The Secret 17

Seventeenth Discourse from the series of 21 discourses - The Secret by Osho.
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There were two men of great renown as teachers of the right path. Ibn Halim relates that when he went first to see one of them, whose name was Pir Ardeshir of Gazwin, he said to Pir Ardeshir, “Will you advise me as to what to do and what not to do?”
The Pir said, “Yes, but I will give you such instructions as you will find very hard to carry out, since they will go against your preferences, even if these preferences are sometimes for hardship.”
Ibn Halim spent some months with Pir Ardeshir, and found that the teaching was indeed hard for him. Although Pir Ardeshir’s former disciples were now famed throughout the world as enlightened teachers, he could not stand the changes, the uncertainties and the disciplines placed upon him.
At length he applied to the Pir for permission to leave, and traveled to the tekkia of the second teacher, Murshid Amali.
He asked the Murshid, “Would you place upon me burdens which I might find next to intolerable?”
Amali replied, “I would not place upon you such burdens.”
Ibn Halim asked, “Will you then accept me as a disciple?”
The Murshid answered, “Not until you have asked me why my training would not be so onerous as that of Pir Ardeshir.”
Ibn Halim asked, “Why would it not be so onerous?”
The Murshid told him, “Because I would not care for you and your real well-being like Ardeshir cared for you. Therefore you must not now ask me to accept you as a disciple.”
Religion is as simple as the fish swimming in the ocean, but man has become very complicated. It is because of man’s complexity that religion looks arduous. Religion cannot be arduous because it is our very nature. It is in our breathing, it is in our heartbeats, it circulates in our blood, it is our very marrow, our very soul. How can it be difficult? The very idea of difficulty arises because of a wrong notion.
We have been taught down the ages that religion is a faraway goal and the journey is uphill. In fact, religion is not a goal at all, and there is no journey uphill or downhill. There is no journey possible. Religion is where you are, religion is what you are, religion is your being – there is nowhere to go. And those who go in search are moving farther and farther away from religion. To seek is to lose, to search is not to find.
Seeking becomes more and more difficult; the farther away you reach, the more difficult it becomes, the more frustrating – because the more efforts you make to attain God, the less is the possibility of attaining him.
God is already the case. God is the ocean, we are the fish. And there is no need for a fish to learn swimming.
I have heard…

Mulla Nasruddin was fishing on a lake. It was a private lake and fishing was absolutely prohibited. And just behind him there was a big board declaring in capital letters: “No fishing allowed. Trespassers will be prosecuted.” But he was sitting on the bank, fishing.
The landlord came, caught him red-handed. He asked, “What are you doing?”
Mulla laughed. He said, “I was teaching this fish to swim.”

No fish needs any teaching to swim. No man needs any religion whatever. All that is needed is to become simple. Drop your complexities, drop your unnecessary mind games. Be silent and still and you will find it at the very core of your being; it is waiting there, but it is a very still small voice. Your mind is creating so much noise, that’s why you cannot hear it.
I have heard…

An Englishman and an Irishman were riding on top of a London bus, and the Englishman especially had been annoyed by the confusion, the bustle, the raucous din from all sides. They came in sight of Westminster Abbey, and at this moment the chimes burst forth in a joyous melody.
The Englishman turned to his friend and said, “Isn’t that sublime? It is glorious to hear those chimes pealing to heaven, and doesn’t it lift one’s thoughts higher and higher to the Creator of all things?”
Casey leaned over, hand to his ear. “Ye will have to speak a little louder, George.”
“Those magnificent chimes, old top – don’t they imbue you with a feeling of reverence, of awe? Doesn’t that golden tintinnabulation reawaken golden memories of a happy past?”
Casey leaned still closer, face still puzzled. “George, you have gotter speak louder, I can’t hear one word ye are saying.”
The Englishman almost shouted in the other’s ears. “The chimes, old thing, the marvelous chimes! Right-o! Isn’t that pealing melodious? Doesn’t it take you back into the dim vistas of the past when the world was young, and man’s springtime heart faced with a sweet young reverence the awful miracles of godhead?”
Casey stuck his mouth against the other man’s ear and screamed, “I can’t hear a damned word. Those damned bells are makin’ such a hell of a racket! I can’t hear me own self, drat’em!”

The bell is ringing in you. You are the temple and the bell is continuously ringing in you – it is your life – but there is so much noise. The mind has become a marketplace. You have lost all contact with yourself, that’s why you have lost contact with God. It is not that you have to search for God. Where are you going to search for him? In what direction? You don’t have any address. You don’t know his form, his name. Even if you come across him you will not be able to recognize him, so please don’t start any journey toward God. That is utterly doomed from the very beginning.
On the contrary, move inward, become more silent, become more relaxed, and suddenly one day you will start hearing those beautiful chimes ringing in you. You will start hearing that still, small voice. It is there, you have never lost it for a single moment. It cannot be lost.
That’s why all the great seers of the world have insisted that God is your nature. God is within you, his kingdom is within you. There is no need to seek and search. Then what is needed? – to fall into silence, to fall into a harmonious, melodious state of being, to be a no-mind.
