The Sun Rises in Evening 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Sun Rises in Evening by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The moon reflected in the stream, the wind blowing through the pines
In the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight –
what is it for?

When we attain reality, it is seen to be neither
personal nor impersonal.

There is no sin, no paradise, no loss or gain;
about this transcendentality, no questions!

Who is thought-less? Who is birth-less?
Man is a useless passion, says Jean-Paul Sartre. Why is man a useless passion? He says, “Because there is no meaning in life.” Man searches and searches, and he gains nothing but frustration. Man is doomed to fail because meaning, as such, does not exist. The message of Jean-Paul Sartre is that of despair, hopelessness, anguish. If there is no meaning, naturally, man is a useless passion. He exists for nothing, exists accidentally, arbitrarily; he goes on keeping himself occupied in useless things, but the ultimate end is nothing but emptiness. Nothing is gained. Man comes empty and goes empty. The whole effort – and the effort is great – is just pointless.
The myth of Sisyphus in Greek mythology is of significance. It says that the gods were angry with Sisyphus. They condemned him to carry a big rock to the hilltop. It is a hard task, it is an almost impossible task, but Sisyphus does it – he carries the rock to the top. And then, the ultimate result is that the rock cannot remain on the top. Because of its weight, of its own accord it starts falling back into the valley again. And it happens again and again: Sisyphus carries the rock, prepares a thousand and one details, fights with the heights, and the ultimate result is always that the rock rolls back into the valley. Sisyphus goes down, starts the work again.
This myth is symbolic of man’s life. From birth to death you struggle and you struggle, and it is a hard struggle and it is an uphill task, and you carry a rock… And by the time you reach, the rock starts slipping back. At the end is death, waiting for you; and death destroys all that you have done, it takes away all that you have created. And again another birth, and the whole nonsense begins again, and so on and so forth.
If you look at the life of man, Jean-Paul Sartre has a point. Man is a useless passion: meaningless, all endeavor utterly of no significance. Then why does man go on living? That becomes the most important question – then why does man go on living? Maybe just because of cowardice, because he cannot commit suicide, because he is afraid!
Another existentialist, Albert Camus, has said that the only metaphysical problem – the only one – is of suicide. All else is of no significance. Of course, if man is a useless passion, then suicide becomes the most important question. Everybody has to encounter it. Why not commit suicide? Why go on living?
Sigmund Freud says, “Human life is more a matter of endurance than enjoyment.” Then why endure it at all, if it is only a question of endurance? Sigmund Freud also says… And when he says something it has weight because he is not a philosopher; his whole life he worked and searched into the deepest recesses of the unconscious of man. He is a psychologist; it has weight when he says something. It is not just a hypothesis; it is based on observation. He says there is no hope for man, and man can never attain bliss because there is no possibility for meaning.
Down the ages, all the philosophies and all the religions have tried to supply the answer: that there is meaning, that the meaning is in God, that the meaning is in paradise, that the meaning is somewhere. They may differ about where the meaning is, but about one thing they all agree: that somewhere meaning exists. But they have all failed – all the philosophies and all the religions have failed. Meaning has not been found; man has been more and more disillusioned. He has hoped with every answer, and he has moved with every answer, and again nothing is arrived at. All answers fail.
Then man started thinking of revolution: “If philosophies fail, if religions fail, then let us look somewhere else.” Revolution: a political revolution, an economic revolution, a scientific revolution – now they have also failed. It seems that man is doomed to fail. This is the situation if you look into all the questions and the answers that man has asked down the ages.
The question of meaning is the most ancient question, and meaning has not been found. Many answers have been given, many philosophies propounded, but they are all consolatory; they console you. Yes, you can deceive yourself for a time, but if you are intelligent enough you always come to see the futility of it all. If you are intelligent enough, those consolations won’t help. They are helpful only for the mediocre, they are helpful only for the one who has decided to deceive himself, who wants to pretend that there is meaning: meaning in money, meaning in power, meaning in respectability, meaning in virtue, in character, meaning in being a saint. But if you are intelligent enough, if you go on probing deeper and deeper, sooner or later you come to the rock bottom of meaninglessness.
Maybe because of that people don’t probe enough; they are afraid. An unconscious feeling is there that, “If we go deep enough nothing will be found, so better not to go deep. Go on swimming on the surface.”
But Zen has succeeded where everybody has failed. Buddha has succeeded where everybody else has failed. And Zen is the ultimate flowering of the insight that happened to Buddha twenty-five centuries ago in Bodhgaya, sitting under a tree.
What was the insight that happened? What was Buddha’s unique experience? He didn’t experience any God, he didn’t encounter… In fact, there was no spiritual experience. He didn’t see great light, he didn’t see kundalini arising, he didn’t see great vistas and golden paradises opening – nothing of the sort. What was his insight? That insight is the foundation of Zen; it has to be understood. It is one of the most important things that ever happened to human consciousness. What did he come to know? He came to know one thing: that if meaning is dropped, meaninglessness also disappears.
