The Great Zen Master Ta Hui 22

TwentySecond Discourse from the series of 38 discourses - The Great Zen Master Ta Hui by Osho.
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Discriminating Consciousness and Wisdom

Constantly calculating and making plans, flowing along with birth and death, becoming afraid and agitated – all these are sentiments of discriminating consciousness. Yet people studying the path these days do not recognize this disease, and just appear and disappear in its midst. In the teachings it’s called acting according to discriminating consciousness, not according to wisdom. Thereby they obscure the scenery of the fundamental ground, their original face.
But if you can abandon it all at once, so you neither think nor calculate, then these very sentiments of discriminating consciousness are the subtle wisdom of true emptiness – there is no other wisdom that can be attained. If there were something attained and something realized besides, then it wouldn’t be right. It’s like a person when he’s deluded calling East, West, and when he’s arrived at enlightenment, West is East – there is no other East.
This subtle wisdom of the true emptiness is coeval with the great void: the void is not subject to being obstructed by things, nor does it hinder the coming and going of all things within it.
In the sutras this evening, Ta Hui is raising the most fundamental questions about meditation.
A few things need to be understood before we can discuss the sutras. The first is about your thinking process, which Ta Hui calls discriminating consciousness – in other words, your mind.
The mind is constantly involved in thinking, in judging, in evaluating. Its whole function seems to be to keep you involved in thoughts, which are nothing but soap bubbles – or perhaps soap bubbles have more substance to them than your thoughts.
Your thoughts are almost like writing on water…no thought leaves any trace on your mind. Your mind is almost like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints in the sky. The sky remains as it was before the birds came and after the birds are gone.
To become aware of this is to enter into another dimension of your consciousness, beyond the discriminating consciousness. The discriminating consciousness consists only of thoughts. Beyond it is a consciousness which consists only of watching – not thinking but only witnessing, just seeing…not for, not against, nor appreciating, nor condemning – simply seeing, just the way the newborn child sees.
Look for a moment at the newborn child: he has eyes, he has consciousness. He looks all around, he sees all the colors, the flowers, the light, the people, their faces, but do you think the child recognizes the color green as green? Do you think he discriminates between a woman and a man? Or that this is beautiful and that is ugly?
He has a non-discriminating awareness. He is simply seeing everything that is there, but he has no judgment about it. He cannot have – he has not yet been introduced to the color called green, the color called red. It will take a little time for him to learn discrimination.
In fact, our whole education is nothing but creating discriminating consciousness in every person. Every person is born with a non-discriminating consciousness – that is a witnessing consciousness. He is born with that which a sage finally achieves. It is a very mysterious phenomenon that what the sage attains ultimately, the child has from the very beginning.
It is not coincidental that different sages, different mystics of different ages, have become aware of the fact that the final illumination, enlightenment, is nothing but regaining your childhood. The same consciousness that you had the first moment you were born has to be attained again. It is not something new that you achieve; it is something ancient, eternal, that you rediscover.
You get lost into the world…there is every opportunity for you to be lost, because the world needs all kinds of discriminations, judgments, evaluations, the idea of good and bad, the idea of right and wrong – all kinds of shoulds and should nots. The world necessarily needs them, and it trains every child for them. The child goes on getting more and more lost into language, into words, into thoughts, and finally comes to a point from where he cannot find the way back home.
Jesus says, “Unless you are born again you will not understand the kingdom of God.” What does he mean when he says, “Unless you are born again…”? It is obvious, the meaning is clear: unless you look at the world and existence again as a child….
And that is the essential meaning of meditation: to help you to get out of the mind, to help you to get out of the discriminating consciousness and make a path so that you can enter into a witnessing consciousness.
These two are the only possibilities in your consciousness: either you can be pure sky or you can be sky with clouds; either you can be a consciousness without any thought or you can be a consciousness full of the traffic of thoughts, feelings, sentiments, emotions.
When you are full of the traffic of the mind, you cannot know who you are; you are too engaged, you are too busy. When there is no traffic you are so at ease, so relaxed, that it is impossible to avoid knowing yourself. Nothing is left there to know, so knowing turns upon itself. The knower and the known are no more separate.