That’s what Sufis go on doing: dancing, singing, hugging each other, kissing each other. They are pouring themselves into each other, creating an energy field in which silence easily surfaces. And in silence, God is found. Silence is his face. In the inner music God is found, music is his name. In an utterly lost state, when you are drunk, when you are not left at all, he is found. When you are not, he is. The seeker is too much, that’s why he goes on missing.

It is said about the great Sufi mystic, Bayazid, that when Bayazid reached the station of nearness he heard a voice which ordered him, “Ask for something!”
The state of nearness is the state when you are falling silent, when the voices in your head are disappearing, evaporating; when thoughts are leaving you, deserting you; when you are feeling utterly alone, not even shadows of others are present; when you are just on the verge of disappearing. That is called the “station of nearness.”
When Bayazid reached the station of nearness he heard a voice which ordered him, “Ask for something!”
“I have no desire,” he replied.
But the voice insisted. It said, “Ask for something!”
Again he said, “But there is nothing to ask because I have no desire.”
But again the voice repeated, “Ask for something!”
Bayazid answered, “Then I want only Thee!”
The voice then said, “So long as even an atom of the existence of Bayazid remains, this is impossible.”

Bayazid missed. He was just on the verge. He started asking. He came back – because with desire you are back, with desire the mind is back. Even if the desire is for God, that doesn’t matter. You would have thought it was beautiful that Bayazid desired God. But desire is desire, what you desire is irrelevant. Desire brings the desiring mind back. Bayazid had again entered the marketplace, that station of nearness was lost. The moment he said, “I want only Thee,” he was there. Again the “I” had gathered, and when there is an I, it creates a thou. When there is an I it creates duality, and all is lost in duality. When there is no I, then there is nonduality.
Then you are one with existence, utterly one. Then you are nothing but a pulsation of existence itself, just a ripple in the lake of this infinite consciousness.
The moment he said, “I want only Thee,” the voice then said, “So long as even an atom of the existence of Bayazid remains, this is impossible.”
Man has to disappear for God to be. All that is needed is the simple phenomenon of disappearance. But because we don’t want to disappear, the whole approach becomes very arduous. Then we start playing games: on the one hand we want God, and on the other hand we want to protect ourselves.

Again it is said of Bayazid that once he was walking along a road with his disciples when they came upon a severed head lying on the way. Upon its forehead was written this tremendously important sutra from the Koran: “He loseth both the world and the hereafter.”
Bayazid picked up the head and kissed it. When his disciples asked who it was, who the man was, he answered, “This is the head of a Sufi dervish who gave up both worlds for God. I have not yet been able to do it. I reached to the point where it could have happened, but I missed.”
On the severed head these words from the Koran were written: “He loseth both the world and the hereafter.” One has to lose all, only then is God gained.
The people who are searching for God, the people who are searching for enlightenment, nirvana, moksha, or any other name, will go on missing, and their lives will become more and more complicated, and the journey will become harder and harder.
But Bayazid had taken a lesson from his first experience. Soon he was again at the station of nearness. Again it was asked, “Bayazid, ask something!” This time he did not even bother to say, “I have nothing to ask.” Because even if you say, “I have nothing to ask,” you are. He simply sat there in utter silence. Again and again the voice provoked him, tempted him, “Ask something, Bayazid!” but there was no answer from Bayazid. Thrice it was repeated, “Bayazid, ask something!” And this voice was God’s voice, this was disrespectful! When God himself is telling you to ask, ask! But Bayazid was not there, there was nobody; so how to be respectful or disrespectful?
This is what Sufis call adab: the way of being in the presence of a master, and ultimately, the way of being in the presence of God.
There was no Bayazid, so even this provocation, “Ask, Bayazid! This is disrespectful toward God. I am God myself, asking you to ask something. I am happy with you. I am here to give you all that you want, all that you ask. Even if you ask me, I am ready to give myself to you.”
But this time there was nobody, the silence remained undisturbed. There was no response from Bayazid. And he took the ultimate jump, it happened: he became God. This is the way one becomes God, this is the way one attains.
It is said…

“Who are you?” somebody asked Bayazid.
He said, “I lost him years ago. The more I seek him, the less I find.”
“Who are you?” the person asked again.
Bayazid said, “There is nothing under my cloak but Allah. Except God, there is nobody within me, so the question ‘who are you?’ is meaningless. I am not, God is. And God is always blissful. God is blissfulness, so the question is irrelevant. There is nobody, nothing under my cloak, except Allah.”

God is not there to be found somewhere else – in Kaaba, in Kailash, in Girnar, in Jerusalem. God has to be found under your cloak. And the reality is this: that there is nobody except God within you. But you have not turned upon yourself, your eyes are fixed at distant goals. Your eyes are roaming there somewhere in the future. God is here, and you are not here. Hence the meeting is difficult. Otherwise there is no difficulty at all.
Sufism is the path of intense love, passionate love. As Bayazid has said, “The duration of Bayazid’s life of asceticism was only three days. On the first day he renounced the world, on the second day he renounced the other world, and on the last day he renounced himself.”
Only three steps. The first step: becoming aware that this world is nothing but games, becoming aware that this world is nothing but our projections. And the second step, becoming aware that the other world, heaven, paradise, is also nothing but our unfulfilled dreams, our unfulfilled desires projected in time, in the future. And the third step, when this world is dropped and that world is dropped; all that is left is you. Then all that is left is the faculty of projection, the mind, the ego. The third step consists of dropping the ego.