This is a great insight – the greatest. If meaning is dropped, then meaninglessness automatically disappears. It has to be so, because how can you say life is meaningless if there is no meaning? If there is no meaning, then meaninglessness cannot be possible. To make meaninglessness possible, meaning will be needed. If you say that your statement is meaningless, that means statements are possible which will be meaningful. If all statements are meaningless then you cannot call any statement meaningless – how will you compare? What will be the criterion? Buddha’s insight that early morning was that he dropped all search for meaning. He had searched long enough – for many lives – and for six years he had been looking in this life also. He had tried all the answers, he had looked into all the available answers, and found them lacking.
That early morning, when the last star was disappearing in the sky, something disappeared in his inner sky also. He came to a profound insight; he saw, “Life looks meaningless because I am searching for meaning. Life is not meaningless; it becomes meaningless, it looks meaningless because of my longing for meaning. The problem is my longing for meaning, not the meaninglessness of life. If I don’t long for meaning, then what is meaningless? Then great joy is released.”
Existentialism in the West has missed, and has missed while the insight was very close by, just one more step… Courageous people, Martin Heidegger or Jean-Paul Sartre or Albert Camus, Berdyaev, courageous people, but one more step and buddhas would have bloomed in the West. They remain clinging to the idea of meaning, and then despair arises.
You want some meaning in life. For example, you go to the garden and you see a roseflower, and you ask what is the meaning of it. By asking, you destroy the whole beauty of it. Now you cannot see the grace of the flower, now you cannot look into the beauty of it, you cannot see the joy of the flower, you cannot see its dance in the sun, in the rains. You cannot see what is confronting you – a tremendously significant blooming of existence. Now you are searching for meaning, you ask, “What is the meaning of this roseflower?” Naturally, there is no meaning; you cannot reduce the flower to a meaning. And when you cannot reduce the flower to a meaning, great despair arises. “There is no meaning in the flower? Life is all meaningless, futile. Man is a useless passion.” You have fallen into a dark night.
One more step – meaning being dropped – and you have transformed the whole world. When you drop meaning, let meaninglessness also be dropped with it. How can you carry meaninglessness? How can you say, “Man is a useless passion,” if there is no use? If all is useless, utterly useless, then the very word useless loses meaning.
This was the insight that happened to Buddha, and has developed slowly, slowly and culminated in Zen. If you understand this, you will be able to understand Zen; otherwise you will miss the whole point. Then Zen poetry will be of no meaning to you, and Zen painting will not be of any meaning to you, and these immensely beautiful sutras of Yoka will look like nonsense. If you understand this insight, then great significance arises. Meaning disappears, meaninglessness disappears, but significance arises. And that majestic significance, that magic of life and existence, is what God is all about.
God is the simultaneous majesty of experience, the simultaneity of the magic that is happening: these raindrops, the sound of them, this silent morning… This simultaneous majesty, this is God.
Buddha never uses the word God because it creates problems; he uses the word nirvana. Nirvana means cessation: just as you blow out a candle and the candle has disappeared, the candle has ceased to be, meaning disappears, meaninglessness disappears. And with the longing for meaning, something in you disappears. What is it? Who is desiring that there should be meaning in life? That desire creates the ego, that creates a process of “egoing.” The more you search, the more you rush for meaning, the more the ego arises. And when you die, only that ego fails.
Man is not a useless passion; ego is. But if you are identified with the ego, then, of course, it looks as if you are useless.
Buddha says, and the Zen masters go on resounding it, “There is no meaning, and there is no meaninglessness either. All is as it is.” Don’t ask for meaning, otherwise you will miss it. Don’t look for meaning otherwise you will create despair for yourself. Forget all about meaning. The rose is perfectly beautiful without any meaning, and so is the sun, and so are the people. The moment you raise the question of meaning, slowly, slowly you will get more and more trapped into a kind of madness. And when you do not find meaning, and you have put your whole life at stake, naturally one feels frustrated, and anguish arises.
The myth of Sisyphus is significant. It was written in Greece. If it had been written by a Zen Buddhist, he would have given it a totally different flavor. He would not have bothered about the rock slipping back into the valley; he would have enjoyed the whole trip to the top and back to the valley. It is beautiful – flowers are blooming by the side, the birds are singing, and the fresh morning air – one is ecstatic. And Sisyphus is singing a song, a shodoka, a song of enlightenment. He would have defeated the gods if he had been a man of Zen. The gods would have cried and wept, because they had punished him, and he is enjoying. He would have enjoyed the trees by the side of the road, and the rocks, and the rock itself that he was carrying, the texture of it.
If it were a morning like this… And the raindrops, and the smell of the freshly wet earth, he would have sung a beautiful song, he would have shouted a few haikus, he would have said, “This is it!” He would have danced with the rock, around the rock. He would have enjoyed it. And when from the top the rock slips back, the sound of it… And again a new thrill, and the adventure of going down into the valley and bringing the rock up again, and all that beautiful journey; then the whole perspective is changed.