This state – where the knower and the known become one and consciousness is just a pure witness – Ta Hui calls wisdom. To understand him, remember that he is not using the word wisdom in the ordinary sense.
There are two senses in which the word is used by ordinary language: one is the man who has experienced all kinds of failure, success, poverty, richness, the worldly experiences – one meaning of wisdom is to be rich about worldly experiences – that man is called wise. Naturally, this means the man must be old.
Experiences need time. Hence, in all cultures and all societies old people were respected and honored for their wisdom. This is one meaning of wisdom, which has become absolutely out of use and out of date.
In the past it was necessarily so: the older person knew more than the younger person, because there was only one way of knowing and that was from actual experience. If your father was a carpenter he certainly knew more than you. You would have to learn from your elders. Knowledge was transferred from generation to generation. The older person was always more knowledgeable than the younger; that’s why in the past there was no generation gap.
But today the situation has become different. As education has become more and more universal, it is possible to know more than your elders. In fact, it is not only possible, it is always the case. A father who is a doctor sends his son to the university to become a doctor. When the son comes back…the father is experienced in his profession, but the son knows more than the father, because he knows the latest research, the newest developments of which the father is absolutely unaware. The father had become a graduate of medical science perhaps thirty years before. In thirty years almost everything has changed. What was relevant thirty years ago is no more relevant; what was thought to be scientific has become absurd and unscientific.
This is a new situation which humanity is facing – that the younger person knows more than the older person. It is not accidental that respect for the older people has been disappearing. The older people are tremendously concerned about why it is happening – but they don’t see that the situation has changed.
Once it was impossible for the younger person to know more than the older person; now it is impossible for the older person to keep pace with the younger person. The younger person will know the latest developments and the gap between the two will be at least twenty or thirty years. Progress in science is going with such speed that scientists say they cannot write a big volume on any subject because by the time their volume will be ready for publication it will be out of date – it will not be publishable at all.
So now in science instead of writing big volumes, people write papers. They immediately either read those papers in conferences or they publish them in periodicals. They cannot wait long, because if they do, somebody else, somewhere else, is going to find something better.
When Albert Einstein was asked, “If you had not discovered the theory of relativity” – upon which the whole of atomic energy and all the development of nuclear weapons depends – “do you think there is a possibility that somebody else may have discovered it? And if somebody else may have discovered it, how long would it have taken?”
Albert Einstein laughed and said, “Not more than three weeks. If I had not been quick enough, then some other fellow would have published his research.” And it turned out that a German scientist had already discovered the theory of relativity – he was just a lazy guy. He had discovered it before Albert Einstein, but he had not published it. There were at least twelve people in the world who were working on the same lines, and they all would have reached, within just two or three months, the same point to which Albert Einstein had reached.
In the scientific field, which is now the only valid field of knowledge, things are moving so tremendously fast that the gap between the new generation and the old generation is going to become bigger and bigger. Soon they will not be able to understand each other’s language. It is already happening: fathers and sons don’t sit together and discuss anymore, because the fathers think their children have strange ideas, and the children think, “The poor old man! He is still repeating things that went out of date long ago.”
Now, if this is already in their minds, how is a dialogue possible? They are both thinking badly about each other already, they have arrived at conclusions without any discussion, without any conversation, without any dialogue. And the gap is becoming bigger and bigger.
Because of this gap, the thousand year old tradition of being respectful toward the elders is disappearing, because its fundamental, basic situation is no more valid. The same is the situation between students and professors: the professors know less than the students. If the students are intelligent enough, then they are always capable of knowing more than the professors. Only stupid and mediocre students still know less than the professor. If the students are going to the library and are well acquainted with the latest developments in any field of knowledge, they will be twenty or thirty years ahead of their professors.
The same problem is felt in every educational institution, in every university. Students don’t have the same respect that they always had in the past – they cannot have it. In the past it was natural: the teacher always knew more. Today it is only the mediocre student who knows less than the teacher. The intelligent student certainly knows more than the teacher can afford…. The teacher is so much accustomed to the old ideas which were prevalent when he was a student, which may have been half a century before.
