The Secret 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 21 discourses - The Secret by Osho.
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Bahauddin Shah once gave an address on the principles and practices of the Sufis. A certain man who thought that he was clever and could benefit from criticizing him, said, “If only this man would say something new! That is my only criticism.”
Bahauddin heard of this and invited the critic to dinner. “I hope that you will approve of my lamb stew,” he said. When he had taken the first mouthful, the guest jumped up, shouting, “You are trying to poison me – this isn’t lamb stew!”
“But it is,” said Bahauddin, “though since you don’t like old recipes, I have tried something new. This contains lamb all right, but there is a good dash of mustard, honey and emetic in it as well.”
Truth is. Truth simply is. It is neither old nor new. It is eternal, it has no reference to time at all; it is beyond time. That is the meaning of the eternal. Eternal does not mean forever because forever has a reference to time; eternal does not mean permanent because permanency has a reference to time. Eternal simply means timeless. It is.
Truth is never past and never future. It knows only one tense, the present. Truth knows only one time, now – which is not time at all, but timelessness. And truth knows only one space, here – which is not a space at all, it is the transcendence of space. Truth is always now-here. Truth has no history. History belongs to the world of lies. Politics has history, religion has no history.
This is the first thing to be understood: truth cannot be old and cannot be new either. If truth can be new, then one day it will become old. Whatever is new today will be old tomorrow. Truth is never old, hence it can never be new.
Truth is equivalent to existence. In a way, it can be said it is as old as the mountains and as new as this morning’s dewdrops, but that is only a way of saying. What is being said is that truth is eternal.
But there are people who are very much interested in the old. They are past-oriented. They believe in something only if it is very old. The older it is, they think, the better it is. All that is old is gold for them. They go on trying to prove that their scripture is the oldest scripture in the world, their religion the most ancient.
There is another group of people who think the new is always better than the old because it is new. It is more evolved, more improved, more refined.
These are the two kinds of people, both go on missing the truth. One is past-oriented, the other is future-oriented, and truth exists now, neither in the past nor in the future.
Before we can enter this small parable you will have to understand something about time – because basically it is a question of understanding time and its process. Time moves in a horizontal line from past to future. Time’s movement is linear; hence it is shallow, it can’t have any depth. One moment is followed by another moment and so on, so forth. Before you can catch hold of the moment it is already gone, so you cannot move into depth. You cannot dive in time; you can only float, you can only swim. It is very thin, it has no depth. It is horizontal.
Eternity is vertical: it moves into depth and into height. Just think of the cross of Jesus, it is a symbol of time and eternity. The cross is made of two lines, one horizontal on which Jesus’ hands were nailed, the other vertical on which his body was nailed. The cross represents the whole phenomenon of time. The horizontal line is history, politics, the mundane life, the world of events, the world of facts. The vertical line is the world of truth, not of facts. The vertical line is the world of absolute reality, of God, of nirvana, of meditation.
Whenever one starts moving into the vertical world, one simply goes beyond time. Then there is nothing new, nothing old. Truth only is.
Time, the horizontal line, consists of two things: the past and the future. The present is almost absent. You never become aware of the present – or have you ever become aware of the present? – because the moment you become aware, it is already past. You always become aware of the past.
For example, this moment: if you become aware of it, the time that is taken by your becoming aware is enough to make it past. The moment you say, “Yes, this is the present,” it is already gone. You cannot even utter the word now because when you have uttered it, it is no longer now. The present that you think exists in time is almost nothing. It is sandwiched between the past and the future. The past is big. Look backward: it stretches and stretches, on and on. It seems to be beginningless. And so is the future, very big: it goes on stretching ahead of you, on and on, endlessly.
Between these two big phenomena, the past and the future, your present is just a sandwiched atomic moment of which you cannot even become aware. The moment you know it, it is no longer there; it is already gone. You only become aware of the past. So time consists of the past and the future.
Eternity consists of the present. Then what we call “present” is nothing but the spot where eternity crosses time, where eternity penetrates time. There is a way to move into that eternity and that’s what meditation is all about.
Meditation is a drop into eternity. That’s why all techniques, all methods of meditation, insist: don’t be too obsessed with the past, let it go. And don’t be too infatuated with the future, let it go too. Slowly, slowly withdraw yourself from past memories and future projections. The past is no longer, the future is not yet; both are nonexistential. To remain in the nonexistential is to remain in misery – because existence is bliss, sat chit anand: it is truth, it is consciousness, it is bliss. Nonexistence is untruth, unconsciousness, misery – just the opposite. And we live in the nonexistential.
