The Guest 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - The Guest by Osho.
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My body and my mind are in depression because you are not with me.
How much I love you and want you in my house!
When I hear people describe me as your bride I look sideways ashamed,
because I know that far inside us we have never met.
Then what is this love of mine?
I don’t really care about food, I don’t really care about sleep,
I am restless indoors and outdoors.
The bride wants her lover as much as a thirsty man wants water.
And how will I find someone who will take a message to the guest from me?
How restless Kabir is all the time!
How much he wants to see the guest!
Aristotle defines man as the rational animal. No definition could be more false than this. Man is the most irrational animal because man is not yet conscious. Reason is possible only as a by-product of consciousness. Man is asleep, man is dreaming. How can he be rational? He has no eyes to see, he has no awareness to know, he is utterly confused.
Man is in confusion: confusion between the body and the soul, confusion between the material and the spiritual, confusion between logic and love. Out of this confusion there is no possibility of knowing God. Out of this confusion you can go on crying and praying, but your prayer will never reach the divine, your crying is futile. Out of this confusion you will not be able to see the light. This confusion has to be dropped.
One has to become intensely aware or intensely loving. These are the only two keys to bringing man out of the state he is in: either intense awareness, which is the path of meditation; or intense, total love, which is the path of devotion.
Kabir is a devotee, he is on the path of love. He will talk of love again and again, but what he means by love has to be understood well. By love he means an intense desire to disappear into the whole. It is not the love you know of, that you talk about; it is a totally different phenomenon. Your love is an effort to dominate the other; it is a strategy to possess the other, to exploit the other. Kabir is not talking about that love. You cannot possess God, you can only be possessed by God.
To love God means to surrender, to trust, to be ready to die into him. Because dying in godliness is the beginning of a new life; it is resurrection. Love has to become such an intense flame that it burns you up, that you are not left behind, that you are consumed in it – then the guest comes.
This paradox has to be understood: the guest cannot come if the host is there; the guest can come only when the host is not there at all. In fact, that’s what host really means: absent, utterly absent, with no ego, with no idea of “I” within you, just an utter, pure emptiness; then you are a host. When the host is not there, then you really are a host. Then not even a split second is lost – the guest comes.
The guest does not come from the outside, hence there is no time gap. The dying of the host is the resurrection of the guest. You are the host, you are the guest. If you live with the “I” you remain a host, unacquainted with the guest. If you drop the “I,” you are the guest.
What matters is intensity, total intensity. Neither awareness nor love matters; the real thing is intensity. But before man can attain to such intensity, either of awareness or of love, before that total intensity can happen you have to be perfectly conscious of your unconsciousness. Man is so unconscious that he is not even conscious of his unconsciousness.

Just the other day Mulla Nasruddin was telling me: “I had eighteen bottles of whisky in my cellar, and was told by my wife to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the sink, or else. I said I would, and proceeded with the unpleasant task.
I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank.
I extracted the cork from the second bottle and did likewise, with the exception of one glass, which I drank.
I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle and poured the whisky down the sink, which I drank. I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink and poured the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it and threw the rest down the glass. I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle. Then I corked the sink with the glass, bottled the drink and drank the pour. When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with one hand, counted the glasses, corks, bottles and sinks with the other, which were twenty-nine, and as the house came by, I counted them again and finally had all the houses in one bottle, which I drank. I’m not under the affluence of oncohol, as some tinkle peep I am, I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here the longer I get. Ah me!”

This is precisely the situation man is in. He is not aware of who he is, he is not aware of where he comes from, he is not aware of where he is going. He is not aware of why he is at all, why the whole of existence is. He simply goes on like a robot, doing things, managing somehow.
From birth to death, man is in a long sleep, sometimes dreaming with his eyes closed, sometimes dreaming with his eyes open, but dreaming all the same, all the time.
In this situation you cannot invite the guest. In this situation you cannot know what God is because God is nothing but the name of the totality. You don’t even know yourself, how can you know the totality? You are just a tiny being compared to this great, vast existence, you are just a dewdrop compared to the ocean of existence; you don’t even know the small part which is your being, the dewdrop – and you start inquiring about the ocean.
Hence, all philosophy is foolish. It is bound to be foolish because it inquires into the ocean without knowing the dewdrop. Religion is very sane: it starts by inquiring into the dewdrop.
