BUDDHA AND BUDDHIST MASTERS

The Dhammapada Vol 8 09

Ninth 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.


One man denies truth.
Another denies his own actions.
Both go into the dark
and in the next world suffer
for they offend truth.

Wear the yellow robe.
But if you are reckless
you will fall into darkness.

If you are reckless,
better to swallow molten iron
than to eat at the table of good folk.

If you court another man’s wife
you court trouble.
Your sleep is broken.
You lose your honor.
You fall into darkness.

You go against the law,
you go into the dark.
Your pleasures end in fear
and the king’s punishment is harsh.

But as a blade of grass held awkwardly
may cut your hand,
so renunciation may lead you into the dark.
The mother superior of a convent advertised for a cleaner and retired old Cohen applied for the job. Since he was the only applicant, the mother superior had no other choice but to hire him.
Six months later the mother called Mr. Cohen to her office and said to him, “Dear Mr. Cohen, we are very, very pleased with your work. You are the first of your faith to be employed by us and I must repeat that we are pleased. You are a conscientious man and the church has never been cleaner. There are, however, three things I feel I should point out to you. Firstly, Mr. Cohen, don’t wash your hands in the holy water. Secondly, don’t hang your coat on the cross. And thirdly, please address me as Mother Superior and not as Mrs. Shapiro.”

Man ordinarily is a robot. He lives apparently awake, but not really. He walks, he talks, he acts, but it is all as if in sleep – not conscious of what he is doing, not conscious of what he is saying, not conscious of all that surrounds him. He moves surrounded in a dark cloud of unawareness.
According to Gautama the Buddha, this is the original sin: to live unconsciously, to act out of unconsciousness.
In fact, the word sin comes from a root which means forgetfulness. Sin simply means that we are not conscious, aware, alert, that we don’t have any inner light to guide us.
Buddha talks again and again in these sutras about falling into darkness, but you can fall into darkness only if your inside is full of darkness. Whatsoever is your inside is going to be your destiny. If the inner is full of light, the whole existence is full of light. If the inner is dark, then of course it is nothing but a dark night of the soul all around. You live through your inner core, so whatsoever is the case with your center is going to be reflected by your circumference. The whole world only reflects you, echoes you, resounds you. It is nothing but you multiplied a millionfold. So if you come across ugliness, it must be somewhere inside you. If you meet the enemy, you must have projected it. If you see death, that means something in you is rotten, something in you corresponds to death with which you have become identified.
The world is a mirror; it always shows your real face to you. Buddha insists again and again: “Use the world as a mirror, and then go inside and find the cause.” The cause is always in the inner; the effect is in the outer. Don’t be deceived by the effect. Don’t start thinking that the effect is the cause because then you will be leading a life rooted in utter ignorance. The face in the mirror is not the cause; the face in the mirror is only the effect. Don’t try to change the face in the mirror, don’t try to paint it.
That’s what we go on doing; that’s what our whole life consists of. We are always trying to look good in the eyes of others; that is trying to look good in the mirror. What are those eyes of others but mirrors? We are always trying to convince others of our goodness, of our truth, of our sincerity, authenticity, religiousness, spirituality. What is the point of convincing anybody? In fact, by convincing others we are trying to convince ourselves. If others are convinced – if the mirror can reflect a beautiful face – then we can be at ease with ourselves. We can also believe that we are beautiful.
This is the illusion in which we live, and this is the illusion that the society helps to strengthen. The society feeds it, the society nourishes it. The whole effort of the society is to make the mirror more important than yourself, because then you can be dominated, you can be reduced to slaves. And the mirror is in others’ hands.
Somebody says to you, “You are so holy!” If you believe him, if this becomes an ego nourishment for you, unconsciously you have become dependent on that person. Now you will be afraid of him – he can withdraw it any moment. He can say to you any moment, “You are no longer holy.” You have to go on convincing him. You have to behave according to his idea of holiness. If he wants you to fast, you will have to fast. If he wants you to go to church every Sunday, you will have to go to the church every Sunday. If you want to keep your face beautiful in his eyes then you have to follow his ideas of what spirituality means.
This is a very subtle slavery and the society uses it. It respects those who become instruments of the society, of the tradition. It respects those who are conformists.
Buddha says: “Discover your original face.” Don’t be bothered about the mirror, because mirrors can be made which may show your ugly face as beautiful. You must have seen mirrors of many kinds; they can show different kinds of faces to you. One mirror shows your face very long, another mirror shows your face very fat, another mirror shows your face very thin. They can distort, they can make it ugly, they can make it beautiful too. And the mirror is in the hands of society.
Don’t trust the mirrors. Close your eyes and search for your original face. But to close one’s eyes and search for one’s original face is an arduous journey, because in your inner world for centuries, for many lives, you have accumulated only darkness. You are afraid of the inner. You have only a repressed reservoir of unfulfilled desires, greed, anger, lust.
Your religions have been telling you to repress, and to repress means you go on piling up inside your being all that the society condemns. Now you will be afraid to go in because you will have to encounter all those ugly things. They are not ugly, but you have been taught that they are ugly and you have been conditioned, hypnotized that they are ugly – and you believe that they are ugly.
The first thing for the seeker is to get rid of all these beliefs given by others. A believer can never find the truth.
The first sutra:
One man denies the truth.
Another denies his own actions.
Buddha is talking about you, keep on remembering. He is not talking about anybody else, he is addressing you. Otherwise the mind is very clever and cunning. It goes on saying, “He is saying these things to somebody else – you are an exception.” You are not – nobody is. When buddhas speak they speak to the universal, they don’t speak to the exceptional – because, in fact, there are no exceptions. You become exceptional only when you become a buddha, but then you don’t need any buddha to talk to you. Then you don’t need any message from any awakened person. You are awakened.
Once it happened…

