The Invitation 22

TwentySecond Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Invitation by Osho.
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This question is asked by a trembling heart, written by a trembling hand. My gratitude feels so inadequate for your gift. Why do I feel so unworthy of you?
There are certain symptoms of falling in love. One of them is a feeling of unworthiness, because love is so vast, and you are so small. You cannot earn love, it comes on its own accord; suddenly it starts showering on you.
Naturally, because you have not earned it, you cannot feel worthy of it. As love deepens, the feeling of unworthiness deepens. If a person in love does not feel it, that means the love is superficial, and the man has too big an ego. Only in that situation – when your ego is too big, and your love is a superficial affair, not the great affair Ta Hui was talking about…
Before the great affair of love, it is absolutely necessary and inevitable, that one should feel unworthy. Nothing is wrong in it; it is exactly as it should be. Out of this unworthiness, slowly, slowly transformation happens. I can predict it will happen to you too, because your feeling of unworthiness is not just an intellectual question. Intellect never asks such questions; ego does not allow such questions; mind is not capable of asking such questions.
Mind and ego and intellect – they all take it for granted whatever happens in their lives is not enough. They are worthy for more; hence the question cannot arise from those sources. The only source that remains is the heart, which is always true and always sincere. And once the heart starts feeling unworthy, it does not give a sadness to you but a gratefulness. Slowly, slowly unworthiness turns into gratitude: you are not worthy of something and it has been showering on you; you cannot even understand why existence has chosen you.
One of Gautam Buddha’s disciples, Manjushri, became enlightened sitting under a tree. The moment he became enlightened, suddenly flowers from the tree started showering on him. Those who were around, they could not believe what is happening. There was not any strong wind. There is no reason why so many flowers go on showering on Manjushri. He was sitting silently with closed eyes; perhaps he was not even aware.
They reported to Gautam Buddha. He looked where Manjushri was sitting under a tree, and he said, “He has become what his destiny was; he has come to his flowering. And not only is his inner being full of joy, even the tree is celebrating.”
These kinds of stories for centuries had been taken as metaphors, poetry, beautiful anecdotes. But now we can say they are factually possible on scientific grounds. Trees are very sensitive, more sensitive than you are. They join you in your celebration; they join you in your mourning. Of course, you are not aware, but now scientists have found ways to figure it out. They have made a small instrument like a cardiogram, which is attached to the tree, and the cardiogram starts working, making the graph of the tree’s sensitivity.
When the tree is at ease, relaxed, the cardiogram makes the graph very symmetrical. If a woodcutter comes with his ax, with the idea to cut the tree…He has not started cutting and he has not even said that he is going to cut the tree, but if he has the idea, the tree is even sensitive to the idea. And suddenly the graph starts trembling just like your heart trembles…writing, your hand is trembling. The whole tree starts trembling deep down, and it can be caught on the graph. The graph is no longer symmetrical; it goes crazy.
Not only is it that the tree which has to be cut becomes aware of your thought, your thought creates a vibration around you which a simple heart can catch hold of. Other trees surrounding the tree – friends and companions which have been together for years, have joined in sadness when there was no rain, have joined when the rain comes and brings great joy and blessings. They have passed through many falls and seen themselves standing naked against the sky, and have seen many springs together when great foliage comes and when flowers start blossoming. A certain communion, a certain friendliness has arisen in them.
So it has been found that the tree which is going to be cut starts trembling, catches the thought. But other trees nearby also start trembling…just the idea that one of their old friends is going to be destroyed. Strangely enough, scientists have been shocked that it means trees are more sensitive than human beings: you don’t know what thought is going on in the person who is sitting by your side; every mind is broadcasting its thoughts all around, and you are catching them but you are not aware.
They have tried bringing the same woodcutter again, but with no idea of cutting the tree. He comes with his ax, the graph continues exactly the same, symmetrical, showing that the tree is not worried because there is no idea in the woodcutter’s mind – and the other trees also stop trembling. And when the gardener is brought who has nourished those trees, cared for them, has loved them, in lonely moments has even talked with them…I had a gardener, an old man, a very beautiful man – and he was not just professionally a gardener, he loved trees. I have seen him, when there was nobody and he thought nobody was watching him; I have seen him talk to the trees.
