The Osho Upanishad 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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Why has life all along been a very serious affair for me, and not fun to live and enjoy and celebrate as you say it should be?
Maitreya, you have been in the wrong hands from the very beginning of your life. It will be difficult for others to understand the answer if I don’t tell you the background of the questioner.
Maitreya is an old politician. He was for three terms a member of the parliament, a close friend of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He had devoted his whole life to the struggle for freedom. He had never looked at his own being; he was too much concerned with the freedom of the nation. He had no time to think that there is a higher freedom, the freedom of the self. He came into contact with me very late in his life. By that time Gandhiism had made its deep conditioning in him, and that is the fundamental reason for his misery.
Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy represent the ancient idea of the religious man as serious, sad, miserable, suffering. The old religions conceive this earth as a punishment; you are imprisoned here – because of your past lives’ evil acts you have been thrown into this life; this is a punishment. And how can one be joyous when life itself is condemned as punishment? Then the only way out of the miseries is to get rid of life; hence the anti-life attitude of all the religions.
And Mahatma Gandhi is a contemporary representative of the whole rubbish of the past: Man has to fight life, man has to fight everything that makes life beautiful, joyous, everything that will make you desirous of life – because the very desire for life has to be destroyed.
A point comes when you are against everything in life, so there is no question of desiring a future life. You desire freedom from the body – how can you enjoy your body? How can you enjoy swimming? The body is the enemy. How can you enjoy love? The body is the bondage. How can you enjoy food? You have to uproot all possibilities of enjoying your body, others’ bodies.
And the whole world is made of matter. You have to avoid enjoying the surrounding world, you have to avoid a beautiful sunset. It is materialistic to enjoy a beautiful sunset because it is material. To enjoy a roseflower is against religions. To enjoy anything is dangerous because it will lead you deeper into life, and you have to get rid of life. So all the teachings of religion try in different disguises to cut the roots of your joy, of your pleasure, of your blissfulness.
Maitreya is a victim, just as everybody else in the world is a victim. On the one hand he was told to be anti-life; that has been the ancient idea of renunciation, of renouncing the world and its joys. And on the other hand he was told to sacrifice himself for the freedom of the country, for others. To think of oneself, to think of meditation was condemned as selfish: “You should think of others, you should think of others’ well-being, you should think of others’ freedom.”
“You should think only of others, never of yourself”: that is the ideal of the religious man, the saint. And to me it is the image of the idiot, because a person who is not joyful, who is not meditative, a person who is not peaceful, overflowing with love, cannot be of any help to anybody. You cannot give something to others which you don’t have. You are empty, and you are trying to make others fulfilled. They are empty; they are trying to make others fulfilled. Nobody knows what fulfillment is!
The journey begins from oneself; you have to be fulfilled first. Then there is no need for anybody to teach you, “Now, share it.” Once you are fulfilled you are overflowing; sharing is autonomous, it comes by itself. When your heart is full of song it bursts into singing. When you blossom, your fragrance is bound to reach others; you cannot prevent it.
I teach selfishness, because unless you are selfish you can never be of help to anybody in the world. All the altruistic teachings are useless, meaningless, because they are based on people who are themselves empty.
For example, Jesus says, “Love your enemies just the way you love yourself” – but nobody bothers about whether you love yourself. The enemy comes as number two; the first thing is to love yourself. If you have not loved yourself, how can you love the enemy? You cannot love even the friend. You don’t know what love means. It is a meaningless word. You have heard it so you feel you understand it, but you have not experienced it, and without experience there is no understanding.
Jesus is insistent, “Love your enemies just as you love yourself,” but in his whole gospel he has completely forgotten to tell people, “Love yourself.” That will be selfishness.
That’s what I teach: Love yourself so much that it starts overflowing you. First, naturally, it will reach to those who are close – to your friends, your lovers, your neighbors – and finally, that is the success, the climax, when your love reaches the enemy, spreading in waves. And when the enemy is covered, nothing is left out of the area of your love. But it must begin from the center of your being.
Maitreya’s misfortune has been that he fell into the hands of Gandhians. Gandhi never loved himself. Gandhi never loved anybody; he could not, because of his very ideology. It was impossible to conceive.