An awakened man, a Sufi mystic, Farid, met Kabir, another awakened man. They sat for two days together in absolute silence. Yes, sometimes they hugged each other and they laughed madly and they danced together, but not a single word was uttered.
When the disciples of Farid asked him, “Why for two days continuously didn’t you speak a single word?” he said, “There was no need, because wherever I am, Kabir is also there. We belong to the same dimension, we are bathed in the same light. We are not separate, we only appear separate – on the circumference, from the outside – but our inner beings are at the same point, merging, melting. There is no need to say anything to the other.”
And the same was the reply of Kabir to his own disciples. He said, “It would have been foolish to say anything, absolutely foolish, ridiculous. Something has to be said only because you cannot understand silence; if you can understand silence, then what is the need of words? What is the need of language? Between two buddhas, language is irrelevant. Silence is so beautiful, so tremendously beautiful, so deep, so profound, so expressive, so eloquent, what is the need of words? But words are needed because you cannot understand anything else.”

It is out of compassion that buddhas have spoken – compassion for those who can only understand language. And language is a poor thing, very poor, very inadequate. Remember it, then slowly you can find something in these sutras – not exactly in the words, but between the words; not exactly in the lines, but between the lines, in the gaps, in the intervals, some glimpses, some taste of silence, some perfume.
One man denies truth. How do people deny truth and why? First, their lies have become their investments. Watch your own life. You have invested so much in your lies, you would not like to know the truth, because the truth will shatter all your palaces, all your dreams. The truth will shatter all that you have believed up to now. You know deep down in your heart that you are living in lies, but they are beautiful, they are nice, they are cozy, and you have lived in them so long that it seems difficult to live without them.
There is an ancient Sufi parable…

A man gave to a Sufi mystic a present, a golden bowl with a beautiful fish in it. The Sufi looked at the bowl and the fish and felt very sorry for the fish, because the bowl was an imprisonment.
He went to the lake and he was tremendously happy in liberating the fish. He threw the fish into the lake. He was happy that at least now the fish could have the whole lake, the great freedom, the space that really belonged to her. A golden bowl – although it is golden it is a confinement.
Then he thought, “What to do with this bowl?” So he also threw the bowl into the lake.
The next morning he went to see how the fish was. He was surprised: the fish was in the bowl and the bowl was in the lake. What had happened to the fish? She had again chosen the bowl. Now the bowl was in the lake, but the fish was not in the lake; the fish had entered the bowl again. She has lived so long in it, it was her home. The mystic thought it was a prison, but not the fish; she may have been afraid of the freedom.