And suddenly you are back home. Suddenly nothing is needed any more, all is available. Then one starts laughing because this has always been so, all was always available. Just because we were searching and searching – and we were in such a frantic search that we never looked within; we never looked at the treasure that we were already carrying; we became too much obsessed with the outside world – we forgot the language of the inner, we forgot that there is an interior in us, and that interiority is God.
Meditate over these beautiful lines of D. H. Lawrence:
Are you willing to be sponged out,
Erased, canceled, made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing,
Dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth
Only when she is burned, burned alive,
Burned down to hot and flocculent ash.
The myth, the beautiful myth of the phoenix, the bird who becomes alive only through death, who renews itself by burning itself, utterly burning itself, whose death becomes resurrection… The myth of the phoenix bird is the myth of all the awakened people. Jesus is another representation of the same myth: crucifixion and resurrection.
Bayazid says, “I am gone, I am no longer.” This is death. But out of this death something deathless arrives, is found.
But people are cunning, they would like to have God also. Just as they have a good bank balance, they would like God also to be in their fist. They would like God to be their possession so that they can brag about and claim, “I know God.” But that ego will not allow them.
God cannot be possessed. God is not property. You cannot own God. God is a love affair; you can only dissolve into him. And remember again: the dissolution is not into some thou, the dissolution is simply a let-go into your own being. When you disappear into your own being and there is no center left which can say “I,” you have known what God is.
Man is like an ice cube, frozen. God is nothing but the melting of the ice cube. Then you lose your solidity, you become fluid. Then you lose your stagnancy and you become flowing. That flow, yes, that flow is another name for God. Life is another name for God.
By creating the temples and the mosques and the churches we have deceived people. We have given them a wrong notion of God, as if God is something separate from life. It is not so. And it is because of this miseducation that has been perpetuated for centuries, because of this wrong conditioning, that whenever people think of God they think of a statue, a temple, a holy place; they never think of themselves.
Standing before a mirror, looking into your own eyes reflected in the mirror, has the idea ever arisen in you that this is God? No, your priests have destroyed that possibility. And this is the real phenomenon: to recognize God as your own being, pulsating in you, in the very beat of your heart.
So the first thing I would like to say to you: God is not difficult to find. The difficulty consists in losing yourself. And this is the statement not of one enlightened person, this is the statement of all the enlightened people of the world. They may have been born in India, in China, in Japan, in Israel, or anywhere else; about this they all agree.
Rumi says, “In a court of justice requiring several witnesses to prove guilt, a prosecutor brought a few Sufis to bear witness with regard to a certain crime. The judge, however, refused to accept the testimony on the grounds that the prosecutor had only one witness, a thousand Sufis being the same as one.”
It is a beautiful story that Rumi relates: the judge refusing to accept because many witnesses were needed. Many witnesses were produced but they were all Sufis, so the judge said, “One Sufi or many Sufis does not make much difference because whatever one Sufi says will be said by all the Sufis. So you can bring ten thousand Sufis; it counts only as one.”
That’s a beautiful story. Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mohammed, Bahauddin, Bayazid are not saying different things – maybe in different ways, but not different things. They are witnessing a single truth, and the truth is that the kingdom of God is within you.
This story…
There were two men of great renown as teachers of the right path. Ibn Halim relates that he went first to see one of them, whose name was Pir Ardeshir of Gazwin.
Each word has to be tasted slowly so it melts on your tongue, so you can digest it and its beauty.
There were two men of great renown as teachers of the right path. What is the right path? You will be surprised to know: the right path means no path. All paths are wrong because a path is needed if there is a distance between you and your goal. The path is relevant only when there is a distance. But there is no distance between you and God, so there is no need of any path. No path is the right path.
It will look paradoxical, but nothing can be done about it, existence is paradoxical. All paths are wrong paths because a path will take you farther away. You are not to go anywhere, hence no path is required.
You are being taught so many paths, and the people who teach you the paths look very logical. It appeals to your mind. Naturally you think, “We don’t know God, we don’t know where he is, so a path is needed. We don’t know where God is, so unless a path is given to us how are we ever going to reach?” But you are completely oblivious to the fact that God is not there but here, not then but now, that God is not the sought but the seeker. So any path is going to take you astray, any path will misguide you.
The teachers who give you paths are pseudo teachers, they are dangerous people. They have created much chaos in the world, but they are very logical and they appeal to your ordinary mind.
The real teacher is one who takes all paths away. The real teacher is one who takes all teachings away. The real teacher is one who unburdens you, who destroys all your knowledge and makes you again ignorant, innocent, like a child. The real teacher is very destructive. When all knowledge is taken away – all paths withdrawn, you don’t know a thing, you are left in your ignorance, naked, nowhere to hide – suddenly the great explosion happens. It always happens in innocence. That’s why Jesus goes on saying, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter my Kingdom of God.”
The real teacher makes you like small babes. The real teacher does not teach you information. The real teacher does not inform, he transforms. He does not convey doctrines and dogmas; on the contrary, he takes a sword and cuts off your very head. He makes you headless.