I remember my own days in the university. The professor of psychology would quote names which were important fifty years before. Now you can find those names only in the Encyclopedia Brittannica as history; they have become absolutely irrelevant, so much water has gone down the Ganges and so many fresh insights have come into being. I was simply at a loss. It seems by the time a person graduates from the university he stops reading, because people read only for examinations and now there is not going to be any examination. They have done their best. And if they have become gold medalists and they have attained a first class they will soon be professors in some college, in some university; now there is no need for them to read.
My own suggestion to the Education Commission of India was that every professor should be sent every year for at least a two months’ refresher course – otherwise he cannot keep pace with the knowledge the way it is growing. This is another meaning of wisdom: knowledge and its quantity; how much you know; how well informed you are.
But the way Ta Hui and the mystics use wisdom is a totally different thing. It is neither the past, old type of knowledge that came from experience, nor is it the knowledge that comes from education. It is the knowledge that comes from a transformation happening within yourself, moving from the discriminating consciousness to the witnessing consciousness. Witnessing consciousness is wisdom, so you should not get confused about the meaning of the words.
Ta Hui says,
Constantly calculating and making plans, flowing along with birth and death, becoming afraid and agitated – all these are sentiments of discriminating consciousness. Yet people studying the path these days do not recognize this disease….
To the people of the path, to the people who want to meditate and enter into their innermost being, into the only real temple of God, this kind of knowledge, this kind of mind, this kind of consciousness is a disease. It will hinder you from going inward, it will become the barrier, and it will keep you engaged in the non-essentials of life, in trivia. It will keep you unaware of the most fundamental question: “Who am I?” It will allow you to know everything in the world except yourself – and what is the purpose of knowing the whole world if you don’t know yourself?
At the moment of death all your knowledge of the world will be lost into thin air. Only one thing will go with you, and that one thing is being constantly ignored – that is your self-knowledge, your self-realization. In fact, this is the only ignorance – ignoring yourself.
But even the greatest scientist, the greatest philosopher, the greatest thinker thinks about faraway stars, thinks about strange things – like, “What is the speed of light?” – works day and night to find how to split the atom, and never thinks for a moment, “Who is this being within me? What constitutes my consciousness?”
Certainly discriminating mind, discriminating consciousness, is the greatest disease, because it will keep you ignorant till the moment of death. Then certainly you will become aware that you have been engaged in a futile exercise. You know so much and yet you don’t know who you are. Suddenly all your knowledge is of no use, all your power is of no use, all your money is of no use, all your prestige is of no use. The only thing that could have been of use you ignored your whole life – and now there is no more time.
Death comes so suddenly, without even knocking at your doors – it does not give you a single moment’s notice. It always comes so silently that you cannot hear its footsteps, you are caught unawares. It is such a shock that most people become unconscious before dying. It is not necessary that they should become unconscious, but the shock that “I have wasted my whole life….”
Somebody is working his whole life in finding how many species of insects exist in the world, how many kinds of mosquitoes there are. To them it seems these are important questions. These people don’t have time to sit silently even for a few minutes and to move away from discriminating consciousness, that is from mind, and to become just a witness – that is a no-mind, a silence, a peace, a serenity, a pure space, utterly still, with no movement.
In this stillness comes wisdom, and wisdom means self-realization. No other meaning of wisdom has any relevance on the path of the seeker.
Yet people studying the path these days do not recognize this disease, and just appear and disappear in its midst.
People come and go. People are born and die without knowing who was born and who has died. You are born without a name and you die without a name, and all that existed between birth and death disappears just like writing on the water.
How many people have lived here before us? – billions and billions of people…and you don’t find any trace that they even existed. They also had love affairs and they thought that great things were happening to them. They also had enemies, they also had anger, they also had sadness, they also had moments of happiness. They also knew failure and the pain of it; they also knew success and the pleasure of it. They knew everything that you know…and while you are passing through that moment you think it is so important.
