The Dhammapada Vol 8 07

Seventh 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.

The followers of the awakened
and day and night they watch
and meditate upon their master.

Forever wakeful,
they mind the law.

They know their brothers on the way.
They understand the mystery of the body.
They find joy in all beings.
They delight in meditation.

It is hard to live in the world
and hard to live out of it.
It is hard to be one among many.

And for the wanderer, how long is the road
wandering through many lives!

Let him rest.
Let him not suffer.
Let him not fall into suffering.

If he is a good man,
a man of faith, honored and prosperous,
wherever he goes he is welcome.

Like the Himalayas
good men shine from afar,
but bad men move unseen
like arrows in the night.


Alone with yourself,
never weary.

On the edge of the forest
live joyfully,
without desire.
Three reformed and very progressive rabbis were boasting about the advanced views of their respective congregations.
“We are so modern,” said the first, “we have installed ashtrays in every pew so members can smoke while they pray.”
“Ah!” snorted the second. “We now have a snack bar in the basement that serves ham sandwiches after services.”
“You boys,” said the third, “are not even in the same class as my congregation. We are so reformed, we close for the Jewish holidays.”

That’s what has happened to all the so-called followers – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists. They are not real followers; their being a follower is only a formality. It is just by accident of birth that one is a Hindu and another is a Christian. It is not out of your own choice, it is not your commitment. You have not chosen to be a Christian or a Hindu or a Buddhist; hence it is absolutely meaningless, it carries no weight. It is at the most a social phenomenon. It has nothing to do with religion, it has no sacredness about it – a social conformity, useful in its own ways.
Your church is nothing but a club. Just as there are Rotarians, so there are Christians. You belong to a certain club and the club has a few privileges; belonging to it, you also have the right to have those privileges. It is not a search for truth because the search for truth does not make you part of a tradition. It certainly makes you a disciple, but not a part of a dead tradition, religion, organization. It certainly brings you close to a Christ or a Buddha, but it has nothing to do with the scriptures.
A living master is bound to happen to the person who is in search of truth, who wants to know the meaning of life, who wants to go to the innermost core of his being, who wants to know the depth and the height of existence. He will have to hold hands with a master.
The master is one who has already known. The master is one who has been to the other shore and has come to this shore to show you the path. But only a master can show the path – a living master, remember. A tradition is just a fossil, a corpse. Yes, once there may have been a light, but the light has gone to the infinite long, long ago.
Twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha’s flame became one with the universal flame. Now you can go on worshipping Buddha, but you will not be, in the real sense, a disciple – you can’t be. The Buddha you worship is your own invention, your projection. You will have to find a real buddha, a man who is alive, just as alive as you are, who is in the body, whose flame can help your unlit candle to become lit, whose fire can consume you.
But churches and temples and creeds and dogmas cannot consume you, they cannot make you aflame. They have no fire left. Two thousand years have passed since Christ. You can go on worshipping in the church, but now what you are doing is a kind of social duty. You are not involved in it, your heart is not there. Superficially, on the periphery, you have a label – Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan – but behind the labels you are all alike; there is no difference at all.
The first sutra of Buddha says:
The followers of the awakened
Those who are really followers of the awakened are awake. That’s the only way to be a follower of the awakened – to be awake. It is not a question of worship, not a question of respect. It is a question of inner transformation. It is going through inner alchemy.
How can you go through inner alchemy if the master is not present? The gap of thousands of years cannot be bridged. But there is no need to bridge it either because whenever there is one who is awakened he is the same, the fire is the same. What lamp the flame is alive in makes no difference. The lamp may be of this shape or that shape, the lamp may be made of this metal or that metal, it is irrelevant. The flame has nothing to do with the metal and the shape of the lamp; the flame is always the same. But you will have to seek a lamp which can still show you the path.