What is the right path? The right path means no path. But if somebody teaches no path, teaches no teaching, very few people are going to go to him because it will look so illogical. Only people of great understanding and intelligence will be attracted. That’s why false teachers attract great masses; real teachers attract only the chosen few.
There were two men of great renown as teachers of the right path. Ibn Halim relates that he went first to see one of them, whose name was Pir Ardeshir of Gazwin. Pir is a Sufi word for siddha. Pir means one who has arrived, arrived to the place from where he has never gone in the first place, arrived home, arrived to that home which he has never left, which even if he had wanted to leave, he could not.
To leave your nature is impossible. What happens then? People only dream that they have left their home. It is like in the night you sleep and you dream; you dream a thousand and one things, but in the morning you find yourself lying in your bedroom. All those dreams, that you have been to Beijing and to Philadelphia and to Timbuktu and to Instanbul… And you have been in Pune all the time and nowhere else, but only in the morning when you are awake, will you recognize the fact that all that was just dreaming. You had never left your bed, you were always here.
That is the situation: nobody has lost God, nobody can. It is impossible. God is our very being, how can we lose him? And if we can lose him we will immediately die because he is our life. If we lose him there is no possibility of finding him; so the question is not of finding God, the question is only of remembering. We have only forgotten.
That’s why Sufis say zikr, remembrance, is all. That is their very fundamental: just remember, just make yourself alert and remember. Just become more aware and you will start laughing – you had never left the place and you were thinking how to get back, what methods to use, what paths to follow, what maps were needed. And you were consulting maps and books and teachers and this and that, and all the time you were simply fast asleep in your own home.
Pir means one who has arrived, one who has come to know that he has never gone anywhere else, that he has always been here – but now he recognizes the fact, that’s all.
The moment I say I am God, I am not saying that I have become God; I have been God all along, just now the recognition has come. When I say you are God, I am not saying that you have to become God. If you are not you cannot become. You can become only that which you are, already are. You become only that which you are, never anything else. So it is not a question of becoming, it is only a question of awakening to your being, to your facticity, to your truth.
Ibn Halim went to Pir Ardeshir of Qazwin.
He said to Pir Ardeshir, “Will you advise me as to what to do and what not to do?”
Now this is the beginning of a wrong inquiry. It looks so relevant, it looks so logical. Reading the story you will not see the point immediately, that it is irrelevant: you don’t ask a master what to do and what not to do.
When you go to a master you simply surrender to him. Then it is up to him to tell you what to do and what not to do. When you go to a master, a siddha, a pir, all that is needed is trust. You simply sit silently by his side waiting for the right moment. He knows, he will tell you.
When Bayazid lived with his own master, he lived for twelve years just sitting silently. The only thing he did was: the first day he came, he touched the feet of the master and sat silently for twelve years, never asking a question, never asking what to do, just waiting in tremendous trust: “If something is needed to be done, the master is there and he will tell me. If nothing is needed to be done, he will not tell me. If silence is needed from his side, I will go on drinking his silence. If a few words are needed he will utter the words, and he knows, so everything will be done in the right moment.”
And it happened in twelve years. Slowly, slowly he became more and more silent. When you don’t ask anything, your mind is not fed by information. He just sat there. Thousands of people came and went, and they were asking this question and that, what to do and what not to do, and, “What is the meaning of the scripture, this passage particularly, what is to be understood by it? A few people say this and a few people say that.” Many came and many went, and Bayazid was just sitting there silently. Slowly, slowly he disappeared.
What else can you do, just sitting silently by the side of the master? How long can your mind go on creating turmoil? When you don’t feed the mind every day, it starts dying out of starvation.
This is a real fast that Bayazid did, this is fasting. Not eating food is not going to help; not eating information is going to help.
After twelve years the master turned toward him, hugged him, and said, “Bayazid, now you can go. You have arrived.” Not a single word was uttered, no message ever given, no instructions, no guidance.
This man, Ibn Halim, asked a wrong question: …he said to Pir Ardeshir, “Will you advise me as to what to do and what not to do?” First, to ask such a question is wrong. The disciple has to be there. His very being has to be available to the master. His very being will tell the master what is needed, what is not needed – and he will do it, or he will say it, or he will order you. But Ibn Halim must have been a very wise man; he was asking a wise question.
Secondly, it is wrong because even if you want to ask, ask, “What should I be and what should I not be?” First, not asking anything is the best; the second best is asking, “What should I be, what should I not be?” The question should be about being, but he is asking about doing: “What should I do and what should I not do?”
Remember: doing is the concern of morality, being is the concern of religion. Trust, silence, is the concern of spirituality. The best is to trust, to be silent, to wait in love, in hope, in patience. That is the spiritual relationship. If it is not possible then ask, “What should I be?” That is a religious relationship. The lowest, the third-rate, is to ask what to do, what not to do. That is a moral question. What is right and what is wrong, and what is virtue and what is sin – those are the most ordinary questions.
Remember: morality is not religion. Religion is not spirituality, although spirituality contains religion and contains morality. Morality cannot contain religion and cannot contain spirituality. That’s why an irreligious person can be moral; there is no problem in it. In fact the irreligious person is found to be more moral than the so-called religious. The irreligious person can be moral, the atheist can be moral – one who does not believe in God, one who does not believe in any hereafter. He can be moral because morality is only a way of living in convenience with people. It is a calculated step, it is simply functional. It has no other truth.