Just think of those billions of people who always thought that when they fell in love it was something unique which had never happened before and which would not happen again. But they have all disappeared without leaving any trace. Whether they existed or not, whether they fought or not, whether they loved or not makes no difference. The sun goes on rising, the moon goes on moving, the stars go on their paths. Existence remains absolutely unconcerned, as if whatever you think so very important is nothing but a drama.
But it is one of the most significant things to remember: whatever your experience, this has been the experience of billions of people – so don’t be too much concerned about it, don’t make too much fuss about it, don’t take much note about it. Don’t become obsessed with it – it will disappear and you will disappear, and everything will be silent, as if nothing has happened.
Because of this understanding the mystics have been telling you that the world and its experiences are nothing but dreams, so don’t take much note. Keep a distance; don’t get lost in your dreams.
If you can keep a distance from your dreams you will come to know the only reality that remains forever, which has no birth and no death: that is your pure consciousness, that is your divine consciousness. You can give it any name, it doesn’t matter. It is the buddha-nature within you, or it is the god within you.
In the teachings it’s called acting according to discriminating consciousness, not according to wisdom.
The people who are functioning in life according to their discriminating minds are spiritually sick; they are suffering from the great disease.

It happened that Gautam Buddha had come to Vaishali, one of the biggest cities of those days. The old king of Vaishali had died and his son had come into power; he was young and as foolish as young people are bound to be. His old prime minister, who was also the prime minister of his father, told him, “Gautam Buddha is coming to the city, and you have to go to receive him at the gates of the city.”
The young man said, “For what? He is just a beggar, and I am a great king. If he wants to see me he can ask for an appointment. But you are giving me strange advice, that I should go and receive him – a king going to receive a beggar?”
The prime minister said, “Then please accept my resignation.”
The king said, “You are making so much of such a small thing. Why should you resign?”
The prime minister replied, “I cannot work under a man who is so ignorant and so spiritually sick. It is humiliating. I have worked under your father, and your father used to go to receive Gautam Buddha and touch his feet. You are only a king – he was also a king, but he has gone beyond that. He is a beggar not because he could not be a king; he is a beggar because he renounced the kingdom. His begging bowl is far more valuable than your whole kingdom. Either you have to go and receive him, or please accept my resignation, because I cannot work under a man who has no wisdom.”
The young man could not afford to lose that old man, because he was experienced; the young man had just become king, he had no knowledge of how to run things. The old man was almost like his father, so he said, “I will go.”
And the story is very beautiful…when the king – this young man – went to receive Gautam Buddha with his old prime minister, Gautam Buddha said, “There was no need for you to come. I’m only a beggar, and you are a great king. If I wanted to see you, I could have come myself.”
The young man could not believe that Buddha was exactly repeating the words that he had said, and neither could the old prime minister understand. The old prime minister used to come to Gautam with the old king. Now he told Gautam Buddha, “You have created a great turmoil in our minds, because this dialogue has already happened between me and the young king. He is young and he does not understand how a man of wisdom should be received.
“I told him, ‘The man of wisdom may be a beggar to those who don’t understand, to those who don’t have the inner eye to see. But those who have the inner eye to see…a man who has realized himself has not only conquered this world, but has conquered that world too – he has conquered the outer and he has conquered the inner. His kingdom is eternal. Your kingdom is only a dream – just as your father has gone, you will be gone. But the kingdom of Gautam Buddha will remain, will remain in the eternity of time.’ This dialogue has happened between us, but he was not willing to come.”
And Gautam Buddha said, “Looking at his face, I could see his reluctance. I could see that you brought him, he did not come. I could see that although he has come to receive me, he still sees me as a beggar and himself as a king. So just to console him – as if he were obliging me – I had to say these words, ‘You are a great king; you need not have come to see or receive a beggar.’ And in fact, I am a beggar: I don’t have anything except myself. You have everything except yourself: your possessions are many, your dominion is big, naturally. My possessions are few. In fact, except myself, I don’t have anything else.”