The moment you see an enlightened person, if you allow yourself to see the enlightened person, three things happen in your life. The first is you become a student. A student means one who becomes intellectually involved, who becomes intellectually intrigued, who starts feeling that his questions are being answered for the first time, his curiosities are dissolving for the first time. For the first time there is someone who can answer him and his answers are not borrowed; his answers are on his own authority. His answers are not coming from his memory; his answers are welling up from his very center.
And you can feel the difference, the difference is great. It is the difference between a plastic rose and a real rose. You can see that his answers are fresh, young, breathing. They have a heartbeat to them, they are not dead information. He has not collected knowledge; he has known, he has seen, he has become. And you will feel his being. The first step is to become a student; that’s how the journey starts.
The second step is to be a disciple. When not only your head is in communication with the master but your heart too, when not only does he look logical but a great love arises in your being for him, then you become a disciple. A disciple knows how to commune, the student knows how to communicate. The student lives on the verbal, intellectual level; the disciple on the nonverbal, feeling level. His heart starts opening. Just as the sun rises in the morning and the flowers start opening, the disciple feels some opening is happening in him. He is no longer the same person. The master has touched his being; something has penetrated. The disciple has become pregnant.
And the third step is to be a devotee. The student relates through the head, the disciple through the heart, and the devotee through his totality. It is no longer a question of head or heart, body or mind or soul; his whole being becomes suffused. He becomes one with the master. It is no longer a dialogue of the head or of the heart. There are no longer two; the flames have become one.
This is the moment of real initiation, of real sannyas. Buddha is talking about it. He says: The followers of the awakened awake… They become just like the master. They have the same quality, the same fragrance, the same aura. The only way to understand a buddha is to become a buddha yourself; there is no other way.
The student will know about the buddha; the devotee will know the buddha. The disciple will feel the buddha. The disciple is just in between the student and the devotee. He will remain a little vague, clouded; he will not have clarity. In that sense, the student is clear – intellectually clear. The devotee is totally clear. The disciple is in the middle: something is clear and something is very unclear; something is light and something is dark. The disciple is in a state of twilight, neither day nor night.
Buddha is talking about the devotee when he uses the word follower. He does not mean a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist. He means someone who has the courage to take the plunge into the very being of the master; he is a real follower. And in that plunge he starts having the same quality – the quality of being awake.
Ordinarily you are living in a kind of sleep; a metaphysical slumber surrounds you. And even if sometimes there are possibilities, opportunities for you to be awakened, you avoid it, because you have invested so much in your sleep. You are afraid of being awake. Deep down you know that if you become awake your dreams will be disturbed – and you may be having beautiful dreams, nice dreams, sweet dreams. And who wants to get disturbed when there are so many beautiful dreams surrounding you? And you don’t think that you are dreaming when you are dreaming; your dreams look real.
That is one of the strange things about dreams; they have such a deep impact on you. They hypnotize you so deeply: you have known many times that they are dreams when you wake up in the morning, but again every night you fall back into the same hypnosis.
This is the case with you for so many lives. You have lived the same kind of life again and again – the same desire, the same greed, the same ambition – and each time you were frustrated, but again you are ready to become a victim. It is exactly as with dreams.
This morning too when you woke up you remembered so many dreams from the night and you laughed; it looked so ridiculous. But let the night come again and you will dream again, and when you are dreaming, you will believe them. They are real deceivers! And when one believes that this is real, why should one want to be awake and disturb it? You resist awakening.
Even if you come across a buddha you will not look at him. You will look sideways; you will not look into his eyes. The fear… His energy may start pulsating in you. Hence, many times you have come across a Buddha, a Krishna, a Mahavira, a Christ, a Mohammed, but you have missed again and again on your own accord. You were afraid to encounter them – the encounter may prove too dangerous.

“Hello. This is long distance. I have a call for you from Palm Springs.”
“Hello, Herman, this is Rube. Listen, I am stranded here and I need five hundred dollars.”
“I can’t hear you. Something is wrong with the phone.”
“I want five hundred dollars!”
“I still can’t hear you.”
“I can hear it okay,” interrupted the operator.
“Then you give him the five hundred dollars!”

