The Sun Rises in Evening 09

Ninth 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.

We get rid of illusion and acquire the truth,
but this is discrimination; our mind is cleverly false.

All principles are no principles;
they have no relation to spiritual perception.

It never leaves this place, and is always perfect.
When you look for it, you find you can’t see it.
You can’t get at it; you can’t be rid of it.
When you do neither, there it is!
When you are silent, it speaks;
when you speak, it is silent.
What is religion? This is the most baffling question of all. The definition of religion seems to be impossible, and yet it has to be defined. Without definition a word becomes meaningless.
Religion is a strange word; it has meaning but it is very elusive, you cannot catch hold of it. The moment you succeed in defining it, you have killed it. It remains indefinable – the very nature of it is such. Millions of definitions have been given, but no definition has yet been able to do justice to religion. It is vast, and definitions necessarily have to be definite, that’s why they are definitions. The vastness is such that it contains vagueness; the moment you have made it definite, it is something else, it is no longer the same vast infinity.
I have heard about an artist…

He had gone to the forest. It was a beautiful day; the birds were singing songs, and in the background the noise of the insects was like a continuous melody. The earth was wet, and the freshness of the air, and the smell of the wet earth…
He was infinitely enchanted. And the trees and the greenery, and then the sudden appearance of the sun out of the clouds, and then a cuckoo started calling from a distant valley, and then a rainbow… He was so happy, he was in such a delirium of joy, that he wanted to make this moment eternal. He wanted to paint it or carve it on wood or do something, write a poem, sing a song or compose music. But nothing was available there, and he did not want to miss the moment and the beatitude of it, so he started carving on wood. He had a knife so he started carving. But how do you carve the constant melody of the insects? How do you carve the singing of the birds? And how do you carve the sudden burst of the sun? And how do you carve a bird on the wing balancing itself in the sky? And how do you carve the smell of the wet earth? And how do you carve the sharpness, the freshness, of the air? Soon he was disappointed. He tried hard, but there was no way to carve it, and whatsoever he carved looked silly.