Just watch what goes on inside you. Either you are thinking of the past, the nostalgia of the past – your beautiful childhood, or your youth, your love affairs, and this and that, or you are immersed in the future – what you are going to do tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Either you are drowned in the past or you are drowned in the future. That’s why you are not. That’s why you yourself have become a falsehood. You are too concerned with the false and that concern makes you pseudo. Withdraw yourself from the past and the future.
Withdrawing yourself from the past and the future is real renunciation, is sannyas. Not by effort, remember: if you withdraw yourself by effort you will be deceived. If you withdraw yourself by effort, if you say, “I will withdraw myself from the past so that I can be in deep meditation,” then your deep meditation is a future project. Then it is neither meditation nor deep. You have already moved from the past to the future. If you say, “If I withdraw from the past, I will attain nirvana,” now you have only substituted the past with the future. Both are the same, both are nonexistential. It does not make any difference.
If you withdraw from your future, if you say, “I will not desire the future because I have to attain nirvana, enlightenment, satori,” it is the future. You cannot withdraw by effort because with effort you will always be motivated. There will be a desire, there will be a goal.
Then how to withdraw? You withdraw only by understanding the situation: the past is not, it is futile. Not that withdrawing from the past is going to lead you into the world of truth, no. Just seeing the futility of the past – it is all memory, dust that has gathered on the mirror of consciousness, it is just useless – you wash it away, with no motivation. Just seeing the futility of it, you drop it. Not that you drop it for something else; if you drop it for something else the future has entered. You have deceived yourself.
When you drop your past, seeing the futility of it, how can you go on living in the future? The future is always based on the past. Whatever you want tomorrow is nothing but all those beautiful things you had yesterday. You want a repetition – maybe modified, a little bit better, refined – but it is the past again. When the past is dropped by seeing the futility of it, just out of the understanding that it is futile, for no other reason, it drops out of your hands. With it the future also disappears. The future is the shadow of the past. You were with a woman yesterday and you would like to be with the woman again tomorrow: that is the future. Yesterday you went to Latif’s and the food was delicious; you are thinking of going there again tomorrow. Your tomorrow is nothing but a reflection of your yesterday. When yesterday disappears, reflections disappear. With the past, in the same package, the future is also dropped.
And then there is the present. Not that you asked for it, or you longed for it, or you desired and worked and practiced for it: no. Because the past and future are no longer there, the present is. The same space that was occupied by the past and the future is now empty. In that emptiness you feel the present.
And to be in the present is to be in truth. Then you have depth, you have fallen into the vertical dimension. You have heights, heights which are higher than Everest and depths which are deeper than the Pacific. Then your life has a grandeur, a splendor. This is what is called buddhahood, christ consciousness, or whatever you will.
There are people who are past-oriented, there are people who are future-oriented; both go on missing. The orthodox, the conformist, is past-oriented, and the revolutionary, the rebel, is future-oriented. There is not any difference between them. The orthodox thinks the Golden Age was in the past, the Garden of Eden. The revolutionary, the so-called communist, the fascist, the socialist thinks the Golden Age is to come. It is in the future, the utopia, the classless society where everyone will be equal, the world of freedom where exploitation will have disappeared and paradise will descend on the earth. But paradise is right now, here.
Beware of these two traps. You need not go into the past to search for truth. You need not go into the scriptures – because the scriptures belong to the past. And you need not go into imagination, logic – because all that logic can do is create utopias in the future. You need not go anywhere, neither in the past nor in the future. You have to be just here.
The utter beauty of the moment and the utter blessedness of the moment, and one is transformed, not by doing anything, but just by being here.
Allow yourself this fall into the present more and more. And you will be afraid because it is really a fall. You will be going into depths, and those depths are abysmal. There is no bottom, and we have become accustomed to floating on the surface. For many lives you have been just swimming on the surface; you have forgotten the depth of the ocean, of this reality. So when you start falling into the depth you will become afraid, you will have a very deep, frightening, scary experience; you will be in a panic.
That is the moment when you need a master to say to you, “Don’t be worried, there is nothing that can be lost, and that which can be lost is not worth keeping. That which is essential will remain with you, only the nonessential will be gone – and it is good that the nonessential goes.”
