The Guest 13

Thirteenth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - The Guest by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.

The blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.

I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of,
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!

Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word reason you already feel miles away.

How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.
Friedrich Nietzsche declared that God is dead, hence man is free. That was one of the most ancient arguments: if God is, man cannot be free. How can man be free if God is? Then God is the master and man is the slave. Then God decides, man can only follow. Then God has will and man has no will; man is only a plaything in the hands of God. So either God is, or man is free. If man is free, there can be no God at all.
The Charvakas in ancient India, Epicurus in Greece, and then Nietzsche, Marx, Diderot, Freud, Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, were all repeating the same argument, again and again, in different words. The argument seems very appealing, it proposes freedom for man, and man can only be free if God is removed. Then there is nobody above man; then there is nobody to dominate man, nobody to decide for man. If there is nothing higher than man, then freedom is absolute. But howsoever appealing the argument, it is fundamentally wrong; it is based on the wrong premise.
The declaration that God is dead is true in a sense: the false god, the man-made God, is certainly dead. The God of the temples and the churches and the synagogues and the mosques and the gurdwaras is certainly dead. The God that man imagined in his own image, the God that man made according to his own wishes, the God that was nothing but a projection of man’s mind and desires; that God certainly is dead.
But that God never really existed; he is dead because he never existed in the first place. And it is good that the man-made God is dead because when the artificial is removed, the natural can sprout. When the false ceases, the true can explode. The untrue must cease for the truth to be.
I look at atheism with great respect because it removes the false. It has great work to do. Its work is not against God; its work is really for God because it destroys all the man-made idols of God. And then, in that emptiness, the true God can become manifest, can be revealed.
All the great saints have been against the false god; they agree perfectly with Nietzsche, Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre. Of course, they agree for a totally different reason: that the true God is not dead, that the true God can never be dead. To say that God is dead is a contradiction in terms, if by God you mean the true God, “that which is.” It is a contradiction in terms because God is nothing but life, and how can life be dead? It goes on and on, it is an unending process. Life is a pilgrimage with no beginning and no end; God is another name for life.
Those who know, know God as the fragrance of life, the perfume of existence, the very ground of being. For them, God is not a concept, not a theory, not a hypothesis. For them, God is an existential experience. For them, God is not separate from man; for them, God is man’s innermost core.
Hence, how can man’s freedom and God be antagonistic? Without God there would be no freedom because without God there would be no man. Without God there would be no inner core to your being. Without God you would be hollow; you wouldn’t have any meaning, any significance. Without God you would just be accidental, a plaything of circumstances. With God you have a certain significance, some meaning, some poetry.
With God you are free because God is your freedom. God gives you space to grow; God is the space to grow in. Because there is something higher, you can grow, you can reach for it. But the higher is not separate from you; the higher is nothing but your own depth trying to manifest itself. The higher is not something like a goal to be achieved. It is more like something which is already there and has only to be recognized. The height and the depth are one and the same. Your innermost core is also the innermost core of the whole of existence.
To think of God and man is wrong. God is man fulfilled, man is God on the way. Man is the journey, God is the reaching, the arrival. Man is like a seed and God is like a flower; one chain of growth. God is not to be worshipped but realized. There is no need to make temples for God. You have to learn how to look within you. The temple is already there: your body is the temple. That’s what Kabir is saying again and again: your body is the temple. God has already chosen it as its abode.
God is already in you, God exists as you. Hence there is no question of any conflict between you and God; there cannot be. Without God you would be just a flower without any fragrance. Without God you would be just a temple without any deity, empty. Without God you would be just a pure accident, with no significance at all. It is only with God that you become part of the great symphony of existence, that you become something which is needed, utterly needed. Without you existence will be missing something, without you existence will be the less.
God is not an ideal, as we have thought down the ages. It is good that God is dead; now we can declare the birth of a new God. Now we can declare the true God. The true God is always your interiority, your subjectivity.
Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most important atheists of this age, says that we cannot allow God to exist because his existence reduces us to objects; God becomes the subject. He is omniscient, he is looking at us; and because he looks at us and we cannot look at him, we are reduced to objects, things, commodities. Whenever you look at something you cannot look at its interiority, you can only look at its outer core. By looking, you reduce everything to a thing.