For example his ideology was so important that he was ready to sacrifice everything. He was a high-caste Hindu. His wife was uneducated, and one thing was impossible for her – to clean the Indian toilet. The modern Western toilet is one thing, anybody can clean it but the Indian toilet was really a punishment. And for an uneducated girl who had always heard that it was done by the untouchables only…
Hindus have made a class of untouchables, sudras – because of their dirty work they have become dirty, so dirty that even their shadows are untouchable. If a sudra passes by your side and his shadow touches you, the scriptures prescribe an immediate bath. The shadow is nonexistential – but that poor Kasturba, Gandhi’s wife, carried the same conditioning. And Gandhi was forcing everybody; they had to clean the toilet in turn.
Kasturba was nine months pregnant, and one evening she refused. Gandhi was so furious that he threw her out of the house, closed the house, and told her that unless she was ready to clean the toilet she should not come to his house.
The ideology, a stupid ideology… He himself could have cleaned it if the wife was not willing. If he had loved the wife, the simple thing would have been to say, “Don’t worry, I will clean it.” No, he would not clean it; the wife had to clean it. And without thinking about the fact that she was just going to give birth to a child, in the middle of the night he threw her out. It was in Johannesburg, in South Africa. She did not understand English, she did not understand any language other than Gujarati. She could not even talk to anybody, ask anybody. In such a helpless condition… And he would open the door only if she first cleaned the toilet. In the middle of the night she had to clean the toilet; then she was allowed in. His ideology came first.
His eldest son Haridas wanted to study. Gandhi was against schools, colleges, universities, any kind of contemporary thing – so he was against it. His history stopped with the spinning wheel; after the spinning wheel, whatsoever had happened in the world was wrong, was done by evil.
Haridas was really a very intelligent man. I came to know him personally. He said, “I argued with my father, that ‘All that you are capable of is because of this education you have got. Without this education you would not have been able to fight the British Empire. And trust me, I am your son. The education is not going to corrupt me.’ But he said, ‘I have said it, and that is final. None of my children are going to be educated by this corrupted educational system.’” And none of his children were educated.
Haridas escaped from the house and lived with one of his uncles, just to get an education. And because he did not obey Gandhi… And love knows nothing of such ugly things as obedience, because obedience means forcing somebody into slavery. Love gives freedom.
And the cause for which Haridas escaped – nobody can say that he was wrong; he simply wanted to be educated. But Gandhi told Kasturba and all his other sons, “This house, for Haridas, is closed. If he comes to this house close the door; he is dead for me.”
Haridas went there. After he had graduated from the university, he went because he thought he would go, fall at the feet of his father, and ask his forgiveness. He hoped that a man who talks about nonviolence, love, compassion, was going to forgive. And he had not committed any sin; he had simply not followed his father’s order, which rationally he felt was wrong. The order was wrong; his disobedience was logically right. He was not corrupted or anything, he had simply become more intelligent, sharper, more rational. There had been no harm. He had become more individual. But perhaps no father wants any son to become an individual. The ego of the father wants his children just to be obedient carbon copies.
But Haridas found that the doors were closed as they saw him entering; the doors were closed. And Gandhi said, “When I die…” In India it is the convention that after death the eldest son gives fire to the dead body on the funeral pyre. Haridas was the eldest son. Now you can see the vengeance – with all the nonsense about nonviolence, love, compassion – in actuality, the vengeance. And the vengeance was such that he was even thinking about after death: “When I die you have to be aware that Haridas should not be allowed to give fire to my dead body. I have disowned him, he is no longer my son.”
He never loved himself. He tortured himself as much as possible. But when people torture themselves in the name of spirituality, religion, nobody thinks that something is wrong. If you stop eating without saying anything spiritual or religious about it, you will be thought mad. You have to be treated because the physical body, if it is healthy, the mind, if it is healthy, needs food. And it is an everyday need. If somebody starts enjoying being hungry, psychologists have a name for it: “That man is a masochist; he enjoys torturing himself. He finds ways to torture himself.”