The man of awareness becomes a man of essence. Personality consists of the nonessential. Your soul consists of the essential, and the essential is immortal. The nonessential is momentary, and you cling to the nonessential; hence you suffer because you cannot keep hold of it. It disappears sooner or later. Whatever you do is futile because the momentary cannot be forever. Just as it comes, it goes. It is a wave, a ripple, a bubble. Sooner or later it will be gone. For the moment it looks so beautiful – the sun is reflected in it and a small rainbow surrounds it – but it is just a soap bubble. You can play with it but don’t become attached to it, otherwise you will suffer.
That’s why people are suffering: they become attached to soap bubbles. They have given different names to the soap bubbles. Somebody calls it love, somebody calls it money, somebody calls it power, somebody calls it life, prestige, and so on, so forth – but they are all soap bubbles. Any moment they will be gone, and the person will be left in despair. To cling to the personality is to cling to soap bubbles.
But this has been the attitude of your so-called thinkers down the ages. One party says the old is gold, and the older it is, the better. That’s what Hindus say: their Vedas are the oldest scriptures. That’s what the Jainas say their first tirthankara, Adinatha, is the ancientmost master in the world. It may be so, but it has nothing to do with truth. It has something to do with history, it has something to do with the body and the personality of Adinatha, but it has nothing to do with his inner truth, not at all.
Just the other day in the newspapers, I came across Morarji Desai’s statement about me, that I cannot be compared with Mahavira. Why? What can the problem be? Mahavira is old, ancient; twenty-five centuries have passed – how can Osho be compared to Mahavira? But Morarji Desai has to be reminded.
Jesus said of Abraham: I am before Abraham was. Abraham preceded Jesus by at least twenty-five centuries, just as Mahavira has preceded me. But Jesus says, “I am before Abraham was.” What does he mean? Morarji Desai would be at a loss.
I also say, “I am before Mahavira was.” The difference between me and Mahavira is only on the surface, on the horizontal line where we are separated by twenty-five centuries. But on the vertical? And it is the vertical which is significant, not the horizontal. On the vertical, we are not two.
That’s what Jesus is saying: “I am before Abraham was.” He is not saying that Jesus is older than Abraham. He is saying that this reality of I-amness, this truth of being, is eternal. It was there even before Abraham. But maybe Morarji Desai is not interested in Jesus and Abraham. He has a very conditioned Hindu mind. Then I will remind him of a great mystic, Gorakh. Gorakh says, “My master is my son, and my master’s master is my grandson, and my master’s master’s master is my great-grandson.” What does Gorakh mean? Is he just destroying the whole idea of history? The disciple saying that “My master is my son” now, is he putting things upside down? How can Gorakh be the father of his own master? And how can he be the grandfather of his own master’s master?
What he is saying is simply this: there is a sequence in time – the father precedes the son, never otherwise – but in the world of eternity nothing is preceded by anything, all simply is. There, distinctions, distinctions of time, disappear. Only one remains.
Morarji Desai is offended because some of my sannyasins met him and compared me with Mahavira. He was very angry. He said, “No, you cannot compare Osho with Mahavira.” Why? Essentially there is only one truth. Lies are many, truth is one. Diseases are many, health is one.
Mahavira moved in the vertical, disappeared as a personality and became the essence; so has it happened to Mohammed, so has it happened to Bahauddin, so has it happened to me – so can it happen to anybody who is courageous enough to take the jump into the vertical.
The moment you take the jump into the vertical, personality disappears; you are no longer abc. Then the taste is the same, just as it is the same salty taste from wherever you taste the ocean. The taste of truth is one. It is the same truth that Jesus tasted, it is the same truth that Buddha and Mahavira tasted. It is the same truth that I am tasting and you can taste. And that taste knows no time, no distance.
My disciples were not wrong. Each master contains all the masters of the past and all the masters of the future. I contain all the masters that have been and all the masters that will ever be – because the taste is the same. When one disappears, when the ego is no longer there and there is only an inner empty sky, when the forms of the clouds have disappeared into the formless sky, how can there be any difference?
Yes, clouds are different from each other. If you watch the sky, each cloud has a personality, a different form. You can even search: one cloud looks like an elephant, another cloud looks like a camel, and so on, so forth. But when all the clouds have disappeared, have you ever seen any personality in the sky? The sky is impersonal; it has no form, no color, no name. You cannot find your elephants and camels in the sky, it is utterly empty of all forms.
That is the state of a master. So whether it happens in this body or it happened twenty-five centuries ago in Mahavira’s body, or it happened five thousand years ago in Krishna’s body, it makes no difference. The sky was as formless in Krishna’s time as it is in my time, as it will always be. Only the clouds are different – but to be cloudy is to be unenlightened.
Unenlightened people cannot be compared. You will be surprised to know this: unenlightened people cannot be compared. They are all different because they are clouds. One is the elephant, another is the camel, and so on, so forth. Unenlightened people cannot be compared because they are wearing masks, and each is wearing a different mask: that is the personality. The nonessential is so important, and the nonessential is different. The essential is not different.
Just the other day I came across a very beautiful story…

