is a great benediction. It is the time of rebellion. And if you miss your youth, it will be more and more difficult later on. Not that it is impossible – it can happen even when you are old – but it will take more arduous effort and things will not be so easy. It is just like climbing a mountain: when you are young it is easier, when you become old it becomes difficult. Breathing is hard, climbing up is tiring, you perspire, you feel exhausted very soon, you will need more rest and the journey will look very long. When you are young you can run up; you can run up to the peak and each step will release more energy in you, because to be young is to be a reservoir of energy.
Many people come to me and ask why I am giving sannyas to young people – because of this reservoir of energy. Youth is the time for sannyas, because sannyas is the greatest rebellion; no other rebellion is so great. Don’t waste your youthfulness on other ordinary revolutions – political, social, economic. Don’t waste your life energy on those stupid games. Put your total energy, focus your total energy, on a single point: the spiritual revolution – because that is a radical change, and other changes can follow that change.
If your inner being changes, your whole outer life will be totally different. It will have a different fragrance, a different beauty, a different grace. And when your inner being is changed and becomes a flame of light, you will become a light unto others too. You will become a beckoning light, a great herald of a new dawn. Your very presence will trigger revolutions in other people’s lives.
Buddha says: So arise! Don’t waste a single moment! – Lest through irresolution and idleness you lose the way. The only danger is irresolution. A life uncommitted, uninvolved, is not worth calling life. It is only through commitment, involvement, that your life attains sharpness, your intelligence becomes a sword. Through idleness you gather rust; your sharpness disappears. You become old even while you are young. And if you remain sharp and you remain rebellious, even when you are old you will not be old. You will be physically old, but your inner being will remain young.
And that is one of the greatest experiences of life: when your body becomes old, but your inner being keeps its youthfulness. That means you have not lost track of life, that you are keeping yourself in step with life. You are not left behind, you are not lagging behind.
Buddha says:
Master your words.
He says… Ordinarily a mind is full of words – relevant, irrelevant, rubbish; all kinds of words go on gathering inside you. Two persons are talking; you simply listen, and those words become part of your mind – for no other reason, accidentally. You heard two persons talking. You have become burdened. You travel and you read the signboards, and those words become part of your being. You read unnecessary advertisements. In magazines, people read advertisements more than anything else. Or you go on gossiping with people, knowing perfectly well that it is just useless, a sheer waste of time and energy. But words are gathering inside you like dust, layers upon layers, and your mirror will be covered by them.
Buddha says: Master your words. Be telegraphic. Listen only to that which is significant, read only that which is meaningful. Avoid the unnecessary, the irrelevant. Speak only that which is to the point. Make your every word your heart. Don’t just go on saying things as if you are a gramophone record.

Mary was sitting alone on the couch when her mother came in and turned on the light.
“Why, what is the matter, dear?” asked her mother. “Why are you sitting here in the dark? Did you and John have a fight?”
“Oh, no, nothing like that,” replied Mary. “As a matter of fact, John asked me to marry him.”
“Well, then why do you look so sad?”
“Oh, mother, it is just that I don’t know if I could marry an advertising executive.”
“But what is wrong with marrying a man who is in advertising?”
“Well, how would you feel if a man who was proposing to you told you that it was a once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-repeated, special offer?”