But this is called wisdom. And this wisdom is the greatest bliss and ecstasy in the world. If you can find even a few minutes to look into yourself…. In the hubbub of the world, still there are moments when you can look within yourself, however busy you may be. There is not a single person in the world who cannot find a small amount of time to look at his own being. And in the end you will find only those moments were real which you devoted to searching for yourself, and everything else was unreal.
Everything else has disappeared; only those few moments have remained which you have spent with yourself. Friends are gone, lovers are gone, everything is gone or is going. But those few moments which you have spent with yourself in your aloneness are still with you. Even death cannot take them away from you. They are your only treasure.
The people who follow the discriminating mind are wasting a great opportunity to discover the ultimate and the intimate – which are not two different things. The ultimate is the intimate. And those who are concerned with things, howsoever valuable, sooner or later will repent.
Jesus used to tell his disciples again and again, “Repent!” – and I don’t think Christians understand what he means. Suddenly he starts talking about repenting…. What is there to repent? People think perhaps he is saying, “Repent for your sins!” – but in fact he is saying, “Repent for all that time that you have wasted in accumulating junk, in accumulating information.” Repent for all that – and the only way to be authentically repentant is to do something that takes you to the undying element in you, to the source of your very life.
Thereby they obscure the scenery of the fundamental ground, their original face.
We never come across our original face. We are so engaged, so busy with a thousand and one things that there is no time left, no energy left, and no inclination either. In millions of people, perhaps, the very longing to know oneself has not arisen. They are all imitators: because other people are running after money, they are running after money; because other people are ambitious, they are ambitious; because other people are doing this, they are doing this.

A woman was saying to her husband, “Do you see that our neighbors have got a new car?”
He said, “Yes, I can see, it is standing in their porch.”
The woman said, “Then you have to decide: either bring home a new car or we will have to change neighborhoods, whichever you think is cheaper, but this I cannot tolerate. So I leave it up to you: either find somewhere else to live so I don’t have to see that car standing there continuously, or bring a better car for our porch. Just get busy.”

People are continuously living their lives of imitation, competition, jealousy… Who is bothered about his original face – and what is one going to do with the original face? But the only people who have known anything worthwhile, who have lived in the authentic sense of living, are the people who have searched for their original face.
Certainly you have to get out of this rut of jealousy, competition, imitation, otherwise they won’t leave you any time. Somebody is doing something, somebody else is doing something else, and your whole business is to imitate everybody – they have better clothes, somebody has a better house, somebody has a better garden. People say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and it is true; it looks greener.

One man was trying hard to sell his house, because more beautiful houses had sprung up and he wanted to have something better. So he called an agent, and the agent said, “It is not difficult, don’t be worried.”
The agent placed an advertisement and described the man’s house in such beautiful terms: “If you want a scenic place…just behind you is a lake,” – it was not a lake, it was just rainwater that had collected, with at least five million mosquitoes – “and behind the lake is a beautiful range of mountains. The sunrise is so beautiful that you can search around the world and perhaps you may not find such a beautiful sunrise. And a beautiful garden….”
The man read the advertisement, and he said, “This is the kind of house I want” – because there was no address given under it, only the phone number of the agent. So he called the number immediately, “I am really interested, whatsoever the price. The price does not matter: come immediately and we will settle it.”
But the agent said, “This is strange! This is where you live, your own house.”
He said, “My God! You are a poet! You have described it with such beauty, and I am being tortured by this house…and the mosquitoes…and you call it a lake! And you call those mountains which are thousands of miles away, ‘behind the house’!”

But this is how things are. You are impressed by somebody else’s house and he is impressed by your house; you are impressed by somebody else’s wife or husband, and he is dying for your wife, he is ready to sacrifice everything. He does not know what trouble you are in.
But this imitative mind keeps you engaged. And the only problem is that it manages to keep you unaware of yourself. Otherwise, nothing is wrong in the world. I’m not against the world, neither is Ta Hui against the world. He does not want you to renounce it; he simply wants you to understand that all that is outside you is phenomenal, it has no ultimate significance.
Just think: twenty years before you had fallen in love with somebody. At that time you were ready to do anything, and now it does not matter at all.