Samuel Pinsky was on a camping expedition when he got stranded in a small town. Hungry and without money, he tried everywhere to get something to eat, but he was always met with the hostility which provincials generally show Jews. At last he had the good fortune to come across a small circus, the owner of which was of his own race. Sammy immediately applied for a job, explaining that he would starve if he did not get something to do.
The circus owner thought for a moment, and then said that one of his lions had died recently and that Sammy might have a job if he could get inside a lion’s skin and play lion. It was so arranged. Sammy was sewed into a lion’s skin and occupied a barred den, exposed to the view of the admiring circus throngs.
All went well until one afternoon he was startled to see a huge Bengal tiger come bounding down the chute that led into his cage.
Sammy took to his heels. Round and round the big cage he ran on all fours, with the tiger in hot pursuit. Finally, his last ounce of strength exhausted, the terrified Israelite fell to his knees, clasped his hands and began a Hebrew prayer: “Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad!” – Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one!
The bounding Bengal tiger at once drew up and responded with the antiphony: “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le'olam Va'ed!” – Blessed be the name of his glory forever and forever!
“Oi, Jew,” exclaimed Sammy, tearing off his lion’s head.
“Oi, Jew,” returned the other, tearing off his tiger’s head.

When you drop your mask, when you drop your personality, when you look inward, when you see the inner sky, then who is Osho and who is Mahavira? Then who is Jesus and who is Abraham? Then who is Gorakh and who is Adinatha? All have disappeared, it is one truth.
But there are people who are too addicted to the past. Worship of the past is one of the most poisonous things in the world: it does not allow you to be herenow.
And there are others also. Once, a professor who is – or at least thinks he is – in deep love with me came to me, and he said, “Your disciples go on comparing you with Jesus, with Mahavira. It should not be done! I am also a lover of yours. How can you be compared with Mahavira? Twenty-five centuries have passed. You have twenty-five centuries’ more experience than Mahavira!” Now, he was angry – I should not be compared to Mahavira – just as Morarji Desai is angry for different reasons. He was saying, “It is insulting and humiliating that you should be compared to Mahavira. Twenty-five centuries have passed. In twenty-five centuries man has evolved, has become more knowing, has come to higher peaks.” He said, “Comparing you with Mahavira or Jesus is like comparing Albert Einstein to Newton.”
I had to tell him just exactly the same as I am telling you and Morarji Desai: time makes no difference. And his example is not right, that Newton and Albert Einstein cannot be compared, because both work in time. Certainly Albert Einstein is far ahead of Newton, Newton will look almost childish in comparison to Albert Einstein; but that is not the case with me and Mahavira.
It has nothing to do with human progress and all the explosion of knowledge in the world because it is not a question of knowledgeability. I may know more than Mahavira ever did. Certainly, he had not read Sigmund Freud, he knew nothing about Albert Einstein, that is true, but that has nothing to do with the inner space.
After twenty-five centuries have passed, again, somebody will be there, ahead, coming; he will know more than I know. Certainly he will know more than I know, but still there will be no difference, not an iota – because it is not a question of knowledge and it is not a question of social evolution. It is a question of no-mind, it is a question of innocence. It is not a question of better universities, better books, better information about the world. It has nothing to do with that.
In fact, one has to drop all that one knows to go in. Mahavira dropped whatever he knew. I dropped whatever I knew. When Mahavira became completely devoid of his knowledge, he attained. That’s how it happened to me: whatever I knew, I dropped it. So I may have dropped a bigger burden than Mahavira, that is true, but that makes no problem. I may have had to clean and wash more dust from my mirror than Mahavira ever had to, but once the dust is cleaned and the mirror is reflecting perfectly, it is the same quality, the same mirroring. It has nothing to do with dust.
Will you say that this mirror is greater because we had to remove more dust from this mirror than the other mirror – because less dust had to be removed from the other mirror? Less and more dust make no difference.
Once a person has arrived, all that we know is irrelevant. He simply disappears from the world of time into the world of eternity – and that is the world of truth.
This question of comparison arises again and again. It has to be understood; it will be good if it is clear to you. Two unenlightened people cannot be compared because they are only personalities and nothing else. And personalities are different because personalities are like diseases. Two enlightened persons can be compared because they are no longer personalities, but if you think of their personalities, they also cannot be compared.
For example, if you look at Mahavira through his personality – as Morarji Desai is doing – then he is right. But that is not the right way to look at Mahavira or to look at me or to look at Bahauddin. Yes, Mahavira walked naked; I am not walking naked, so certainly I am different, he is different. This is a difference of the frame of the mirror, not of the mirror.
Just the other day I read in another newspaper that a Christian has asked why I am compared to Jesus. “Why do people go on comparing Osho with Jesus? Jesus never lived in an air-conditioned house.” That’s true – poor Jesus – but that is not the question at all. Jesus ate meat, I do not eat meat. Jesus drank alcohol, I do not drink alcohol. Do you think eating meat and drinking alcohol is a lesser sin than living in an air-conditioned room? I don’t think living in an air-conditioned room is a sin at all. I have never come across any scriptures about it! Certainly, if you look through the personality, I am a different person – and Jesus is different.
Krishna had sixteen thousand wives – poor man. Just think of it, how much he must have suffered. One wife is enough to create hell! Sixteen thousand wives…Certainly I have a different personality than Krishna had, but personality is not the essential thing. It is just the outer frame of the mirror. Buddha had a different personality, so had Lao Tzu. All masters have different personalities if you look from the outside. Certainly, they lived in their time, in their own way. They did their thing, I’m doing my thing.
This is why Morarji Desai thinks I cannot be compared to Mahavira – Mahavira believed in fasting, and I believe in feasting. Mahavira lived naked, never used any vehicle. I move in a car, certainly I am different. But so was Krishna; he was moving in a gold chariot. What does Morarji Desai say about that? And Krishna used beautiful clothes – not only clothes, he used ornaments like women use. In those days it was a common thing and it seems to be more natural. If you look into nature, you will always find it.
For example, if you look at the peacocks, the male peacock has all the colors. The male peacock is decorated, the female peacock is not decorated. It is enough for the female peacock to be female; that’s enough, nothing else is needed. That is more than is needed, that makes her beauty. Just her feminine energy is enough attraction. But the male substitutes: he does not have that feminine beauty, that feminine, elusive mystery. He has to create some substitutes. Nature provides. The male peacock is very decorated, ornamental.
And so is it the case with all the animals. When you hear the cuckoo calling from the mango grove, it is the male cuckoo whose sound is so sweet. It is a substitute. You can see it everywhere.
In those old days, in Krishna’s time, man was also decorating himself – ornaments, all kinds of beautiful clothes, colorful designs. Now, if suddenly Krishna appeared in front of the Blue Diamond, the police would catch hold of him: “Looks like a mad hippie! What is he doing here?”
Personalities are different – and it is good, perfectly good. Krishna had to live in his time, I have to live in my time. He used ornaments, that was the universal phenomenon. It was natural, it was befitting, it was in harmony with the background of his life. Jesus lived in his own way, I have to live in my own way. I am nobody’s imitation. I am not imitating Christ or Krishna or Buddha or Mahavira here. I am living in my own way. I have to sing my song.
So if you listen to the songs, just to the words of the songs, they will be different, and they cannot be compared, that is true. But if you listen to the soundless source of the songs, if you go deeper into the music of the songs, into the rhythm of them, you will find the same rhythm, the same music, the same melody. The words are different: Krishna was speaking in Sanskrit, Mahavira was speaking in Prakrit, Buddha was speaking in Pali, Jesus was speaking in Aramaic. Now, I cannot speak in Aramaic and I cannot speak in Pali. That would be utterly meaningless. Even if I could speak it, with whom would I speak? What would be the point of it? I speak the language that can be understood, and I speak in the metaphors that can be understood.
In that sense – if you look at the personality, at the form, of a certain master – no master can be compared to anybody else because personalities cannot be compared. But if you look at the deepest core, not at the circumference but at the center of the cyclone, then all masters are one.