You listen only to that which fits with you; you avoid listening to that which can be a disturbance. You become deaf, you become dumb, you become blind. You have chosen a particular sleepy life and you have lived with that style for so long that it looks almost natural. The unnatural has become the natural and the natural has been completely forgotten.
To awake means to be natural again. To awake means to be awake in your consciousness, in your deepest core of the heart, to become aware.
We go on reading the Bibles, the Korans, the Gitas. That is not a problem. The problem comes when you come across a Mohammed. It is easy to read Ayatollah Khomeiniac; it is difficult to come across Mohammed, because Mohammed is bound to be like an electric shock. He will go like a deep tremor into your being. And these ayatollahs, these imams, are not to be afraid of. They talk such nonsense.
Just the other day I was reading… These people write great treatises on the Koran, and you will be surprised to know what they write in those treatises. Such stupid things! – for example: “You should not urinate toward Kaaba.” Great metaphysics! Great spirituality! You should continuously remember, otherwise be prepared for hell. But it can be managed; Mohammedans manage it, they remember the direction of Kaaba. As if godliness is only in Kaaba and nowhere else! As if Kaaba is the only direction which is divine and all else is undivine!
I was reminded of a beautiful story in Nanak’s life:

He went to Kaaba and he slept with his feet toward the sacred Kaaba stone. The imam of Kaaba came and he was very angry. He said, “You pretend to be a holy man and you don’t even know the ordinary rules! Whether you are a Mohammedan or not, you can at least be polite! This much courtesy you can show: you should not put your feet toward Kaaba. Change the direction of your feet!”
Nanak laughed and he said, “You have come at the right time – that’s what was puzzling me! Please, you do it. Turn my feet toward any direction – because I have tried and I have to go to sleep. I have tried; half the night I have wasted already. You try!”
In deep anger, rage, the imam turned Nanak’s feet to the opposite direction. He was shocked to see that Kaaba moved toward Nanak’s feet! He turned Nanak’s feet in every direction and Kaaba moved.

Whether it happened or not is not the point; but the story is beautiful. It simply says that godliness is everywhere. Wherever you put your feet it is in the direction of godliness, because nothing else exists. But these foolish scholars go on talking nonsense and they write big treatises. But they are not dangerous to you.
For example, on a day when you are fasting… In the days of Ramadan when a Mohammedan fasts, in desert countries a great problem has arisen: when you are moving in the desert sometimes you may swallow dust. Now the problem is – what a great problem! – in the desert on a fast day, if you swallow dust, is your fast broken or not? Now these ayatollahs say your fast is broken if you swallow the dust voluntarily. But who will swallow the dust voluntarily? For what? Dust is not food, dust is not nourishment. But if it happens involuntarily, then the fast is not broken.
Then people go on discussing such stupid nonsense for centuries – sheer nonsense! They will miss a Mohammed, they will miss a Moses, they will miss a Lao Tzu; and for centuries they will discuss useless things. Useless things are not dangerous.
The real danger comes from people who are awake, because to be in their presence it is possible that you may become infected. Awareness is contagious. But read the Koran and the Bible – it is just a game of words. And if you read your Bible and Gita every day, then even words don’t mean anything. You simply repeat like a parrot.

Every year dignitaries of the church come from Rome to Israel and a time-honored ceremony is re-enacted. One of the chief rabbis hands a jewel-covered scroll to a visiting priest who holds the scroll for a minute, shakes his head, and then returns it to the rabbi until the next year.
This year, however, the rabbi and the priest involved in the ceremony grew curious about the scroll and decided to open it. They removed the jeweled covering, then unrolled yards and yards of yellowed parchment with long columns of numbers on it and some blurred words.
The rabbi put on his glasses and finally managed to read the ancient Hebrew letters. It was the bill for the Last Supper!

For two thousand years they had been giving it to the other: “Please, you pay it!” And nobody had bothered what is written in it, what exactly it was.
Scriptures are cheap and scriptures are manipulatable. You can very easily manage any meaning out of them. You can invent, you can interpret, you can do a thousand things to a scripture. You can bring it to your own level.
But you cannot bring a buddha to your own level. If you want to commune with a buddha you have to go to his level, to his plane of being. And his plane of being is awareness.
The followers of the awakened awake… You are somnambulists. The only possibility in your life of being awake is to come into contact with someone who is awake. Only fire can ignite fire in you. And you are living in such a deep sleep that unless somebody hits you hard enough your sleep may not be broken.

The advance proofs of a cookbook for hipsters recently came my way. The wildest recipe is for a salad. “You cut up lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers, then you add a dash of marijuana and the salad tosses itself.”