But if you understand psychology, ninety-nine percent of your saints and sages will be categorized as masochists, because what were they doing? Somebody was fasting; somebody was standing for years and not sitting down; somebody was standing on his head; somebody was standing naked the whole year, in the cold winter in the mountains, in the snow – and people were worshipping them. In fact these people should have been treated, they were sick. And they will find any excuse. They will rationalize their sickness.
For example, Gandhi went on a fast unto death. And what was the reason? The reason was that his secretary had fallen in love with a girl. Strange, if he has fallen in love he will suffer – why are you suffering? It doesn’t seem to be connected with cause and effect. How does Mahatma Gandhi come in? But the problem was that in his ashram it was a rule that nobody can fall in love. Love everybody, but don’t fall in love. Strange things!
So love is just simply a word, it does not mean anything. So everybody says to everybody, “I love you” – but don’t mean it! If you mean it, Mahatma Gandhi will go on a fast unto death: “He really means it” – his own secretary! Now the secretary and the girl, who was an ashramite, were embarrassed. And everybody was at their heads: “You have put that old man in trouble.”
They said, “We have not done anything to him.” And they were sitting by his side massaging his feet – “Somehow, forgive us. We will never do anything like that again. We will simply love. We will never fall in love, we promise you. But please start eating; otherwise people will kill us. They are threatening us, saying to us ‘You are the cause.’”
But do you know what rationalization Mahatma Gandhi had? He said, “You are not the cause. I am simply purifying my spirit, and because my own secretary falls in love, that means my soul is not pure. Something is impure in me; otherwise, how is it possible? It is inconceivable – my own secretary, who lives with me twenty-four hours a day. It is not to punish you; it is to punish myself. I must be wrong; some impurity in my soul must have caused this.”
Strange. That means if he becomes absolutely pure, no love affair is going to happen in the whole world – because one mahatma has become absolutely pure, how can you dare to fall in love? Love will disappear. It is because of the impurity of Mahatma Gandhi that it exists! But it exists too much; that means all these mahatmas and saints are really impure. Rationalizations… But they cannot hide the fact.
Maitreya was caught in the trap of these people. I simply took him out of the parliament. One of my friends, who was an MP, had arranged a small meeting of a few parliament members who he thought would be able to understand me. Maitreya was also invited, and that’s how he was caught in my net. But he was not aware that this is a totally different kind of net.
His whole life he has been a Gandhian – miserable, sad, sacrificing, living for others. With me he started thinking of totally new things: living for yourself, loving yourself, exploring your being; because to me, your individuality is your universe. First explore it. Don’t leave a single corner of your being unexplored. Only then will the things which others had been forcing on you start happening. I want you to love many people, I want you to share your joy with many people – but first you must have it.
You are a beggar and you are trying to make others rich.
I am reminded:

One American, Napoleon Hill, has written a very beautiful book; he is certainly one of the best writers alive. The name of the book is Think and Grow Rich. When his first edition was published, he was standing in the publisher’s shop to sign the first-day copies. There was a big crowd. Henry Ford had also come; he always used to go to look in the bookshop to find some books. Seeing this big line and a man signing books, he went there. He asked, “What kind of book is this?”
Napoleon Hill said, “I am happy – I know you, but you don’t know me. My name is Napoleon Hill, and this is my first book. And it is certainly going to be one of the best-sellers in the world.” And it proved true; now that book has sold second only to the Bible.
Henry Ford looked at the cover and read the title: Think and Grow Rich. He looked from up to down, from down to up at Napoleon Hill; Napoleon Hill said, “Is there something wrong?”
He said, “No, nothing is wrong. Have you come in your own car or on public transport?”
Napoleon Hill said, “But that is not connected with the book.”
Ford said, “It is connected with the book. Answer me: Have you come in your own private car or on a public bus?”
He said, “I have come on a public bus.”
Henry Ford returned the copy and he said, “When you have your own car, then you come to me. You yourself are not rich enough to have an ordinary car, and you are writing a book: Think and Grow Rich. So what have you been doing all these years? Not thinking? Think about a car – and it has to be a Ford car!
“Now do you see,” he said, “that it is connected? A man who says his philosophy is that just by thinking you can become rich still travels on a public transport bus! This is enough proof that his book should not be in the market at all. You are a cheat. And of course the book will sell, because there are millions of poor people who would love just to think and grow rich.