That’s why there are as many moralities as there are societies. One thing may be moral in India, may not be moral in Iran. Or sometimes one thing may be moral to the Hindu and may not be moral to the Christian, and the Christian may be living in the same neighborhood.
Morality is decided by the society. It has no ultimate truth in it. It is all arbitrary. It is needed because man is not alone, man lives with so many people. When you live with so many people a few rules and regulations are needed, but those rules and regulations are just like the rules of traffic: “Don’t walk in the middle of the road.” They have no ultimate truth about them. Not that if you walk in the middle of the road you have committed a sin and you will be thrown into hell, but walking in the middle of the road, you create an unnecessary nuisance in the traffic. You may be hit. Keep to the left: but that too is not in any way moral, there are countries where you have to keep to the right. Both are good. Either keep to the right or keep to the left so that the traffic moves smoothly. The whole thing is arbitrary. It has a utility in it, but no ultimacy about it.
When you ask what to do and what not to do, you are asking a very ordinary moral question. You are not yet religious. The religious person will ask what to be, what not to be. His concern will be with being, not with doing. Doing is an outer thing, being is inner.
But the best is not even to ask that. If you trust, then it is the concern of the master. You have surrendered, you have opened all your cards before him. You are not even keeping a trump card, you have opened all your cards. That’s what surrender is. Now he knows everything about you; he will do whatever is necessary, or if nothing is necessary he will not do anything.
Ibn Halim’s question is third-rate. It is because of the third-rate question that the Pir had to say:
“Yes, but I will give you such instructions as you will find very hard to carry out, since they will go against your preferences, even if these preferences are sometimes for hardship.”
If you simply surrender to the master, then life grows spontaneously. In his very presence life grows spontaneously, just as in the presence of the sun trees grow, they don’t ask how to grow; and the buds open and bloom, and they don’t ask how to open their petals and how not to open them, and what is the right way and what is the wrong way; and the birds start singing. As the sun rises on the horizon something starts happening all over the earth. Life is back, sleep disappears, a great awakening…
Exactly the same is the case when a disciple surrenders to the master. He simply remains available to his presence and things start happening. The master functions as a catalytic agent. But that is the highest. It is very rare to have that much trust. It needs guts.
Why can’t you have trust? Do you think you are very intelligent; that’s why you can’t have trust? No, you are a coward, full of fear; that’s why you can’t trust. It is fear that prevents trust. Only a fearless person can trust. You are afraid you may be exploited. You are afraid, “Who knows? This man may be a cheat, a fraud. Who knows where he is trying to lead me? Who knows? I should keep alert and hold myself back. I should always remain sitting on the fence so if something goes wrong I can jump out. I should always keep one foot out, so if there is any danger signal I can run away, I can escape.” This is out of fear.
Remember, trust is possible only when you are fearless. Only a very brave and courageous person can trust. The world has become very cowardly, that’s why trust has disappeared, faith has disappeared.
If it is not possible, then the second question has to be asked: “What should I be?” Then you are not asking about your character, you are asking about meditation. You are not asking what to eat and what not to eat; you are not asking when to get up in the morning and when to go to bed; whether tea is right to take or not: “Is coffee going to disturb my spiritual growth or not?” You are not asking those kinds of nonsense questions. You are simply asking how to be – how to be silent, how to be authentic, how to be still, rooted, centered. This is the second-best.
Then the master will tell you: meditation, prayer. Then by his presence, the master will teach you meditation, prayerfulness, gratitude, thankfulness. He will give you a taste of the benediction that he has.
To the first, all will be given. The master will pour his whole being. To the second, a few glimpses will be given, and those glimpses will prepare him to become the first. Then the master can pour his whole being into him. For the first, things will be absolutely easy, utterly easy. Just like the fish swimming in the ocean, the disciple starts swimming in the presence of the master’s being. It is so easy – as a dewdrop slipping on the grass-leaf, or the bird on the wing. For the first, it is so easy, it is so spontaneous.
For the second it is a little bit difficult but not too difficult, just a little bit difficult – because he will have to struggle with the mind to drop the thoughts, to become a witness. To the first it is going to happen in effortlessness; to the second it will happen through effort, but it will happen. For the second the journey will not be uphill but will be downhill. For the first there is no journey, he has arrived. For the second the journey is downhill, it will not be arduous.
For the third, the journey is going to be uphill. That’s why the master says, “Yes, but I will give you such instructions as you will find very hard to carry out…” To change your actions without changing your being is very hard because actions arise out of your being. That is the problem. It is not your actions that are really the problem, the problem is somewhere in your being.
For example, a person goes on lying, and the master says, “Don’t lie.” Now it is going to be difficult. It is more possible that the person will start lying to the master too. Now he will say, “I don’t lie; since you have told me, I have stopped lying.” But it is more possible that he is lying again! Now he is lying to the master himself.
When a person lies he is simply saying one thing, that deep in his being he has something wrong. He is a liar there, in his being. He is living a lie deep in his being and that lie goes on coming to the surface.