The first and the most fundamental question of religion is not a question about God, but “Who am I?” Someone who starts with this question, “Who am I?” is moving in the right direction. But remember, this question should not be just an intellectual inquiry. You should not ask this question with the expectation that somebody else is going to answer it; nobody can answer it for you. You cannot find the answer in any source like the Bible, the Veda, the Koran. As far as the answer is concerned, no buddha can be any help.
Then what is the purpose of the buddhas? – to make it clear to you that your question is unanswerable, that your question has to become an inner quest. You should not look outside for the answer, you should look in for the answer. The question is hiding the answer: if you go deep down into the question you will find the answer. The answer has to be through your own realization. It cannot be through the scriptures, it cannot be through the sermons of those who are awakened. It can only be through your own awakening, through your own enlightenment; there is no other way, there is no shortcut. There is no way to get the answer cheaply. You will have to dive deep into your being, you will have to take a risk. And the greatest risk is to dive deep within yourself. Why do I call it a risk? Because when you dive deep within yourself, you come across abysmal emptiness and it frightens you. There are only two possible ways: one is superstition, blind belief; the other is doubt.
You can be superstitious and just go into it with all your superstitions – you will miss. The superstitious person can never become religious. You can believe, but your belief will be blind and if your belief is blind, you cannot open your eyes. If you begin with blindness you will end with blindness.
Or the other possibility is doubt. But if you doubt, you cannot dive in. If you believe, you dive in, but in vain. These seem to be the immediately available alternatives; the third is not so immediately clear.
The third possibility is intelligent trust – again a paradox. You have always thought of trust as needing no intelligence; you have always thought of intelligence as skeptical. You have never thought of the beautiful synthesis, the harmony, of intelligence and trust. When intelligence and trust meet, when you dive deep but fully aware, fully aware of the risk; when you dive into your being risking all, gambling, but knowing, knowing perfectly, that you may simply be entering something from which there is no return. You may die and there may be no resurrection, not even a “perhaps” in your mind; risking without motive, risking intelligently.
Seeing that life outside is futile – you have seen it, you have lived it, you have been through it, and enough is enough – you are ready to risk the inner journey intelligently. But remember, I say intelligently: the love cannot be blind. Ordinarily, that’s what your love is: it is emotional blindness, it is sentimentality, it is not intelligence. Unless love has the quality of intelligence, it is not the love that Kabir is talking about.
There are two stories to be pondered over…

There is this guy from India and he is walking along a cliff. He falls off, grabs a branch and pleads, “Is there anyone up there? Help me!”
True to form, God answers, “Trust me – let go!”
The guy lets go, and immediately falls to his death on the rocks below.
God speaks again through the clouds, “That will teach you, you stupid Indian!”

And the second story…

A Jew is walking along a cliff. He falls off, grabs a branch and pleads, “Is there anyone up there? Help me!”
God answers, “Trust me – let go!”
The Jew thinks for a minute, then lifts his eyes up to the sky and says, “Is there anyone else up there?”

These are the two alternatives available, simple alternatives. Either blindly believe or blindly doubt. But remember, God is not available to blind, superstitious people, and God is not available to doubters either. God is available to intelligent inquirers.
What is intelligent inquiry? The first requirement for it is to be a little more conscious than you are. Whatsoever you are doing, bring the quality of consciousness into it. Walking, remember “I am walking.” Not that you have to repeat these words “I am walking,” just remain alert to your walking. Drinking water, remember you are drinking. Remember it is cool, remember it is quenching your thirst. Not afterward, not when your thirst is quenched, not when it has become a past thing; but when it is on the way, when the process is happening, when the thirst is really being quenched. Not when drink has become a noun, but when it is a verb, still alive, vibrating. Feel the coolness of the water in your throat, the quenching of the thirst. Not afterward, let me repeat, not even a split second later.
Eating, working, taking a bath, whatsoever you are doing, bring a quality of awareness to it, so that awareness soaks into your being. Only then will you become a conscious lover because love is one of the deepest phenomena. Unless you are aware, conscious, in your ordinary life, you will not be conscious in your love. And conscious love is prayer. If love is not conscious it remains lust, and lust can never have anything of prayer in it. Lust is unconscious, love is conscious.