People become very afraid of freedom, more afraid than of anything else. You will be surprised to know that people talk about freedom, but when freedom is really given to them they become afraid, frightened, scared, because freedom is vast, unmanageable, uncontrollable. You cannot dominate it. Slavery is small, it is smaller than you. You feel good with it – you seem big compared to your slavery. But compared to your freedom you are nobody, a nonentity, a nothingness. And who wants to be a nothingness? Everybody wants to be somebody; even though one has to live in a prison, one is ready… If you can be made the head of the prisoners – a president, a prime minister, or something like that – you would like, would love to live in the prison rather than be free and nobody.
The first requirement for attaining to truth is the capacity to be free, the capacity to be nobody. The ego is the greatest barrier. The ego can exist only in a golden bowl; it can’t exist in a lake. It is bound to melt, merge and disappear.
Lies are good for the ego. In fact, the ego is the greatest lie; it feeds on other lies. But truth has a way of coming up again and again. Howsoever repressed, truth surfaces, because it is truth; you can repress it only for the time being. And to repress truth you will have to be constantly on guard. Of course you will get tired, you will need a little rest, and whenever you rest the truth surfaces. The truth comes in your life again and again; you can go on denying it, but it never denies you. You can deny God, but God never denies you.
Friedrich Nietzsche declared: there is no God. God is dead. But God remained silent. He didn’t become annoyed; otherwise he would at least have shouted.

I have heard about an atheist, Diderot, who used to argue against God. He had a special argument. In front of an audience he would take out his pocket watch and would say that it is such a time – eight thirty: “Now if there is a God and if you are almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, then you must be here, because you are everywhere. And if you are really there, do just one thing: stop this watch, even for five minutes, and that will be enough proof of your existence.”
He used that argument his whole life. People would wait without breathing: “Maybe God is going to do something.” But God never stopped his watch, not even once.

You can go on denying God, but God never denies you. You can go on refuting truth, but truth never refutes you. Your denial does not become an irritation; your denial is only a childish act. Truth goes on again and again visiting you; it never tires of you. And if you watch your life, you will be surprised in how many ways it comes.

Bobby’s mother had been away for a few weeks and was questioning her small son about events during her absence.
“Well, one night we had a thunderstorm and I was scared, so daddy and me slept together.”
“Bobby,” said the boy’s pretty young French nursemaid, “you mean daddy and I.”
“No,” said Bobby, “that was last Thursday. I am talking about Monday night.”

Truth has its own ways. It may speak through your child, it may speak through a flower, it may speak through a sunray, it may speak through a distant call of the cuckoo. It has different ways of approaching you. Unless you are absolutely deaf, and nobody is absolutely deaf; unless you are absolutely blind, and nobody is absolutely blind… You recognize it, but still you go on denying. You go on avoiding it. You don’t want to look at it. You escape; you know ways to escape from it, although your escapes are not of much value. In fact, in escaping you also emphasize truth.

Grace and Martha were from a very prim and proper Eastern finishing school, and they were spending their vacations together in New York. They met a bohemian artist and at one of his exhibitions Grace noticed that a canvas of a provocative nude bore a striking resemblance to her girlfriend.
“Martha,” she gasped, “that painting looks exactly like you! Don’t tell me you have been posing in the nude.”
“Certainly not,” Martha stammered, blushing furiously. “He must have painted it from memory.”