That’s why in all cultures, in all societies down the ages, looking at somebody for a certain time is thought to be unmannerly. You can look for about two or three seconds and there will be no objection – that is casual, you are passing by and you look at a person, it is just a casual look, a glance. But if you stare it is offensive. Why? Why is looking at a person for too long offensive? – it reduces him to an object. You become the seer and he becomes the seen. And who are you to reduce him to an object? It is offensive.
Jean-Paul Sartre also says that is one of the reasons why lovers are always fighting: because they are both looking at each other, reducing each other to things – and nobody likes that. The man does not like to be reduced to a thing, and neither does the woman. But they are lovers, so they stare at each other. It is offensive, even in love it is offensive. Somewhere deep down your being revolts against it.
Women are far more sensitive, naturally; they are more graceful. When they are making love they close their eyes; they don’t reduce the man who is making love to them into an object. Man is a little crude; he likes to see while he is making love. Even while making love he wants to see, he would like to keep the light on. And there are extremists who would also like it to be photographed, so they can make an album and look at it later on. But the woman feels offended. She is certainly more sensitive, and her sense of propriety is far more refined than that of the man. If you kiss a woman, she immediately closes her eyes; she gives you the freedom to be the subject.
There is some truth in Jean-Paul Sartre’s statement that lovers are always in conflict because they reduce each other to things, and nobody wants to be a thing. What to say about God then? He reduces the whole of humanity, all beings, to things. He is the eternal subject and we are objects. Hence, Sartre says we cannot allow God to exist – and if he does, he has to be killed, he has to be destroyed.
There have been thinkers – like Immanuel Kant, Schiller, Hegel – who say if there is no God, he has to be invented because without God man will lose all significance. And they also are right. Even if there is no God, he has to be invented, for man’s sake. It is better to have an invented God than not to have any. At least he will give an appearance of significance to life, a certain rhythm. At least the noise will start looking like music. The accidental will not be accidental anymore, some meaning will arise. Hence they say that if there is no God, he has to be invented.
And at the other pole are Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud. They say that even if there is a God, he has to be killed because if he remains, man is reduced to an object; man loses all his freedom, man loses all his will. But both sides are wrong because both are thinking in terms of God as if God is the other.
Kabir says – just as all the mystics of all the ages have been saying – God is not the other. He is you. He is your inside. He is your subjectivity, so how can he reduce you to an object? He is not separate, so how can he take your freedom away? He need not be invented because he is already there. And he need not be killed because in killing him you would simply be committing suicide. And that is impossible, nobody can commit suicide. You can drop one body, but you will immediately enter another womb; suicide is impossible. You can play the game of committing suicide, but you can never succeed at it because nothing can be destroyed; not even a grain of sand can be destroyed.
Physicists say there is no possibility of destroying anything. Neither something new can be created, nor something existent can be destroyed. If this is so, even for a grain of sand, what to say about the being of man? That is the highest flowering, how can it be destroyed? Life is eternal. Life is immortal. It changes form, certainly; just like the waves in the ocean go on changing, but the ocean remains. Bodies come and go, minds come and go, but your innermost witness always remains there. And that witness is God.
Hegel, Kant, Schiller, are wrong; so is Freud, so is Nietzsche, so is Jean-Paul Sartre. Both sides accept the same premise: that God is the other. And God is not the other. God is your very soul. God is already in you.
Just a little alertness – wake up and see. You need not wait for the guest. The guest has already arrived in the very being of the host. The guest is found in the host.
The guest is inside you…
says Kabir,
…and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
Exactly like that: just as the sprout is hidden in the seed, God is hidden in you. Of course, if you cut into the seed, if you dissect the seed, you will not find the sprout. Or will you? You can cut the seed – you will not find anything at all: no sprout, no foliage, no branches, no flowers, no fruits, nothing at all, because the seed is the unmanifest. It needs growth, it needs the right soil, it needs a gardener. It needs great art to help the unmanifest become manifest; great skill is needed to bring that which is hidden to the world.
Buddha has called religion nothing but skill, art, upaya, a methodology – a methodology to bring the unseen into the world of the seen, to bring the invisible into the world of the visible. The flowers are there in the seed, but they are invisible. A proper context is needed where they can become visible.