Just like a gramophone record! He may not be aware at all of what he is saying, may be repeating his habit. He is skillful in it, it has become part of his mind. It may be repeating itself; he may not be conscious at all of what he is doing.
When Buddha says: Master your words, he means, be conscious. Why are you saying something? To whom? And what is the purpose of it? Be clear, otherwise be silent. It is better not to burden others with your garbage. If you can enlighten, good; if you can unburden, good; otherwise it is better to be quiet.
Master your thoughts.
For a few minutes watch any thought which goes on inside your mind and you will be surprised: the mind seems to be crazy! It jumps from one thought to another thought for no reason at all. Just a dog starts barking in the neighborhood and your mind takes the clue from it: and you remember the dog that you used to have in your childhood, and the dog died… And you start feeling sad. And because of the death of the dog you start thinking about death, and the death of your mother and the death of your father. And you become angry because you were never at ease with your mother; there was always conflict. The dog is still barking, completely unaware what he has done. And you have traveled so far!
Anything can trigger a process in you. This is a kind of slavery: you are at the mercy of accidents. This is not mastery. And a sannyasin, a seeker, should be a master. He thinks only if he wants to think; if he does not want to think he simply puts off his mind. He knows how to put it on and how to put it off.
You don’t know how to put it on, you don’t know how to put it off; it goes on and on. It starts working in childhood and goes on working till you die. Seventy years, eighty years, continuously working – so much work, and then you cannot expect anything great out of it because it is utterly tired. It has not much energy left; it is leaking from everywhere. If you can put it off… That’s what meditation is all about: putting the mind off, the art of putting the mind off. If you can put it off, it will gather energy.
If you are without the mind for a few hours every day, you will gather so much energy that that energy will keep you young, fresh, creative. That energy will allow you to see reality, the beauty of existence, the joy of life, the celebration. But for that you need energy, and your mind has very little energy. Somehow you just manage your life. You live a poor life for the sheer reason that you don’t know how to accumulate your mind energy, how to make a reservoir of your inner being. It goes on and on leaking and you don’t know how to stop those leakages.
Never allow your body to do harm.
Three things, Buddha says: “Be careful about words; be master of your thoughts; never allow your body to do harm. Because the body comes from the animals, the body is animal. It enjoys harming, it is violent. Be conscious of it. Don’t allow it to go into violence. Don’t allow it to harm anybody, because if you harm others the harm will come back to you sooner or later.”
That’s the whole theory of karma: whatsoever you do to others will be done to you. So do to others only that which you would like to be done to you.
Follow these three roads with purity
and you will find yourself upon the one way,
the way of wisdom.
The last advice Buddha gives is: don’t follow these three paths out of calculation. Follow them innocently, in a childlike way, exploring, inquiring. Make it an adventure, but don’t be calculative, don’t be businesslike. We are all businesslike, and that is one of the basic reasons we go on missing the joy of life. A businessman can never know what joy is; he is always thinking about profits.
People come to me and they ask, “If we meditate, what will be the profit out of it? What are we going to gain out of it?” If I say to them, “Meditate for meditation’s sake,” they look puzzled. They say, “Then what is the point?” They can’t understand that, in life, a few things should be done without any calculation.
Love for love’s sake, art for art’s sake, meditation for meditation’s sake. All that is beautiful and great can never be reduced to a means to something else. And the businessman knows only that. The businesslike mind always reduces everything to a means to some end. And these are ends. Meditation is an end unto itself, not a means to anything else. Hence, be childlike, innocent, non-calculative. Be pure …and you will find yourself upon the one way – the only way, the true way – the way of wisdom.
Sit in the world, sit in the dark – these words are tremendously pregnant:
Sit in the world, sit in the dark.
Sit in meditation, sit in light.
Choose your seat.
Let wisdom grow.
Sitting in the world means to be in the mind and sitting in meditation means to be in no-mind. To be in the mind is to be in the dark and to be in no-mind is to be in light. If you have understood the previous sutras you will know how to be a no-mind – and then there is light and only light. You are flooded with light, you become luminous. And that’s how wisdom grows.
Cut down the forest,
not the tree.
For out of the forest comes danger.
Cut down the forest… means cut out the root, the very source of it all; …not the tree, because the tree is only a symptom. If you cut down one tree, another tree will grow. Don’t fight with the symptoms; look into the root and destroy the root.
The root is the ego. The root is the desire of the ego. The root is the clinging of the ego. Cut down the whole forest: the ego, the desire, the clinging, the cunningness, the cleverness, the calculativeness, the politicalness – cut out all these. Don’t go on fighting with small things.
Somebody comes and asks, “How can I get rid of anger?” Now, without getting rid of the ego you cannot get rid of anger, and if you try you will be only repressing it. People come to me and they ask, “How can we get rid of sexuality?” You cannot get rid of sexuality if you don’t get rid of the ego and its continuous hankering for more and more. You can’t get rid of sexuality if you cannot see the inner nothingness. In that seeing, sexuality is transformed into spirituality. Go to the root, to the source.
But people go on pruning the trees, thinking that this is how they are going to transform their lives. Yes, they can become more sophisticated, more cultured, more civilized, on the surface more polished – but this will be only on the surface. Deep down they will remain the same: as ugly as before or even uglier, because all that is repressed will make them more and more perverted.
Cut down the forest.
Fell desire.
And set yourself free.
If you want to cut down the forest: Fell desire. See the point, that desire is futile. Live in the moment and don’t try to live in the future. Nobody can live in the future. How can you live in a future which is not yet? And desire gives you the illusion of living in the future. Sitting, you start thinking you have become the president of a country. You start living a dream, a daydream, thinking that you have found a great fortune; a lottery has been opened in your name. And you start thinking and become very disturbed, really disturbed: “What to do with it?”