But the Greek mind was a logical mind; they created logic in the world, they are the source of all logic. It looks like a condemnation, Sisyphus is condemned; you can’t see any meaning in it. What will be the meaning? When Sisyphus reaches to the top and is awarded a Nobel Prize, then do you think there will be meaning in it? That will be another rock to carry. What meaning will there be? And the question will remain relevant: what is the meaning of getting a Nobel Prize? What do you think? If he reaches to the top and becomes a millionaire, will that be the meaning? Or he becomes world famous… Sisyphus has reached to the top, and he is talked about in all the newspapers, and his picture is on the front page of all the great newspapers of the world – will that be meaning? What meaning? Can you think of any meaning that will be real meaning?
No, the whole thinking is wrong. If you think of meaning as a result, then you will miss the whole point. That is where Buddha’s insight is of tremendous importance. He says, “Meaning is not in the result but in the act.” And it can only be in the act if you are not looking for the meaning. If you are looking for the meaning you have moved into the future, you have missed this moment; you have missed the present. You have missed that which is, and the beauty of that which is – the benediction of it, the utter joy of it.
This is what Zen is. Zen drops the search for meaning because it is an ego search. The gratification of the ego is thought to be the meaning. Zen drops the very search for meaning, and in that very dropping, all kinds of meaninglessness disappears. See the beauty of it. Then life is, simply is: no meaning, no meaninglessness. How can you be in despair? And when there is no search for meaning, you are no longer separate from life. When there is no search for meaning, how can you divide yourself from life? Then you are part of this organic unity, this simultaneous majesty, this magic of being, this ecstasy of being. Then you sing with the birds, and you bloom with the trees, and you dance with the stars. Then you don’t have any private world of your own – this world is your world. And then there is no idea of the future.
Then this moment is all. It contains eternity.
Friedrich Nietzsche has said, “To have lost God means madness; and when mankind discovers that it has lost God, universal madness will break out.” And this from a man who himself has declared that God is dead. He is afraid of what he has declared, he is afraid of it. He says that when God is lost, man will go mad. That’s exactly what happened to Nietzsche – he went mad. He could not live without meaning although he declared – he dared – that God is dead. Maybe he dared too much, maybe he dared beyond his capacities, maybe he was not able to absorb the death of God; it was such a shock. Maybe he was reacting, and was going to the other extreme, and then a wound was left in his being. He himself could not live without God. He was a very egoistic man, so he could not believe in God; he had to declare God dead. But once he declared God dead, then there was no meaning.
The death of God is the death of meaning. God has remained the meaning for centuries. Since man has existed on the earth, God has been the meaning: “We can always look toward God, life is nothing but a preparation for God, life is a waiting for God, sooner or later we will arrive home” – that there is a home and there is a father figure or a mother figure waiting for you. You are not lost; maybe you have gone astray, but not lost. Any time you can decide to move back, and you will find the home, and the home will not have disappeared. God has remained the center – the center of all meaning; all meaning arises out of God.
Now, it was difficult for the ego of Nietzsche to accept any meaning from outside. He wanted the meaning to come from inside him, the meaning has to be his, not God’s. He didn’t want to borrow it from anybody – he was a very proud man. He declared God dead, but once God is dead, all meaning is dead. Once God is dead, then there is no center in existence, everything starts falling apart, everything starts disintegrating. All other values are dependent values: what is good if there is no God? It is derived from God. What is virtue if there is no God? And what is morality if there is no God? And who is a sinner and who is a saint if there is no God? And why not do this and why do that if there is no God? In the same sentence when Nietzsche declared, “God is dead,” he also declared, “Now man is free.” Naturally, free of all values, free of all restrictions, free of all responsibilities. Now man is no longer answerable; nobody can ask him anything. Now there is not going to be any Judgment Day, now man is free and whatsoever he wants to do he can do.
Fyodor Dostoevsky says: “If there is no God, then everything is permitted.” Obviously, if there is no God, all is permitted, then who is there to command you to do this or not to do this? Then disobedience or obedience are both meaningless. Then Adam cannot be turned out of the Garden of Eden – there is no God who can prohibit him, and there is no God who can say, “Don’t eat the fruit of this Tree of Knowledge,” and there is nobody who can force Adam to be obedient.
And once God disappears there is no sin because sin is disobedience, sin is going against the commandments of God. The disappearance of God means the disappearance of all values; then man is purely an animal without any values. If there is no God, then man is certainly free. Jean-Paul Sartre says, “Man is condemned to be free.” Condemned? Yes, if there are no values, then freedom is going to be too much; you will not be able to live it. Life will become chaos; freedom will turn into chaos, into madness.
And Nietzsche was aware that if there was no God, man was going to be mad. He himself became mad; the last years of his life were of great madness. He lost all sense of direction, all possibility of direction. There is nowhere to go if there is no God. But Nietzsche was not aware that there have been people who have said, “There is no God” and did not go mad. Buddha is one.
There is no God, and still Buddha has not gone mad. In fact, Buddha says that you create God somehow to maintain your sanity. Your sanity is not true sanity – a God is needed to maintain it; without God, you will be exposed. You are mad; God is just a trick to keep you sane. All your religions are nothing but strategies to keep you sane – make-believes, consolations – otherwise, life will be too much and you will not be able to bear it, the pain of it, the anguish of it. If you understand Buddha, then to believe in God is somehow a way to protect yourself from the inner insanity that is there. A really sane man will not need God. A really healthy person, a whole person, will not need God. He will be godliness itself, why would he need God?