And that’s the state you are in. For centuries the salad is tossing itself – too much marijuana! Everybody is spiritually in a state of deep slumber, dreaming great dreams, but not an inch of evolution. Because there are only two states: either you are asleep or you are awake.
This whole idea of human consciousness evolving, the idea of progress, is nothing but a strategy of the mind to keep you sleeping. It is a great trick of the mind. The mind goes on telling you, “Humanity is progressing. Don’t be worried – everything has its own time. When the spring comes, you will also become an evolved buddha. Wait! Nothing can be done before its time. Wait for the right time and you will also be ripe.” And you have been waiting for centuries and you can go on waiting for centuries, the right time will never come. This is not the way that it comes. You have to catch hold of it.
You are just in a deep lethargy. Buddhas happen and disappear, light descends from the beyond, but you don’t take any note of it. Yes, you do one thing: when a buddha is gone you worship him. You make him a god, you create temples for him, you make statues of him and you worship them. Statues are toys, they can’t awaken you. And the real man? The real man you avoid. And because you avoid the real man, a great guilt arises in you. To put that guilt right you worship.
Worship is not religious; worship is just out of guilt. Because you never listened to the buddha when he was alive, when he dies you start feeling guilty. Now what to do? How to put your guilt and the burden of it aside? You worship. You compensate with worship, but you remain the same.
…and day and night they watch
and meditate upon their master.
The devotee – the real follower – is constantly watching what he is doing, how he is doing, why he is doing. Even in small matters he de-automatizes himself. Walking, he does not just walk; he walks with meditative awareness. He knows that he is walking. Eating, he knows he is eating.
You eat and you do a thousand and one other things. You go on swallowing food, you go on throwing food in, you go on stuffing yourself; and the mind goes on planning, goes on remembering, desiring, projecting. You are not there in the act; you are either in the past or in the future. And the present is the only time, only the present is real. Past is unreal, future is unreal; both are unreal – and you are always living in the unreal.
This is sleep: you go on doing things… You yourself sometimes say, “I did it in spite of myself.” What do you mean when you say “in spite of myself”? It simply means that you were not conscious and you did it – as if you are just an automaton, a robot!

A very fat lady boarded a crowded bus and managed to wedge herself in. She had a long way to go and feeling very uncomfortable reached down and unzipped the zipper in the back of her skirt.
A few minutes later, feeling the draft, she reached back and zipped it up again. Feeling more and more uncomfortable, she reached back and unzipped the zipper, but in a few minutes she reached back and zipped herself up again.
This went on for nearly twenty minutes until finally the man standing behind her leaned over and said, “Listen, lady. I don’t know what’s on your mind, but in the last half hour you have unzipped my fly at least ten times!”

People are not conscious of what they are doing. They just go on doing things, half asleep, half awake, in a kind of alcoholic state.

The pretty young thing came slamming into her apartment after a blind date and announced to her roommate, “Boy, what a character! I had to slap his face three times this evening!”
The roommate inquired eagerly, “What did he do?”
“Nothing!” muttered the girl. “I slapped him to see if he was awake!”