Even your escapes emphasize something from which you are escaping. There is really no way to escape from truth. There is no way to run away from truth because wherever you run, truth is there; in whatsoever direction you run, truth is there.
Buddha says: One man denies the truth. The first and the most fundamental way of denying the truth is to believe in certain systems. Systems of belief are the most cunning ways of denying the truth. One is a Hindu, another is a Mohammedan; one is a Christian, another is a Jew. These are all ways of denying the truth. Rather than seeking and searching, rather than inquiring, you believe. Belief means you have borrowed it from others, who had borrowed it from others and so on, so forth. Belief means it is not your experience – and unless it is your experience it is not truth.
But belief can give you a very deceptive feeling that you know. The Mohammedan, the Christian, the Jaina, the Buddhist all think they know. And what is the cause of their feeling? – they have learned from scriptures, from priests. Like parrots they have become efficient in repeating – beautiful words, logical systems but all is speculation, guesswork. All is imitation. They have not known a single truth in their lives – because a single truth is enough to deliver you.
Jesus says: “Truth liberates.” But remember one thing which he has not said – or maybe he said it and it has not been reported in the gospels: truth certainly liberates, but the truth has to be your own. Only then it liberates. If it is somebody else’s it creates only a new bondage, a beautiful bondage: golden chains, maybe, studded with diamonds, very valuable, difficult to lose because you don’t think in terms of chains; you think they are ornaments. Beliefs are chains, not ornaments.
A believer is the ugliest person in the world because his belief becomes a barrier into inquiry. I am not saying to become disbelievers, because disbelief is again belief from another side, from the negative side. Belief and disbelief are two aspects of the same coin. Don’t be a theist and don’t be an atheist.
The real inquirer remains an agnostic. He remains open, he has no conclusions. He says, “I know only one thing: that I know nothing.” He remains available. The moment you have conclusions you become unavailable to truth; conclusions close you. The moment you have a priori prejudices, how can you know truth? You have already concluded, you have already accepted certain beliefs; they will be like clouds in front of your eyes. Your eyes are no longer empty, clean, mirrorlike; they can’t reflect that which is, they can only distort. They will distort according to your belief.
So when the Hindu comes to experience God he sees Krishna with his flute. A Christian never sees that; that’s strange. A Christian always sees Christ on the cross; a Hindu never sees that. That’s strange! A Jaina will never see Krishna, Rama, Christ – no, not at all; and a Buddhist will never see Mahavira, Mohammed, Moses. They all see their own belief. The phenomenon is very simple: you see whatsoever you project. Your mind functions as a projector. You don’t see that which is, you see that which you want to see.
Avoid beliefs. Drop all beliefs, Catholic or Communist. Don’t believe in Kaaba, or Kashi or the Kremlin. Don’t believe in the Bible or the Gita or the Koran or Das Kapital. Avoid all beliefs. Remain clean, empty.
That’s what meditation is all about: a state of silence, a state of no prejudice, a state of no belief. And then you are very close to truth. It suddenly explodes upon you, and its explosion is such a blessing that you cannot imagine it unless you have experienced it. There is no way to imagine it. Buddhas have been talking down the ages, but still you cannot imagine it. It is unimaginable because it is inexpressible – but it can be experienced. It is experienceable but not expressible.
First you will have to be ready to drop the ego, because the ego can live only in lies. Secondly, you will have to drop belief systems because belief systems distort; they never allow things to be known as they are. And thirdly, you will have to drop your mind, because mind is a constant occupation with the past and the future, and truth is always in the present. Truth has no past, no future. Truth is always here, always now – and you are never here and never now. Whenever you are also now and here, there is a meeting; then something transpires. Between you and the whole a bridge suddenly happens. In fact, the bridge has always been there, you were just not aware of it.
Bring your consciousness to the present. Don’t go on wandering into the past, in the jungles of the past, in the memories. Howsoever beautiful they are, they are dead – they are no more. And don’t go on great journeys into the future, because whatsoever you desire in the future is never going to happen. Existence has no obligation to fulfill your desires. Existence has no obligation to follow your projections into the future. Whatsoever you desire is going to be wrong.
When you are not there to desire, then existence starts guiding you into the ways of truth, into the ways of Tao, dhamma. Aes dhammo sanantano: this is the inexhaustible law. Drop the mind and you are possessed by the whole; cling to the mind and you remain as far away from the whole as one can be. The moment you drop the mind you start becoming alert and aware. It is mind that is your sleep. You are sleeping either in the past or in the future: both are ways of sleeping.
When I say, “Wake up!” again and again, when Buddha says, “Wake up!” a simple phenomenon is indicated: come to the present.