In exactly the same way, God is in you; you are the seed of God. God is not to be worshipped but revealed. You have to grow and become a God. You are not to seek and search for a God somewhere, ready-made already. You have to grow; growth is religion. You have to grow into a God. You are carrying the seed, you have to find the soil – you have to find a buddhafield. You have to find a gardener, a master. You have to find a commune where many trees are blooming, so that hope can arise in the heart of the seed: “Yes, if other seeds can become trees, great trees, why can’t I?”; so that longing can arise in the heart, so the heart becomes aflame, afire, athirst. In that very thirst, in that very longing, the seed has started moving toward the flower.
It is a long journey, but an inner journey. You can make the whole journey by sitting silently, not going anywhere, because the going has to be something inner. It is not in space, it is in consciousness.
The original is:
Sahab ham men sahab tum men,
jaise prana bij men…
The master is in me and the master is in you, just as life is hidden in the seed. It is because of too analytical an approach, too logical an approach, that you are missing God. It is because of a too scientific upbringing. A kind of “scientism” has arisen in the world, a very vulgar religion; it is not scientific really, it is scientism. People have started believing in science as if it were a religion. It is just a very crude methodology to learn about matter. It is so crude that it cannot grasp the subtler aspects of life.
If you behave in a crude way with the seed – you can cut it with a knife – you will simply be destroying its possibilities. You will be killing it. You will not find anything by cutting into it, and of course then you can say, “Because I didn’t find anything in it – no life, no flower, no fragrance – I have decided that there is no flower, no fragrance, no fruit, no tree. They are all just imagination.”
That’s what science has done to religion: it dissects it and cannot find the subtle. Through dissection the subtle can never, never be found. Science dissects man and cannot find the soul. The soul is unavailable to dissection. If you dissect the body of man, you will find the bones and the blood and the marrow and everything; you will find all that is measurable. But you will not find the immeasurable – and that’s what is really valuable.
Sahab ham men sahab tum men… Kabir says, remember, God is not separate from man. He is in me, he is in you, he is in everybody. Wherever life is, God is. God is synonymous with life. He is in the trees and in the birds and in the animals. Wherever life is, God is. Howsoever rudimentary life may be, God is there.
…jaise prana bij men… God is hidden in everything, in every being, just as life, great life, is hidden in the seed. It is unimaginable – if you just see the seed, you cannot believe that a great tree is going to be born out of it, a great tree which will whisper with the clouds, a great tree which will try to reach the stars, a great tree which will become shelter for hundreds of travelers, a great tree which will become a nest for thousands of birds, a great tree with all the colors, green and red and gold. Looking at a seed, you cannot imagine it. Even if you look through a great microscope you will not find it. The tree is there, and yet you cannot find it. Why is that so? – it is there, but not yet manifest. Find the right soil, help the great tree to become manifest. Help the seed to die.
When the disciple comes to the master, he comes to die. The disciple is one who decides to die in the master. In that very death is resurrection. In that very death, life starts manifesting itself in its multidimensionality. Dying, one attains to a higher life. One has to go on dying on lower planes; the moment you die on a lower plane, you ascend to the higher. And there are planes and planes.
Always go on dying to the plane you find yourself in, so you can move to the higher plane. You have to leave the lower step, only then can you reach the higher step. If you cling to the lower you cannot reach the higher.
The guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
The mind is very arrogant, without knowing a thing it starts proving it, this way or that way. There are arrogant atheists who try to prove that there is no God, and there are arrogant theists who try to prove that there is a God. Proving or disproving, it is the same mind and the same arrogance. Neither the theist nor the atheist is religious.
The religious person is not arrogant. The religious person is not trying to prove for or against, not trying to come to some conclusion by reasoning; he is available, open, ready to see. His eyes are unclouded. Unclouded because he has no ideas, no ready-made formulas; unclouded because he has no conclusions already arrived at; unclouded because he has no a priori approach; unclouded because he is innocent, childlike, ready to see with no prejudice, with no ideology.
The religious person is never a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian or a Parsi. A religious person is simply a vulnerable consciousness, an open heart. The religious person is a quest, an inquiry. And an inquiry cannot begin with the conclusion already arrived at.
If you have already come to a conclusion, your inquiry is finished. You are dead. If you already know that God is, without knowing, if you already know that God is not, without knowing, you are simply being stupid – not religious or theist or atheist, just stupid.
The real inquirer will say, “I don’t know.” Unless he has realized, he will not say, “I know.” Even when he has realized, the emphasis will not be on “I,” but on knowing. To be exactly true, he will not say “I know”; he will say, “Knowing has happened.”
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far. Neither the believer nor the unbeliever – nobody has gone far. We are all tethered to our conclusions, hence the struggle is absolutely unnecessary and foolish. We are struggling because we are tethered.
I have heard an ancient parable…