People only appear to be awake; they are not. People only appear to be alive; they are not. People only appear to be; they are not – because if they are really there, then there is no difference between them and a buddha. Then they will know all the secrets of life, then they will know the significance of life. Then their life will be a celebration, a constant celebration, a joy, a song, a dance. But people are living in hell, in misery.
Misery is symbolic of unawareness; bliss is symbolic of awareness.
Forever wakeful,
they mind the law.
The devotees of a master, of an awakened one, are continuously wakeful and they are continuously making every possible human effort to be in tune with the universe, not to fall out of step with the universe – because that is what misery is.
To be in tune, to be harmonious with the universe, is bliss, is joy, is music, is poetry. You start blooming the moment you are in tune with the whole. Whenever you are not in tune with the whole, something goes berserk in you. Then the whole no longer nourishes you; then you are no longer rooted in the whole. Then you become an uprooted tree, then you are undernourished. Then your green foliage starts disappearing. Then flowers can’t happen to you, because flowers are possible only when you are overflooded with joy, overflowing with joy.
They know their brothers on the way.
The real devotees are so awake that they immediately, intuitively recognize anybody who has the same quality – the …brothers on the way. A sannyasin, if really meditative, will immediately know another sannyasin. This is not an intellectual understanding – not that he infers that this must be a sannyasin – but a simple intuitive feeling. Something strikes him deep down in his being. Something so similar is present there in the other person that he knows without any mental effort and exercise. He knows through the heart that the other is also on the way.
How do you recognize a man when he is awake? And how do you recognize a man when he is asleep? Sleepers cannot recognize other sleepers and sleepers cannot recognize that somebody is awake, that is true. But if you are awake, you know who is asleep and who is awake. Exactly in the same way, on a higher plane, it happens again: the people who have a little bit of awareness immediately become aware of the …brothers on the way.
That’s how the commune arises, through this recognition. A commune is not a church. A commune is not an organization. A commune is not based on a dogma, on a creed. A commune grows out of this intuitive recognition that the other is also in tune with the whole. You can hear the music. You can hear something which cannot be heard by the outer ears. Something immediately rings a bell in your heart. It is a mysterious phenomenon.
Buddha says: They know their brothers on the way. Wherever you will find anybody who is meditative, out of your meditation you will be able to recognize him.
Every commune has arisen in this way. Of course, every commune has fallen and finally become a religion. That’s the way of the world. Once the master is gone, the commune slowly, slowly starts losing its quality of awareness; it becomes more and more formal. When the first disciples have also disappeared it is no longer a heart phenomenon, it becomes a head phenomenon. When the second line of disciples has also disappeared, it is only because of your birth that you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. Then you are following a dead path which leads nowhere.
They understand the mystery of the body.
Buddha calls the commune “the body.” The real devotees start feeling such attunement, such at-onement with other brothers that they become one body. Buddha used to call it the sangha – the commune, the one body, the family. If something happens it immediately affects all the people, a wave instantly surrounds all.
When Buddha died he had thousands of disciples. They were spread all over the country. The moment he died, all the disciples who were real disciples were immediately affected wherever they were. Thousands of miles away from Buddha, they immediately felt, “The master is no more.”
This is a mysterious phenomenon, but now even science is going deep into this phenomenon – from a different route, of course. They have been experimenting on animals, particularly the relationship between the mother and the child. And they are surprised, utterly surprised, by a mysterious phenomenon. If you take the child of any animal into the sea, a mile or two miles into the sea, and there, you kill the child… The mother is on the shore; there are two miles of water in between, but the mother immediately knows the child has been killed. She becomes sad, depressed; tears start flowing.
In Russia particularly, they have worked hard on this phenomenon. They have tried a distance of a thousand miles; and if the child is killed, the mother is immediately affected. There seems to be a spiritual umbilical cord between the child and the mother. It has become very confused in human beings, that’s why they have to experiment with animals. Animals are still simple, innocent; they have not yet become educated, cultured, civilized. These misfortunes have not yet happened to them; hence they are working with animals, but it happens in human beings also.
If there is a deep love relationship between the child and the mother, the death of the child anywhere in the world will immediately affect the mood of the mother. Some mysterious connection exists between the mother and the child.
But this is nothing compared to the mystery that happens between the master and the disciple, because the mother-child relationship is only physical and the master-disciple relationship is spiritual. It is far more profound, far deeper.
Buddha says: They understand the mystery of the body.
They find joy in all beings.
You find only that in others which you have found first in yourself. If you are sad you will find sadness all over the place. To a sad person even the full moon looks sad, gloomy, depressed. To a joyous heart even the dark night is luminous. It all depends on you; it all depends how you are, where you are. The whole world moves with your heart, it becomes that which you are.