Nietzsche is not aware that Buddha has lived without God. And Buddha is not alone – Mahavira has lived without God. And Mahavira is not alone; many, many other enlightened people have preceded them and succeeded them. In the East, the greatest traditions, Buddhist, Jaina and Tao, are all God-less, and yet they are religions. The West is incapable of understanding how they can be religions, how they can call themselves religions if there is no God. They cannot think of a religion without God; they are obsessed with the idea of God. So if God is dead, or God disappears or is no longer found, or man becomes disbelieving, then he will go mad. Nietzsche went mad. And the whole of humanity is slowly, slowly moving toward that madness. He predicted rightly. He was a very prophetic madman.
But Zen has no God. From where does Zen derive its sanity, from where, from what source? Dropping the desire for meaning, God is dropped. God is nothing but a created meaning, manufactured by man. The Bible says God created man in his own image. That is not true; man has created God in his own image – that is far truer. In fact, to say God is the father of man is wrong. God is the son of man – it is man’s idea. Man cannot live without God. That is the neurosis of man; it shows man’s dependence. Man cannot live without a father figure, man needs somebody to lean on, somebody to look to; man needs a great support, man cannot stand on his own, on his own feet.
And that is the beauty of Zen, and that is the message of Buddha: man can be on his own – there is no need to lean on anybody. And godliness certainly arises in you when you are not leaning on anybody, because when you lean, you lean on your own beliefs. They are dreams, projections; they are not true. Out of fear you create God. How can it be true, it is not your experience. Out of despair you create God; it is a by-product of despair. Out of misery you create God. How can your God be satchitanand? How can your God be truth, bliss, consciousness? You create your God out of your unconsciousness – how can it be consciousness? You create God out of your misery – how can God be bliss? You create God out of your lies and the greatest lie is to believe in God without knowing him – how can God be truth? No, God cannot be satchitanand.
Buddha says: God has not to be created by you. You have to come to a point where you are capable of dropping all search for meaning and all longing for meaning. With that search dropped, all “Gods” disappear of their own accord; all paradises disappear. They were nothing but dreams. You are left alone, content-less.
And remember again, you are not falling into despair; you cannot. A buddha cannot fall into despair, it is impossible. Hope has disappeared, so has hopelessness. The goal has disappeared – how can you be anxious now? Anxiety arises only because of the goal: whether you are going to make it or not, hence the anxiety. There can’t be any tension when there is no meaning. Then all that is left is play. All that is left is to live this moment. Then eating, eat; sleeping, sleep; then walking, walk. Each act is ultimate, and it has no reference to anything else. It does not need any reference to be meaningful. It is neither meaningful nor meaningless, it simply is.
That is-ness Buddha calls tathata, suchness: is is is. Buddha calls this is-ness freedom. But the freedom is not like Sartre’s freedom, as if man is condemned to be free. It is glory; it is great splendor. It is releasement – releasement from egoing, releasement from all confinements and identities, releasement of the inner splendor. You bloom, without any future; you bloom in the present. This moment is all.
Buddha started a revolution in human consciousness. His religion is not an ordinary religion; it is utterly extraordinary. It is rare; it is not the common or garden variety. It is very special – a special transmission. Buddha’s insight has penetrated the very core of existence. Zen bloomed out of that insight. What happened to Buddha in Bodhgaya on that certain morning under a Bo tree has lived and grown. It has gathered more and more energy. It has become a big river now – that is Zen.
And Zen has something which is very, very essential for the survival of man in the future; otherwise suicide will become the only thing to think of. Zen can give you an alternative, that alternative is sannyas.
Suicide means there is no meaning, so destroy yourself. Sannyas means there is no meaning, so you are freed from that hankering, now enjoy yourself. Because there is no meaning, there is no destiny. You are free to enjoy this moment with your totality: nothing to hinder, no God to be taken care of, no commandment. You are utterly free to be in this moment.
The future is going to be more Zen-like than anything else. If man is to survive, religion has to take the shape of Zen; it will be closer and closer to Zen than to anything else, because Zen is not a religion like Christianity or Hinduism or Jainism or even Buddhism. Zen is a new kind of religiousness – not religion but religiousness. The difference between other religions is that of quantity. The difference between Zen and other religions is that of quality; it is a qualitative revolution.
Zen gives you a new insight, a new vision; a life of freedom, utter freedom, a life of spontaneity, absolute spontaneity, a life of the moment, in the moment, for the moment. And there is nowhere else to go.
This is going to be the future of humanity, this is the only possibility for man’s survival. Existentialism in the West has created the atmosphere for Zen to pop up. Existentialism is halfhearted Zen, unconscious Zen. Zen is conscious existentialism. Sartre and Camus and Heidegger and Berdyaev and Marcel and others are just predecessors of something that is coming, that has really already arrived for those who can see. Hence I am speaking so much on Zen, because it has the flavor of the future.
Man cannot remain confined in the temples and churches and mosques any longer. Enough! And enough is enough. Man needs the whole sky now.