Joshu asked his master, Nansen, “What is the Way?”
Nansen said, “It is everyday mind.”
Joshu said, “Then one should aim at this, shouldn’t one?”
Nansen said, “The moment you aim at anything, you have already missed it.”
Joshu said, “If I do not aim at it, how can I know the Way?”
Nansen said, “The Way has nothing to do with knowing or not-knowing. Knowing is perceiving, but blindly. Not-knowing is just blankness. If you have already reached the unaimed-at Way, it is like space: an absolutely clear void. You cannot force it one way or the other.”
At that instant Joshu was awakened to the profound meaning. His mind was like the bright full moon. Suddenly, he himself became that space, that clear, void emptiness.

Look into me, and you will find the same taste as was found by the disciples of Mahavira.
But the taste of a master is available only to the disciples. Morarji Desai cannot have it. He does not deserve it! Only a disciple is worthy enough to partake of the being of the master. Only disciples can understand what the master is. Jesus was known by his disciples; others crucified him. The others were millions and the disciples were few. Couldn’t those other people see that he was the son of God? Had they seen that he was the son of God, would it have been possible for them to crucify him? They could not see a thing, they were utterly blind. Only a few disciples were aware of something that had entered Jesus from the beyond – but only a few were aware.
And you will be surprised: had Morarji Desai been there, he would not have been aware because the people of those days behaved in the same way as they are behaving with me today. The politicians were against Jesus. He was crucified by the conspiracy of the politicians and the priests. The professors and the pundits were against Jesus, the great rabbis were against him, the so-called virtuous people were against him. It looks really very paradoxical that he was understood by a prostitute like Mary Magdalene. He was understood by fishermen, woodcutters, villagers, innocent people. And the rabbis? And the professors? And the priests? And the politicians? – they could not see anything in him. They only saw some kind of danger. They only saw that this man’s existence could be a beginning of rebellion. It was better to finish off this man, it was better to destroy this man, so the seed was destroyed. Otherwise this man would bring chaos.
That’s what they are seeing again in me. In fact, they have started becoming afraid.
Just a few days ago, I had told you that a day may come when my sannyasins will have to go underground. I was simply meaning that you can easily go underground if you don’t wear orange and the mala. In fact, the day I had decided to give you the color orange and the mala and a certain uniform of a sannyasin, this was part of the consideration: if you become visible, you can easily become invisible, at any moment. That is the secret of becoming invisible. You move in orange, you are a visible sannyasin. Going underground will be so simple: you simply don’t move in orange, and you are underground.
Now, from Delhi, the Pune police have received a note to go deep into this matter: “What does he mean by saying, ‘My sannyasins will have to go underground’?” Just stupid people. And if I call them stupid, they become very angry. They think I am slandering them, that I am abusing them. I am simply stating a fact.

Mrs. Vandergelt took her Peke to the vet. “There is something wrong with Fido,” she told the dog doc. “Yesterday I gave him a savory bone to chew on, but he refused it. This morning I tried to give him a piece of broiled sirloin steak, but he just walked away from it. And this afternoon I put him next to a cute little female Peke, but my Fido just turned up his nose at her.”
The vet looked up from the dog and shook his head. “There is nothing wrong with your dog, madam,” he told her. “He is just stupid.”