“But my son,” said Henry Ford, “it is not so easy just to think and grow rich. You can think and be poor, but you can’t think and be rich – that is not in your hands. You should come to me to have a few lessons in how to be rich.”
He himself was born a poor man. He became rich by his own genius. And when his sons came from the university, he did not allow them to take big positions in the firm. They had to start from ABC, exactly from where he himself had started; he had started by polishing shoes in front of a factory. So in front of Ford’s factory, his own sons were polishing the shoes of laborers who were working in their father’s factory.
He said, “Start from ABC. You should learn by experience. This whole business is yours; you will inherit it. But before you inherit it you should be capable of creating it. Otherwise you will not be able to maintain it; the empire will disappear.”

Maitreya has been living a life of rift, split. His past is Gandhian, his present is absolutely different. The past is heavy, long; he is trying hard to get out of it. He will be able to get out of it, but it is going to be a hard task. He himself has cultivated a certain personality; now he has to dismantle it and start from ABC again. Now at the age beyond sixty he feels afraid about whether he will be able to manage, or if death will intervene and he will be nowhere.
Don’t be worried. Even a single moment of freedom from conditioning – conditioning that you know intellectually is wrong – a single moment of freedom from it is enough; it is equal to eternity. So don’t be worried about death, that there is not much time. There is no need for time. It is only a question of insight, just seeing the point that your whole upbringing in the past has been wrong. Just to see it; it has been an imprisonment, and you will find yourself suddenly getting out of it. Who wants to live in a prison?
My whole effort here is to bring you out of your prisons. You have given different names to your prisons: Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, Judaism. There are three hundred religions in the world, three hundred different varieties of prisons. You can choose.
And there are many people who go on moving from one to another. In the beginning, the new prison looks better because you don’t understand that these fetters are fetters. You are accustomed to the old fetters of a different prison, a different kind of cell, a different kind of discipline. Here all those old things are absent; you think this is freedom, but soon you are caught in new fetters, new bondages.
It is just like getting married to one woman, then divorcing, then getting married to another woman. One man did this exercise eight times. Obviously, it was in California. But he was very much puzzled, because he went on changing the woman but after two or three months the same problems arose. Different nose, different face, different color of hair, different height, different shape – strange, within three months the same trouble, the same problems. When he married the eighth woman, on the second day he discovered that this was a woman he had married once before. This was his second wife. So much time had passed – both had changed, so they could not recognize each other. They met on a beach and got married. Then he started thinking, and he found that although he changed the women, he was always marrying the same woman.
It is not a question of changing women or men; it is not a question of changing ideologies, religions. It is a question of living without ideologies, without religions, without philosophies. When you come out of one prison, don’t start entering into another. Remain in the open sky. It is not a question of marrying one woman, divorcing, and marrying another. Marriage is the problem.
Love is enough. And love has freedom. Marriage is only a license, an ugly thing, an institution, and to live in an institution is bound to be sad, miserable. And the wife takes revenge because you have made the prison for her; you take revenge because she has made the prison for you. And you are both the jail and the jailers. It is a strange phenomenon. Both are spying on each other, both are watching each other. Both are being jealous. Both are trying to dominate. Both are destroying all that love can give – joy, freedom, friendship.
Have you seen any husband and wife being friends? I have known thousands of couples, but not a single couple was in a state of friendship. They were intimate enemies – living together, fighting together. They have decided to live together and to die together, but to continue harassing each other.
We only change the superficial things. The Gandhian becomes a communist, there is no problem. The communist becomes a fascist, there is no problem. But to be with me is a problem because I simply drag you out of your prison and leave you under the stars, in the open.
You are accustomed to a roof – howsoever miserable, but a roof – and I leave you just under the stars, on the grass, with not even a mattress! And you are so accustomed to a bed…
Perhaps you don’t know that ninety-nine percent of people die in bed! That is the most dangerous place in the world – avoid it! When the light is put out, simply slip down on the floor, just for your life’s sake.
You are accustomed to your miseries. You become so familiar with them that even if the door is open, you will not go out of it. I can only open the door. I want you to get out by yourself, not to be dragged out, because dragging you out into freedom is not possible. Dragging you into slavery is possible, but dragging you out into freedom is not possible, nobody can do it. You will have to walk on your own feet.