That’s what has been happening to all the definitions of religion. Each definition, once you have carved it, looks silly. First, because religion is vast; second, it is an inner experience. It is a taste on the tongue or a smell in your nostrils or a feeling in your heart. By its very nature it cannot be reduced to words, to doctrines and creeds. It is a simple experience, very simple, but the very simplicity creates the problem. If it were a complex experience there would be a possibility of defining it. Complex things are easy to define; simple things are impossible to define. How do you define the color yellow? You can say yellow is yellow – what else is there to say? But to say yellow is yellow is not a definition, it is a tautology; you have not said a single thing more than was not already said in the word yellow itself. What have you added to it by saying that yellow is yellow?
That’s why to the logicians, the statements of the mystics look absurd: they are saying yellow is yellow, religion is religion, love is love, truth is truth. But these are not definitions; a definition is supposed to say something about the defined phenomenon. It is supposed to help those who don’t know the phenomenon itself, it is supposed to help those who have not experienced it. But there is no way; you cannot explain it.
In the past it was not so baffling, because the Christian believed that the only real religion is Christianity, so his definition was the only true definition, whatsoever it was: XYZ. And the Buddhist thought his religion is the religion; all others were false religions, so their definitions were false. And so was the case with the Hindu and the Mohammedan and the Jaina and the Parsi. It was simple: the Mohammedan thought God was a Mohammedan, and the Hindu thought God was a Hindu – just as when a small girl was asked about God, she said: “God is a Baptist.” She was a Baptist, she had been brought up in that sect. It was simple in a way. People believed in Mahavira or in Buddha or in Krishna or in Zarathustra – their definition was the only definition; all other definitions were false.
But the problem has become more and more complex today because now people are not so stupid, not so stubborn, not so orthodox, not so dogmatic. Man’s tolerance has grown, man’s heart has become more open, man has allowed himself to become acquainted with the attitudes of others. Now you can read the Koran, you may not be a Mohammedan; you can read the Gita, you may not be a Hindu. You can read the Talmud and you may not be a Jew. All has become available; that has created a great complexity, a great confusion. What is religion now? So many definitions contradicting each other… And they have to contradict each other – not that religion has not been understood by these people, not that one definition is right and others are wrong – no, all are right, but religion is vast and everybody experiences it in his own way, in his individual way.
When you come to godliness, you will experience it in your own way. You can’t experience it in my way, because you have a totally different personality, a different perspective, a different way of looking at things. When a painter comes into the forest, he sees one thing, when a poet comes, he sees something else, when a scientist comes, he sees still something else. And the woodcutter… He may not see the beauty at all, he may simply be seeing which wood he can cut and sell in the market. He may not be concerned with the greenery and the flowers and the birds and the songs.
It depends on you. Godliness is infinite, but each person has to look through his window. All visions are right, but they are bound to be contradictory because individuals are contradictory. When a woman comes to godliness, she will have a totally different experience than a man. She is a woman – her ways of knowing things are more intuitive and less intellectual, her ways of knowing are of the heart and not of the head. When a man comes to godliness, his ways of knowing are not so much of the heart, are not so intuitive; it is going to be a different kind of definition.
So, millions of definitions are now available, and people have become acquainted with all of them. Now they are puzzled, they are so puzzled that they are paralyzed. Religion has disappeared from the world because of this confusion. And it cannot be helped; this confusion has to happen. Man has come closer, and it is a good thing that man has come closer. Now we need a totally different approach. Old definitions have become invalid – because of their very contradictions they have become invalid.
We are living in a very different world than the world which existed five thousand years ago, or two thousand years ago. Jesus moved in a small world of Jews; he knew their language, he knew their ways of expression, and he used those words. Buddha lived in a totally different world. Jesus calls God, “father” – abba; Buddha cannot call him abba, or father – in fact, Buddha simply says nothing about God. He talks about nirvana, where all disappears, even God. To Buddha, Jesus’ expression will look childish, just as calling God, father appears as a father fixation to the psychoanalyst. It is not. Jesus was simply using the language that was available to him, and that language was the language of love. Buddha’s language was the language of intelligence, not of love, not of the heart, but of awareness, of meditation – a different language.
But to the modern mind all these languages have become available. In the past, many believed, few doubted; now nobody believes and obviously nobody doubts, but everybody wonders what religion is, what godliness is. Now it is no longer a question of belief or doubt, but everybody is wondering what it is all about.
The old ground has disappeared; a totally different orientation is needed. The future will not know anything of Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity – their days are over; they can linger on a little while longer just out of people’s old habits, but their days are over. They have lost life, they are dead corpses – corpses of loved ones, corpses of beautiful people, but corpses still. The life has left; the spirit has left; now the temples are empty. You are going to mass just as a formality; the churches are just a social ritual, they don’t mean a thing. Now, you don’t have a passionate affair with God, you don’t have any intensity, it is not a question of life and death.
And many new definitions have appeared because men ask for definitions, so even people who don’t know anything of religion go on defining it; the philosophers define it, the theologians define it, the professors define it. Even stupid politicians define it – those who have nothing to do with religion, those who are basically irreligious, because a politician can never be religious, his whole endeavor is anti-religious. Ambition can never be religious, a search for power can never be religious; it is violent, it is ugly, how can it be religious? But they go on defining – so many nonsense definitions have also come in.
Just the other day I was reading a few definitions. Matthew Arnold’s definition of religion is: morality touched by emotion. Now, neither has morality anything to do with religion nor has emotion. Remember the words of Yoka again and again: that it is not moral, it is not immoral either; it is beyond. And Professor Taylor’s definition: the belief in unseen things. It is not a belief at all. Religion is not a belief at all; those who believe in religion have not known anything of it. It is a trust but not a belief, a faith but not a belief. And the difference between faith and belief is great. Faith is out of experience, belief is borrowed: somebody else has experienced, and you believe, but that is not religion. Religion is one’s own experience, and out of that experience great faith arises.

A great atheist went to Ramakrishna, and he argued for hours against God. And Ramakrishna finally laughed and said, “You argue beautifully, and I am not a logician but still I can appreciate your logical acumen. I appreciate your intelligence; you have a beautiful intelligence. You are clever, and I cannot refute whatsoever you have said because I am not educated at all. But one thing I would like to say: whatsoever you are saying is pointless because God is not a question of proof or disproof. I know him. Nobody can disprove it. Even if I cannot answer you and your arguments, still I know that he is. I have tasted, I know the taste of godliness. What can your proofs or disproofs do to it? Even if the whole world comes and says there is no God, I will still know he is, because I have known.”