Mrs. Weissman lived in the thirtieth-floor penthouse of her Park Avenue building. Every day when she went up or down in the elevator, Manelli the elevator man would see her making the sign of the cross. After watching this for several days he could not resist asking her if she was Catholic. She replied, “Definitely not. I am Jewish.”
“I no understand,” said Manelli. “If you Jewish why you cross yourself every time you get in and out of the elevator?”
“Cross myself!” barked Mrs. Weissman. “Don’t be ridiculous! I am checking to see if I have my tiara, my brooch, my clip… My clip!”

People are living in absolute unawareness. Even if they are checking, it is through a deep, deep layer of sleep. They are somnambulists. Everybody is in a kind of psychedelic state.
One man denies the truth. Another denies his own actions. And if you deny the truth you are bound to deny your actions too, because unless you are conscious you cannot take responsibility for your actions.
There are a thousand and one ways to deny your actions. In the past, people used to say, “It is karma.” Now that disease has gone to the West; now in the West people are saying, “It is karma. What can we do? It had to happen. It was predetermined by a past life.” That is simply a way of denying your action, of shirking from responsibility.
In the past, people used to say, “It is fate, kismet. What can we do? God has already written it; we are just puppets in his hands. If he wants us to be a murderer, we are a murderer; if he wants us to be a thief, we are a thief.” Cunning, tricky minds!
Now those old ideas are no longer relevant, they have become outdated; we have found new ones. Karl Marx says, “You are not responsible. It is the society, the social structure, the economic structure, it is capitalism. You are not responsible.” It is again fate in new words, in modern language, in contemporary jargon. Karl Marx is a fatalist.
And then there is Sigmund Freud who is even more sophisticated than Karl Marx, even more clever. He gives you new ideas. It is the unconscious which is responsible, not you. If you do something, what can you do? – it is beyond your capacity to avoid it. It is coming from the unconscious, from the dark layers of your being. You have no access to those dark layers. And Sigmund Freud says there is no way to change it; man is a hopeless project.
According to Sigmund Freud, man is bound to live in misery; at the most we can help him to live more comfortably in misery. We can make him accept the misery so he will be a little more comfortable. We can make the misery a little more convenient by giving him good explanations so he is not so disturbed; otherwise there is no hope. Man is determined by unconscious forces.
These are just new ways of saying the old things: karma, fate, God. The idea of predetermination has dominated unconscious man up to now.
It is only once in a while that a buddha says, “Accept your act as your own and don’t escape from the responsibility, because escaping from responsibility means you will never be free of it.” And you can be free of it. Be responsible, whatsoever is the case, good or bad. Remember, except you, no one else is deciding about it.
If you are living in misery it is your decision. It hurts, of course, to think “I am living in misery out of my own decision.” But if you observe a little more silently, this will give you great freedom. In the beginning it hurts; otherwise it is the harbinger of a new consciousness. If I am creating my hell it implies that I can create my heaven too. If I am the cause of my darkness I can be the cause of my light too. I can be a light unto myself. The very idea that “I am solely and wholly responsible for my actions” is a deliverance.
Buddha says:
Both go into the dark…
The man who denies truth because of the ego, because of belief systems, because of the mind wandering in the past and the future, or the man who denies his actions either because of karma or fate or social structure or the unconscious, both go into the dark… They are missing the opportunity of becoming light; they are choosing darkness.