I had a friend who was in love with a Bengali girl. I have seen many lovers, but he was the topmost. He was so much in love that he went to Bengal and lived in Bengal for two years to learn the language and the actual Bengali accent. He used to dress like the Bengalis, talk like the Bengalis…but the girl was not interested. And after such an effort, when he proposed to the girl she simply refused, saying, “I feel very repulsed by you.” Naturally, it was too much.
He was the son of a doctor. He went home, closed his room, and informed the house, “Don’t try to open the door. I’m going to die inside my room.”
He was the only son of his father, and the father asked, “But tell us what is the problem. You wanted to go to Bengal for two years, and we arranged it. Now what is the problem? Where do you want to go? You can go….”
He said, “I don’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to marry a girl, and for her I went to Bengal. Even with the Bengali accent, and Bengali clothes, she has refused me.”
The girl used to live near my house, and just because she lived near my house, he had become friendly toward me! It was the right place for him, because the girl used to come to my house to sit in the garden, to read or to borrow some books from me. This was the right place for him, and that’s how I became aware of his existence.
Everybody in the neighborhood tried hard to convince the doctor’s son, “We will find a better girl. Your father is rich, you are the only son, there is no problem. We will manage everything, whatever…. If you want a Bengali girl, the whole of Bengal is there! We will find a Bengali girl whatsoever it costs – but don’t do anything stupid.” They were afraid he might have taken poison from the father’s dispensary or something and he might eat it or do something stupid. But he would not speak, he was completely silent. Then they became very much afraid, because they would knock and he would not answer.
The father came running to me and said, “He used to come to you, and perhaps you can manage that at least he should speak. We are worried: perhaps he is unconscious or has fallen in a coma or taken poison, and we are afraid because he has warned us, ‘Don’t try to open the door, otherwise you will find my dead body inside.’ So we cannot forcibly open the door, he may do something…we are at a loss.”
I went there and I said, “There is no problem.” I knocked on the door and said, “Arjun” – his name was Arjun – “do you want to commit suicide?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Then this is not the way. You come along with me and I will manage a beautiful suicide for you!”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Open the door and just come into my car and I will arrange it, because I know the right place to commit suicide.”
In Jabalpur, just thirteen miles away from my house, is one of the most beautiful places in the world – the marble rocks. For two miles continuously a beautiful river, Narmada, flows between two mountains completely of marble. On a full-moon night it becomes absolutely dreamlike – one cannot think that this can be real. With the full moon, high, white marble on both sides, reflecting in the river, absolutely silent…
It is so unbelievable that when I took one of my professors there…he was an old man and he had been around the world. He had been a professor in America, in England, in Hawaii; his whole life he had been like a nomad with great qualifications so he was able to get into any university anywhere. I insisted that he should come and see, and he said, “I have seen the whole world, what more can there be?”
I said, “Don’t say that until you have seen what I am going to show you.”
Finally he agreed, reluctantly. I took him there and when he saw the scene he could not believe his eyes. He said, “Take the boat close to the rocks. I want to touch them because I can’t believe they are real. It looks almost like a dreamland.” And he touched the rocks, and only then could he believe that they were real, that I was not trying any magic trick on him.
So I took Arjun to my house, and I told him, “The best place is the marble rocks. There is a beautiful waterfall…so just rest, and whatever you like best to eat – have a good dinner and we will go to sleep. We will put the alarm on for three o’clock, and at three o’clock we will leave. I have to take you there, and when you are gone I still have to look after other things.”
He was continually looking at me with very amazed eyes. Finally he said, “What kind of friend are you? Everybody has been telling me, ‘Don’t commit suicide. Such things happen. This is very common: one falls in love…and if the other person is not willing, there is no need to be worried. The world is full of beautiful girls, and that girl is no Cleopatra. There is nothing to be worried about: we will find a better girl.’ Everybody was trying to persuade me not to commit suicide. You are a strange fellow: you are suggesting the exact plan to me!”
I said, “Whenever one has to do something, one should do it with accurate planning. It takes one hour to reach there, then I say good-bye to you, and you jump. I will wait and see that you have jumped, and then I have my own work to do. I will come back.”