This is faith. You cannot unhinge the man of faith. But the man of belief is a poor man; you can create doubt in him very easily – just a single word and doubt can be created. That’s why believers are always afraid, afraid that their belief may be broken. They live in a glass house, not even a glass house but a dream house – very fragile.
So religion is not a belief and not in unseen things at all, because when you enter samadhi, godliness is the only thing that is seen there; everything else becomes unseen, godliness is the only tangible experience. Godliness is the only reality when you enter samadhi. It is not a question of the unseen.
In fact, the man of religion feels very puzzled with you because you continue believing in things that you have not seen. You believe in matter, and nobody has seen matter. Now scientists say there is no matter. The mystics have always been saying that the world is illusory – there is no world, no matter – but nobody has bothered about them. But now scientists say there is no matter, it only appears so. It is an appearance just as in a desert, thirsty and dying, far away you can see an oasis. It only appears; when you reach there, it has disappeared. Or when it is becoming dark in the evening, you can see a snake in a rope, but if you come close and you bring light, the snake disappears. The matter that we believe in is not really there. The belief is utilitarian. And has anybody ever seen anything? All that happens to you is inside you.
I am sitting here, but can you be certain that I am really sitting here and you are not dreaming – because the same thing happens in your dreams? I have spoken in your dreams too, and then too it is almost real, as real as it is now. How will you make a difference between the two experiences? When in the dream you see an elephant passing by, it looks real; in the day you see an elephant passing by, it looks real. What is the difference between the two?
Whatsoever you see looks real, but many times you have found that that which appeared as real is proved later on not to be real. So what do you mean by “the seen” – this world? Then godliness is unseen. But ask the awakened, and they tell a totally different story, they say that only godliness is seen, everything else is unseen; everything else has never been seen, only believed in.
And godliness is not an experience like matter, because it is not outside. When it happens, it happens inside you. Just think of one thing: can you suspect, can you doubt, your own existence? It is impossible; you can doubt everything, but you cannot doubt the doubter. You cannot doubt your own existence. How can you doubt it? Even to doubt it, you will be needed; even the doubt will prove that you are, otherwise who will doubt? One’s own existence cannot be doubted; that is the only indubitable fact in life, that is the only reality and that’s what godliness is.
But such definitions continue. George Bernard Shaw defines it as, “that which binds man together.” That looks prima facie absurd because religion, the so-called religion, has been the cause of keeping people separate. A Mohammedan, a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, how are they kept separate in watertight compartments? Who is keeping them separate? It is the so-called religion. Maybe George Bernard Shaw is wishing that religion should be that which binds people. In fact, the word religion itself means that which binds together, but that is a very difficult definition; if you go into it, it will create more problems than it will solve. In fact, people are bound to each other more by common hatred than by love.
If China attacks India, the whole of India becomes united; the common enemy, the common hatred, the common object of hatred, makes people join hands together. They forget all their small quarrels. When there is no enemy, they start their small quarrels again. People seem to be together only because of hatred; it keeps them together because they have a common object of hatred. Then is hate religion? Up to now man has not been together because of love but because of hate. Love has not yet become a reality in the world.
And an even stranger definition: Havelock Ellis says, “Now and again, we must draw a deep breath of relief, and that is religion.” Now people are guessing, and anything goes. Now you are living in a very confused world; the confusion is becoming greater and greater. People’s minds have lost all clarity, all certainty; it is very difficult to make any sense out of this salmagundi, this kedgeree, this potpourri. Everything seems to be utterly confused.
How am I going to define religion? I am not going to define it at all – that is the first thing I would like to tell you. We have to be courageous enough to experience it rather than try to define it. All definitions have failed, now the time has come to experience it. Religion is an experience, an ineffable experience, inexpressible experience. And these are not definitions, because I am not saying anything about religion. I am only saying what it is not. We have to move through the negative; all positive definitions have failed.
And that is the approach of Yoka. He is trying to bring the truth home through negation; he is eliminating, he is saying: “This is not religion, this is not religion, this is not religion,” but he is not saying what it is. That, he is leaving to you. He will simply eliminate that which is not, and then you have to go into that which is left behind, the indefinable. If you go into it, only then will you know it. And each man has to go into it because it is not something accidental. Religion is such an intrinsic necessity that you cannot avoid it. If you try to avoid it, you will become part of some kind of false, pseudo-religion. The appetite is so intrinsic, there is a real hunger for religion, and because people have denied their real hunger they are eating things which are not worth eating – they are eating synthetic food. Even communism has become religion to a few people because the hunger is such that communism, which is anti-religion par excellence, has become religion to many people.
I have heard an anecdote:

Krushchev was talking to Nasser of Egypt and, as he was always prone to, he became very passionately involved in the discussion, and said, “I swear that communism is sacred!”

Communism sacred? How can communism be sacred? And if communism can be sacred, then what will there be left which is not sacred? The sacred is the basic ingredient of religion, but communism has become sacred to many people, fascism became sacred to many people.
The hunger is such that if the real is not found, you are going to be caught by something unreal. If you don’t find a true master, you are bound to fall into the trap of some untrue master, but you can’t avoid it. Religion is not such a thing that can be avoided. Nobody can avoid it. It is better to consciously search so that you can find the right source of nourishment.
Now, to call communism sacred is a contradiction in terms. How could Krushchev call it sacred? Deep down in this man there must have also been a hunger for religion. Now the Kremlin has become almost a Kaaba, and the mausoleum of Lenin has become as sacred and holy a place as Bodhgaya. But to go and bow down to the Bo tree in Bodhgaya is one thing; you will find some nourishment there. To go to Kaaba is far better than to go to the Kremlin because still you will find some nourishment there – there is a possibility a door may open. But what door can open in the Kremlin? And at the grave of a communist leader, Marx, Engels, Lenin or anybody else, what can you find there? These people were empty. Certainly, if you go to Bodhgaya and sit under the same tree, because the tree still exists … The tree must be carrying some memory of this man Gautam Buddha, because the explosion of light was such that it is impossible that the tree would have missed it. And trees are not cunning; they are simple people, innocent people. When Buddha became enlightened, something of his enlightenment must have touched the very heart of the tree. When you bow down to that tree, or when you sit under the tree and meditate, you can fall in tune with Buddha again; there is a possibility. But what are you going to get sitting by the side of the mausoleum of Lenin? That man had nothing in him.
But it happens. It is contradictory but it happens. It happens because of a real desire, and if you are caught up with the unreal, you will become contradictory.
Listen to this anecdote…