…and in the next world suffer
for they offend truth.
And whatsoever you do here and whatsoever you are here, is going to be the cause, the continuity, in the next world too – because the next moment is born out of this moment and the next life is born out of this life. Life is a continuum. Death does not create any discontinuity; you remain continuous. By death you simply change your house; you are the same person. You can come from the hut to the palace, from the palace to the hut. You can move from one city to another city, from one planet to another planet, from man to woman, from woman to man. You can go on changing your houses, but you, the real consciousness inside, the real self remains always the same.
So if you are creating darkness here, remember: this darkness will hang around you in the next world too. So you are not only destroying this life, you are creating wrong foundations for the next life too. Beware of it.
…and in the next world suffer for they offend truth. The whole cause of suffering is offending truth. What does he mean by “offending truth”? Whenever you deny a truth because of your prejudices, whenever you avoid taking responsibility for your actions, you are offending truth. And by offending truth you are offending the universal law. You are falling apart. You are becoming a separate entity enclosed within yourself. You are no longer part of the whole. You will suffer.
Suffering means going against the universal law and bliss means going in tune with the universal law. Bliss is nothing but harmony with the whole and suffering is discord.
Wear the yellow robe.
But if you are reckless
you will fall into darkness.
Read instead: Wear the orange robe. But if you are reckless you will fall into darkness. Buddha had chosen the yellow robe just as I have chosen the orange. He chose it for a certain reason. The orange robe had been the robe of the sannyasin before Buddha; it is the ancientmost robe of the sannyasin. Buddha dropped it and chose instead the yellow robe for the simple reason that sannyas, the very idea of sannyas, had gone wrong, and he did not want to associate with it. And because he wanted to emphasize death and he wanted you to remember death again and again – because death can bring awareness to your life – he chose yellow.
Yellow is the color of death: the color of the yellow leaf, the color of the setting sun, the color of the dying man’s face. Yellow is the color of death. Orange is the color of life, of youth, of love. Orange, in the East, is the color of spring, when all the trees bloom and birds sing and bees hum and there is fragrance all over. The whole climate is full of youth, freshness, rejuvenation.
Buddha emphasized death to make you aware, but now twenty-five centuries have passed and much dust has gathered on Buddha’s ideas. Just as orange had become meaningless in Buddha’s time, now the yellow robe has become meaningless.
I have again chosen orange, and with a totally new vision. The old orange sannyasin was a renunciate. My sannyasin is not an escapist; he lives in the world, but lives with such skill and art that he remains transcendental to it.
But it is not only a question of the robe. You can change the robe to orange or yellow or whatsoever. Unless you become heedful, unless you start listening to the buddhas, to their message… And their message is simple and very short: Wake up! It can be condensed into only these two words. If you don’t listen to their message: …if you are reckless you will fall into darkness.
It is not a question of formality, it is not a question of ritual. Buddha was as much against ritual as I am, he was as much against formality as I am; hence I feel a tremendous affinity with him. Twenty-five centuries simply disappear between me and him; we become contemporaries.