So I ordered whatever food he liked – Bengali sweets, everything Bengali – but even while eating he was continually looking at me.
I said, “Why do you go on looking at me like that?”
He said, “I just wonder what kind of friend you are.”
I said, “I am exactly what a friend should be: a friend in need is a friend indeed! If you want to commit suicide, I am ready to help; if you want to live, I am ready to help. I don’t interfere.”
And when at three o’clock the alarm went off, he immediately put his hand on the clock. I caught his hand on the clock, and I said, “This won’t do.”
He said, “But it is too cold.”
I said, “Cold or not – for you it is only a one-way affair. For me, I have to come back and I have to live. Think of me!”
Then he suddenly burst out, “I don’t want to commit suicide!”
I said, “This is strange. We have been planning for it, and at the last moment you decide not to do it? No!”
He said, “But I don’t want to commit suicide.”
I said, “Think about the girl.”
He said, “I don’t care about any girl.”
I said, “But you should have told me before. I wasted money for the dinner.”
He said, “I will pay for it.”
I said, “That’s okay. So you have really decided not to commit suicide? Never mention it again! Life is going to be difficult, so don’t blame me. Don’t say to me, ‘Why did you not persist?’ I am persisting! Life is not going to be a bed of roses – forget all about that. It is going to be all kinds of sufferings and troubles and miseries. You will get married and you will have a dozen children – and then, don’t blame me! Still there is time: you just come. I have kept the car ready…and it takes just a single moment to jump, and you are free from all misery.”
He said, “But I don’t want to! I want to go home.”
I said, “If you want to go to your home, you can take a rickshaw and go, because I’m not going to take you on this cold night. Then I’m going to sleep; you get out of the house and find your own way.”
He met me twenty years later when I went again to Jabalpur and he said, “You were right: I got married and I got into misery. You are a strange person…I have already seven children, and I know, because you have said so, that there will be twelve. I have got a woman that I pray to God not even my enemy should get. She is a bitch. And I always think of that night – how beautiful it would have been if I had listened to your advice.”
I said, “Nothing is lost yet. I can still arrange it.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “The same thing: those marble rocks are still here, that waterfall is still here, nothing has changed. I will arrange for a car, and at three o’clock….”
He again looked at me and he said, “What about my wife and children?”
I said, “That is not your problem at all. Once you have jumped…that is their problem. Why should you be worried about that? They are torturing you.”
He said, “Even after twenty years you seem to be haunting me somehow. And are you still of the same opinion?”
I said, “I will be of the same opinion till your very last breath, because you are simply going to suffer. These twenty years you could have avoided.”
He said, “That’s true – if I had listened.”
But I said, “Still I am ready, and you are not listening.”
He said, “There are problems. My father is dead, my mother is dead. Now the whole business has come on my head.”
I said, “Everything disappears in the moment you jump, and if you cannot jump, I can push you!”
He said, “It is better not to talk with you at all.”
And since then I have been to that city a few other times. I went to his house and he was in, but somebody came out and said he was not in. And I told anybody who came out, “Tell him…go inside and tell him that I am still ready, whenever he wants to be freed from his misery.” That is my whole business: freeing people from their misery, liberating people.
The last time I simply pushed the boy who was telling me – his boy – and I went inside. He was hiding inside, and I said, “Come out! You need not be worried, I have not come to take you.”
But he said, “I don’t want to talk anymore, because you again raise the same matter, and the desire arises…perhaps that was the right thing to do. Now I am worried because I have so many children; now from seven they have become nine.”
I said, “You make them twelve, then I will come. You finish the job, and suffer as much as you want.”
He said, “Isn’t there any other way than suicide?”
I said, “There is, but you have never been listening. I have been in this city for twenty years continually teaching people meditation. But you were engaged in your own affairs – you were ready to die. You are married to a better, more beautiful and more educated woman, and you are suffering with her. It is not a question of this woman or that man – you would have suffered with anybody.”