The lush staggered into the middle of Lover’s Lane, blundering into the parked convertibles and causing a minor commotion. Just then a young man appeared from the shadows, breathing heavily. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “What a dynamo. A woman like that could kill you in no time flat. She can burn a guy up.”
“So what?” slobbered the drunk.
“I’m bushed, pal,” said the young man, “want to take over from me for a while? I gotta rest up.”
“Glad to buddy, old pal,” mumbled the drunk, as he staggered over to a car parked nearby.
He had no sooner made himself comfortable than a police car drove up and the darkened convertible was flooded by the beam of a strong flashlight.
“C’mon you two,” snarled the law, “break it up.”
“But offisher,” protested the lush, “this is my wife!”
“Sorry mister, didn’t know it was your wife.”
“Neither did I until the lights went on.”

You don’t know what you are doing. You call your lust, love; you call your desire to possess, love; you call your exploitation, love. You use the other person and you call it caring. You don’t know what you are doing. You can’t know, unless you start becoming alert and aware about small things first. One has to learn swimming in shallow water.
When you go for a morning walk, try to remember: be mindful, alert. Whatsoever is happening, don’t exclude anything, be aware of it: the distant call of a bird, the car that has passed by, a child crying in some house. Be alert to everything, inclusive of all. Just be alert.
It will be difficult. Only once in a while will you be alert, and again you will become unconscious; being unconscious is such an old, ancient habit. But slowly, slowly, a part of you will be freed. In the beginning, it will only be the tip of the iceberg, but that is the beginning of a great revolution in your life. Then you can start moving your light of awareness onto deeper things. And love is the deepest thing. When love and consciousness meet, prayer arises.
These songs of Kabir are his prayer. Kabir says:
My body and my mind are in depression because you are not with me.
Man without God is a corpse; man with God is a celebration. Minus God or plus God – these are the only two ways to live your life. Minus God you are nothing but misery, plus God you are nothing but bliss. Minus God you are a negative, a black hole. Minus God you only pretend to live, you cannot live. How can there be life minus God? God is life! Yes, you go through all the empty motions, gestures; you act as if you are alive. But deep down you know you are not alive, life has not yet happened to you. Birth has happened, but not life.
Life happens only when God has happened. Then a man is twice-born. In the East we call him dwija, twice-born. Then a man really becomes a brahmin, but not by birth; nobody can be a brahmin by birth. The word brahmin does not mean a caste; it means one who has known Brahma, one who has known God, one who has become one with God, with existence. A brahmin is never born, a brahmin is resurrected. One has to first die to all that one thinks one is, then one is reborn, twice-born.
With God, your life really begins. You start pulsating on a new plane, radiating joy. Your life takes on the colors of the rainbow; you are all the colors, the whole spectrum. Your life becomes music, all the notes; you become an orchestra. Each moment goes deeper, becomes sweeter and sweeter. For the first time you start having a love affair with existence. The world remains the same and yet not the same. The trees are greener than they have ever been before, and the roses are rosier. And people are no longer ordinary people: each person represents a facet of God, a face of God.
Knowing God for the first time your life starts soaring high, you have wings. Minus God you are just crawling in the mud; plus God you can fly up to the sun. The flight of the alone to the alone becomes possible.
Kabir says:
Balam avo hamare geh re…
Oh my beloved, when are you going to enter my house, my being?
…tum bin dukhiya deh re…
Without you, my body aches, my body is nothing but pain, my body is nothing but agony. Without you I live in agony. How much longer do I have to live this way? How much longer do I have to call you forth?
My body and my mind are in depression because you are not with me. And I know why I am in such despair, in such anguish. I know perfectly well it is not because I don’t have much money, no. It is not because I am not politically powerful, no. It is not because I am not very respected, no. I have come to the basic thing: it is because you are not with me.
Have you come upon this fundamental of life? People go on thinking they will be happy if they have a little more money; or if they are more respectable, more famous, more known; or if they have more power, more prestige. People go on thinking that this is missing, that is missing, and even when they get those things, they don’t see… They again start thinking of something else. You were thinking that if you had one million rupees you would be happy; now you have, but you don’t see the futility of it. By the time you have one million, you have started thinking that unless you have ten million you are not going to be happy. What is one million, after all? Unless you have ten… And remember, this is going to happen again when you have ten million.