You have heard it said again and again that the person who is holy, who is meditative, who is prayerful, goes to heaven. That is wrong; just the opposite is the case. To the prayerful person, to the meditative person, heaven comes. Not that he goes to heaven – heaven comes to him, to his heart. Wherever he is, he is in paradise. And the evil person, wherever he is, is in hell. There is no need to send him to hell, there is no need to have a special place called hell. There is nowhere any hell and nowhere any heaven.
If you are joyous you live in heaven, and your neighbor may be living in hell. And sometimes it happens, one moment you are in heaven and the next moment you are in hell. It all depends on your inner states. If you are soaring high, heaven opens up. If you are drowning in darkness, in sadness, hell is ready to welcome you. They find joy in all beings.
They delight in meditation.
This is a very significant sutra; remember it. Buddha says: They delight in meditation. It is easy to meditate if you don’t want to be blissful – it is very easy to meditate. If you want just to be blissful and you don’t want to be in meditation, that too is easy. The rarest combination is meditation plus bliss. Meditation minus bliss is easy; bliss minus meditation is easy. But meditation minus bliss is not true meditation and bliss minus meditation is not true bliss either. They are true only when they are together.
Many people have tried to meditate without bliss because it is simple, less complex. You have to do only one work upon yourself: you have to still your mind. And you can force your mind to be stilled, but you will become sad, you will have a long face.
That’s why your saints – so-called saints – look sad. Sadness has become a necessary quality for being a saint. They can’t laugh, they can’t dance, they can’t sing, they can’t love, they can’t rejoice. They talk about bliss but they only talk about it. You don’t see any bliss in their eyes, you don’t see any bliss in their milieu, you don’t see any bliss radiating from their inner center. They look sad, dull, dead, unintelligent, for the simple reason that they have chosen a shortcut and there is no shortcut. They have avoided the complexity of spiritual transformation. They have chosen meditation, they have forced their minds to be still. It is a negative state; their minds are only empty, not silent – forcibly made still. But it is not a natural growth of silence, it is not the flowering of silence. Their silence is like the cemetery, it is not the silence of a garden.
The silence of the garden is full of music: the bees humming and the birds singing and a distant call of the cuckoo. They are all in it, essential parts of it. The garden has a very living silence, full of song and joy. The cemetery is also silent, but it is only the silence of death; because nobody is there, hence there is silence.
You can meditate, force yourself to be silent, but you will miss godliness, you will miss nirvana. And you can also try to be blissful; that means you can pretend, you can practice, you can rehearse bliss. You can always try to be blissful, smiling, at least looking happy.
Slowly, slowly it becomes so practiced – like Jimmy Carter. Now his smile is disappearing, but just remember two years ago – you could have counted his teeth! You can practice it. I have heard that in the beginning days of his presidency his wife had to close his mouth in the night. I don’t know how far it is true, but it appears to be true – because if you practice the whole day, then in the night too your muscles become fixed. Even in sleep you will go on smiling.
You can practice blissfulness too, but a practiced blissfulness is false. Anything practiced is false, remember – never forget it. Things have to be spontaneous and natural, not practiced, not cultivated. Cultivated blissfulness is only a mask. You are smiling, but the smile is not in the heart. You are showing joy, but you are not joyous. Your heart is a desert; on your face you have put only plastic flowers. They may deceive others, but they can’t deceive you and they can’t deceive a master. Your smile, your joy, is formal – just good manners.
This too has happened. There have been many saints, very blissful, always singing and dancing, but deep down they are just deserts. They have both chosen only half, and the half-truth is far more untrue than any untruth.
Truth has to be total, truth has to be whole. And the whole truth is: bliss plus meditation. It is difficult of course, arduous, to manage both. Why? – because they seem to be polar opposites. Meditation means silence and bliss means dance. Meditation means stillness and bliss means a song. Meditation means escaping from the world and bliss means sharing with the world. Meditation you can do in a Himalayan cave, but to be blissful you will have to come back to the world.
Bliss needs to be shared; it exists only in sharing. It can’t exist when you are alone, it disappears. It is a communion. Meditation can exist in aloneness and bliss can exist in togetherness. But when both exist then you have to learn a totally new way of life.
Buddha will give you the sutra soon. He says:
It is hard to live in the world
and hard to live out of it.
It is hard to be one among many.
He says: It is hard to live in the world… Certainly, hence millions have preferred to escape. He himself had escaped in the beginning – but remember, he did not become enlightened because of his escape. He became enlightened in spite of his escape. He did not become enlightened because he renounced the world; he became enlightened even though he renounced the world. It was in spite of it. It was not the cause of his enlightenment, it did not cause it.
Enlightenment is not caused by anything.
So when he comes back after his enlightenment to the world, goes to the palace to see his parents – his old father, his old stepmother, his wife, his son – his wife asks one question; she asks Gautam Buddha a very pertinent question. She asks, “Tell me one thing – I have waited long just to ask one thing. Whatsoever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it here in this house? Was it necessary to escape from the palace and from the world and from me and from your child? Was that absolutely necessary to attain it?”
And that is the only time when Buddha looks downward without saying anything. His silence is eloquent. He accepts that yes, it was not necessary.
He escaped out of the world because it was hard to live in the world. It is hard.