Now, what can one do? The facts have to be stated as they are. The politicians have always been stupid, this is nothing new. Otherwise why should they be politicians? They would have been poets, they would have been mystics, they would have been painters, they would have been musicians, they would have been dancers. But when a person cannot be anything, when he has no talents, no intelligence, the last possibility is, he becomes a politician. Because in politics, stupidity is an asset. The more stupid you are, the more is your possibility of reaching to the top – because it needs arrogance, violence. It needs insensitivity, it needs hatred, jealousy, ambition, to reach the top of the ladder. And it needs utter unintelligence. Otherwise who would be interested in becoming just a ladder climber? Life has much more to give.
Just sitting under a tree and playing on your flute is far more satisfying than being the president of a country. Just being in love with a woman or a man is far more satisfying than having all the riches of the world and all the power that it can give.

When Alexander the Great came to India and conquered the frontier provinces, he was surprised to see one thing: people were so contented, so happy. He could not believe his eyes. There was such order, and there seemed to be no imposition on them. He asked the king, whom he had conquered and defeated… In fact, the king was defeated because he had never prepared for war. His whole energy had been devoted to peace. It was a beautiful country and people were happy, and people were still singing and dancing, and people were grateful to God. They had not thought that somebody was going to conquer them. For what? In fact, no resistance was given to Alexander the Great. People were not ready at all; they were simply surprised by the whole idea that somebody had started on a great movement, a struggle to conquer the whole world. They were puzzled: “For what?”
Even Alexander was puzzled and surprised seeing the peace and the contentment and the joy. Even when the people were defeated there was nothing – as if nothing had happened. Things continued as they were, as if nothing had happened.
He asked the king, “How have you managed this, this order? And I don’t see much military, much police. I don’t see much government machinery. And people are living with such love and brotherhood. How have you managed?”
The king said, “It has nothing to do with me. My prime minister is a mystic. It is his work.”
“Where is your prime minister?” Alexander said. “I would like to see him, I would like to talk to him, I would like to learn something from him. I would like my country to also be in such order, in such inner discipline. I have fallen in love with the grace that I see all around. Although you are defeated, I don’t see any sadness – as if I don’t mean much.”
The king said, “The prime minister has become a sannyasin now, he has moved to the mountains. It may be difficult to find him.”
But Alexander was insistent, so messengers were sent.
But the messengers came back. They said, “That old man has said that he is not interested in showing himself off to any Alexander, to any great king and conqueror, because the very idea of conquering others is so stupid: ‘I am not interested in coming. Just go and tell him that I don’t think that he is even worthy enough to be given any advice.’”