A mind that is not meditative is bound to suffer in every situation: riches, poverty, failure or success, it makes no difference. For the non-meditative mind, suffering is the destiny. Only for the meditative mind who comes to know his original face, his authentic being, misery disappears as if it has never existed. For the first time a new world opens its doors: the world of blissfulness, the world of ecstasy, the world that you are born to discover, that it is your birthright to find.
But you go on moving everywhere searching for joy, for happiness, for blissfulness, and you never look within yourself. All that you are searching for outside is there already in the very innermost shrine of your being.
This is the only truth which is unexceptional. Nobody who has looked in has come out saying that all these mystics, sages, are speaking about something that does not exist. Without any exception, whoever has gone in, has come out with absolute affirmation.
But if you can abandon it all at once, so you neither think nor calculate, then these very sentiments of discriminating consciousness are the subtle wisdom of true emptiness – there is no other wisdom that can be attained.
Your very being, once it is free of discriminations, once free from thoughts, emotions, once it has become an empty sky, is the only wisdom there is.
If there were something attained and something realized besides, then it would not be right.
This can be said with absolute certainty: the only wisdom is the wisdom of no-mind, of a silent space. Besides that there is nothing else to attain. If anybody says there is, he is not right; either he is deluded or he is trying to delude other people.
Ta Hui is absolutely right that there is no other wisdom, no other enlightenment, no other awakening than a simple silent space within you…without any stirring, without even a small ripple of thought – just a lake without any ripples, a sky without any clouds.
Then you have arrived home. There is nothing else to be achieved, nothing else to be attained. Even the idea of attaining something else has never arisen to a man of wisdom.
It is like a person when he is deluded calling East, West, and when he’s arrived at enlightenment, West is East – there is no other East.
He is saying that it is almost like a person who thinks in his ignorance, mistakenly, that two plus two is five. When he becomes alert and aware he comes to know that two plus two is four. He will not ask anybody, “What happened to five?”
A great psychoanalyst was asked, “We hear so much about psychosis and neurosis, but we don’t know the difference between the two.” The man who was asking was a journalist, and particularly an expert in psychological matters. He said, “It seems very difficult to understand what psychosis is and what is neurosis. What is the difference?”
The psychoanalyst said, “The difference is very small, very minute, very subtle. It is this: the psychotic person thinks two plus two is five; the neurotic person thinks two plus two is four, but he is not easy about why it is four.”
The difference is very minute, certainly, very minute. One is absolutely certain two plus two is five; one is aware that it is four but is very much anxious about why it is four – why is it not five? Perhaps the second is on the way toward the first. The difference is not very much – perhaps one step more and he will become rested and will declare that two plus two is five. In fact, the second stage is better: at least one is at ease. But knowing that two plus two is four, and still feeling uneasy that it is so, is really more troublesome.
The enlightened man simply comes to know two plus two is four – and there is no restlessness. In fact, there is tremendous rest and relaxation with things as they are. There is no expectation in the enlightened being that things should be otherwise. As they are, he is absolutely in harmony with them. This accord with existence as it is, is the greatest benediction possible to human beings.
This subtle wisdom of true emptiness is coeval with the great void: the void is not subject to being obstructed by things, nor does it hinder the coming and going of all things within it.
This last part is very significant to understand, because many become obsessed with the idea that there should be no thought, no emotion, no feeling – that only then are you enlightened. It is true that you should attain to enlightenment by going beyond all thoughts, feelings, emotions, but once you are enlightened, then there is no problem. Then you are the vast sky; everything can pass through and does not make any scratch on it. Then clouds can pass and they will not be any problem.
A man who has attained enlightenment can use thoughts, can use words, can convey through language what he has attained. It may not be perfect – it cannot be perfect – but he can use his mind as articulately as possible. Going beyond the mind does not mean that you cannot use your mind.
In fact, only then can you use your mind as a servant, because the master has arrived home. Now the mind is a servant, the heart is a servant, the body is a servant, and the master can use everything the way he wants. He is no more used by the servants; he is no more dragged by the servants in their own direction. He is absolutely free. Neither mind nor body nor heart – nothing can dictate to him his lifestyle. He is beyond any dictation from anybody. He is the master of his own destiny, and this is the greatest joy in existence.

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