Once I caught hold of him, because he was continuously winning every year; almost five years he was with me and every year he was winning the corporation prize for bringing the biggest roses. I asked him, “What is the matter; you talk with trees?” He said, “I love them, I feel them. I can tell you, but not anybody else, because I trust you will understand, that it is not one-sided; they also answer in some way or other. I have not been winning these prizes because I am a great gardener.”
The city was big, and there were many millionaires in the city. They had great gardens and many gardeners. And they were all puzzled because they were all trying to win the prize, but this old man went on winning.
He said, “It is just my talking to the trees, saying, ‘Don’t forget in the right time to give me the biggest flower. It is a question of my prestige and your prestige.’” And he said to me, “It has never failed. Those other gardeners are doing hard work with more manure, more chemicals. They are doing everything that the art of gardening will suggest, but this is beyond the art of gardening.”
As the gardener is brought, all the trees feel so immensely happy that the symmetrical graph becomes almost a dance. Just as it has become crazy out of fear, so out of love it again becomes not the ordinary silent tree, but showing a tremendous joy as if the tree is jumping, dancing. And you can see the difference between the graphs. When the tree is afraid, the graph will show you that these lines are coming out of fear. And when the tree has suddenly seen the gardener who has taken care and grown it like his own children, the graph dances. And you can see in the graph that it is not out of worry, but out of a gratitude and out of a welcome – a friend has come. And other trees also do the same.
Man is capable of receiving immense joy if he only learns how to be grateful. So you are on the right path. But don’t go on thinking in terms that you are unworthy, because that has to be transformed into gratitude. It is certain, nobody is worthy. What have you done to be alive? What have you done to have such beautiful eyes? What have you done to have this potentiality of becoming a Gautam Buddha? You have not done anything; it is just coming out of the abundance of existence. Existence has so much that it has to share out of sheer necessity to unburden itself; it is overflowing. And if people remain thirsty, it is their own fault.
There is an ancient saying in India that you can remain thirsty standing on the bank of a river. Unless you learn how to bow down, fill your hands with water, the river is not going to jump towards you. It is available; just a little humbleness on your part, a little receptivity on your part, and you can quench your thirst.
Everything that is great in life is abundantly available; just don’t shrink in your unworthiness. It is a beautiful first step to experience it, but then for what are we worthy? Neither for life, nor for love, nor for this beautiful body – we are not worthy for anything; we have just taken all this for granted. This is the irreligious mind.
I don’t call a man irreligious who does not believe in God. I don’t call a man irreligious who does not go to the temples or churches. I don’t call a man irreligious if he denies heaven and hell and all that nonsense. But I call a man irreligious if he does not feel unworthy of all that he has received and is receiving every moment. With every breath, with every heartbeat life is continuously giving you. The same life is capable of giving you immense blissfulness, of which you cannot even have an idea unless you have tasted it.
Just change your unworthiness into gratefulness, into thankfulness. And to me, this kind of gratitude is the only true prayer. You don’t have to say anything – just the feeling of gratefulness that I don’t deserve, I don’t see why so much has been given to me and so much goes on showering on me. What can I do except be grateful?
This gratefulness should sink deep in your consciousness, in your very fibers and cells of body. You will simply become gratefulness, then it is prayer. And the things that are called prayer are just false. Millions of temples and churches and synagogues, and millions of people continuously praying…but their prayers are false because they are always asking for something. They are never thanking for what they have already received.
In their prayers if you look, you will find the beggar, the ungrateful beggar. And you will also find in all the prayers of all the religions – I have looked as deeply as possible into every religion – there is a certain complaint that things are not as they should be: “Others are getting more; I am not getting that much.” These are not prayers, they are simply wasting their time. They have not even come to understand the meaning of prayer.
It is not in the words, it is prayerfulness. And prayerfulness means only one thing, and only one thing, gratefulness – a gratitude that goes on sinking deep into your being for everything: for trees being green, for rain coming down to quench the thirst of the earth. And when the first rains come, the sweet smell coming from the earth is earth’s gratitude. And the trees becoming green, and bringing millions of flowers, that is earth’s thankfulness, that is earth’s prayer. That’s how you should be; that’s how your prayer should be – nothing but a gratefulness.