And Maitreya now knows perfectly well that the past was wrong, it has not helped him. But still there is clinging. He understands me intellectually, but feels afraid – old age, death and lifelong ideology… But he will have to risk. There is no way of going back. So the sooner you take the jump the better.

The other day you said that only those people are yours who say yes to you. But don't yes and no go together? To say yes, doesn't one have first to say no to many things? Please comment.
It is a very fundamental question. It applies to many things, almost to all things of life.
There are two levels: one is the level of the mind, and one is the level of meditation. The level of meditation is absolutely silent. The level of the mind is full of dualistic thoughts. So as far as mind is concerned, yes is always connected with no. They are two sides of one coin. Love is connected with hate, just as day is connected with night or birth is connected with death. At the level of the mind, everything is connected with its opposite; you cannot have one without having the other too. This is our ordinary experience.
But on the second level, if you can go beyond mind – that is, if you can go beyond the mind’s yes and no, love and hate – there comes a silence, a peace, a tremendous serenity. This silence does not say yes, but it is full of yes because it is absolutely positive, absolutely affirmative; it is isness.
So if somebody says yes from the state of meditation, there is no opposite connected with it. If somebody says love from the state of meditation, then there is no hate coming as a shadow behind it. Whatever happens on the level of meditation is one, singular, not dialectical.
When Sarjano said yes, it was not from the mind. That’s why I named him. If it had been from the mind, I would have simply discussed the question, because then it would have been for everybody. I named him because it was coming from a meditative state. It was coming like fragrance out of his silence. There is no question of no.
It is a problem for me to answer questions because I am answering individuals more than questions. But it will be impossible for me to answer each individual separately, so this is a device. Just before the questions are asked, I go through the names with the questions – just a glance at who has asked the question, just to be sure. If it is of the mind then there is no problem, it concerns almost everybody.
If it is of meditation, then I have to indicate the person. Or if there is a certain background without which my answer will not be understood, then I have to name the person. Otherwise I simply take the question as it is, anonymous, not asked by anybody special but simply asked by the whole of humanity, the normal mind – or the normal insanity.

Since I have been with you I have started to accept myself more and more. Yet I am facing a strange phenomenon: many of the people that I meet are more judgmental and condemnatory toward me, as if the fact of my self-acceptance irritates them. Since I am not even talking about that, why are these people getting so offended and being so condemnatory?
It is natural. In a society, there is a deep expectation that you will behave exactly like others. The moment you behave a little bit differently you become a stranger, and people are very much afraid of strangers.
That’s why everywhere if two persons are sitting in the bus, in a railway train, or just at a bus stop, they cannot sit silently – because silently they are both strangers.
They immediately start introducing each other: “Who are you? Where are you going? What do you do, your business?” A few things… And they settle down; you are another human being just like them.
It happened here in Mumbai:

I was going away. As I entered my compartment the train was leaving, and my friends had come to see me off, so I stood at the door till the platform had disappeared. One man was in the compartment. It was an air-conditioned coupé only for men, for two men. Seeing the crowd that had come to see me off, he thought, “This man seems to be a great saint.”
As I entered the room he immediately fell on the floor, kissed my feet. I told him, “Wait! Wait!” but he would not wait. I said, “You will repent! Wait!”
He said, “What?” He stood up.
I said, “You don’t understand – I am a Mohammedan.” And I could see the man looked like a brahmin – he had the mark of a brahmin on his forehead; a thread – it was too hot so he was not wearing any upper clothes. I said, “I told you… Now you have done it – you have kissed the feet of a Mohammedan.”
He said, “No, no; it cannot be.”
I said, “It is up to you, you can console yourself. You can console yourself that I am not a Mohammedan – I have no problem with it.”
I sat there one minute, two minutes. And he asked, “Just tell me really, are you a Mohammedan?”
I said, “Absolutely a Mohammedan.”
He said, “My God. Now I have to take a bath. Why did you not prevent me?”
I said, “I was preventing you but you wouldn’t listen. I even told you that you would repent – not just in this life, in your next life. No brahmin has ever done this.”