Your desires go on projecting into the future. The desiring mind never stops desiring. You can provide each and every thing that it desires, but it can always find more to desire; there is always more. The desire for more is the basic root of the mind.
Look back at many things you have thought: “If I have this woman, this man, I will be happy.” Now you have that woman, that man – are you happy? No, now you are thinking, “Some other woman, some other man,” and the same thing will be repeated. To keep going round this vicious circle is what I mean by stupidity; then you are not intelligent.
Kabir is showing his intelligence. He says, I have come to know that only one thing is missing in my life, and that is you – God is missing. I am minus you; that’s my misery. I am just pain and nothing else, pain all over. My body is pain, my mind is pain, I am aching all over. It is just agony. Without God there can be no ecstasy.
How much I love you and want you in my house!
Can’t you see how much I love you and want you in my house, in my temple, in my heart? He is asking: What is missing? Is my love not enough yet? Is there something wrong with my love? Is my love still lukewarm, not intense enough, not boiling at a hundred degrees? Just tell me.
When I hear people describe me as your bride I look sideways ashamed…
And I am very much ashamed because people have already started talking about me as your bride. People have started saying that I am married to God. People have started saying that I have reached the beloved, that I have found the beloved; I feel very ashamed. Yes, I have seen glimpses. I have seen you from faraway, just as you can see the Himalayan peaks from thousands of miles away on a clear day. In the sunlight you can see those virgin peaks and the snow from thousands of miles away. Just like that, I have seen a few glimpses of you; but I have not yet melted in you, and I have not yet found you in my heart. In the depths we have not met, only on the circumference. Yes, a few meetings have happened; I have been introduced to you, you have been introduced to me, that’s true. But those meetings can only be called acquaintances – and people have started describing me as your bride.
…sab koi kahe tumhari nari,
moko lagat laj re…
Everybody is talking; the news that Kabir has attained has reached many. Kabir is authentic and very true; he says: I have seen only a few glimpses, that is not attainment. In fact, I have never been in more misery than I am now. I was far happier when I had not seen your face at all because I was far more unconscious. Before I had seen you I had no idea that you are, hence there was no misery. I was not missing you at all. Since I have seen your face from far away, since a few glimpses of you have entered my being, since you have sometimes happened in the dark night of my soul like lightning, the darkness is darker than ever before. Now I know anguish because I have seen joy. Now I know agony because I have felt ecstasy. Now I know where I am – my existence is utterly useless without you.
And people have started talking of me as your bride. …I look sideways ashamed… I cannot deny that I am your bride. It is true from my side, but it has not yet happened on your side. On my side, I am ready, but you have not accepted me, you have not shown any indication that you will accept me. I cannot say that people are wrong; the marriage has happened – as far as I am concerned at least. I am married to you; I cannot live without you. I will wait for you for eternity. I cannot fall into the trap of the world again; even if I have to wait forever and ever, I will wait. On my side, I am married to you, wedded to you – but what about you? You have not yet entered my heart. What is missing?
That’s how real prayer arises: it simply says, “You are ready to come, but something must be missing in me. I desire, but my desire must be impure. I love, but there must be a shadow of lust in it.”
When I hear people describe me as your bride I look sideways ashamed,
because I know that far inside us we have never met.
Saying that needs courage for a man like Kabir: he is already known as one of the enlightened. Thousands have come to him, hundreds are his followers. It needs courage to say it so truly. He says: “Deep down, far inside us, we have never met. Yes, there has been a certain kind of meeting, circumferences have overlapped, but at the centers no meeting has happened yet. There has not yet been an orgasmic unity, we have not yet made love to each other. I have not penetrated you, you have not penetrated me; we are poles apart. And people are talking, and I feel ashamed. Then what is this love of mine? Why is this meeting in the depths not happening? What is this love of mine? Tell me.”
This is how a devotee prays. Prayer is a dialogue, a dialogue with the whole. No answer comes from the other side – it looks like a monologue to the outsider. The devotee goes on asking, inquiring, praying, demanding, complaining, thanking – no answer ever comes. If you see a devotee of Kabir’s caliber, it will look like a monologue because there is nobody else: “With whom is he talking? Has he gone mad?”