This is the song of Yoka Daishi; these sutras are beautiful, go into them.
The moon reflected in the stream, the wind blowing through the pines
in the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight –
what is it for?
Yoka is saying, if you ask this question, you are a fool. Can you ask this question: The moon reflected in the stream… Why is it reflected in the stream? What is the meaning of it? Is it not beautiful as it is? Has some meaning to be brought to it; will meaning add in any way to its beauty and benediction? The moon reflected in the stream… Is it not enough? In fact, it is more than enough. What else do you want? Why do you think of meaning?
The search for meaning is greed, and the search for meaning is mundane. The man who is religious will enjoy this moment: The moon reflected in the stream… The beauty, the grace, the silence… Neither the moon wants to be reflected in the stream, nor does the stream want the moon to be caught in it as a reflection. There is no desiring anywhere – no desire on the part of the moon, no desire on the part of the stream. But the moon is there and the stream is there, and so the reflection… Neither the stream is worried about the meaning of the moon, nor is the moon worried about the meaning of the stream. You, sitting on the bank, are worried: “What is the meaning of all this? And if I cannot find any meaning, then why should I live at all, why not commit suicide?”
Such a beautiful world, such grandeur, such a magical moment: the moon reflected in the stream – and you, Albert Camus, thinking of committing suicide, talking about suicide. Can’t you enjoy this moment in its bare nakedness? Do you have to bring some meaning to it? Do you have you to ask what is the use of it? Would you like to sell this reflection in the marketplace? And when you get a ten-rupee note, will you then say, “Yes, it has meaning”? What are you asking for? What do you mean by meaning?
A child is playing and the father comes home and says, “Do your homework. What are you doing? Do something useful!” Why is the homework useful? Because it is going to bring money later on – what else is its use? Play is not useful because it is not going to bring any money.
We have reduced the whole of life to utility; we have all become utilitarians, and a utilitarian is never religious. If you ask me who is religious and who is not, this is my definition. God is not the problem – whether one man believes in God or not does not make one religious or irreligious, because I have seen millions who believe in God and who are not religious, and I have seen a few people who don’t believe in God and who are religious. So that is irrelevant; we will have to find some other definition. This is my definition: the man who only thinks of utility is irreligious. Then he cannot understand beauty, he always asks for utility.
You see a bird on the wing – the sky is clear and there are no clouds, just the bird silently balancing on its wings far away – and you say, “Look! Look at the bird on the wing.” And your friend answers, “So what!” This man is irreligious. He says, “So what!” The bird is on the wing, so what! What is the meaning of it? He is asking, “Can we cash it in?” He is asking, “Can it be reduced to money, economics? Can it be reduced to politics? Will it help me to win the coming election? Will it help me to have a bigger balance in the bank? Is it going to help me become more famous? If not, then what is the point? Why waste time?”

Lao Tzu is passing by, he is going on a pilgrimage. You may ask, “Pilgrimage to where? Is he going to Mecca or to Kailash, or is he going to Kashi?” No. Pilgrimage to nowhere. Just enjoying, in the mountains and the rivers and the valleys, a pilgrimage to nowhere. His disciples are following him. They go into a forest where all the trees have been cut except one tree, and that one tree is so big and its branches so high and so long that one thousand bullock carts can rest under its shade. Lao Tzu sends one of his disciples who is a philosopher: “Inquire what has happened, because the whole jungle has been cut and thousands of workers are still cutting the remaining trees, but why are they not cutting this tree? Just go and inquire.”
He asks the philosopher-disciple to inquire because he is always asking about the use, the meaning. The philosopher goes, comes back a little puzzled and confused, and says, “It is puzzling. I asked them and they said because that tree is useless. They say that all its branches are such that they cannot be used in making any kind of furniture – they are not straight. Its leaves are such that no animal will eat them. When you burn the wood of this tree, only smoke comes out, no fire. It is utterly useless, that’s why they have not cut it.”
And Lao Tzu laughed a hearty laugh and said, “You see the use of uselessness? Now, this tree has survived because it is useless. See the beauty of the tree. Because it is useless, it is enjoying the sun and the clouds; it is still alive. The useful trees have been cut and destroyed.” Then he said to his disciples, “Be useless like this tree, then nobody will disturb you, then nobody will kill you, and you will be able to enjoy, you will be able to dance. Look at the dance of the tree.”

Lao Tzu is saying that use is not all that there is in life, and to think that use is all, is to be a materialist, is to be irreligious. The man who is always asking about the use and meaning is an irreligious person. The religious person enjoys. He does not ask any questions about life. Life is so beautiful – why waste time in asking?
The moon reflected in the stream, the wind blowing through the pines in the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight – what is it for? Yoka is saying: “Do you ask the question, what is it for? Then why ask about man? Why ask about existence? Why ask at all?” Asking creates a barrier to enjoying. Philosophers are the people who enjoy life the least, and it is unfortunate that they dominate people’s minds. And they are the people who enjoy least in the world, they are the most miserable; they are always asking why.