He said, “That’s true,” and he was perspiring and trembling.
I said, “You just go into the bathroom, take a bath; and if you know Hanuman Chalisa, do Hanuman Chalisa.”
He said, “But how do you know about Hanuman Chalisa?”
I said, “You – we will talk about it later on. You just take the bath first.”
He took a bath, and he was shouting “Hanuman Chalisa” in the bathroom as loudly as possible. Then he came in. I smiled and I said, “You are just stupid.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Can’t you see that I am not a Mohammedan?”
He said, “No! Are you mad?” and he immediately jumped again and touched my feet. This time he only touched, he didn’t kiss – to be on the safer side: “This man seems to be strange.” And he said, “But why did you tell me that?”
I said, “This is my habit – what can I do? In reality I am a Mohammedan, but just habit, old habit.”
He said, “In reality a Mohammedan? That means I will have to take a bath again?”
I said, “You will have to take a bath many times because this is my old habit; I will change again and again.”
He went, shouted “Hanuman Chalisa” more loudly, took a deeper bath, came back – would not look at me.
I said, “That won’t do because you were not reading Hanuman Chalisa rightly; the third line is wrong.”
He said, “My God, how do you know?”
I said, “I am a brahmin, and this is my business – to teach people Hanuman Chalisa.”
He said, “I always knew that something was wrong, and I had suspicions about the third line; but you are a miracle. Even sitting outside you got it.” And he touched my feet again.
And I said, “Again you are making that mistake.” This time he had not touched my feet, he had just touched the floor. I said, “You are becoming a little more aware, but this won’t help.”
He said, “What do you mean it won’t help?”
I said, “Scriptures say that even bowing down is enough; you will have to take a bath. If you don’t want to, there is no need to be worried, I will not tell anybody. And anyway I don’t know where you are going, who you are.”
He said, “This is not a question of telling anybody: God knows everything, that I am bowing down to a Mohammedan. But this is strange. What kind of Mohammedan are you? Hanuman Chalisa…”
I said, “Nothing special. Just by the side of my house there is a small temple of Hanuman, so people go on repeating Hanuman Chalisa. I go on listening daily, so I know where it is right and where it is wrong, otherwise I don’t care a bit about your Hanuman. You can say anything you want – wrong, right, does not matter. I have seen dogs urinating on your Hanuman.”
He said, “My God, you must be a Mohammedan.”
I said, “I have told you many times that I am a Mohammedan. There is no doubt about it.”
He said, “I am caught in a net. If I take another bath… I will come again, things will change.”
He called the guard. He said, “First change my room. By the morning you will not find me in this room – this man will finish me! I have never been in such a nightmare as he has created.”
The guard said, “But he is a nice fellow and I know him, he travels almost daily. I meet him once or twice a week here and there, all over India. He is a nice fellow. I don’t think that he will create any trouble for you.”
I said, “I have not done anything. I am just sitting in my corner. Whatever happens, he does it. Sometimes he touches my feet, sometimes he kisses my feet; sometimes he touches the floor. I have not done anything. I have not yet even given him my blessings.”
The guard said, “You should give him blessings, if he is doing so much…”
And I said, “He has taken baths many times, but if you say, I will give him blessings.”
The man said, “I don’t want anything! I simply want to change the room.”
I said, “Wherever you go you will find me. This night you cannot sleep! In the middle of the night I will come and touch you, and you will have to take a bath. No guard can do anything about it, and it is not a crime to touch you. I can simply touch you, ‘How are you doing?’ – that’s all.”
Finally he changed his room. And I said, “Listen…”
He said, “Don’t give me any suggestions.”
I said, “It will help you. Just touch my feet again and I will bless you so you can have a good sleep. I am not a Mohammedan; the guard is a witness.”
And the guard said, “He is not a Mohammedan. You are unnecessarily… Who told you he is a Mohammedan?”
He said, “Strange; he himself told me.”
I said, “Now there is no witness in this room, so you can say anything – but why should I say that I am a Mohammedan? Ask the guard. Have I done anything like this before?”
He said, “Never. He has been traveling for years; this is for the first time… Are you okay? Is something – something loose in the head?”