The politician’s whole mind is nothing but ambition, and ambition is violent, ambition is murderous. It is ambition that has made the whole earth a hell.
Morarji Desai also thinks that I am slandering him, that I am abusing him. I am not. I have nothing to do with Morarji Desai. When I say something against any politician, it is being said against politicians as such. It has no personal difference.
Now this small story:
Bahauddin Shah once gave an address on the principles and practices of the Sufis. A certain man who thought that he was clever and could benefit from criticizing him, said, “If only this man would say something new! That’s my only criticism.”
Bahauddin: …gave an address on the principles and practices of the Sufis. There is only one principle, and there is only one practice. What is the principle? The principle is that only God exists. There is no god but God. That is the principle, that is the very seed of Sufism. Only God is – in millions of forms. Forms are different, personalities are different, but deep down, if you go on searching for the innermost core, you will always find God and nothing else. This is the fundamental principle, all other principles are secondary. This is the cornerstone of the temple of Sufism: God is.
And God cannot be new or old. You cannot use words like “was” in reference to God; you cannot say “God was,” you cannot say “God will be.” You can use only one tense, the present tense, for God: God is. God always is, so how can it be new or old? Yes, expressions can be old, but not the truth expressed. Bottles can be new but not the wine. What I am saying is just a new bottle for the eternal wine. That’s what Bahauddin was saying.
But you can always criticize, and criticism can have two possibilities. One is: you can say, “This is something new.” There are people for whom it is enough criticism to say, “This is something new.” New means wrong – because if it were the truth, others would have found it before you. How did it wait so long? If it is new it must be wrong. Why is it not in the Vedas? Why didn’t Jesus say anything about it? Why did Buddha keep quiet about it? If they were knowers they must have known it, so if it is not there, something is wrong.
This is one criticism: the people who always like the old, for whom if something is old it is bound to be right – as if only Jesus is old and Judas is not old; as if only Rama is old and Ramana is not old; as if only Krishna is old and not the people who were against him. They are as old, so if something is just old it does not mean that it is right.
Then there is the other party; the man must have belonged to the other party. He says there is only one criticism: “If only this man would say something new. That is my only criticism.” He is saying, “You are just saying old things which everybody knows. There is no need to talk about old things, saying ‘God is, truth is, truth is eternal.’ This has been said so many times. Why go on repeating it? Say something new! If you have something new to say, say it!”
It is not a question of saying it, it is not a question of repeating it. Bahauddin is not repeating Mohammed. What he is saying is his own experience. Now, what can he do if his experience and Mohammed’s experience coincide?
What I am saying is not a repetition of Buddha or Mahavira. I am saying it from my own experience, on my own authority. It is my experience, in that sense it is new. But what can I do? It has been the experience of all the buddhas too. So in a sense, it is as old as the mountains and as new as the dewdrop on the grass leaves in the early sun.
This is the paradox of truth: everyone has to know it on his own. Then it is new – but it is the same truth. Buddha went to the sea and tasted it, and he said, “It is salty.” After twenty-five centuries I went to the sea and tasted it, and I said, “It is salty.”
Now the question is, is what I am saying just a repetition of Buddha? If I had not gone to the sea, and just reading scriptures I had repeated like a parrot that the taste of the sea is salty because Buddha says it is so – and I trust him, he must be saying what is right; who bothers to go to the ocean? When Buddha has said so, it is finished, it is decided forever – then it would have been a repetition.
But I went to the sea; I tasted the sea and I found that it is salty. Now what should I do? Just because Buddha has also said it is salty, should I not say it is salty because people will think it is a repetition? But then I would be lying! Should I say it is sweet? Then it would be untrue. I have to be truthful, so I have to say two things: one, that I have tasted it myself, and the second, that now I am a witness that Buddha was right. I am not saying it on Buddha’s authority, I am saying it on my own authority. In fact, I am giving Buddha a witness, an eye witness, that whatever he said twenty-five centuries ago was true, was right. I know it through my own experience.
That’s what Bahauddin was doing. Now, that man said… He thought that he was clever, and clever people, or at least the people who think they are clever, are almost always stupid people. Only stupid people have the idea that they are clever.
A really intelligent person is not clever. When you have intelligence, what need do you have of being clever? Your very life shows your intelligence. The clever person is trying to show that he is intelligent, and only one who is not intelligent tries to show that he is intelligent. Remember this. Only the ugly person tries to show that he is beautiful, and only the ignorant tries to show his knowledge.
The man who knows never tries to show it. It is seen by others, it happens on its own accord. When spring comes and the trees bloom, they are not advertising, “Come and see.” But their perfume spreads to the winds, people start coming. And if people don’t come – because people are so blind, they have lost all sensitivity – then at least the bees come, butterflies come, birds come, and that is enough. But they come on their own.
When perfume is released to the winds the people start coming. There is no need to brag about the fact. The person who is trying to be clever simply shows he is not clever. He is afraid. If he does not show it, he will be caught. If he does not show his knowledge, he will be caught: people may come to know he is ignorant. Before they come to know, he has to make much noise.

Morarji Desai was interviewed on the BBC a few days ago and the interviewer asked a very relevant question, significant too: “You talk so much of morality, why don’t you lead your country morally?”
Morarji Desai said in anger, “Then what am I doing? I am leading my country both politically and morally. Do you mean to say that I should leave my prime ministership and lead the country only morally? Do you think yourself very smart? Nobody has asked this question of me. Do you think that you are very smart?”