“Son, I just know that you will do the right thing by this little girl,” said the preacher. “Just marry her and you will be at the end of your troubles.”
So he did the right thing and he married the girl. And about six months later, when he saw the preacher again, he tried to murder him.
“You miserable liar!” shouted the young man. “You told me if I married her I would be at the end of my troubles. Well, I married her and she has made my life miserable!”
“That may be true, son, but you can’t blame me,” replied the minister. “I said you would be at the end of your troubles, but I never said which end.”

To be in the world is hard, to live in the world is difficult, because it is living with so many lunatics. You yourself are a lunatic and everybody else is a lunatic! The world is in such a mess. It simply seems impossible how the good God could manage within six days to make such a mess of the world! There was not time enough – and no woman even to advise him! Still he managed.
Those who know say he created Eve only in the end, simply so that she would not give him advice; otherwise in six days it would have been impossible to make the world. She would have interfered in everything: “Do it this way. This is not right.” And since he created Eve he has not created anything else. That was too much. He called it a day and he said, “Enough is enough!” Since then nothing has been heard about him.

Shed a tear for the beatnik who committed suicide, leaving a note saying, “Good-bye, cool world.”

It is really icy-cold – no warmth anywhere, no love anywhere, no compassion anywhere. It is hard to live in the world and hard to live out of it. And it is not easy to live out of it either; it is even harder to live out of it.
Man is in such a dilemma. It is difficult to live in the world, it is difficult not to live in the world. Have you ever tried living in a Himalayan cave? Try for one month, and the world will look so beautiful and so heavenly. You have had a few experiences: it is difficult to live with your wife, but when she goes to her mother’s house for a few days, it is very difficult to live without her. When she is with you, you want to be without her; when she is gone, you immediately want her back.
It is going to be so, because the ultimate question is neither to live in the world nor out of it. The ultimate question is to live in a state of wakefulness. If you are living in sleep in the world you will be in misery; if you live outside the world you will be in far more misery.
I know both types of people, the worldly and the otherworldly. I know the people who live in the marketplace, and I know the people who have renounced the marketplace, and have moved to the monasteries. Both are in misery, deep misery, for the simple reason that just changing place, just changing your address from the marketplace to the monastery, does not make any difference at all. You are the same person, your consciousness has not changed. And change is needed there. Then you can become the center of the cyclone. Then you can live in the cyclone and yet be undisturbed.
But Buddha says that is very rare. It is hard to be one among many. That happens only once in a while. Among millions, only a single person manages to live joyfully wherever he is – in the world or outside the world. Who is that person who can manage to live joyfully? – the one who lives in awareness. That is Buddha’s insistent message.
And for the wanderer, how long is the road
wandering through many lives!
And how long have you been wandering! When are you going to decide to be awake? You have slept long enough. It is time to wake up and to start a totally new kind of life which is lived from inside. Light a flame inside of awareness, and then wherever you are it is all joy.
Let him rest. You need rest, you have wandered enough. You are tired, utterly tired, weary, bored.
Let him rest.
Let him not suffer.
Let him not fall into suffering.
The time is right now. Don’t suffer anymore. Don’t fall again and again into suffering. To fall into forgetfulness is suffering; to remember is to come out of suffering. And rest is the most necessary step for remembering, for awareness. Relaxation is the whole art of both meditation and bliss.
How can you rest with so many desires? They go on pulling you apart. You can rest only if you learn the secret of desirelessness; if you learn to live moment to moment without any future; if you learn to live without any hope for the future; if you live concentratedly in the present, totally involved in the moment, neither worried by the past nor worried by the future, relaxed, at rest. Then both meditation and bliss are easy, spontaneous growths out of a restful heart, out of a relaxed being.
If he is a good man,
a man of faith, honored and prosperous,
wherever he goes he is welcome.
And don’t be worried what will happen to you if you don’t take care of your future. If you don’t plan, if you don’t arrange beforehand, what is going to happen to you? Don’t be worried.