The man said, “Then he is not Mohammedan! Then who is saying this to me again and again?”
I said, “I don’t know who is saying it. I am simply sitting here.”
He looked all around the room, as if he was looking for somebody else. He said, “Whatsoever it is, I am going into the other room.”
And in the middle of the night I woke him up. He tried hard not to wake up. I said, “Listen; this means you are awake, because anybody who was asleep would be awake by this time. I have been hitting you so hard on your head.”
He said, “You are hitting hard. But I was thinking, ‘It is better to let him hit and let him be gone, so this half a night’s nightmare is finished!’ I am awake. What do you want of me?”
I said, “Nothing. I just came to ask you how things are going. Is any Mohammedan harassing you?”

People are continuously wanting to be in a crowd in which they fit. The moment you behave differently the whole crowd becomes suspicious; something is going wrong.
Now your situation is that something is going better – you are becoming calmer, more peaceful, more accepting of yourself. And you are not saying this to anybody, but there is no need to say it. They know you, and they can see the change. They have known you when you never accepted yourself, and now they suddenly see that you accept yourself.
In this society nobody accepts himself. Everybody is condemning himself. This is the lifestyle of the society: condemn yourself. And you are not condemning yourself, you are accepting yourself; you have fallen away from the society. And the society does not tolerate anybody who falls out of the fold because the society lives by numbers; it is a politics of numbers. When there are many numbers people feel good. Vast numbers make people feel that they must be right – they cannot be wrong, millions of people are with them. And when they are left alone great doubts start arising: “Nobody is with me. What is the guarantee that I am right?”
That’s why I say that in this world, to be an individual is the greatest courage. The most fearless grounding is needed to be an individual: “It does not matter that the whole world is against me. What matters is that my experience is valid. I don’t look at the numbers, at how many people are with me. I look at the validity of my experience – at whether I am just repeating somebody else’s words like a parrot, or the source of my statements is in my own experience. If it is in my own experience, if it is part of my blood and bones and marrow, then the whole world can be on one side; still, I am right and they are wrong. It doesn’t matter. I don’t need their votes for me in order to feel right. Only people who have the opinions of others need the support of others.”
You are perfectly right, accepting yourself, feeling peaceful. Now accept this too, this nonacceptance by others. This is their problem – why should you be worried? They don’t accept it, let it be their problem. They already have many problems; they are very efficient in collecting problems. They even get worried about others’ problems. Not only are they tense about themselves, they are tense about others too.

I used to go to my village on holidays from the university. In front of my house there was the house of a goldsmith, a very simple, very good man. And I had nothing to do, so sitting in front of him I would simply put my finger on my lips. He would see it, and he would start looking here and there. And whenever I would find him looking at me I would put my finger up again.
He went inside and asked his wife, “What does it mean, and why does he do it to me?”
The wife said, “I don’t know. You are sitting outside the whole day; he is also sitting outside the whole day. There must be something…”
He became worried. He asked my father. In the night when I went to sleep I heard him knocking on the door, so I listened carefully. He was asking my father, “What is the matter with your boy? Because whenever he sees me he puts his finger on his lips. And strangely enough, it affects me. It affects me so much that I start doing things that I am not supposed to do just to look busy, just to avoid him. And he is such a fellow: he goes on sitting there. For hours he will not move – and I know he is there, I cannot work. My work is fine, and it is with fire, it is dangerous! And he does not do any harm to me so I cannot say anything to him. But whenever he has the chance he will immediately put his finger on his lips.”
My father said, “You don’t bother about him. You just do your work.”
He said, “But how to do my work? Because today he is doing it, tomorrow others may start doing it.”
My father said, “Why should others start doing it?”
He said, “You will see – because my wife was saying, ‘Stop him somehow; otherwise others will start doing it and your life will become hell. Whoever passes through the street, they will be passing with their finger on their lips.’”
I heard this. I said, “That is a good idea!” So I told two or three boys, “You just pass by slowly with your finger on your lips.”
They said, “What does it mean?”
I said, “It simply means ‘Our flag is the highest in the world.’”
They said, “That’s right, it is so simple! We never understood it.” So they went – with their flags! And the goldsmith saw two, three boys coming with their fingers on their lips. He closed his shop!