Now, the man had not asked anything wrong. It was a relevant question: if you talk about morality so much, why don’t you become a moral teacher? Why are you wasting your time being a prime minister? Then lead the country morally! Because what does a politician have to do with morality? A politician is bound to be immoral. Immorality is a strategy for the politician, and morality too. He talks about morality to hide all the immoral practices that he goes on doing behind it. The morality, and the talk about it, and the religion, are just a camouflage.
The man had asked a relevant question, but Morarji became very much annoyed. And this is not a right way to answer, to ask, “Do you think you are very smart? Nobody has been able to ask me such a question up to now.”
My feeling is that the man was really intelligent. He simply said, “Thank you,” and finished the interview. He must have been really intelligent. Now there was no point in continuing. Now there was no meaning. But why did Morarji Desai jump upon the poor man and ask him, “Do you think you are very smart?” That’s what he himself was trying to show, that he was very smart, very clever.
The really intelligent person does not try to show that he is clever or smart. He is clever, so there is no need to show it. He is not even conscious of it; he is unselfconsciously intelligent. Cleverness is a plastic substitute for real intelligence.
This man: …who thought that he was clever and could benefit from criticism, said, “If only this man could say something new! That is my only criticism.” Now, he must have been a believer in the new; the new is right. If anything is new, it is bound to be right. That is another extreme of the same stupidity. One extreme is: if anything is old, it is bound to be right. The other extreme of the same stupidity is that if anything is new, it is bound to be right.
Right has nothing to do with old and new. Right is right, whether old or new doesn’t matter. It does not add anything to it.
Bahauddin heard of this and invited the critic to dinner.
That was his way of creating a situation.
“I hope that you will approve of my lamb stew,” he said.
When he had taken the first mouthful, the guest jumped up, shouting, “You are trying to poison me – this is not lamb stew!”
“But it is,” said Bahauddin,”though since you don’t like old recipes, I have tried something new. This contains lamb all right, but there is a good dash of mustard, honey and emetic in it as well.”
This was Bahauddin’s way of teaching. Now, Buddha would not have done this, neither would Mahavira. This was Bahauddin’s way; he wanted to create a real situation. He was a very scientific mind: he wanted to hammer the truth while the situation was hot. He did not believe in talking, he believed in a pragmatic experimentation. He was very empirical. Rather than refuting the man verbally, he refuted the man in a very realistic way. Now he has shown the man his stupidity without saying a word. Now the situation was such that the man could not argue.
Just by being new, nothing becomes significant. And just by being old, nothing becomes wrong either.
Bahauddin is saying, “What can I do? If I were to mix something of my own into my statements of truth just to make it new, it would be just like this stew. It: …contains lamb all right, but there is a good dash of mustard, honey and emetic in it as well. It would be poisonous, it would not be nourishing.”
Man has existed for centuries; truth has been discovered again and again and again. Many people have reached to the ultimate light; they have expressed it in their own ways. Their languages are different but their message is the same.
It is as if a few people go to see a sunset. One is a painter; he paints it. He is thrilled by the beauty of the sunset. He immediately goes to work; he is lost in his painting, he forgets everything, he has to paint the sunset. It has stirred his whole heart. That is his way of expressing it. Another man, seeing the same sunset, may simply sit silently and watch it. He is also thrilled, but he goes into deep meditation. One can see the grace on the man’s face. One can see that it is not only that the sun is setting, something is disappearing in the man too. Maybe it is the ego that is setting. He has fallen into a deep harmony with the sunset; he is no longer separate, he is part of it, part of the whole scene. He has disappeared as a spectator, he has melted into it. And the third may start playing on his flute; the sunset has become a song in him. And the fourth may start dancing. The message is the same, but the mediums are very different.
Now, if later on you come to hear a recording of the flute, and you see a film of the dancer, and you see the painting of the painter, and you see a photograph of the meditator, will you be able to recognize that the source of it all was a sunset? Will you be able to logically reach the conclusion that they have all expressed the same thing? It will be impossible. Logically it is impossible – what relationship will you be able to find between the flute and the painting? What relationship is there between sound and color? How will you deduce that those colors represent the same thing as those sounds? And how will you be able to see that one man started dancing and another became so silent that he looked like a statue? How can the same sunset stir such different manifestations? Still it was the same sunset.
It created dance in Krishna, it made Buddha a marble statue, it made Jesus sacrifice his all, it made Mahavira go naked in utter innocence, like a child. Different manifestations, but the source is the same.
But how can you deduce it logically? Logically there is no way – unless you have also come upon the sunset. If you have seen the sunset, then you will be able to understand that the dance and the song on the flute and the painting and the man meditating are all using different languages – because they are talented in different languages and because they know different ways of expression – but the experience that triggered those different manifestations came from the same source, the same sunset.
Bahauddin speaks in his own way, but the truth remains the same. Truth is eternal. Truth is. Truth simply is. It is never new, it is never old – or, it is as old as the mountains and as new as the dewdrops on the grass leaves in the early sun. It is both and it is neither; it is both and beyond.
But you cannot arrive at this conclusion only by thinking, you will have to move into experiencing. Truth has to become an existential phenomenon to you, you have to live it. Only by living it will you be able to know it, not vice versa. Not by knowing it would you be able to live it, no.
That’s what has been traditionally told to you: know about truth so that you can practice and live it. That is utter nonsense. Live truth so that you can know it. Living comes first, experiencing comes first, and then the shadow falls on your intelligence too, and your intelligence can make an understanding out of it.
That’s why Bahauddin created this situation; otherwise it would have been an unnecessary argument. This was his way. Each master has his own way, but the truth is the same forever and forever.

A monk asked, “When I wish to become a buddha, what then?”
Joshu said, “You have set yourself quite a task, haven’t you?”
The monk asked, “When there is no effort, what then?”
Joshu said, “Then you are a buddha already.”

You are truth. There is no need to know about it; you have to be silently listening to it in your inner world. You have to become still, calm and quiet, and suddenly the truth arises in you. Truth is already the case.

Once Joshu was asked about the “holy” person, the “purified” person.
He responded, “There is no room in my place for such a rascal! Why should one be purer than one originally is? And moreover, there is no one to be pure or impure inside.”
Then he was asked, “Who is Joshu?”
He said, “A rustic.” And that is what he happened to be: a Chinese peasant.
Then he was asked, “Then who is the buddha?”
He laughed and pointed to the field and said, “The man leading his oxen, it is he.”

You are divine, you are buddhas. You have forgotten about it, that’s all. It has to be remembered. All that is needed is remembering. Nothing has to be achieved, you are it already. Truth is your very being, so it has not to be achieved. You have fallen into a kind of sleep. Awake, and you will know it – and you will not know it as an object, you will know it as your very subjectivity.
Søren Kierkegaard says, “Truth is subjectivity.” He is right. Truth is your innermost core.
And that is the only principle of the Sufis: Only truth is – or, only God is. How to practice it? Then too there is only one single practice, zikr: remember. Come out of your sleep: remember.
Enough for today.

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