Whatever comes to the surface comes from the roots. If you want to destroy a tree, don’t go on pruning the leaves; that is not going to help. Actions are leaves. That’s what people go on doing: their being is violent and they try to become nonviolent. Then on the surface, just on the surface, they manage a veneer, a facade of nonviolence. Deep down they remain the same violent people because no action can change the being.
It is just like you can paint your face, but by painting your face your real face is not changed. But if your real face changes, beauty will certainly arise on its own accord.
Remember, there is no way to change the within by changing the without because the circumference cannot change the center. The circumference is impotent against the center, but the center can change the circumference. The circumference is nothing but the reflection of the center, so change the center.
The second kind of inquirer changes the center. Then the circumference changes automatically. The first kind of disciple drops the circumference, the center, everything in toto, to the master. He remains unconcerned. He puts everything that he has, good and bad, at the feet of the master, and is free from that very moment. His trust makes him free, his trust becomes his enlightenment. The second tries to change the center, and through the change of the center the first changes.
If you become more meditative many changes will happen. For example, a more meditative person will stop smoking. It will not be possible because smoking is nothing but a kind of nervousness – whenever you are nervous you smoke. It keeps you together. But why, what relevance is there? Why does it keep you together when you start smoking? It is a regression. Smoking represents nothing but that you are back at your mother’s breast. Your smoke functions as if you are drinking milk from your mother’s breast. The warmth comes from the hot smoke going in, and the smoke almost gives you the illusion of the milk going in, and the cigarette in your mouth becomes the nipple. Whenever the child was afraid in his childhood he was soothed, calmed. Whenever he was afraid, miserable, angry, sad, the mother would immediately give him her breast. And then he fell asleep; it was very tranquilizing. You are simply repeating that process and nothing else.
When the child cannot find the mother he starts sucking his own thumb as a substitute. And that too helps; if the child sucks his own thumb he falls asleep, he feels good, he believes that it is the mother’s breast. “Mother is close by; I need not be afraid, I need not be nervous. There is no fear, nobody can do me any harm.”
That’s what smoking is: a psychological regression. Whenever you are nervous – you are facing a crisis, a challenge, you are going for an interview, sitting outside the office waiting for your name to be called, you are trembling within – you immediately take your cigarette out of your pocket and you start smoking. It soothes you.
The man who meditates need not stop smoking, it stops on its own accord. It has to stop because now he no longer feels nervous, he is at home. Being meditative, he starts gaining roots into his being, he is no longer trembling, he is not afraid of the world. There is nothing to fear. Even death will not make him afraid because now he has seen something deathless in himself, he has tasted something of the nectar. Smoking will disappear.
That’s why I don’t tell you to do this and to do that. My whole approach is: meditate, and things will change on their own accord.
The meditator, if he really goes in deep meditation, cannot be violent. Violence erupts from you because you go on repressing so much anger that by and by it becomes very sour, bitter, poisonous. One day it is too much and the steam has to be let out. But the meditator does not repress. He tries to understand rather than repress. His whole approach changes. Because he does not repress, he never carries any wounds in him. He does not carry any steam which can explode at any excuse – and sometimes very irrationally also, with no excuse.
So these are the three kinds of seekers. The first, the best, is a devotee. He simply surrenders and things start happening, there is no journey. Instantly he has arrived home. Looking into the eyes of the master, touching his feet, he has arrived. Now he has nowhere to go. But that is a rare phenomenon; very few will be of that intelligence and that fearlessness.
The second kind is one who asks about meditation – better than the third because he is asking a more fundamental question.
The third asks a very low kind of question, the lowest. His question is more concerned with morality, character building, making a beautiful facade. He is not really interested in transformation. Then the journey is difficult, very difficult. For the first there is no journey, for the second an easy journey, for the third a very arduous journey.
“Yes,” said the Pir, “but I will give you such instructions as you will find very hard to carry out, since they will go against your preferences…”And the greatest problem arises when you want to change your actions. The greatest problem is that you have preferred those actions your whole life; you have cultivated them, they have become your second nature. It is not just a question of your mind now thinking and deciding, “I will not smoke anymore.” It is not going to help. Maybe for one or two hours you can try, or for one or two days you can try, but it will come back, and it will come back with great vengeance. And its coming back will destroy whatever little self-confidence you had before. That too will be gone. Now you will know that smoking is far stronger than your will; you are defeated. And if it happens again and again, slowly, slowly you will lose all trust in yourself.
That’s what happens to so-called religious people: they take one vow and they cannot follow it; they take another vow and they fail again, and another. And slowly, slowly the recognition arrives, has to arrive, “I am such a low person, so ugly, so weak, such a sinner, that I have no worth at all.” That’s what so-called religious people have been reduced to: worthless, meaningless, impotent people.
They started wrongly, they asked a wrong question. Their very first step went wrong. Whenever you want to change your action it is going to be against your preferences, otherwise how have you cultivated that action for so long? You must have liked it, notwithstanding what you say. You may always be saying that smoking is not good; what you say is not the point. The point is that you have been smoking. Why have you been smoking? There must be something you are gaining from it.
There is something… It gives you a kind of consolation, it gives you a certain security, it gives you an occupation, it helps you to remain together, it takes you away from your nervousness. It has something psychological for you. You may say that because it brings tuberculosis or cancer, “That’s why I am against it,” but those reasonings won’t help. Tuberculosis may come in thirty years, but the nervousness is now. And there are people who are suffering from tuberculosis and they have never smoked, and there are people who are suffering from cancer and they have never smoked. And there are people who have smoked their whole lives and they are not suffering from cancer. So all those things are there in the mind: “Who knows?”