I had a friend, a doctor, and he was very obsessed with crossword puzzles. Every month he would fill in crossword puzzles, and every month he would hope that this time he was going to get five lakh rupees, ten lakh rupees. I had been watching it for years. And the month would pass and nothing would happen, and he would start preparing for another crossword puzzle.
One day I was sitting in his dispensary, and I told him, “Look, you don’t seem to have a great fate!”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I have been watching you for so many days, for so many years, and nothing happens. Join with me and this month you will get ten lakh rupees.”
He was ecstatic. He said, “Why didn’t you say so before?”
I said, “But there is a condition. The library of this city needs five lakh rupees. You will have to give five lakh rupees to the library. Then I can join with you. Then my fate will be with your fate – and you know my fate!”
He said, “That I know! But,” he said, “five lakhs is too much.” He started bargaining: nothing had happened yet, but he was so disturbed! He started bargaining, “Five lakhs is too much, and I am a poor doctor, and you know how difficult it is and what great competition there is – twenty doctors in this small town and I am the poorest. You are demanding five lakh rupees! Make it one lakh.”
I said, “Okay, so it is agreed: one lakh I will get for the library, nine lakhs you get.”
He said, “Yes.” But he said yes in such a sad way: “One lakh rupees, going just like that!”
Twelve o’clock in the night he knocked on my door. It was summer and I was sleeping on the terrace so I asked from the terrace, “What is the matter? Who is there?”
He said, “I am your friend. I could not sleep, I had to come. One lakh is too much! This time just fifty thousand. Next month we will join forces again and then I will give one lakh.”
I said, “Okay – because I don’t want to disturb my sleep. Go away. Fifty thousand is okay, but now don’t change it!”
Next morning he changed it. He said, “You know my situation. This time, let me keep the whole amount. Next month, whatsoever you say I will give to the library.”
I said, “Then I withdraw my hand. Then you do it on your own.”
The month passed. Nothing happened. He came to me and he was crying, just tears. And he said, “I am such a fool! I should have agreed with you. You were only asking fifty thousand rupees, but I did not agree. This month I am going to agree.”
I said, “But now I am not going to do this business at all, because I know it will happen again the same way – great bargaining, and your nights will be disturbed and you will disturb my sleep. Do it on your own.”

People even start living in imagination. Watch yourself. Desire keeps you occupied in the nonexistential and goes on destroying that which is present. And the present is the only life. Now and here is the only life.
Live it in totality, live it with your whole being. Put your mind aside and jump into the now with no-mind. And all the blessings of existence will shower on you.
Enough for today.

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