Slowly, slowly man goes on forgetting what complaint is, what grudge is. As he becomes more attuned with gratefulness, he forgets completely that he has to ask for something. Things are coming without his asking. He has just to keep his doors open and the guest comes. He has just to wait, and wait lovingly, prayerfully.
I am giving you the meaning of prayer in a way no religion has ever given it to humanity; their prayers are so childish, stupid. A gratefulness will make you more and more capable of receiving gifts.
The so-called religions that have overruled man’s mind for centuries are mostly fictions. I have come across Albert Camus’ very strange but beautiful and true statement: “If God did not exist, we would have to invent him” – otherwise, to whom are you going to complain? On whose shoulders are you going to throw all your responsibilities? With whom are you going to be angry? Who is going to be your security, safety…?
Camus is saying something very important when he says that if God did not exist we would have to invent him, and if God did exist, we would have to abolish him. If God did exist why would we have to abolish him? – because it would be intolerable. To be so grateful to him would look like humiliation: you are unworthy and he goes on giving to you – you could not forgive him; he is insulting you, he is making you aware of your unworthiness.
I have a friend who was at a time education minister. He used to come to me once in a while, and one day he told me something that he would not have told anybody: “I have thought many times to bring it to your notice, but then I stopped myself. But there is a limit, I have to tell it to you.” He was born a poor man, and he was adopted by a rich man, a very rich man, who had no children. So he suddenly rose from poverty to be a super-rich man.
He started giving money to his relatives who were poor, because he himself belonged to a poor family; his relatives were poor, his friends were poor. And now he had so much, and he had got it without any effort, and he was in a position to help everybody. He really helped all his relatives, his father, his brother, his sisters, his friends, and he made all of them very rich. I was aware of the fact.
He told me “The problem is, I have been so generous to everybody who was even faraway connected – a faraway cousin, or just an acquaintance – but if I saw that they were in trouble, I gave them as much as they wanted; I gave them more. Now they are all flourishing, they are all rich. But one thing strange is that they don’t feel obliged towards me! On the contrary, most of them never come to see me or meet me; in fact, they avoid me. It hurts me very much, that I have done so much…and what kind of ungrateful people are these?”
I said, “You don’t understand the deeper psychology behind it. You have given them, but you don’t know that the giver always insults the person he is giving. In the very giving you have become higher and the person who has received has become lower. If you are an understanding man, you will see this is actually what happens. I want to ask you one thing: Have you ever accepted any help from them?”
He said, “I don’t need it – why should I accept their help?”
I said, “That’s where you are humiliating them, insulting them. What is wrong? – small things. If you just phone a friend whom you have helped, who is now rich, has a factory of his own, cars of his own…if you just ask him, ‘Send two cars; I need them very much.’ You may not need, you have enough cars! Just let those cars come, and after an hour send them back. You don’t need, but let that man feel that he can also give something to you, that he is not always on the receiving end. He is sometimes on the giving side also.
“Or you can tell some friend, ‘In your garden I saw such beautiful roses. Can you send me a dozen roses today?’ And he will be immensely happy to send those dozen roses. It doesn’t cost him much, but he will start forgiving you, and he will start being grateful to you.”
The man said, “Perhaps you are right. I have never, never asked anybody for anything, because I don’t need. And I never thought that just giving to somebody, and always giving and never taking…”
“Anything, anything without any value…a few flowers or just calling the person and saying, ‘I am feeling very lonely. Can you come and be with me for breakfast or for the lunch? – I will be immensely grateful.’ You would have helped those people to regain their dignity. You have given them money but you have made them beggars, and nobody can forgive you, this is utterly inhuman.”
And he said, “I understand, but I will not be able to do it; it is against my ego.”
I said, “That is then absolutely clear why they are avoiding you: they know that you are giving to them, not because they are poor but because you are rich. You are not concerned with their problems and worries and difficulties. You are just exploiting their misery, their suffering, their poverty for your own ego fulfillment; ‘I have been a great help.’ And you are bragging continuously…How can they forgive you?”
That’s what Albert Camus means when he says that if God did exist and was available to humanity, we should have to abolish him because it would become intolerable: he goes on giving and he will not ask for anything from you because he has everything – the whole belongs to him! He would take away all your dignity. You can forgive somebody for anything, but you cannot forgive anybody who destroys your dignity as a human being, who takes away your pride.