And when they all were gone he came to me with folded hands. He said, “You are not doing anything to me. But I am a poor goldsmith – now it is the fourth day that I have not done anything; I cannot do anything. I am continuously thinking: What does it mean? And now those three boys… Soon the whole town is going to pass with their fingers up. And my wife is laughing inside, even my children are laughing. And I am afraid that they are such idiots that they may start doing it themselves. When they see that this is such a good way to harass me they will do it, and I will have to bribe them with money. I am a poor man. You please stop it.”
I said, “It is very difficult, because it is a national movement.”
He said, “National movement? But why in my house, why just in front of me?”
I said, “That I don’t know, but it is a national movement. If you want to stop it, you do one thing: to whoever shows you the finger, you also show the finger.”
He said, “That is right. But who is going to earn money? Who is going to do my business?”
I said, “That I don’t know. I don’t have any business, I am just sitting here. And just sitting, I thought about this national thing.”
Years passed, but whenever I would go home, as I was getting down from the train he would be the first man there, with folded hands: “Don’t start that, because everything is going very peacefully. National movement… Let it happen somewhere else – because I am always worried when these summer vacations come, my whole worry is that you will be coming and then, the national movement…”

People get worried about things. Now you are accepting yourself; that becomes a problem for somebody: “Why are you accepting yourself?” Strange, but human!
That’s how human society has functioned up to now. That’s how they keep you within the fold. If they are sad, you have to be sad; if they are miserable, you have to be miserable. Whatever they are, you have to be the same. Difference is not allowed because difference ultimately leads to individuals, uniqueness. And society is very much afraid of individuals and uniqueness because that means somebody has become independent of the crowd, he does not care a bit about the crowd. Your gods, your temples, your priests, your scriptures, all have become meaningless for him.
Now he has his own being and his own way, his own style – to live, to die, to celebrate, to sing, to dance. He has come home.
And nobody can come home with a crowd. Everybody can come home only alone.

Meditation, understanding, awareness, love and enlightenment, and now transcendence of enlightenment, seem to be inalienable parts of your teaching. And they also seem to be organically interconnected. Would you please explain to us the whole thing once again?
It is so obvious, so simple. It needs no explanation. It only needs description.
Meditation is nothing but your mind in a silent state, just as a lake is silent, not even ripples on it. Thoughts are ripples, meditation is mind relaxed. Don’t make things very complex; mind in a state of not doing anything, just at ease.
The moment you are relaxed, silent, peaceful, there is great insight and understanding of things that you have never understood before. Nobody is explaining anything to you. Just your clarity of vision makes things clear. It is the same rose, but now you know its beauty in its multi-dimensional way. You had seen it many times – it was just an ordinary rose. But today it is no longer ordinary; today it has become extraordinary because you have a clarity. All the dust is removed from your insight and the rose has an aura that you were not aware of before.
Everything around you, inside you, outside you, becomes crystal clear. And as understanding reaches to the ultimate point there is an explosion of light. Clarity, in its ultimate stage, becomes an explosion of light we have called enlightenment. Just don’t use big words – that makes things difficult.
It is simply in the intensity of clarity that darkness disappears. It is because you can see so clearly that darkness is no longer there. You know perfectly well that there are animals who can see in darkness; their eyes are more clear, more penetrating. Your insight becomes so penetrating that all darkness is dispelled.
In other words, you have an explosion of light. Call it enlightenment, liberation, realization – but you are still beyond it, it is your experience and you are the experiencer. This is an objective experience; you are a subjectivity. You know all this is happening; hence the transcendence, hence going beyond enlightenment. At that peak, at that Everest: only witnessing, just pure awareness, not aware of anything, not witnessing anything – just a pure mirror, not mirroring anything at all. They are all organically related.
And don’t bother about the whole thing. Move step by step; the other step will follow automatically.

Sometimes sitting in discourse listening to you it feels like all boundaries disappear, it feels like being in total harmony with you, like a tamboura singing together with the sound of the sitar. It feels like the ultimate orgasm. Is this what you mean by upanishad?
Yes, this is exactly what I mean by upanishad.

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