But as far as Kabir is concerned it is a dialogue, not a monologue. No response may come from the beloved, he may remain silent, but his silence is so tangible, and his presence is so tangible, it can be felt. The beloved may not say a single word, but he is there; now there is no missing it. Kabir knows God is, he has seen glimpses of him. Kabir knows that God loves him, he too has seen those few moments of joy.
But when you know that sometimes light can happen in your darkness, a great desire, a great longing, arises to end this night completely, to reach the dawn.
Then what is this love of mine?
If there is something wrong with me, tell me. If there is something missing, I will try harder. I will cleanse my heart if it is not ready to receive you. I will prepare, I will learn the art of being a host – just tell me what is missing.
I don’t really care about food, I don’t really care about sleep,
I am restless indoors and outdoors.
The devotee knows a totally different kind of restlessness from any you have known. Your restlessness is very mundane, superficial. You are restless for money, power, this and that – a better house, more money in the bank, a little more prestige in your life so you can brag that you are somebody – but you don’t know the restlessness of a devotee. He cannot say of it to anybody, he cannot show it to anybody – nobody will ever understand. He would be thought crazy, he would be thought mad.
And his restlessness is not on the surface. On the surface, Kabir will be utterly calm and quiet, but his heart is burning, his heart is on fire. Only those who know what love is, what devotion is, will understand the pain, the suffering of Kabir. Those who don’t know about the heart will see Kabir so quiet on the surface, so silent, so still – but deep down he is carrying a storm.
I am restless indoors and outdoors. I don’t care about food and I don’t care about sleep. My whole concern is you, my whole concentration is you. Day in, day out, I think only of you. I simply wait at the door, waiting for you. The wind comes and knocks on the door; I rush to open it – maybe he has come? The wind moves dry leaves on the street; I rush – maybe it is the sound of his footsteps?
I cannot sleep, Kabir says, I cannot eat. I am so full of you that there is no space left in me for anything else. Still something is missing. What?
The bride wants her lover as much as a thirsty man wants water.
Just like a fish thrown onto the bank, I am thirsty for you, dying for you, but you have still not arrived. And you cannot be wrong, so I must be wrong. It seems that my thirst is still not enough, my longing is not intense enough. I have not yet prayed and called you. It seems my host is still unworthy of receiving you.
And how will I find someone who will take a message to the guest from me?
I go on calling and you don’t answer, and sometimes I doubt whether my words are reaching you, whether you are hearing me, whether you care about me. Yes, suspicions arise, doubts arise. There are moments when I start losing hope, when hopelessness settles into me, when the despair is so much that I start thinking, “If there was somebody to take a message to you…”
Kabir is saying: Where can I find a master who can become a bridge between you and me; whom I can tell, and trust that the message will be delivered to you; and who can answer on your behalf? Where can I find such a master?
The story of Kabir is tremendously beautiful. Nothing is absolutely certain, but it is said that he was born into a Mohammedan family, abandoned by his parents, and then brought up by a Hindu family. So there was always that suspicion, that he was brought up by Hindus but born a Mohammedan. He knocked on many so-called gurus’ doors and they would not accept him because they thought he was a Mohammedan; or even if he was not, his birth was at least suspicious, uncertain. The parents had simply thrown the child onto the riverbank and somebody found him and brought him up. Why was he abandoned? – maybe he was an illegal child. Nobody would accept him.
His name also showed that he was a Mohammedan; Kabir is one of the names of God given by Sufis. Sufis have a hundred names for God. Ninety-nine can be communicated verbally, the hundredth cannot: it is understood only in deep silence between the master and the disciple. One of those ninety-nine names is Kabir; it literally means “the great, the vast, the infinite.” Kabir is certainly not a Hindu name.
So, his birth was suspicious, his name was Mohammedan. Who would accept him? All the so-called masters were afraid. He was rejected.
Then Kabir played a trick. He wanted to become the disciple of a very famous master, the great Ramananda, but he was afraid to go to him – maybe Ramananda would not accept him, just as the others had not. And once he had been rejected it would be very difficult to turn the no into a yes; so he played a trick.