The Yiddish word for crap is tinneff.
Cohen was eating in a restaurant. The manager came over and asked him how he liked it.
“I don’t like it at all,” said Cohen, “for two reasons: the food you serve here is absolute tinneff. You should be ashamed serving such food!”
“And what’s the second reason?” asked the manager.
“The second reason is,” said Cohen, “why do the portions have to be so small?”

Watch the contradictions of your mind; everybody is carrying contradictions in the mind. The man may be denying religion, and may still be searching for religion. The man may deny godliness, but his denial may only be coming out of a great desire to search for godliness. He may be afraid that if he accepts godliness, he will have to go into the search; he may not be willing to sacrifice all his investments for the search.
And another story about Cohen:

Jews spend the Sabbath, known in Yiddish as shabbat, at the synagogue, chanting, praying, and reading religious books like the Talmud.
It was the middle of the week when Levi met Cohen in the red light area of the city. Cohen was carrying religious books – the Talmud, Mishna, Zohar, and so on.
“Goodness, Cohen,” exclaimed Levi, “is it a religious holy day?”
“Not at all,” said Cohen, “my wife is out of town and I thought I would try out the local whore house.”
“But, Cohen,” asked Levi, “then why are you carrying all these religious books – the Mishna, the Zohar and the Talmud?”
“Well, you never know.” said Cohen. “If I like it, I might stay till shabbat!”