A few friends were celebrating the birthday of one of their most beloved friends. They drank, they ate, they danced. It was a full-moon night. They went to the river, but the boatman had gone. It was late at night, the full moon in the sky, the river, beautiful – the silence. And they were all drunk, in a really joyous mood, singing, dancing. They got into the boat, took the oars in their hands, started rowing to the other shore. They thought they were traveling for hours and hours.
When it was getting close to morning and cooler winds started blowing, they came to their senses a little. One of them said, “We have been in the boat the whole night. We must have traveled a few miles at least. It is time to go back home now, somebody should get out and see where we have got to.”
So one of them got out. He started laughing madly. The others asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “What is the matter? Everybody get out and see!”
They all got out, and then they all started laughing and rolling on the bank. They had forgotten one thing, a simple thing: the boat was tethered to the bank with a chain. For the whole night they had struggled, thinking that they were traveling, but they had not moved an inch. They had remained in the same spot.

This is the situation of all those who go on struggling in their minds, who go on arguing, reasoning and thinking that they are coming closer and closer to the truth.
You are tethered to your prejudices, everybody is tethered, because society never allows a child to grow without prejudices. Every society tries to contaminate the child, to pollute his mind, to condition him, to hypnotize him. That’s why you find Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians, and you don’t find human beings anywhere. The world is ugly because human beings are missing. The world would be a blissful place, a paradise, if Mohammedans, Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists, would disappear and only human beings were left.
A child is born as a human being, but we condition him, we stuff his mind with beliefs. And the child is very impressionable; he is very, very soft. You can engrave anything on his mind and he will have to carry it for his whole life – unless he is very intelligent, and fortunate enough to drop all the nonsense that parents and society have given him. Unless he is like a Buddha or a Jesus or a Kabir or a Nanak, he is bound to remain tethered to the prejudices given to him. For his whole life he will struggle and never reach anywhere. And when death comes he will not be able to laugh even; he will have to cry because his whole life has been a waste, a sheer waste, a great opportunity lost.
Get rid of all your prejudices. Get rid of all that others have given to you, that you have not known. Get rid of all your knowledge. If you really want to know one day, the first thing is not to get rid of ignorance, the first thing is to get rid of knowledge. Knowledge is ignorance, the real ignorance. If you get rid of knowledge, ignorance is innocence. Then you are left with just an inquiry, a question mark in your heart: “Who am I? What is this existence?” And because you don’t have any conclusion, you can start moving. Because you are no longer tethered to any prejudice you can inquire, you can search, you can seek.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far. We have not been able to go far because of an unnecessary struggle.
The original is:
…mat kar banda guman dil men,
khoj dekh le tan men!
We have become too arrogant in the head. The head is full of holy cow dung, full of bullshit. Scriptures, philosophies, ideologies are all just rubbish because you have not known them. You have been made into a parrot.
…mat kar banda guman dil men… Don’t be arrogant in the head, don’t be an egoist in the head. Don’t think that you know. Don’t think that your scripture can supply you with the truth. No Vedas, no Koran, no Bible can give you the truth. Truth has to be achieved through individual effort.
Truth has to be achieved by everybody on their own; it is untransferable. Buddha cannot give it to you. He knows, he has arrived, but he cannot give it to you. Hence his last words, his departing words to his disciples: “Be a light unto yourself.” Naturally, the disciples were crying – the master was leaving. The master had said good-bye to them; he had said, “Now this body is tired, and I would like to leave it. My work is finished.” The disciples started crying. Some had lived with Buddha for thirty years, for forty years. Their whole lives were permeated with his presence, with his love and compassion, with his light.
Ananda had lived the longest with him, almost fifty years, serving him, following him everywhere like a shadow; not for a single day in fifty years had he been away from Buddha. Tears started rolling down his cheeks. Buddha said, “Ananda, you, and crying? Why?”
Ananda said, “I could not become enlightened while you were alive. And now you are going. What will happen to me?”
Buddha laughed and said, “Maybe my presence was the hindrance. Now you will become enlightened within twenty-four hours. You depended too much on me. Although I was continuously telling you that I cannot give it to you, nobody can give it to you, deep down you still carried the hope: ‘When he can, he will give the key to me. At least to me, if not to anybody else. I have been serving him for fifty years. Can’t he see that I have devoted my whole life to him, sacrificed my whole life? One day, he will finally give me the key.’
“You were hoping and hoping and hoping, and I was telling you that all your hopes were futile; truth is untransferable. Not that I would not like to give it to you; I would like to give it to everybody, to those who ask and to those who don’t. If it were possible to give you the truth I would have already given it. I would not have made you wait for fifty years. But it is impossible. Truth is untransferable. One has to know it, experience it in one’s own being. It cannot be given from the outside. No scripture can supply it, no master can supply it.”
The master can only provoke a great longing to seek and search. The master can only seduce. The master can only convince you that your seed carries infinite glories in it, that you are not just what you appear to be, that you are far more – that you are an infinite universe. The master can only convince you by his presence that you are God. By declaring himself a God he can convince you that you are also God. Sahab ham men, sahab turn men… The guest is in me, the guest is in you. The master can only convince you. He can trigger a process in you, but he cannot give it to you.
Buddha said, “Because you were depending and hoping, you missed. Had you listened to me it would have happened long before. But now I say to you, it will happen within twenty-four hours. Once I am gone, all your hope, that has become a barrier, will disappear.”
And exactly as Buddha had said, it happened: within twenty-four hours Ananda was enlightened. The death of Buddha was such a shock: his whole life was gone, and Buddha too, and now there was only dark night ahead, death. The shock was so much, so shattering, that for the first time he turned in. At last he heard what Buddha had been saying again and again. He had to, because now Buddha was gone and there was nobody else to tell him to look in. He closed his eyes.
Those eyes were wet with tears, and he closed them for the first time. Up till then, for fifty years, those eyes had been focused on Buddha. And Buddha was so beautiful and so graceful, it was impossible to close your eyes while he was present in the same room, in the same place, under the same shelter. Ananda used to just look at Buddha. Just to look at him was such a joy, he had never meditated. But now Buddha was gone there was nothing else to see. Ananda closed his eyes; for twenty-four hours he didn’t open his eyes. Somebody asked him, “Why don’t you open your eyes? Your tears are flowing, why don’t you open your eyes?”
Ananda said, “There is nothing left to see now. I have seen the greatest, I have seen all that is worth seeing, I have seen the ultimate glory. Now there is nothing to be seen. I will not open my eyes until I have seen myself.” And he only opened his eyes when he had seen himself.
The guest is within you, but you have to turn in. You are too focused on the outside and on the futile. You are leaning on your scriptures; reading, reading, cramming, and thinking that by knowing more and more of the Vedas and the Bible and the Koran you will become enlightened. You will only become burdened with knowledge.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far. Why have none of us gone far? – because of the conclusions, ready-made conclusions; because of borrowed knowledge.
Let your arrogance go… Kabir says: …mat kar banda guman dil men, khoj dekh le tan men! Just let this arrogant mind go. Say good-bye to this arrogant mind. See that all the mind contains is worthless, and turn in. Look into your own body – and the guest is there. Your body is the temple, he has already chosen it; he abides there. And you go to Kashi, and you go to the Kaaba, and you go to Kailash. You go on searching all over the earth, you have been doing this for many, many lives, and you have not found him; he is inside you.
Another ancient parable…