A pregnant woman was told that if she wanted her child to behave in a certain way, she should say every day, “I want my child to be so-and-so…” This would condition the fetus and the child would be born already having this trait.
She had noticed how hard it was to teach children manners, so every day without fail she said, “I want my child to be polite.”
She was pregnant for nine months, then ten and eleven and for years she went on being pregnant. Finally she died without having given birth. The doctors did an autopsy on her body, and when they cut her open they found two little old men bowing to each other and saying, “After you!”

We are not interested in such formality; otherwise you will never be born. We are interested in the essential, not in the accidental. We are interested in the intrinsic, not in the incidental. And the robe is accidental – orange, yellow, green.
The essential is awareness.
…if you are reckless… says Buddha,
…better to swallow molten iron
than eat at the table of good folk.
If you are reckless, unaware, if you go on living heedlessly, without listening to all these awakened ones, you will suffer much more than you can suffer by swallowing molten iron. Beware! You are creating suffering every moment. By being unaware you create suffering; by being aware you create bliss.
If you court another man’s wife
you court trouble.
Your sleep is broken.
You lose your honor.
You fall into darkness.
What to say of another man’s wife? – one’s own wife is trouble enough, or for that matter, one’s own husband. Buddha is saying: “Are you not yet aware of the phenomenon? Is not your wife enough to make you aware? Is not your own husband enough to be finished with this game?”
But the mind goes on saying, “Maybe this woman is not good; some other woman may be good. Who knows? It didn’t fit with this woman; I may be happy with another.” And you cannot be happy with anyone. Happiness has nothing to do with the other; happiness is something that you have to create inside you. And you go on asking for trouble. Whenever you depend for your happiness on the other you ask for trouble. Dependence is trouble: …you court trouble.
The other is hell, and depending on the other you become a slave. Your sleep is broken. Your peace is lost, your rest is gone. Your whole life becomes a constant disturbance, because you are trying to exploit the other and the other is trying to exploit you.
You lose your honor, your grace, your beauty, your sincerity. Buddha does not mean respectability; by “honor” he means grace.
You go against the law,
you go into the dark.
The law is that bliss or misery, both arise in the innermost core of your being. Nobody can give you bliss or misery. You need not go to anybody; you are enough unto yourself. Just go in. Dive deep in your consciousness.
And the more conscious you become, the more full of light your life is, more and more benediction goes on showering on you. The darker you are, the more unconscious, the more misery is bound to happen.
Your pleasures end in fear
and the king’s punishment is harsh.
Buddha calls the ultimate law “the king.” The punishment is harsh, but you are responsible. The law is not cruel; the law is simply law. It is just like gravitation: if you walk rightly, gravitation cannot punish you. It is not interested in punishing you, it helps you to walk. But if you drink too much, if you become a drunkard and you walk, you fall on the ground and you break your leg. Can you blame the law of gravitation? The law of gravitation is simply there. If you go against it, you will be punished; if you follow it, you will be benefited.
But as a blade of grass held awkwardly…
Even such a soft thing, a blade of grass, held awkwardly…
…may cut your hand…
It all depends on you. If you are conscious you can hold a sword and it will not cut your hand; if you are unconscious, even a blade of grass may cut your hand.
…so renunciation may lead you into the dark.
A tremendously important saying. Buddha says: “Even renunciation, taken unconsciously, is not going to help. You can become a sannyasin out of fear, you can become a sannyasin out of greed. These things are not going to help. Unless you become a sannyasin out of awareness, nothing is going to help.”
People become religious for wrong reasons, and you cannot be religious for wrong reasons. And the person who lives rightly need not be religious: he is religious already.

Perlman made millions in the bakery business. While on a visit to Rome he went to see the pope and made a huge donation to the church.
The pope was very pleased and said, “Mr. Perlman, is there anything I can do to show my appreciation?”
“Yes, Your Holiness,” answered the baking magnate. “Could you make a little change in the Lord’s Prayer?”
“Ah, Mr. Perlman,” frowned the pope, “I am afraid that would not be possible. The Lord’s Prayer is repeated daily by millions of Christians.”
“I know,” said Perlman, “but I only want a small change. Where it says, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ just make it, ‘Give us this day Perlman’s pumpernickel bread.’”

Now, that great donation to the church has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with charity; it is business, pure business.
And that’s what people are doing. They donate to the poor, they serve the poor, to go to heaven. It is an investment, it is not service. Unless you are conscious, whatsoever you do is going to be wrong. In Buddha’s definition, wrong means a thing done unconsciously and right means a thing done consciously. It has nothing to do with the thing itself but with the quality of consciousness through which it happens.

A Catholic priest took his new assistant to the hospital for the first time. The novice priest walked into an intensive care room and went up to a man in bed under an oxygen tent.
“I am here to help you in any way I can,” he said. There was no response from the patient so again the priest offered his help. Still no response. Then suddenly the patient grabbed a pencil and paper and furiously began writing, after which he fell back dead.
The priest took the note and excitedly ran out of the room crying, “Father, Father! I got my first confession!” The father looked at the note and read, “Get off the oxygen hose, you sonofabitch!”

Buddha was perfectly aware that many people were becoming sannyasins in his day – as it has always been – for wrong reasons. Somebody was poor, somebody was a thief and the king was after him, somebody had committed murder and he wanted to hide and to be a sannyasin was the best place to hide.
But as a blade of grass held awkwardly may cut your hand, so renunciation may lead you into the dark. Renunciation has not to be done for any motive. Sannyas has to be out of the sheer joy of being a sannyasin. Just as art is for art’s sake, so sannyas is for sannyas’ sake. Then it has tremendous beauty, and then it brings bliss, it brings paradise to you. Do whatsoever you want to do, but do it consciously. To be conscious is to be a sannyasin.
Enough for today.

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