So, for something uncertain, how can you surrender that which is certain – that right now smoking is going to give you a little more confidence? And you are going for an interview. Your boss has called you and you are afraid. Just puffing on your cigarette will give a good puff to your chest. You will be a little warmer, blood will be circulating better. A little more nicotine in your blood and you will be standing straight, and you will be able to look eye to eye with the boss. Without this cigarette you will be limp and loose, and you will not know what to say and how to say it. You may start trembling and you may mismanage the whole thing, you may mess up the whole thing. This is right now, immediate. Who bothers about a tuberculosis that will come after thirty years? Who knows if you are going to live thirty years? Seeing the traffic and the accidents and the airplanes falling and the trains, who knows? And there are wars. Who knows about thirty years? The question is right now, and the cigarette is going to help you right now – unless you know something better.
If you can sit silently just for a single minute and watch your breath, that will give you real confidence, not created by nicotine. That will give you real silence, not dependent on any chemical. But meditation will have to be learned.
Don’t ask how to change your actions, ask how to change the very roots of your actions. Actions are always going to be against preferences. And sometimes it happens: even if these preferences are for hardship, then too you have lived with them for so long that they have a certain appeal.
People are great rationalizers; they go on rationalizing. Even if they are creating misery in their lives, they go on finding beautiful reasons for their misery. They say it is duty, they say it is sacrifice. They find beautiful labels. Remember, man is very cunning and very clever in finding rationalizations. There are millions of people who are unnecessarily suffering, but they think their suffering has great value. The idea that their suffering has great value keeps them in the suffering.
Many people unnecessarily travel long journeys where shortcuts are available, but they have become accustomed to the long journey. They won’t choose the shortcut. The shortcut is so new. It may be comfortable, it may be convenient, but it is so new – that is the trouble.
The mind always likes the old. It does not like the new because the new creates a little insecurity in you. You don’t know how to tackle it. Who knows, you may fail, you may not succeed. It is better to always go through the old way; you are perfectly acquainted with it.
So the Pir is right. He says: “…even if these preferences are sometimes for hardship.”
Just the other day I was reading an article against me. The person who has written it says, if I really want to help this country, I should become like Dayananda and Vivekananda; only then can I help this country. Now, this is how the mind functions.
Dayanandas and Vivekanandas have existed here by the millions. Have they helped the country? Nobody will ask that question. How have they helped the country? And if they have helped, what is the need for me to help the country? So many Dayanandas and so many Vivekanandas have existed; what have they done?
In fact, they are the causes of your misery. But you have become accustomed to them. You have started liking them because you have been acquainted with them for thousands of years. They have a great appeal because they fit with your mind – and your mind is the cause of your misery. They fit with your mind and they are also part of the cause of your misery.
The author who has written the article against me says that I teach people to live an earthly life and the real saints have never taught that; they have always taught people to renounce the earthly life.
That I know. That’s why you are suffering. That’s why you are poor – because you have forgotten how to live on this earth. Nobody has taught you how to live on this earth, how to love this earth. They have all taught you that this earth is ugly, that it is a punishment that you have been sent here, that you are not supposed to enjoy. If you enjoy, you will be sent again. You are supposed to be very sad, detached. You have to renounce all the joys of the earth so next time you don’t have to be born, and then you will enjoy heavenly pleasures.
Because these people have been talking too much about the other world, they have destroyed this world. I teach you this earth. This very earth, the paradise. This very body the buddha.
I am not a Dayananda, and I don’t want to be a Dayananda. And if you think Dayananda is a saint, I don’t want to be called a saint either; that very word becomes ugly to me, obscene.
These are the people who have destroyed you, poisoned you. But the appeal is because they are old and you are acquainted with them, and they are not alone, they have happened in thousands. And they have been telling it so often, continuously, for centuries. Adolf Hitler has written in his autobiography, Mein Kampf, that if you repeat a lie continuously, it becomes a truth. And that’s what has happened in this country.
For thousands of years a few lies have been repeated: that God is against the world. He is not. If he is against the world, why does he go on perpetuating this world? If he is against this world, he is the greatest sinner. Why does he go on giving life to this world? Why do trees grow? Why are children born? Why does life continue? And you call him omnipotent. Can’t he simply say, “Stop!” Just as one day he said, “Let there be light” and there was light, now let him say, “Let there be darkness,” so there will be darkness. “Let there be death.” He can simply finish the whole nonsense in a single stroke if he is against it.
If a poet is against his poetry, he will not write it. If a painter is against his painting, he will burn it. If a musician is against his music, he will throw his veena, he will destroy it; what is the point?
God must be in utter love with the world. He is.
Your Dayanandas and your Vivekanandas are utterly wrong, but because they have been repeating an ancient lie, you go on believing in them. Now, I look wrong to you, naturally, obviously. Centuries of repetition, and suddenly I am here and I am saying that God is in love with the world, and you should also be in love with the world. Don’t renounce it, live it in great joy, celebrate it. Naturally I look like I am against religion. I am not, Dayananda is.