When God made the world he used to live on MG Road, in the marketplace. Of course, it was very difficult living there because people would come knocking at all hours, odd hours. Even in the middle of the night they would be asking: “What kind of world have you made? Why is there so much suffering? My child is ill. I don’t have any employment. I am getting old, I am weak. What kind of world have you made?”
People were coming with demands, all day and all night. And their demands were so contradictory that God was almost going mad. One would come and say, “Tomorrow I need rain because I have sown seeds in the garden and rain is needed.” And another would say: “Please, let there be sun tomorrow, no clouds, no rains, because I am doing something that will be spoiled if it rains. I need a clear, sunny day.”
What to do? Finally, God called his council of advisors and asked, “What should I do? I am going crazy. Why did I create man? All the time I am regretting it – the world was so beautiful.”
The story is that whenever God made anything he was so happy. He made the trees and he said, “Good, very good.” He made the birds and the animals and he said, “Good, very good.” He appreciated his own creations, he was so thrilled. But when he made man he was at a loss to say anything; in fact, that’s why he stopped creating after man. He has not created anything since then; man was the last. He got so fed up with man that he stopped being a creator. God simply abandoned the world.
He asked his advisors, “What should I do? I have created this nuisance, and now he is torturing me. I would like to hide somewhere. Where can I go?”
Someone suggested, “Go to Everest. People will not be able to get there.”
God thought for a moment then said, “No, you don’t know the future. In just a few years” – and in God’s vision thousands or millions of years are just a few – “there will be a man, Hillary. He will reach there and then a chain of events will start. Once the world comes to know that I live on Everest, airplanes and helicopters and everything will start coming. It won’t do, it won’t help much. It’s okay for the time being, but it’s not a solution. I need something permanent.”
Someone else suggested, “Then why don’t you go to the moon?”
God said, “You don’t know, but sooner or later man is going to get there too. He is going to reach every planet, every star.”
“Then the best thing I can suggest to you,” an old advisor said, “is why don’t you hide in man himself?”
And God loved the idea. He said, “That is the perfect place because it is the last place man is ever going to go. He will go everywhere, but he will never go inside himself.”
Since then, God has been hiding there.

You need not go into the scriptures, all that you need to go into is your own subjectivity. All that you need to go into is your own consciousness. You have to become more conscious of your consciousness, you have to become more aware of your awareness. You have to become so aware of your awareness that everything else disappears. A point of stillness comes where you are simply aware of your awareness and not aware of anything else.
When awareness is the only content of your awareness, and there is no other content, that is the moment when the host disappears into the guest, when the guest is found, when bliss descends on you.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.

The blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.
If you go in, things start happening, miracles start happening. And you are entitled to miracles, miracles are your birthright. But because you are always going into the outer, you become more and more of a beggar. The mind is a beggar, remember, howsoever arrogant, but a beggar. The mind is like a begging bowl, and the beggar is never satisfied. The beggar goes on asking for more and more and more.