Man is capable of contradictions, very capable, and if one is not conscious, it is bound to happen that you will be caught in a contradiction. The contradiction kills the spirit, and the contradiction destroys all growth, because one hand goes on creating and the other hand goes on destroying. Half of your energy moves in one direction, and the other half moves the opposite way, and then there is no movement possible, that’s how paralysis happens.
I see millions of people psychologically, spiritually, paralyzed. Beware of it. Religion is inevitable; nobody can avoid it. You can become an atheist, then atheism becomes your religion, and that’s very stupid. Then there is no God – that becomes your creed, then that becomes your dogma, that becomes your church, your religion. Never be caught in a contradiction. That’s what is meant by simplicity: a man who is not in contradictions is simple. And godliness is available only to those who are simple.
Religion cannot be defined; it is an experience of innocence, childlike innocence.
The last sutra, Yoka says:
We get rid of illusion and acquire the truth,
but this is discrimination; our mind is cleverly false.
Meditate over it, go deep into it; he is saying immensely important things. We get rid of illusion Now, how do you get rid of illusion? Isn’t it enough to know that something is illusory? Have you to get rid of it? Isn’t it enough to know that it is illusory? Isn’t this getting rid of it, or have you to get rid of it, too?
A man renounces the world, and says, “This world is maya, illusory. I am going to the Himalayas.” If it is unreal how can you renounce it? How can the unreal be renounced? Your very renunciation shows that you think it is real, you are still afraid of it. If you have seen the rope as the rope, will you declare to the world, “Now I am renouncing this snake, and I am going away from here, from this snake, because this snake is illusory”? Will you still run away from the snake saying, “I have seen the rope”? If you are running away from the snake, you have not seen the rope as rope; the snake is still there – maybe you have learned a theory about the snake, and maya, and illusion. The people who renounce the world believe in the world. They are worldly. You will find these worldly people sitting in the Himalayas sitting in the caves, but they are worldly; they have escaped.
I remind my sannyasins again and again, never escape because it is illusory. Where can you escape to? And what is the point of escaping? There is no need to escape anywhere: see it, encounter it, confront it. If you have not seen the rope as rope and the snake still appears, go deeply into it, search as deeply as possible, bring more light to the search. That’s what meditation is all about: bringing more light into the world so you can see clearly. In that clarity, the snake disappears; it was never there, it was imaginary. You had projected it, it was out of your mind; it was not there. When the light comes you suddenly see the rope; the rope functioned as a screen. Now you laugh. You don’t escape anywhere.
Yoka says: We get rid of illusion and acquire the truth… Now both are absolutely absurd: first getting rid of illusion, and then acquiring the truth. The truth is that which is already there inside you. You cannot acquire it. The truth is your being alive, your life is the truth, your being is the truth, your consciousness is the truth – there is no other truth. Truth is not an object; you cannot catch hold of it. It is not a goal; you cannot arrive at it.
Truth is where you have always been. Truth is your innermost reality. Truth is your immortal reality. You have never lost it – there is no way to lose it. So what do you mean when you say, acquiring the truth?
Yoka says: We get rid of illusion and acquire the truth, but this is discrimination; our mind is cleverly false. In fact, even to discriminate that this is untrue and that is true is still to be in the same trap. When you see the rope, where is the snake? How can you compare? One has simply disappeared, has not been found. And the rope that you have found has always been there, whether you have found it or not makes no difference; it has always been rope and rope and rope, the snake has not existed for a single moment. Now, when you come across the rope and you know it as it is, where is the snake to compare it with? How can you even call the snake illusory? It was not at all, not even illusory. For something even to be illusory, it has to exist. And it never existed; it was just a projection, a dream. It had happened only in the mind, it was a ripple in the mind. The mind played a game, tricked you.
And the mind is very clever and can go on tricking you. The mind can say, “Renounce the world, it is unreal.” This is again a new trick. First the mind was greedy and wanted to have all the riches of the world, now the mind says, “Here is nothing; this is all illusion. Go to the Himalayas, meditate there, and acquire the riches of the other world – real riches. This is all false, now search for the real.” But the search continues and the search in itself is false. Searching says that you have not seen reality yet. Searching says that you have not realized the fact of your innermost being. And discrimination is very clever. We go on discriminating; we say, “This is bad, that is good. This is sin, and that is virtue. This should be done and that should not be done.” We are continuously discriminating, and through discrimination we go on feeding the mind, the mind becomes stronger and stronger. All discrimination is of the mind and helps the mind. When discrimination disappears, mind disappears.
And to be in a state of no-mind is meditation.
We get rid of illusion and acquire the truth, but this is discrimination; our mind is cleverly false. All your cleverness will lead you into falsities, new falsities, again and again. One has to drop being clever. See the point, that’s what Jesus means when he says, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my Kingdom of God.” He is saying, drop your cleverness, don’t be cunning and calculating, don’t try to be clever; the cleverer you are, the more miserable you will be. This existence can be contacted only in innocence, childlike innocence. Your knowledge is not going to help, only your innocence – function from the state of not knowing, never function from the state of knowing. If you start functioning from the state of not knowing, you will know what godliness is; you will know what religion is. You will not need any definition. You will have your own experience of it.