Dayananda is not a religious person at all. He is certainly a great scholar, a great logic chopper, a great hairsplitter, but if you look deep down, there are only words and words and nothing else; no spiritual experience of his own. But this country praised him very much because he praised this country! This is how we satisfy each other – a mutual arrangement of ego satisfaction.
He said this country is the holiest country in the world. He said Hindus are the Aryans. He changed the name because, he said, “Hindu” is not our real name, it was given by other people – foreigners have given it to us. Just as the whole world calls Germans, Germans, but that is not their name; and the whole world calls Japan, Japan, but that is not its name. Exactly like this, Dayananda said, others have called us Hindus. This is not our name; our name is Aryan. The word arya means “the noble ones, the noblest ones, the chosen few of God.”
Adolf Hitler also chose to call his Nordic race the Aryans – the noble people of the world, the people who are born to dominate the world.
Now, this satisfied the Hindu ego very much. They praised Dayananda as if he were a reincarnation of God. He was just a mere scholar and all his argumentation was childish, ugly, irreligious because he was fighting against all religions: Christianity was wrong, Buddhism was wrong, Jainism was wrong, Islam was wrong. All religions were wrong except the Aryan religion. I don’t call him religious at all.
I call Ramakrishna religious – who said all religions are the same, who said all religions reach the same experience, who said, “I have known not from one window, but from all the windows, and I have seen the same vision again and again.” He tried Hindu methods, he tried Mohammedan methods, he tried Christian methods, he tried Buddhist methods. And again and again he said, “I have come to the same experience from all possible ways. God is one, and the experience of God is one.”
Ramakrishna was a religious person. He was a contemporary of Dayananda. Dayananda was not a religious person at all, but the man who has written the article seems to be a follower of Dayananda.
And so is the case with Vivekananda. His master, Ramakrishna, was an enlightened person, but not Vivekananda. Vivekananda was just a good missionary, clever, intelligent, articulate, educated, well versed in the ways of philosophy, but that’s all.
I am not a Dayananda and I am not a Vivekananda, and I don’t want to be. But people go on saying and asking these things. And they don’t see the point that all these people have been worshipping poverty and if you worship poverty, poverty can never be destroyed. I hate poverty! I call poverty the greatest disease. It has to be destroyed, not worshipped. These people have been saying again and again that poverty is something spiritual. I say poverty is the most unspiritual thing in the world.
Richness is spiritual, and outer richness creates possibilities for inner richness.
But certainly, my statements will go against their preferences. Although their preferences lead them into hardship, misery, starvation, still they will cling to their old mind. The mind always clings to the old. It has no guts to go with the new; it is always afraid to go into the uncharted ocean. It remains tethered to the known, to the familiar territory.
Ibn Halim spent some months with Pir Ardeshir, and found that the teaching was indeed hard for him. Although Pir Ardeshir’s former disciples were now famed throughout the world as enlightened teachers, he could not stand the changes, the uncertainties and the disciplines placed upon him.
That is bound to happen. When you move into an inner work, your old certainties will disappear because the old mind will start losing its hold on you and you will become more uncertain.
What actually happens when people come to seek truth? They have really come to seek certainty, not truth. They want to be absolutely certain so they can be secure and safe. But when you start searching, your old certainties will go because your old certainties are based on lies. Before new certainties come, the old will have to go, and there will be a transitory period when you will almost be in chaos, when you almost don’t know at all what is going to happen, and what is happening.
…he could not stand the changes, the uncertainties and the disciplines placed upon him.
At length he applied to the Pir for permission to leave, and traveled to the tekkia of the second teacher, Murshid Amali.
He asked the Murshid, “Would you place upon me burdens which I might find next to intolerable?”
Now from the very beginning he wants to be certain that no burdens should be placed upon him, no hardships, no uncertainties, no disciplines. People want truth to be very cheap. They want it without paying any cost for it.
Amali replied, “I would not place upon you such burdens.”
Ibn Halim asked, “Will you then accept me as a disciple?”
He must have been utterly happy, exhilarated with the prospect of finding a master who was not going to put any hardships on him.
The Murshid answered, “Not until you have asked me why my training would not be so onerous as that of Pir Ardeshir.”
Ibn Halim asked, “Why should it not be so onerous?”
The Murshid told him, “Because I would not care for you and your real well-being like Ardeshir cared for you. Therefore you must not now ask me to accept you as a disciple.”
The moment the disciple asks, “Give me God in a cheap way,” he is not worthy of being accepted as a disciple. The moment the disciple says, “Don’t ask any hardship for me to go through, I don’t want to go through any pain, any agony,” he is not ready to be a disciple.
He had asked a wrong question of the Pir, now he was asking an even worse question of the Murshid. Murshid means the master.
The master said: “Because I would not care for you…” You are not worth caring for. The master cares only for one who is ready to surrender. “…and your well-being” – I cannot take care of that too – “like Ardeshir cared for you.” That’s why he put so many hardships for you to go through: he loved you.
But you have destroyed that possibility. And if you could not get through that beautiful man and his help, it is useless to waste my time. “Therefore you must not ask me to accept you as a disciple.” To be accepted as a disciple needs surrender. One needs to die into the master, only then does one become a disciple.
Enough for today.

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