Fortunately, there is no God, and particularly for you. There are people who believe in God: deep down they are angry with him. They may pray and they may show their respect, but deep down they think, “Why is my wife suffering from cancer? If God is compassionate, then where is his compassion? I have been praying for years, why am I poor? The people who never pray and never come to the church or the temple or the synagogue are rich! I am honest and I am trying to be as sincere as human frailty will permit, but I remain poor, a failure, a nobody…and the people who are mean and cunning and can do anything to achieve power and money – they are successful. The priests go on saying that God is just. Where is your justice?”
These things go on remaining in your unconscious – you may not say them because they may make God very angry. In fact, in the Talmud, the Jewish God says exactly the words, “I am a very angry God. I never forgive; never take me for granted.” A very beautiful sentence is: “I am not your uncle, remember.” That is very Jewish, but their God is a Jew, you cannot do anything about it. He is reminding you, “I am not your uncle, so don’t expect any niceness from me. I am your father.”
You know there is a difference between the father and the uncle: uncles are always friendly; fathers are authoritarian, powerful people; you belong to them. It is very rare to see a son and a father being friendly, trusting each other, telling each other their innermost thoughts and feelings. But you will always find people immensely friendly with their uncles. They will not say things to just anybody which they can say to their uncles; some different quality exists.
Such a God is not only Jewish, such a God is the God of all primitive people. In all primitive, holy scriptures he is very angry. If he was available in the world, Albert Camus is right, we would have to kill him. It would become intolerable – his interference in everything, his commandments for everything, and his anger, and his violence, and his torture; his blackmailing that he will throw you into hellfire for eternity if you don’t listen to him. And if you are obedient, in other words if you are just a slave, you will have all the joys of paradise. Such a God would not be tolerable, particularly to those who have some pride of being individuals. It will be easier to finish him.
In fact, Sigmund Freud sometimes comes to very great insights; he was certainly a genius. But unfortunately these people never came in contact with any meditation; otherwise they would have given the world tremendous contributions. Still, because of their genius they had glimpses and insights. One of his insights, which may not be factual is certainly psychological. The psychological is far more significant to understand than the factual, because the factual is ordinary, outside you; the psychological is within you and controls you.
Freud says that people worship God as father because some time in the beginning they must have killed some dominant father, somebody who was too dictatorial. It is a well-known fact that many kings have been killed by their sons because the king was going on and on living. And the son was becoming old and it seemed that he was not going to live to be a king; the only possibility was the death of the father. Many kings have imprisoned their fathers and taken over the throne, because they saw that there seemed to be no possibility of his natural death – at least while there was time to enjoy being a king! What would be the point when you are seventy-five or eighty when your father dies and you succeed? Within a year or two you would be gone too.
There is a possibility factually, but there is no historical record of it; hence, historians have rejected the insight. But I am not a historian and I think history is simply bunk! My concern with God is for psychological reasons.
Sigmund Freud says that because somewhere in the past man had to kill the father he felt the guilt of what he had done. And out of that guilt he started worshipping the ancestors, the fathers, the elderly people, the old people. All this respect has arisen out of a guilt which has settled in the human heart. Man started inventing a God as father, raising temples in his memory, statues, priests praying, worshipers worshipping.
Behind this whole scene and drama of religion, Sigmund Freud finds only one single fact and that is: somewhere in the past man has behaved so badly with his father – perhaps murdered – that he cannot forgive him. So the only way is to pray, make God your father, the creator of the world. All these hypotheses…It was a very original insight.
A man who has no guilt will not go to a church, will not go to a confessional in a Catholic church. For what? – unless one enjoys talking about so-called sins…!
I have heard…

One woman was coming every Sunday to the confessional, and confessing the same sin that she had been raped. The bishop said, “That is not your sin, you don’t have to confess it – let the person who has raped you.”
She said, “But I enjoyed it! That’s why I have to confess it. I pretended to resist, but deep down I enjoyed.”
The priest said, “Even if you enjoyed it, you have been forgiven. You have donated to the charity box, and I have prayed for you to God. And this is the third time…who is this man? Is he the same man raping again and again every week?”