A woman told Immanuel Kant – a beautiful woman – that she had fallen in love with him and she wanted to marry him. He said, “Why? Why should one fall in love? And what is the meaning of love? I will have to think over it.” And he thought and thought, and he read about love and marriage, and he thought of all the pros and cons. It took time, naturally. After three years he decided that it was worth trying, because one was not going to lose anything by it. One might not gain anything, but one was not going to lose anything. He had made many notes – it was almost a thesis – in which he had written all the pros and cons, and the pros were a little weightier than the cons, so he decided.
He knocked at the woman’s door, the father opened the door, and he said, “Now I am ready, where is your daughter?”
And the father laughed and said, “It is too late. She is already married. Now she has a child too. You took too long in thinking; you have missed the point.”

For a philosopher, even love becomes a problem, beauty becomes a problem, joy becomes a problem: he goes on asking why.

I have heard about a patient, must have been a philosopher, his psychoanalyst suggested to him that he go to the hills for rest. So he went there. After a few days a telegram came to the psychoanalyst: “I am feeling very happy. Why? Now explain!”

Even happiness has first to be explained. And don’t laugh at it because so many people come to me when they start feeling happy, when they start feeling joyous, when meditation starts blooming in them, they come to me very puzzled, disturbed, very uncomfortable. They ask me, “I am feeling very joyous, why?” Misery is okay, but joy? Something unexpected is happening, something that they have never expected, something for which they are not prepared.
And remember one thing: if you ask why about misery, it can be answered, but if you ask why about joy, it cannot be answered – because misery is unnatural, so it has a cause, and joy is just a natural outflow, it has no cause. If you go to the doctor and you ask, “I am feeling healthy, why?” he cannot answer you, he cannot explain why. He cannot send you for an X ray, a cardiogram, and other checks, because health cannot be checked in any way; there is no machine that can say that you are healthy and can show the cause. You are healthy because you are alive, you are healthy because you should be healthy; health is natural. But if you go to the doctor and you are ill, he can show you why you are ill: maybe it is tuberculosis or cancer or something else. Causes can be found. Causes can be found only for that which is unnatural. Joy is just natural – never ask why. Never ask why about love, about joy, about beauty, about existence, about life.
The moon reflected in the stream, the wind blowing through the pines in the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight – what is it for? It is not goal-oriented, it is not a means to some other end; it is a means unto itself. If you ask why, you will create trouble, and when the question is not answered, you will feel that it is meaningless. Despair will arise if you ask why, because nature is not in any way obliged to answer you, and it doesn’t answer any foolish, silly, stupid questions. The moon will laugh and go on rushing in the sky, and the stream will laugh and go on rushing toward the ocean, and the wind will go on blowing through the pines – neither the pines will bother to ask or answer, nor will the wind. You will be left alone.
The moment man asks why, he is left alone; he is cut off from the totality of existence. Drop the why, and suddenly you are one with the wind and the pines and the stream and the moon. And that oneness is godliness. It is not a theological concept; it is an existential experience. That oneness is godliness: when the moon is not separate but is bridged with you, and the stream is not separate but is bridged with you – when everything is woven into one pattern – when the leaf on the tree and the farthest distant star are both joined in you and there is no why. Ask the why, and you are cut off; you become isolated, you become an island. And then misery arises, and fear, and loneliness. Drop the why and you are not alone. You are one with existence, how can you be alone? The moon is there, the wind is there, and the pines and the stream and the mountains and the stars, and this vast, infinite existence is yours.
When we attain reality, it is seen to be neither
personal nor impersonal.
This is attaining to reality: when you don’t ask why, when you drop the longing, the neurotic longing, for meaning. That neurotic longing is driving you to such despair that life has become almost impossible; it is a miracle how you go on living. Yes, Freud may be right as far as you are concerned: “Human life is more a matter of endurance than of enjoyment.” He himself never enjoyed life; he endured.
But it is ugly to endure. To endure such benediction in which you can disappear, in which you need not remain separate, in which you can become part of the dance and the song…
When we attain reality… This is reality: dropping the question, the why, dropping philosophical attitudes toward life, dropping the longing for meaning, and you attain to reality.
Suddenly you are one with existence, suddenly you start understanding the language of the birds and the language of the trees; suddenly you attain a primeval unity. And that unity still exists at the deepest core of your being; there you are connected with it.
That’s what I was saying the other day: you are still connected with the stream, with the current of sound, or whatsoever you want to call it: existence, logos, nirvana, “current of the soundless sound,” shabad, whatsoever you call it. You are still connected there – just in the head you have become disconnected. And it is good that you have only become disconnected in the head; if you had really become disconnected at the very roots, then there would be no way to be reconnected. You are still one with the stream. That’s why when you go to the sea something starts bubbling inside you – you are still one with the sea. When you see the tidal waves of the sea, and hear the sound and the roar, something starts roaring in you; your inside-sea starts responding.
Man was born in the sea, man was born as a fish, and the same story is still repeated with each child. Each child in the mother’s womb exists in the sea, a small sea, and the contents of the water in the mother’s womb are exactly those of seawater, exactly, it is as salty as seawater. That’s why pregnant women start eating more salt: they need more salt, they have to create a small ocean, a small sea, inside themselves. The child is again born as a fish. In those nine months in the mother’s womb he has to pass through millions of years. He goes fast, with jet speed, but he has to pass through all the stages.