One day, a beggar knocked on the doors of a great king. By chance, the king himself opened the door. He saw that it was not an ordinary beggar, he was almost luminous. He had such grace, such beauty, such a mysterious aura, that even the king felt jealous. He asked, “What do you want?” – pretending to take little notice of the beggar – “What do you want?”
The beggar showed the king his begging bowl and said, “I would like this to be filled.”
The king said, “Is that all? What do you want it to be filled with?”
The beggar said “Anything will do. But the condition is that you have to fill it, otherwise don’t bother.”
This was a challenge to the king. He said, “What do you mean by that? Why couldn’t I fill this small begging bowl? You don’t even say what with.”
“That is irrelevant,” said the beggar. “Anything will do, even pebbles or stones, but fill it. And if you start filling it I will not leave your door. I will stay here until it is filled.”
The king ordered his prime minister to fill the begging bowl with diamonds; he had millions of diamonds: “This beggar has to be shown that he is encountering a king.” But soon the king became aware that he was being deceived. The begging bowl was as extraordinary as the beggar, more so in fact. It remained empty. Anything dropped into it simply disappeared, was gone. Treasure was thrown into it, but it all disappeared.
By evening the whole capital had gathered. The king was now becoming almost desperate. The diamonds were finished, and then the gold; the gold was finished, and then the silver. The sun was setting, and the king’s sun was also setting. His whole treasure room was empty, and the begging bowl was still the same: empty, not a trace. It was too much, it had swallowed all of his kingdom!
The king knew that he was trapped. He fell at the feet of the beggar and said, “Forgive me. It was wrong of me to accept your challenge. This bowl is not an ordinary begging bowl, there is magic in it. You have deceived me.”
The beggar laughed and said, “There is no magic in it. I simply made it out of a man’s skull.”
The king said, “I don’t understand. What do you mean? If it is just made out of a man’s skull, how can it go on swallowing my whole kingdom?”
And the beggar said, “It is an ordinary skull, just like everybody’s. The begging bowl in the head always remains empty. That’s what is happening everywhere – nobody is ever satisfied.”

But once you have looked in, once you have come down from the head, once you have left the arrogance of the head and become humble in the heart, a new world opens its doors to you.
The blue sky opens out farther and farther… You have a blue sky inside you far deeper and far vaster than the outer sky, and far more beautiful. The outer sky is nothing compared to the inner.
…the daily sense of failure goes away… Once you look in, the daily sense of failure simply goes away, evaporates. Just look at your life; there is a daily sense of failure. Every day you know that again you are going to fail. The morning comes and you know – another day of dragging – then the evening comes, and tired, you go to sleep. The day is finished and your hands are still empty and your heart is still empty. Nothing has been achieved and another day is gone. And you know that tomorrow it is going to be repeated because this is how it has been in the past, not only in this life but in many, many lives. Days come and go, years come and go, lives come and go. And you remain as empty as ever, no fulfillment, no contentment.
Kabir says that a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn is needed as you look in, as you turn in. Right now you are keeping yourself behind you, with the world in front of you. A hundred-and-eighty-degree turn is needed so that the world is behind you – and you are facing yourself. That’s what meditation is all about: looking into your own being, into the well of your own being.
…the daily sense of failure goes away, the damage I have done to myself fades… And the damage is great because we have been doing it to ourselves for many lives. We have been killing ourselves, wounding ourselves, in a thousand and one ways. We are all wound and nothing else. Every pore of our being has become a wound, and every cell of our being hurts. What are you? Just think for a moment, watch for a moment – a great agony, a great pain, a great sigh of failure, of boredom, of meaninglessness. But still you go dragging on in the hope that maybe that which has not yet happened will happen tomorrow – but tomorrow never comes.
If you look in: …the damage I have done to myself fades, a million suns come forward with light… All darkness disappears. At your innermost core is the source of light, as if millions of suns have suddenly come in.
…when I sit firmly in that world. If you can sit firmly, unwavering, in that world inside yourself, all is light, nothing is dark; and all is life, nothing is death; and all is eternal, and nothing is time.
That moment is the moment, the momentous moment, when the guest appears. Those millions of suns simply declare his coming, that he is very close by. The sense of failure disappearing, and a sudden feeling of being healed: those are the symptoms that the guest is close by. His very presence is a healing force. He makes you whole; just by his presence you are whole. When you start feeling a well-being, a wholeness, when your agony starts disappearing, and ecstasy instead of agony arises in you, know well that God is close by. Listen attentively, you will hear his footsteps coming closer and closer and closer.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken…
Kabir says, I am hearing a strange music, as if bells are ringing, but nobody is shaking them.