But we function from the state of knowing; everybody functions from there, and that’s how we go on and on in the same direction. You can ask a question out of innocence, you can ask the same question out of knowledge. If you ask the question out of knowledge, you are being clever; you will miss the answer. If you ask the question out of innocence, you will receive the answer because you will be innocent, ready to receive. You will be open.
The knowledgeable man is the closed man and you have all become knowledgeable. You have read books, scriptures, you have been taught in the church, in the college, school, university; you have accumulated much knowledge. Now you go functioning from this knowledge that you have accumulated, and it is all borrowed, it has no roots in you. It is all rubbish, tinneff. But you go on sitting on top of it. It gives you ego, certainly: the bigger heap you have of knowledge, the higher the peak of it you sit on. You go on showing, exhibiting, your degrees, you go on throwing your knowledge all around, you are continuously making others feel that they don’t know as much as you know. Now, this is the way to miss truth. With truth you cannot be knowledgeable. With truth you have to be utterly silent, unknowledgeable.
The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it. The stupid person is one who has become very stubborn about borrowed things – very stubborn about his Christianity, about his Hinduism, about this and that, very stubborn. The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it. Stubbornness is an indication of the stupid mind. He is closed. He may be a great pundit, a great scholar, but that doesn’t make any difference; he is closed. He is surrounded by his knowledge, not even a small aperture is left for existence to enter in him; his heart becomes unavailable. He lives surrounded by a wall; he walls people out. And the wall is of knowledge, very subtle, the bricks almost invisible.
The more you understand, the less you realize that you know. When understanding grows, knowledge starts disappearing, in the same proportion. The more understanding a man becomes, the less knowledgeable he is. And the ultimate in knowing is absolute ignorance, innocence, childlike purity. Yes, Socrates is right when he says, “I know only one thing: that I don’t know anything at all.” This is the state where you enter godliness.
…our mind is cleverly false. Beware of it. In the old scriptures, this mind has been metaphorically spoken of as the Devil. There is no other Devil; it is your own cleverness, it is your mind that tempts you, that goes on playing new games, new egoistic trips. Unless one is constantly aware, it is very difficult to get out of this trap. It is a long vicious circle; you have lived in it so long it has become autonomous, it has become unconscious, it goes on by itself, it is a tape that goes on playing itself. You are almost a victim now; you are no longer a master in your own house. But to drop knowledge, to drop cleverness, makes people frightened. They start feeling that if they are not clever they will be cheated; if they are not clever, they will be deceived, if they are not clever how are they going to survive? This is the mind, the Devil, which says, “If you are not clever, you will not be able to survive.”
But just to survive is not a value at all. Even if you survive but don’t know who you are, what is the point? Even if you survive and you accumulate much wealth, and you are very clever and nobody can deceive you and you go on deceiving others, what is the ultimate point? Death will be coming soon, and will take all away. And you will not be able to deceive death.
Don’t waste your life on that which is going to be taken away. Trust life. If you trust, only then can you drop your knowledge, only then can you put your mind aside. And with trust, something immense opens up. Then this life is no longer ordinary life, it becomes full of godliness, overflowing. When the heart is innocent and the walls have disappeared, you are bridged with infinity. And you are not deceived; there is nothing that can be taken away from you. That which can be taken away from you is not worth keeping, and that which cannot be taken away from you – why should one be afraid of its being taken away? It cannot be taken away; there is no possibility. You cannot lose your real treasure. And with that real treasure you become an emperor; otherwise you remain a beggar.
All principles are no principles;
they have no relation to spiritual perception.
A great statement, a great statement of fact, of simple fact: All principles are no principles Forget all Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, because they are not real principles, they are clever devices of cunning people. They are guesswork.
Man is in a constant need to know. The need is true, but very few people are ready to risk for it, so they settle for plastic things. To grow real flowers seems to be difficult, hard, an uphill task. And with real flowers, real roses, thorns also come, and sometimes it hurts. With plastic flowers there is no problem; no thorns, no growth pains, no risk. Real flowers bloom in the morning and by the evening they are gone, and when they are gone you feel pain, their departure takes something from you, it hurts. Unreal flowers, plastic flowers, have a kind of false eternity; they are always there, they never leave you. They always look fresh, they always look new; they are always blooming. That’s what principles are, philosophies are, doctrines are: plastic flowers.
All principles are no principles; they have no relation to spiritual perception. Remember it, spiritual perception opens up only when you have dropped all principles. This is the essential message of Zen: get rid of principles. Don’t be confined by any philosophy, by any guesswork, howsoever clever it is. Remember only one thing: unless something is your experience, it is not worth keeping. Drop it. Don’t gather rubbish, don’t gather unnecessary luggage.
This is my observation of thousands of people. I see them carrying such great psychological luggage, and for no reason at all. They go on gathering anything they come across. They read the newspaper and they will gather some crap from it. They will talk to people and they will gather some crap. And they go on gathering, and if they start stinking, no wonder.