Ramananda used to go to the Ganges in Varanasi to take his morning bath, early, when the sun had not yet risen and it was still dark. Kabir went there and slept on a step where he knew Ramananda would pass. It was dark, and Ramananda’s feet touched Kabir – and Kabir clung to Ramananda’s feet. Ramananda said, “Hey Ram! My God! Who are you? What are you doing here?”
Kabir said, “Forget about that – you have given me the mantra ‘Hey Ram.’ You have initiated me, I am your disciple now.”
Now Ramananda could not go back on his word. He said, “That’s true, this is your mantra, ‘Hey Ram, O God,’ and you are my disciple.” It was only later on, when the sun rose, that Ramananda became aware that it was Kabir.
That is how Kabir got initiated into disciplehood. Normally, it is the master who creates a device to initiate the disciple, but in Kabir’s case everybody knew about him, that he was knocking on every door asking to be initiated. So it was the disciple who created a device to be initiated by the master.
Kabir says it is very difficult to find a master. And how will I find someone who will take a message to the guest from me? This song must have been sung before he met Ramananda.
How restless Kabir is all the time!
How much he wants to see the guest!

…hai koi aisa par-upakari,
pivson kahe sunay re…
The original is: Is there anybody in the whole world who has any compassion for this poor man? Because I have a message to be delivered to my beloved. Is there somebody who is compassionate enough, who can deliver my message to God? …pivson kahe sunay re… Somebody who can go to the beloved; somebody who knows the beloved, knows his address, knows the way. I don’t know his address, I don’t know the way, I don’t know his house, where he resides. I go on calling for him, not knowing in which direction to call, not knowing what name to call. Is there somebody in the world compassionate enough to take my message to my beloved? To just tell him, “There is a madman dying in deep love for you.”
And if there is any fault I must drop, just tell me, and I will drop it. I am ready to risk all, but I don’t know what to drop. How restless Kabir is all the time! Cannot someone go and tell God how restless I am? My heart is burning, I am constantly crying and weeping.
…ab to behal Kabir bhayo hai,
bin dekhe jiv jaye re.
Now, says Kabir, the situation is this: things have come to such a point that if you don’t show up I will die, trust me. I cannot remain alive any longer without you. …bin dekhe jiv jaye re. If I cannot see you, I cannot live anymore. I am finished. Either you come, or I am going to die. I am breathing my last.
…ab to behal Kabir bhayo… Kabir has come to such a state that only death seems to be possible. “Either you appear, or I disappear.”
And it is at this point that the guest appears, at this point that the meeting happens. In fact it is not right to call it a meeting because a meeting needs two, and this meeting happens only when you are not.
In another song Kabir sings – it must have been composed after the meeting – he says: “In the beginning I used to seek and search for you, and I was at a loss, I was continuously frustrated. I used to seek and search for you and there was no sign of you. Now you seek and search for me, and you will not find me anywhere. Herat herat he sakhi rahya Kabir herai…
Seeking and seeking, searching and searching for the beloved… A moment came – the beloved was not found but the seeker disappeared. And the moment the seeker disappeared, the sought was found because it is the seeker that is hiding the sought.
The seeker is the last citadel of the ego, the very last citadel of the ego, where the ego hides. It becomes the seeker, the great seeker; it becomes the devotee. Remember, the ego can take any form, and the subtlest form is that of a devotee, a humble devotee, a surrendered devotee. Beware of the subtle ways of the ego. It has to die totally. One has to come to a point where one finds oneself not, where one is just utter nothingness; that is the purpose of the meeting. When you are not, godliness is.
How restless Kabir is all the time! How much he wants to see the guest! This longing to see the guest, this desire to see the guest, brings you a long way. But finally, ultimately, even this desire has to be dropped.
There is a very famous story about another mystic, a contemporary of Kabir, Sheik Farid…

Farid was going to the river to take his bath. A young man asked him, “Can you tell me how to find God?”
Farid looked at the young man with his very penetrating eyes; he looked for a long time, and the young man started feeling frightened. And then Farid said, “Come along with me to the river. First take a bath, and if I get the opportunity I will answer while we are bathing, or if not, then later on.”
The young man was puzzled: “What does he mean? I have asked a simple question – how to find God? – and he is talking in riddles. Bathing in the river? If he gets the opportunity he will answer? Why can’t he answer right now?”