The sound of one hand clapping; anahat nad, unstruck music. All other music is struck music; you have to strike the strings of the instrument. It is only by striking the strings that the music arises. It is violence – playing a guitar or a sitar, you are being a little violent. It is a kind of coercion; you are forcing the instrument to release the music. It is a kind of fight. And there is a duality: the musician and the musical instrument are in conflict, fighting. It can’t be great music, it can’t be eternal music. Once the musician stops fighting, the music will disappear. It is caused, so it cannot be eternal.
But when you turn in, there is light and there is music – music which is eternal. It is simply there, it is not a created phenomenon.
Anahat ghanta baje mridanga,
tan sukh lehi pyar men…
Anahat ghanta baje mridanga… Something strange is happening, says Kabir. Some bells are ringing, but nobody is ringing them. There is some music, some melody, but he can’t see anybody creating it.
This music is known by the Christian mystics as logos, “the Word.” Nanak calls it nam, Lao Tzu calls it Tao, Buddha calls it dhamma. But it is best to call it music, to call it nad, because it is a tremendous orchestra. All the planes of existence are involved in it. It is not only the soul that is full of music: once you have heard the inner music your mind is full of it, your heart is full of it, your body is full of it, all the layers of your being are full of it. Once you know, not only do you hear it inside, but outside too. In the songs of birds you will hear it, and in the wind passing through the trees you will hear it, and in the waves striking the rocks you will hear it. In sounds you will hear it, in silence you will hear it.
In fact, the greatest music in the world is nothing but an echo of the inner music. Whenever a musician comes close to that music, great music is born. Only a very few have come close: a Tansen, a Baiju Bawra, a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Wagner; only a very few have come close, but whenever some music comes close to it, resembles it, there is something great in it.
Modern trends in music are far from it: the music is more noisy, less musical. Jazz and other music is more sexual, less spiritual; it is loud. It certainly keeps your mind occupied – it is so loud that you have to be occupied. You go on listening to the radio, to the television, at full volume, as loud as possible, blaring, so you need not think, so you need not worry, so you remain occupied. There is so much noise you cannot think – you are tired of thinking, tired of worrying. You are glued to your chair for hours just listening to stupid noise; it is not music at all.
Music, to be worthy of being called music, has to be meditative. If it brings meditation to you, if it brings silence, if it fills you with silence; if it reminds you of the soundless sound inside you – only then is it real music. Otherwise it is a false coin.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of…
Kabir says, this small word love contains so much. We are not aware of it. We are only aware of the lowest expression of it: sex. We are not even aware of the next highest expression which can be called love. And what to say about the highest, which is called prayer? Love contains three dimensions: sex, love, prayer. And unless your love has reached the dimension of prayer you have not known love. Sex is the lowest form, the animal form, love is the human form, and prayer is the divine form.
Kabir says: …inside love there is more joy than we know of… Because inside love you can find God himself. If prayer arises, godliness is found.
…rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds…
And, says Kabir, I cannot describe what is happening inside me. Things which are illogical, things which should not be happening, are happening. There are no clouds in the sky, and rain is pouring down, a rain of nectar.
…bin pani lagi jahan barsha,
moti dekhi nadin men.
I don’t see any clouds anywhere. I don’t see water falling, but I am becoming full of nectar. I am being bathed in nectar; it is showering on me.
…there are whole rivers of light.
It is difficult to describe, hence these metaphors.
…rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.
And now I see that the whole of existence is joined together by only a single thread; you can call that thread love and nothing else. The world is a garland of millions of flowers, and running through all those flowers is a thread that keeps the garland together: that thread is love.
Love can have many manifestations. For example: the physicist will say the earth has a certain power called gravitation. But if you ask the mystics, like Kabir, they will say that that power is nothing but a very low form of love – because gravitation attracts, and all attraction is love.
What keeps the universe together? Why does it not fall apart? There must be something that is keeping it together, some force. Mystics call that force love. You can call it God, because love is God.
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!
It is difficult in the beginning because we are not accustomed to dancing on such high planes. We are not accustomed to such pure air. When you go to the mountains, if you move to the highest peaks, you have difficulty breathing. You are not accustomed to inhaling such pure air; you have become accustomed to inhaling the impure air that surrounds the earth – and we have made it more and more impure.
In fact, scientists are at a loss. They cannot figure out how people are managing to live because in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Kolkata, Mumbai, the air is so polluted that man should not be able to live in it. It is three times more polluted than scientists used to think man is capable of tolerating – three times more. But man has great adaptability; he can adapt to any kind of situation.
When people living in Mumbai and Kolkata go to the Himalayas it is hard for them; breathing is difficult – the air is so light and so pure.
Once it happened…