I lived with a man for a few years. His house was so full of unnecessary luggage that I had to ask him, “Now, where are you going to live?” And he would go on collecting any kind of thing. Somebody would be selling his old furniture, and he would purchase it – and he already had enough. He had no time to use that furniture, and he had no friends to call. His whole house was full of furniture, old radio sets, and all kinds of things. And I said, “But I don’t see why you collect all this.”
He said, “Who knows, any time it may be useful.”
One day we went for a walk and on the road, by the side of the road, somebody had thrown a cycle handle. He picked it up. I asked, “What are you doing?”
He said, “But it must be worth twenty rupees at least, and I have picked up a few other things also… Sooner or later I am going to make a bicycle.” He showed me; he had one wheel, one pedal that he had picked up from the roads, and he said, “What are you saying? Soon you will see.”
This man died. The cycle remained incomplete. And when he died, everybody who came to look was puzzled by what he was doing in the house: there was no space even to move.

But this is the situation of your head. I see cycle handles, and pedals, and strange things that you have gathered from everywhere: such a small head and no space to live in it. And that rubbish goes on moving in your head; your head goes on spinning and weaving, it keeps you occupied. Just think what kind of thoughts go on inside your mind.
One day just sit, close your door and write down for half an hour whatsoever is passing in your mind, and you will understand what I mean when I say cycle-handles and… You may be surprised. I promise you the cycle-handle will come – just try it – it is bound to come, not only once but many times. You go on, and the cycle-handle… Just write for half an hour, and you will be surprised what goes on inside your mind. It remains in the background, it is constantly there, it surrounds you like a cloud. With this cloud you cannot know reality, you cannot attain to spiritual perception. This cloud has to be dropped. And it is just with your decision to drop it that it will disappear. You are clinging to it; the cloud is not interested in you, remember it.
There is a Sufi story:

Junnaid was going through the marketplace of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junnaid said to the man, “Wait!” and told his disciples, “Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.”
The man stopped – Junnaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junnaid asked his disciples, “I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?”
Of course, the disciples said, “The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope; the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.”
And Junnaid said, “Now, look.” He took out his scissors, cut the rope and the cow escaped. The man ran after the cow, and Junnaid said, “Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.”
And the man was very angry. He asked, “What kind of experiment is this?”
But Junnaid said to his disciples, “This is the case with your mind. All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow; you are going mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested in it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.”