But the way the man had looked into his eyes – he had a magnetic attraction. And, knowing that the ways of the mystics are mysterious, strange, he felt like going with him. He was a little afraid, scared, but still the attraction was strong enough that he followed. He said to himself: “Let’s take a risk – what can he do?”
They both went into the river, but when the young man dived in Farid caught hold of him under the water and wouldn’t allow him to come up; he forced his head down, deeper and deeper.
Farid was strong, and the young man cannot have been because strong people don’t ask such questions, such philosophical questions: How to find God? What is God? These inquiries are philosophical; fragile people ask them. Really strong people, rather than asking here and there, start the journey; rather than becoming philosophical they become religious.
The young man was dying, but when you are dying, suddenly a great energy arises in you. When there is such a risk, you cannot afford to be half-hearted. His whole energy, which had never before been available, became available to him.
You know only the first layer of your energy, which is very ordinary; it is enough for day-to-day work, then it is exhausted. You need sleep to become refreshed again. The second layer is the emergency layer; it arises only in an emergency. For example, if somebody is coming at you with a bayonet, or a lion is following you in the forest, then you run. No Olympic runner can compete with you – and if you don’t know how to run, it will come, it will happen. When your life is in danger the second layer becomes available. And when your life is really in danger, totally in danger, absolutely in danger, the third layer becomes available; the third layer is inexhaustible. The third layer is already joined with existence, it is rooted in existence. And so it was the case with the young man…
Farid was a strong man and he was not leaving the young man alone, he was forcing him down and down. When the first layer was exhausted, Farid suddenly felt there was great strength; the young man was becoming stronger and it was difficult even for Farid to keep him down. And soon Farid became aware that the third layer had now become available, and the young man threw him off as if Farid were just a toy. The young man came out, very angry, obviously, and said, “Are you mad or something? I ask a religious question and you were going to kill me. Are you a murderer? And people think that you are a great sage!”
Farid said, “We can discuss those things later. Right now, lest you forget, let me ask you a question: ‘What happened when I went on forcing you down and down into the water?’”
The young man said, “What happened?”
“Were there many thoughts in your head?” Farid asked.
“Many thoughts? There was only one thought – how to get out.”
“Was it a thought or was it a feeling?” Farid asked.
And the young man said, “It was a feeling, you are right, it was not a thought. I was not verbalizing it; it was not in my head, it was in my heart. It was just a feeling – now I am verbalizing it.”
“And how long did it stay?”
“A moment came when that too disappeared,” the young man said. “You are right again: there was no feeling, no thought. But something was happening, I don’t know what or from where. I was not doing it, it was happening – a great uprush of energy from some unknown source. Now I can look back, I can express it. At that very moment I was conscious, absolutely conscious. I have never been so conscious – because I have never been in such danger before. I was alert, absolutely alert, but still there was no thought, no feeling, not even a desire to save myself. In fact there was no me. I had disappeared, but something was happening beyond me, something transcendental.”
Farid said, “Now you know the answer – this is the way to find God. When you are not, the transcendental descends into you. Now you can go. Never ask anybody again, you know the key: let God become such a problem, such a quest, that your life is at stake.”

That’s what happened to Kabir. He says: …ab to behal Kabir bhayo… Now, closer and closer, the moment is approaching when I know my death is an absolute certainty. Now it is a question of either–or: either you or death. All other alternatives have disappeared. Everything has been narrowed down to two things: death or God.
Death or God: …ab to behal Kabir bhayo hai, bin dekhe jiv jaye re. If you don’t appear I will be gone, and then it will be too late for you to come. And then you will repent that one who had prayed his whole life, who had devoted his all to you; one who was so surrendered, who was so deep in trust, died – and you didn’t appear.
The song ends at this point because beyond this nothing can be said. Kabir died, and God appeared. The host disappeared and the guest came in. The guest waits for you to die.
That is the meaning of the Christian symbol of the cross. Jesus says to his disciples: “If you want to follow me, you will have to carry your own cross on your own shoulders.” Everyone has to carry their own cross, everyone has to prepare for their own ultimate death. I don’t mean physical death, remember. Physical death has happened to you many times; millions of times you have died physically. That is not true death because the mind continues, enters another womb, starts another game; again the whole story is repeated. You go on moving in circles; that is not true death.