Buddha says: If he is a good man, a man of faith… a man who trusts existence, then don’t be worried: …wherever he is he is welcome – at least welcome by those who know, at least welcome by those who understand. And only their welcome is of any worth.
Like the Himalayas
good men shine from afar,
but bad men move unseen
like arrows in the night.
Don’t be worried what will happen to you. You will become so luminous – like the Himalayas – shining from thousands of miles away. You will become so radiant that people will start moving toward you as if you are a great magnet. From far and wide, from all corners of the world, people will start moving toward you, pulled by an unknown force, by a mysterious energy.
Don’t be worried about the future, everything will be taken care of. Trust nature. Aes dhammo sanantano: this is the inexhaustible, eternal law. Trust, and nature will shower millions of blessings upon you.
Sit. Don’t rush, don’t run. Don’t continually be on the move for this and that. Sit. That’s exactly the meaning of zazen. The word zazen has come from this sutra.
Zazen means just sitting doing nothing. The first thing to do is learn sitting, a deep restfulness. Become a pool of rest, not even ripples of desire, going nowhere, no ambition – not even for godliness, not even for nirvana.
Sit – not only physically: psychologically, spiritually too. Learn to sit, that is zazen. And, Rest – and fall into a deep rest, so the breathing becomes natural, the body becomes cool, all the fever of constant desire and turmoil disappears, evaporates.
And then, Work. That work will have a totally different quality. It won’t be out of desire; it will be creativity. It will be because you have so much energy available that you would like to share your energy with the world, that you would like to create something, that you would like to make the world a little more beautiful, a little more blissful, a little more human.
Alone with yourself,
never weary.
And remember the difference between loneliness and aloneness. Never feel lonely. You are never lonely. At the deepest core of your being, God resides; he is always with you. And whenever you are alone, only then will you be able to hear his footsteps. Whenever you are alone, only then will you be able to hear his music, his whisperings. He never shouts, he only whispers. He comes very silently and goes very silently. Be in a deep rest and you become the host; and he is the guest. Godliness is the guest.
On the edge of the forest
live joyfully…
The forest represents the unknown, the unknowable. On the edge of the forest live joyfully… Be always close to the unknown and the unknowable and don’t be afraid. …live joyfully… because the unknown, the unknowable, is also yours. You belong to it, it belongs to you. …live joyfully…
without desire.
Don’t ask for anything. Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given.” Buddha says: “Ask not, and it shall be given.” Jesus says: “Seek, and ye shall find.” Buddha says: “Seek not, and ye shall find.” Jesus says: “Knock, and the doors shall be opened unto you.” Buddha says: “There is no need to knock; the doors are already open.”
Why this difference between two enlightened persons? Both are awakened. The difference is because of the audience. Jesus is speaking to very ordinary people; Buddha is speaking to his commune – that is the difference. He can speak the highest truth without any compromise. Jesus cannot. Jesus has to compromise with the listeners.
Jesus lived without a commune. Yes, he had a few disciples, twelve disciples – and those twelve disciples were also not of much worth. Buddha had thousands of disciples and of tremendous value – because many of them became enlightened while Buddha was alive. In his commune there were at least one thousand enlightened people, of the same status as he himself was. He could talk in any possible way and it would be understood; there was no worry on his part about being misunderstood. Jesus had to be constantly on guard, and even then he was misunderstood and crucified.
Sit. Rest. Work. Let these three words sink deep in your heart. Learn to sit silently, restfully, not fighting with yourself, relaxed. Not in a yoga posture, remember, because the yoga posture is a constant effort. No yoga posture is needed. Sit in any way that you find relaxed – even a chair will do.
Buddha used to sit on the floor; that was easy in those days. You can sit in any posture you like. You can use a pillow, a Zen pillow, to sit upon; you can use a chair. The question is not the posture; the question is inner rest.
Be at rest. And when energy accumulates in you, start being creative. Paint, sing, dance, or do whatsoever you feel like doing to make this world a little more beautiful, a little more warm.
We have to create a paradise on the earth.
Enough for today.

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