And even you, when you are out of your mother’s womb, your body contains seawater – and not a small quantity – you are eighty percent seawater, eighty percent! In your body the water has to contain the same saltiness as the sea; that’s why if you miss salt, you don’t feel any energy, you don’t feel vital, you feel weak. That’s why salt is one of the most necessary things in life, even the poorest man has to have salt. In India the poorest may only have two, three things, but if their needs are reduced to the bare minimum, then, bread and salt. Salt is a must; without salt life starts disappearing. You are still carrying a sea inside you. When you go to the sea, your inner sea starts responding, waves start arising.
Have you sometimes seen a veena player, a sitar player? Or have you tried yourself? There are many strings on the sitar; just strike a note on one string, a certain note, and you will be surprised – all the other untouched strings resound with the same note. That is the unity of life. That’s what happens with a master. He goes on playing a certain note in his being, and the same note starts resounding in your being, in the being of the disciple. This is satsang. Sooner or later you start hearing the inner sound, you start hearing the inner melody.
You go to the sea – the sea speaks to your inner sea. That’s why you are so affected on the full-moon night. More people go mad on a full-moon night than on any other night. More poetry is born on a full-moon night, and more love, of course. In every language of the world there are words which relate madness with the moon. In English, lunatic comes from luna, the moon. In every language there are words which show the connection with madness; something happens between the moon and the mind. Just as the sea goes mad when the moon is full, your inner sea also goes mad when the moon is full. You are connected.
When you go into a deep forest and you come upon that primeval silence of the forest, something resounds in you: nostalgia, you remember. Something inside starts coming up to the surface. You carry all the experiences of all existence in you. When you go to the Himalayas, it is not that the Himalayas that make you feel so silent; the Himalayas can only make something resound in you, an inner Himalaya is there. Man has lived in the mountains. The fresh air and the virgin snows, and something virgin in you rises up. We are one. This is what Zen people call: When we attain reality, it is seen to be neither personal nor impersonal.
Then, one knows it is neither personal nor impersonal – both words are useless. God is not a person, and God is not impersonal either. Then what is God? Difficult to say – God is ineffable. It is an experience of organic unity with the whole, and the whole is not personal or impersonal. All those kinds of words that depend on dualities become meaningless, they have to be dropped. That’s why Zen people are silent about God; they don’t say a word.
If you make a statue of God it becomes personal. If you don’t make a statue of God like the Mohammedans, it becomes impersonal. But the reference remains the same, the person. Personal or impersonal, Hindus and Mohammedans are not very different; one makes the statues, the other one destroys them. But both believe somehow in the same thing. One worships; one destroys, but both are clinging to something deep down which is the same. One thinks God is personal, the other thinks God is impersonal.
God is neither. All our words fall short. Godliness only is. Is is is. Is-ness is godliness. Now, can you call is-ness personal or impersonal? When the moon is reflected in the stream, is it personal or impersonal? And when the wind blows through the pines, is it personal or impersonal? Those words make no sense. It is. The wind blowing in the pines is blowing in the pines, and the moon reflected in the stream is reflected in the stream. It is. All that can be said is: it is. That is the meaning of the word tathata: it is.
There is no sin, no paradise, no loss or gain;
about this transcendentality, no questions!
A great statement of immense significance: There is no sin, no paradise… All sin is created because of our idea of how things should be. We cannot accept things as they are, we want to impose our will on existence, we are continuously trying to impose our will on existence: “Things should be like this.” But when the wind is blowing in the pines, is it virtue or sin? And when the moon is reflected in the stream, is it moral or immoral?
Reality simply is. There is no sin, no paradise… And if there is no sin, how can there be hell? Because if there is no sin, there can be no punishment. If there is no sin, there can be no virtue and no reward; there can be no paradise.
Just the other day I was saying that what Charan Singh says is utter nonsense; seven hells, seven heavens… Just creating fictions to exploit people. There is no hell, no heaven. Hell is nothing but imagination – the imagination of pain, misery. And heaven is again imagination – the imagination of all the pleasant experiences that have happened to you, and you want them again and again and again, you want them forever.
Life simply is, and life is herenow.
There is no sin, no paradise, no loss or gain… I say this is a great statement; one needs a great heart to understand it. The narrow person will be confused, the narrow-minded will be very disturbed. It needs a wide opening, a sky-like open heart. There is no loss, no gain; that is all greed, loss and gain. That is what I call the irreligious person: one who always thinks in terms of loss and gain.
People come to me and they ask, “We are interested in meditation, we see your people dancing and singing, but can we ask what will be the real gain?” Real gain! Singing and dancing is not enough? What do you want by real gain – something tangible, something you can carry home and show to your neighbors: “Look, I have got meditation, you don’t have,” something that you can place in your drawing-room to impress people: “Look, this is meditation”? What do you mean by “gain”? The greedy mind, the business mind, continuously thinks in those terms. And because of this greedy mind there are people who go on exploiting you. They say, “There will be great gain.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes on saying to people that not only will there be spiritual gain, there will be economic, financial gain also. “If you meditate, you will earn more. Riches will be attracted toward you if you meditate more. If you meditate you will succeed.”