A woman gardener went to sell her flowers in the town. After selling the flowers, when she was coming back, she met one of her old friends, a childhood friend. She asked her, “What are you doing here?”
The friend said, “I have come to sell fish, I am now a fisherman’s wife.”
The woman asked her to stay at her garden, for a night at least, she could go home in the morning. So the woman stayed. The gardener and her husband prepared a beautiful bed of flowers for her. But the friend could not sleep; she turned and tossed and turned. Finally the couple asked her, “What is the matter? Why can’t you sleep?”
The friend said, “It is because of these flowers. I know only one perfume – fish. Bring my bag. Although it is empty now, it has carried fish for years. Sprinkle it with water and give it to me. If I keep it close to my nose I may be able to fall asleep.”
And that’s what happened – she immediately fell asleep.

One who knows only the smell of fish will find it difficult, at least in the beginning, to live with flowers.
Kabir is right; he says, how hard it feels, how difficult: …to feel that joy in all our four bodies! The Eastern mystics have divided human bodies in many ways. They talk about four bodies – and the fifth is you. The first body is the gross body, the physical body. The second body is the vital body, more subtle than the physical; you can call it the body made of electricity. There is an electric current inside your body that is your second layer. The third body is even more subtle; you can call it the psychic body, the body of your mind. The fourth is the subtlest; you can call it the body of your consciousness.
And the fifth is not the body but the guest. That fifth body is called bliss – anandmay kosh, the body of bliss – it is the guest. Once you have seen the fifth body, the bliss will slowly, slowly descend – although it is hard – to the fourth body, to the third, to the second, to the first.
And when it has descended to the first body, you are totally enlightened. When you can feel the bliss even in the physical body, even in your material form, when you can feel God even in matter, then perfection is achieved. Then enlightenment is total. Then there is no longer anywhere to go: you have arrived home.
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
Remember, this is the world of the mysterium: if you try to be reasonable about it you will fail. Hence, whenever a sannyasin comes to me with something mysterious, I immediately tell him not to talk about it, not to analyze it, not to find explanations for it; because if you become too reasonable about it you will miss. You will fail, the door will close. One has to go into the mysterious without any reasoning. One simply has to go in tremendous trust and love, with a deep prayer in the heart, and not trying to be scientific, rationalistic, analytical in any way.
Andh bhedi kaha samjhenge,
gyan ke ghar te dura…
Those who are too obsessed with analysis are blind; they are not able to understand. They are not able to understand that which resides in you.
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
Godliness is found not through reason but through love. Godliness cannot be proved by reason and cannot be disproved by reason either. But if you love, if you love enough, love itself becomes the evidence – such certain, such absolute, evidence that even if the whole world says there is no God, it cannot shake your trust. Godliness is found in love, remember. Let me repeat it again and again: not in reason but in love. Make your temple in love. Get out of the obsession of reason.
With the word reason you already feel miles away.
Reason, at the most, can think round and about; it goes round and round in circles. It never penetrates the real core of your being. To know about God is possible through reason, but to know God is possible only through love. Remember, to know about God is not to know God. To know about is acquaintance, not knowing; it is borrowed, it is somebody else’s. So what can you know through reason?
Just think of a blind man thinking about light: howsoever hard he works, howsoever great a thinker he is, he will never be able to understand what light is only by thinking – impossible. Whatsoever conclusion he arrives at will be wrong because light can only be seen, not thought. And God can only be lived, not inferred.
How lucky Kabir is…
Kabir says, I am fortunate that I got out of the prison of reason, that I escaped from the clutches of reason and gathered the courage to follow love.
How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.
I am fortunate, Kabir says. The original is very beautiful:
Barhe bhag almast rang men,
Kabira bole ghat men…
I am infinitely fortunate because I am colored, dyed, in the madness of love. Barhe bhag almast rang men… God has drowned me in his color of joy, bliss, celebration. He has drowned me utterly in himself. Now I move like a mad poet, singing his songs. Barhe bhag almast rang men, Kabira bole ghat men… what I am saying is not coming from my head now; I am pouring out my heart. In fact, whatsoever is coming from me now, is not coming from me, it is coming from God. He is speaking through me. I have become just a flute in his hands; he is singing his song.
…hans-ubaran dukh-nivaran,
avagaman mite chhan men.
The moment I saw God inside myself all misery disappeared, all bondage disappeared. In fact, the moment I saw him, I saw that all my misery was only a nightmare, that my bondage was only a dream, that I had somehow fabricated it myself, that I had projected it, that I was the creator of all of my hells.
…hans-ubaran dukh-nivaran… The moment I saw him, the bird was freed from the cage and all misery disappeared …avagaman mite chhan men. And in a split second I was freed from the wheel of life and death.
How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy he sings inside his own little boat. His poems amount to one soul meeting another. My songs, Kabir says, are my orgasmic joy; the meeting, the ultimate meeting of the soul with God, of the lover with the beloved; the merging of the river into the ocean. My songs are orgasmic explosions.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss. And these songs are singing only one thing: that there is no loss. There is no death; forget all about it. Life is eternal, and life is bliss. There is no birth and there is no death, no beginning, no end. Life is an eternal pilgrimage, from one joy to another, from one peak of orgasmic blissfulness to another. From peak to peak, from joy to joy, it is an eternal journey.
They rise above both coming in and going out. My songs are the songs of transcendence. Once you have looked in, the outer and the inner are no longer separate; you become a witness to both. You see the outer, you see the inner; you are neither and you are both.
These statements are known as ulatbansi – as if someone is playing the flute from the wrong end; so illogical, so irrational. Kabir says, “What can I do? It is so. I can only state the fact. If the fact is absurd, it is absurd.”
Kabir agrees perfectly with Tertullian, the Christian mystic. Somebody asked Tertullian, “Why do you believe in God?” And he said, “I believe in God because God is absurd – Credo qua absurdum.” Hearing this, Kabir would have danced. Yes, God is not a logical hypothesis – it is supralogical. No reasoning can prove it or disprove it. You have to learn the art of love.
Be a lover, and you will find the guest. Be a singer, and you will find the guest. Be a dancer, and you will find the guest. Turn in, tune in – he is waiting there for you.
Enough for today.

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