She said, “I have to confess, he has raped me only once, and because I enjoyed it he did not bother to rape me again. He looked embarrassed…what is the point? In fact, he must have felt he had been raped, tricked. So I go into places where he hangs around; the moment he sees me, he escapes.”
But the priest said, “If it has happened only once then what is the point every week to come to the confession?”
She said, “I enjoy the idea and to tell you in detail. It is nothing to me – ten dollars I can give as a punishment, and you can pray for my sin. But I enjoy even describing it.”

My own feeling is that the number of people who confess in the Catholic church, most of them have not committed those sins. They simply enjoy the idea, “I raped a woman.” Perhaps they want to rape a woman, but it is a difficult job. But to confess is very simple, just ten dollars. And for ten dollars, enjoying the idea that I raped the woman…At least the priest is convinced and he will convince God too.
Sigmund Freud seems to me to be psychologically right; otherwise there would be no temples, no churches, no mosques, no gods. Man needed someone to pray to, needed someone to complain to, needed someone to throw all responsibility onto. But if he was available in the world, just in the MG market, he would have been killed – and particularly in Pune.
You will be surprised to know that this MG Road is named after Mahatma Gandhi; MG is short for Mahatma Gandhi Road – and Pune has killed, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi! The day a Puneite assassinated Mahatma Gandhi sweets were distributed and there was celebration. And now they are calling their main market MG market. This is the guilt that somehow has to be erased, so they have raised the statue to Mahatma Gandhi. Strange…you kill the man and then you raise the statue.
You must have seen on the hills, just nearby the bridge, there is one beautiful bungalow where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay. The people to whom that bungalow belongs used to come to listen to me in Mumbai. And when I was moving to Pune, I said to those people, “That bungalow is empty and that will be the best place for the ashram because of the hills around; the road goes round and round – and the whole hill part belongs to the bungalow. For the ashram it will be perfect, and whatever your price…”
They said, “It is not a question of price, it is because Mahatma Gandhi used to stay there, so we have made it a memorial.” Now it is a Mahatma Gandhi memorial – there is a statue, there is a memorial.
Just by the other side of the river there is one palace, Aga Khan Palace, where the British government used to imprison Mahatma Gandhi, as a special concession, because it is not a jail; it is a palace, it was used for Mahatma Gandhi. Whenever the government wanted to put him in jail the palace was used, and he was free to move in the gardens. He was provided with his secretaries, with his wife; he continued to function just as if he was outside. In fact, he was in a better position; outside he used to live in small huts because poverty was his philosophy. Here he was living in the Aga Khan’s Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings in Pune, with a vast garden.
His wife died while he was in prison in the Aga Khan Palace. His wife’s samadhi is in the Aga Khan Palace, so now the Aga Khan Palace has also become part of a memorial. Because Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned there and his wife died there…And it was a group of Hindu chauvinists of Pune who killed him. And now they are trying to somehow erase the guilt feeling – making memorials, making statues, giving names to the streets.
Sigmund Freud is right in my understanding that man must have behaved badly in the past with their elders, particularly the fathers. And there is a possibility that fathers may have been killed, because they were holding all the power – and all the power included all the beautiful women of the clan. The sons were young, they needed beautiful women; the father was old but he was holding all the beautiful women: unless he dies, there is no possibility for the young people to have those beautiful women, they were that old man’s property.
Psychologists have been trying to find the same pattern in monkeys. If you see monkeys sitting on a tree, you will be surprised to know that on top is the oldest monkey, the most powerful monkey. He is the president! Nobody else will be allowed to sit on the top of the trees; that is a question of prestige and power. And around him are all the beautiful females. He is old but even the youngest females first have to be under his control. Then underneath that are other elders, and underneath that are the young people.
Naturally, there is every possibility – and it happens – that the older monkey is killed by the younger monkey because he is taking away their whole life. He has lived enough and he goes on living – and he is holding all the power. There is a deep will to power in everybody, and particularly the power over the females. Nobody can even look at those females while the old man is alive. They don’t have any other money and treasure and kingdoms; their only property is the females. On this point of the females, many old monkeys are killed.
Perhaps this discovery by the scientists led to the insight of Sigmund Freud that one day men killed their fathers – had to kill, had to remove them, otherwise they wouldn’t allow you to live at all.