What kind of rubbish is this? But that’s what people want. This has been my experience and my observation: since the so-called Indian gurus have started going to the West, no Indian guru has been able to transform the West, but the West has been able to transform all the Indian gurus. Rather than helping them to meditate, they all become businessmen. They start talking their language, “This will be the gain,” “You will not have heart attacks,” “You will have a more successful life,” “You will be more famous,” “You will get more friends,” “Your married life will be a happy life.” Meditation has nothing to do with these things. Meditation is sheer joy and meditation only happens to those people who are not asking for such things. If they are asking for such things, it can’t happen. And those who go on promising you that these things will happen… Meditation has not happened to them either, because a man who knows what meditation is cannot cheat you.
There is no sin, no paradise, no loss or gain; about this transcendentality, no questions!
Questions cannot be asked about it: either you experience it or you don’t. And questions can’t help you to experience it either. Just go under the sky and watch. Feel the wind blowing through the pine trees. Become the wind passing through the pine trees, and sometimes become the pine trees and feel it.
Religion has to be felt. Become the stream and reflect the moon, or become the moon and be reflected by the stream. And if your meditation goes deeper you can become both together: the moon and the stream, both together. Those are the experiences of godliness. That’s why I say Zen is going to be the religion of the future, because the religion of the future will be aesthetical, it will not be ethical.
The religions of the past were ethical, moralistic, puritan. The religion of the future will be aesthetical. Beauty will be its value, and all else will arise out of the feeling for beauty. The past religions have been prose; the future religion is going to be that of poetry.
In the past, if somebody was fasting it was thought to be great. That is not going to be so in the future. If somebody is dancing, then he will be thought to be a saint. Fasting? What has it to do with religion? The man is a masochist, is pathological, he needs psychological treatment. He is killing himself and you are worshipping him – you are also a part of it. If he is going to hell, you too will go to hell. If there is any hell, you will both be there, because he tortured himself and you helped him to torture himself. You are violent.
When you worship a man because he is fasting, you are being violent, you are inhuman – because if you go on worshipping him, he will have to torture himself more and more. That’s what happens: if he wants his ego to be fulfilled, if he wants more and more people to worship him and think of him as a saint, he will go on fasting more and more. He will find more subtle ways of torturing himself, he will lie down on a bed of thorns or he will start beating himself every morning.
There was a sect, a Christian sect, and the greatest saint was one who would flog his body till bleeding every morning. People would come and watch. Just think of those people. They would watch, and the saints would be flogging their bodies, and blood would be coming, and their bodies would be tortured. And people would watch with glee, seeing who was the greatest saint, who could torture himself the most. Now, these saints were ill and the people who had come to see them were also ill. In Russia there was a Christian sect in which men would cut off their genital organs and women would cut off their breasts, and they were thought to be great saints. And when this ceremony happened, thousands would gather to see it. Now, in what kind of world have we lived in the past? What kind of people have we been thinking to be religious?
The new religion is going to be aesthetic, poetic. A man will be thought religious if he paints beauty, sings beauty, dances beauty, if he has grace, if his life is a joy. And not only joy for himself but an overflowing, a superabundance of joy, not only is he blissful, but he shares his bliss. That is going to be the religion of the future. And the first hints of it have happened in Zen. It is only the Zen masters who have been painting and writing poetry. These are the first glimpses of an aesthetic revolution. And my feeling is that if a man has a sense of beauty he cannot be bad, because all badness is ugly. The man who has a sense of beauty is bound to be good – and without any cultivation of good. The goodness will be just natural; it will follow his sense of beauty.
Let beauty be your godliness.
There is no sin, no paradise, no loss or gain; about this transcendentality, no questions! Don’t be philosophic; be religious. Don’t speculate, experience.
Who is thought-less? Who is birth-less?
Don’t go on thinking about these things, these are questions: What is truth? What is soul? What is paradise? Don’t go on thinking about these things, you will never solve them, and the answers that are given will create more questions and nothing else.
Who is thought-less? Who is this witness? Who meditates? Who arrives? Don’t ask these questions. Arrive, meditate, witness. Become thoughtless and see, and you will come to know who is birth-less, who is deathless.
Life is birth-less, life is deathless, life continues. Forms go on changing, forms are momentary; life is eternal. But remember that eternity is expressed through moments. Don’t create a separation between the moment and the eternal, don’t start searching for the eternal, and don’t start sacrificing the momentary – because the eternal expresses itself through the momentary, the soul expresses itself through the body.
God did not made the world; God became the world. If God has made the world then he remains separate, aloof. God has become the world. Declare it! Go to the housetops and declare it to the whole world: God has become the world! Now there is no longer any duality between God and the world; there is nothing like God and the world. The world is divine. The world is God-full; it is a God-fullness, it is godliness – there is no other God beyond it.
It is here, it is now – in me, in you, in the birds, in the trees – this moment. Live it, experience it!
Enough for today.

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