True death is known only by the devotee who comes to the point where he cannot live without God, where it becomes impossible to live without God. When this impossibility arises, that one cannot live without God, the death is so deep that nobody can help you. This is what Jesus means by “carrying your own cross.” Of course, nobody else can carry it for you. This death is so much of the interior that nobody can approach it from the outside. You cannot be murdered, you can only commit suicide – because of this death, because of this internal disappearance, because of this subjective annihilation, cessation.
Kabir died, Kabir disappeared – and the guest was always there; it was only the presence of Kabir that was preventing the guest from entering.
One of the greatest poets that India has given birth to in this century was Rabindranath Tagore. He has written a memoir of tremendous beauty and significance:

He was staying in a boat on a river; he loved his boat and the river. It was a full-moon night. In the small cabin of his boat he was pondering over one of the ancientmost questions that all the poets have pondered over: What is beauty? He was looking into books, ancient and modern; he had a great library in his cabin, all about aesthetics. What is beauty? That had been his lifelong concern – what is beauty? – because he had the feeling that God is beauty; not truth, but beauty.
Truth looks dry, truth looks logical. The very word connotes some head trip; truth seems to belong to the head. Hence Rabindranath used to say that God is not truth but beauty. Beauty is a feeling, it is not a logical phenomenon; it is of the heart. It is closer to love than logic.
This had been his lifelong meditation: What is beauty? And on that night also he had been thinking about it, looking into books, finding definitions. Half the night passed. He was completely oblivious to the full moon, he was completely oblivious to the silence outside, the absolutely silent river and the full moon and the beauty of the full moon. And the whole river was transformed into silver, the silent trees meditating on the banks, and only once in a while the distant call of a cuckoo. But he was completely oblivious to it all.
Then, feeling tired, exhausted, he closed his books, blew out the small candle, and suddenly a great revelation happened. As he blew out the small candle, from the windows, from the doors, from every side, the moonlight came in, started dancing in the cabin. The candle had been burning and the moon had not been coming in. The moment the candle was blown out the moonlight entered.
That sudden change – for a moment Rabindranath was in such awe. He says, “I knew in that moment what beauty is. I cannot say it to anybody, I cannot define it yet, but in that moment I knew what beauty is – the utter silence, the distant call of the cuckoo, suddenly the moonlight entering.”
He went out. It was sheer beauty. The whole of existence was celebrating. The river was just silver, the whole sky open with just a few white clouds floating.
He wrote in his diary, “How foolish I am. I was looking in books for the definition of beauty, and beauty was standing at my door. And a small candle prevented the great moon from entering. On this night, exactly like that, I felt my small ego and its pale light preventing the guest, God, from entering.”

Blow this candle out, blow it out. Let there be no ego, and suddenly, from every nook and corner, the guest enters – and you will know what beauty is, you will know what God is. That is exactly what must have happened to Kabir.
He does not say so in this song; in another song elsewhere he says: There was a time when I used to go on religious pilgrimages in search of God. I went to Kashi, I went to Mathura, I went to this and that temple. I went to every place wherever I heard God is, and I never found him anywhere. Then one day, Kabir disappeared. Since then, God comes following me wherever I go, calling, “Kabir, Kabir. Where are you going?” He follows me like a shadow. And I don’t care. Because I am no more, how can I care? He goes on calling, “Kabir, Kabir.” I used to call him and he never answered – why should I answer now? Tit for tat!
Meditate over Kabir’s beautiful songs. They are very precious, the more so because Kabir is not a learned man at all. He says: “Masi kagad chhuyo nahin – I have never touched paper and ink.” And that is exactly so: he cannot write, he cannot read. He has no idea of the Vedas and the Koran and the Bible, but what he says contains all the Vedas and all the Korans and all the Bibles. Not knowing a single word of the Upanishads, his poetry contains all of them. He is not a learned man but he is a wise man; not knowledgeable, but he knows. And he has come up the hard way. In fact there is no other way – no cheap way, no shortcut.
If you meditate on Kabir, slowly, slowly, a great desire, a flame of longing in your heart will arise because you also will be able to see that nothing in the world can ever satisfy you except the guest. Minus God you are a corpse, plus God you are a celebration.
Enough for today.

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