If God did exist, it is absolutely certain he would have been assassinated – it would have become absolutely intolerable. But fortunately, he does not exist so nobody can assassinate him. But unfortunately, people have created a hypothetical God which neither you can assassinate nor you can communicate with. It is a simple hypothesis, but still it helps people to get rid of their guilt.
The priest is the beneficiary; he keeps the hypothesis alive. He fights for the hypothesis, because all that comes to God as offerings to erase the guilt of people reaches the priest. So the priest’s whole work is to make more and more people guilty. This is a business and a very subtle structure: make people guilty about everything, every pleasure.
In Jainism, even to eat food tastefully is a sin; you should not eat tastefully. You can eat, but don’t take the taste, don’t enjoy it. That is possible only if your taste buds are operated on; otherwise it is not possible. Your tongue and your taste buds…and they are not many, they can be removed very easily. Then you won’t taste anything. But that is not the idea. The idea is that because of those taste buds you will have to taste and then you will feel guilty. And once you are guilty, you are in the hands of the priest.
Now sex is not in your hands. Feeling good and happy with a restful night is natural, but Jainism condemns it. Jaina monks should eat only one time a day, and that too, standing because being comfortably seated you can eat more; standing you will get tired yourself. And it looks so embarrassing – a crowd, and you are standing, and you have to take your food in your hands.
The Jaina monk is not allowed to have anything as his possession. So how much can you take in your hands? – and you cannot take twice. So they are hungry. To think of food or to think of women or to think of any pleasure is a sin – even to think, even to dream. And I cannot conceive that a Jaina monk can avoid dreaming about food, or that so-called celibates – Jaina, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus – can avoid dreaming about women? And the priests say that whether you dream or you actually act it does not matter: even to dream about good food is as sinful as actually eating it because the question is of your mentality; to dream about a beautiful woman is as sinful as having a beautiful woman.
All the religious priests for thousands of years have been managing to find all those areas where you are weak, where nature can be condemned. And you cannot do anything because it is a natural thing, so naturally, you will feel guilty.
Guilt is the whole foundation of your religions.
The priest needs you to be guilty, and because of guilt you need God – who is going to forgive you? What are your prayers? “Forgive us, we are sinners and your compassion is great. Forgive us father.” And there is nobody to listen to you!
Because God is just a hypothesis, assassination is not possible. You cannot find him anywhere. Albert Camus is right: if God did not exist, we would have to invent him. That’s what we have done, we have invented him. If God did exist we would have to abolish him. The existential problem is what I have told you, the feeling that I am unworthy.
It is true:
Nobody is worthy.
We have received everything for no reason at all.
Being grateful to existence is the only authentic religion, and it does not need to have an adjective to it – Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan. It is simply gratefulness.

You are on the right track; just don’t get stuck at unworthiness, that is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is gratefulness. This is the negative side; that is the positive side.
Remember, always to go with the affirmative, the positive, and you will never go astray. The ultimate affirmation comes the day when you explode into light, into joy, into bliss, into song, into dance. All that will create more and more gratefulness in you.
You will become just a prayer.

The other morning, when you mentioned about a pocket watch being the last present for people who retire, I was amazed, because when you left for America I was at my village, and I received by mail a unique present from you – a very beautiful Seiko pocket watch! I was delighted by this rare gift, but today I feel a bit shaky!
Osho, could you please tell me something about the significance of this gift?
Sardar Gurudayal Singh, I remember the pocket watch that I have sent you. I have been giving watches to hundreds of my sannyasins. The significance is simple, so you need not be worried by what I said yesterday.
It was not a retirement gift; a sannyasin is never retired! He becomes enlightened, but retirement is not possible neither before enlightenment nor after enlightenment. Retirement does not exist in the world of a sannyasin, so you can drop your fear and worry; it was not a retirement gift. I have been giving watches to many people because my whole message is: be watchful!
So don’t misunderstand me…

A man in New York for the weekend, struck up a conversation with a young lady in the bar. After a few drinks he suggested that they buy a bottle and go to his room; she agreed. When the girl began taking off her clothes, the man asked, “Say, how old are you?”
“Thirteen,” she replied.
“Thirteen? Good Lord,” said the man. “Get your clothes back on and get out of here.”
At the door the girl paused and said, “Superstitious, eh?”

In America, the number thirteen is very superstitious! You will find in hotels that after the twelfth storey comes the fourteenth. The thirteenth storey does not exist at all because nobody is ready to stay on the thirteenth floor.
I have seen one book: a man had done great research work proving that this superstition of the number thirteen is not just superstition, it has a scientific background. I was very much amazed so I went through the book. It was sheer nonsense what he had done. He had collected the number of accidents which had happened on the thirteenth date, the number of people who died on the thirteenth, the number of people who got cancer on the thirteenth…all kinds of calamities that happened on the thirteenth. He had collected such a list that anybody would be greatly impressed that certainly this number thirteen is dangerous.
I wrote a letter to the man saying, “Unless you do the same research for the eleventh and for the twelfth – just two dates will do, one before thirteenth…and find out what happens on the twelfth, what happens on the eleventh, all the calamities…And unless you find that more accidents happen on the thirteenth than on the twelfth or eleventh, that more people die on the thirteenth than on any other date, your thesis is just nonsense. This way you can prove any date dangerous, because people are dying on every date, every day. There is no quota given for dates.”
I received a letter saying that the man had died; unfortunately he died on the eleventh! One of his friends replied that the man himself had missed the thirteenth. But in America that superstition is very prevalent. People don’t want the number thirteen on their car; they avoid the number thirteen in every way. In the army you won’t find a soldier whose number is thirteen.
Sardar Gurudayal Singh, that retirement watch is also a superstition, but it is possible that whoever invented it first may have had some idea similar to me, that now a man is retiring, life is in a way finished. It is good to give him a watch because the days are few, time will be rushing by faster than ever. So it will be helpful to keep him alert, watchful. Time is not money, time is life, and to give a watch…Now it has become superstition nobody bothers what is the meaning. Nobody knows either the people who are giving or the person who is receiving…but just a golden pocket watch.
But when I have given watches – and I go on giving – that does not mean that you are retired. That does not mean that your days are finished, “Just count the hours on your watch.”
It means: Be watchful, be aware and alert.
Every moment is full of danger and full of ecstasy. If you can use it for awareness and watchfulness, it becomes a great ecstasy, the juiciest experience of life. But if you are not aware, some moment, some day, you are going to die…
Don’t die before destroying your ego.
Let the ego die first so that you can realize your real immortal being.
I have given it to you, Gurudayal, just to be watchful, because one can get into any trouble – particularly a man like Gurudayal.
A few days ago somebody came to me to inform me that Sardar Gurudayal Singh was going to marry Mukta. I said, “I am telling enough jokes, and he is trying to be a practical joke!” And Mukta is also great! She has found poor Sardar Gurudayal Singh. He is a rare man, a happy man, but to find him for marriage…! And he is such a fellow he will not say no. He has known life in many colors: he has been in the army, he has fought in the wars; he has been my bodyguard for many years, and he is of a simple and innocent heart. If somebody approaches him for marriage at this age, he will say okay.
Somehow I have persuaded Mukta not to do such a thing, because he is living a free life. He has divorced his wife long, long ago; he has not a single worry in the world. He is one of my most profound sannyasins – poor, but immensely rich because he can laugh more beautifully than anybody else. I don’t have to know where he is sitting. When he starts laughing I know because his laughter, even in his old age, comes louder than anybody else’s.
No need to worry about that watch! Just be watchful; don’t get into any trouble. Now, getting married to Mukta…You will be in trouble; she will be in trouble. She is enjoying fully. She has divorced her husband long ago; you have divorced your wife – both are free. But I must say that Mukta has an eye to find a real man!

Two jokes for Sardar Gurudayal Singh…

“You will be poor and unhappy until you are forty,” said the fortune-teller to her customer.
“Then what?” asked the worried customer.
“Well, by then you will be used to it,” the fortune-teller replied!

A man approaching retirement went along to see the company doctor for one final checkup. To his horror the doctor said, “I don’t know quite how to put this, but your heart is on its last legs and you have only got six months to live.”
“Is there nothing I can do?” asked the shocked man.
“Well,” said the doctor, “you can give up alcohol, and cut out smoking. Don’t eat rich foods, no dancing, and don’t even think about sex!”
“And this will make me live longer?” the man asked hopefully.
“No,” replied the doctor, “it will just seem longer!”

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