People come to me and ask, “How to stop this mad mind?” I say, “There is no need to stop it, all that is needed is that you become disinterested in it, and the rope is cut.” That is the meaning of sannyas: become disinterested in the mind. That is the meaning of real vairagya, detachment. It has nothing to do with renouncing the world, but it certainly has something to do with cutting the rope to the mind. Just become disinterested in the rubbish and slowly, slowly you will see a gap arising. The cloud that always used to surround you, is getting farther and farther away and, one day, suddenly it is no longer there. And when you are left without mind, that is the state of spiritual perception, that is the state of darshan, that is the state when you can see, you have eyes; otherwise your eyes are so full of smoke that you cannot see.
All principles are no principles;
they have no relation to spiritual perception.

It never leaves this place…
These are the ultimate words you can ever come across. Be alert while you listen to them. This is the lion’s roar Buddha used to talk about.
It never leaves this place, and is always perfect.
Where are you going? What are you seeking? Whom you are searching for? It never leaves this place… It is always herenow. Where are you rushing to? Why this hurry? Just sit silently and be and know. Be still and know. You are not expected to go anywhere. Existence is not somewhere else; it is sitting in the deepest core of your being. Just be still, be silent, be in no hurry, be unmotivated, forget all goals and the future, be herenow.
It never leaves this place… Whenever it happens, it always happens now and here, because that is the only time and the only space. Now is the only time and this is the only space. It never leaves this place, and is always perfect.
And what are you trying to do? Trying to become perfect? Then you will be miserable, you will fail; you can’t be more perfect than you are. Perfection is already there; it has not to be attained, it has only to be celebrated. The gift has been given to you. You come perfect because you come from perfection. You remain perfect, but you have become so cowardly that you cannot accept your perfection. You have been forced and fed such nonsense from your very childhood that you have become self-condemnatory, that you cannot accept the idea that you are already perfect.
Raman Maharshi used to say all that is needed is permission from you to yourself to be enlightened, that’s all – permission from you to yourself to be enlightened. But that permission seems to be difficult: you cannot permit, you cannot allow. You have been told that you are worthless. You have been told that you are nothing but dust. You have been told to improve yourself, continuously improve yourself. “Work on yourself. You can become perfect only in many, many lives if you work. If you work for many lives, only in the end will you become perfect. Right now you are not perfect.”
This has created tension in you; the future has become more important than the present, and the present has to be sacrificed for the future. You have been taught this nonsense of sacrifice.
I teach you that you are not to sacrifice a single moment for the future. Live it now, enjoy it now, celebrate it now. Dance – existence has given you all. This is religion; celebration is religion – alleluia. Dance, and sing, and say amen. Say yes.
But you go on making small changes in yourself. You have to do this, you have to do that, you have to think that, you have not to think this. And you go on making these minute changes, and they don’t bring you any joy. They make you more and more miserable because you fail again and again.
It never leaves this place, and is always perfect.
When you look for it, you find you can’t see it.
See the beauty of these statements: When you look for it, you find you can’t see it. How can you look for it? You are it. It is in the very look that godliness is hiding, in the very looker that godliness is hiding. It is not there to be sought; it is in the seeker. You are riding a horse and searching for the horse. You will never find it. You can go on rushing to the four corners of the earth, and you are riding the horse. How can you find it anywhere else?
Stop! Settle again. Let your heart become calm and quiet and collected, and suddenly you find that the horse has always been there underneath you; you never missed it. In fact, it was because of the horse that you were running and searching and seeking.
When you look for it, you find you can’t see it.
You can’t get at it; you can’t be rid of it.
It is not an object, it is your subjectivity; it is your existence, your being. You can’t get at it and you can’t be rid of it. There is no way to get it, and there is no way to get rid of it. It is your nature. Krishna says: “Swadharme nidhanam shreyah par dharmo bhaya vaha – to die in one’s self-nature is all, to disappear into one’s self-nature is all.” Even in death there is resurrection and new life. And to live according to somebody else, par dharmo bhaya vaha, is very frightening. To think of following somebody else’s religion, to follow somebody else, is very frightening. But that’s what everybody is doing.
Your parents have given you ideas; your teachers, your priests, your politicians, they have given you ideas. You are trying to work them out, and you are missing all. Swadharme nidhanam shreyah – it is good to die into one’s own self-nature, because it is there that truth is hidden. Be yourself.
It never leaves this place, and is always perfect.
When you look for it, you find you can’t see it.
You can’t get at it; you can’t be rid of it.
When you do neither, there it is!
When you do neither… Neither are you trying to get rid of it. That’s what the communist is trying to do, the atheist is trying to do: to get rid of religion. It comes from the back door; communism becomes sacred, the Kremlin becomes the Kaaba. You cannot get rid of it. Atheism becomes a religion; one is ready to die for atheism. Anything becomes religion, money becomes religion; power becomes religion. Whatsoever you are ready to die for is your religion.
If you don’t relax into your real being, you are going to find something or other to substitute for it. But you cannot get rid of it. It will come from the back door in new guises, in new masks, but it will come. The atheist, the communist, the irreligious man, is trying to get rid of it. The theist, the Christian, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, is trying to get at it. But both agree on one thing: that it is something apart from you.
Yoka says do neither: neither try to get at it, nor try to get rid of it. Do neither, and there it is. When you are not doing anything this way or that, not moving at all in any direction, when all directions have disappeared, when the pilgrimage has stopped utterly, when the world has stopped utterly, when the mind moves no longer and there is absolute silence, there it is. Then you find it: not by seeking, but by disappearing as a seeker; not by search, but by rest; not by running – and with speed – but by not running at all.
Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself.
The benediction is suddenly there when all effort disappears. When you are in an effortless rest – the benediction. Just now, this very moment, be alert, behold it is here. It is surrounding you, it is in and out – only it is: the beatitude of it.
Beatitude means be-attitude, “in a state of being.” There is beatitude and great beauty and great grace, the releasement that Heidegger talks about. The buddhahood, the enlightenment – names for the same reality, different names.
You can’t get at it; you can’t be rid of it. When you do neither, there it is! So simple, so easy, not complex at all! No guidance is needed really, no path has to be followed and no method has to be used. All methods dropped, all paths forgotten, all guidebooks burned, and suddenly you are there and it is there and you are it.
When you are silent, it speaks;
when you speak, it is silent.
When you are not, it is; when you are, it is not. Your absence is its presence; your presence is its absence. You are like darkness; it is like light. You cannot meet existence. Let me repeat it again: you cannot meet existence. The meeting happens, but you cannot meet existence because you cannot exist in that meeting as a separate entity; you disappear like a dewdrop in the ocean. Yes, the meeting happens, but a very strange meeting: the dewdrop no longer exists, it has become one with the ocean.
It has become the ocean. It is not a loser. It has disappeared only as a small dewdrop; its boundaries have grown infinite, now it is unbounded. But man never meets existence because while man exists there is no spiritual perception; his very existence remains like a block. When man disappears, existence is. This is the paradox: the sun rises in the evening. The meeting happens, but man never meets existence, existence never meets man. Have you ever seen light and darkness meeting? It is impossible. How can absence and presence meet? Of necessity, one has to disappear.
Because one does not want to disappear, one goes on seeking and searching for existence. If you search, you remain. The search is not going to give you existence; it only keeps you separate. The search is not a way to existence; it is a way to keep your entity intact. It will look strange that the seeker keeps himself intact by seeking, that the seeker remains the ego by seeking. He becomes a very pious ego of course, because he is no longer seeking and searching for money, he searches for existence, and moksha and nirvana. His search is of great ideals, great values – super values. With super values, super-ego arises. That’s why your so-called mahatmas, saints, are very pious egoists. And when the ego is pious it is more dangerous, because one cannot see it. It becomes very, very invisible. And when the enemy is invisible, it is more powerful.
The ordinary man’s ego is gross, the saint’s ego is very, very subtle, refined, sophisticated. When the poison is pure, it is more poisonous. Such is the case with the ego. The saint’s ego is a pure ego, hence more poisonous. The sinner’s ego is nothing compared with the saint’s ego.
Never be a sinner and never be a saint. Just be. Drop all definitions and confinements. Celebrate being. Never think of yourself as a saint or a sinner. Never feel guilty, and never feel gratified because you are virtuous. And then you are a sage; when you are neither, you are a sage, a siddha. Then you are a sage; you have arrived.
Remember, existence has not to be sought; nothing has to be sought. Never lose the quality of herenow. Bring yourself back again and again whenever you start on a journey. Whenever the mind starts a journey remember, come back.
And small methods can be of help, just of help. For example, down the centuries Buddhist Zen people have been using the small but very useful method of watching the breath. What is the significance of it? This is all that there is in it: it brings you back herenow. You cannot breathe in the future can you? You cannot breathe in the past, can you? You can breathe only herenow. So if you watch your breath, it stops you from going into journeys. Then you cannot go anywhere – the breathing is herenow. It is really a great discovery of Buddha’s, the greatest meditation that has ever been discovered: just watching the breath.
If you watch anything else, there is a difficulty. If you are watching a flower, you may start thinking, “By the evening it will disappear.” You may start thinking of other flowers that you have seen in the past, you may start thinking of the color and the beauty, you may start thinking of the size, how big it is, you may start thinking of all those poems you have heard about flowers and roses. There is danger; you can roam about, you can wander about, you can wander around, you can go for small trips. If you have started thinking of the beauty, you have moved. If you start thinking of the color, you have moved.
Breath is really great; there is no color, there is no beauty, no ugliness either. You cannot roam about, and you have to watch each breath as it comes in and goes out. You have to remain constantly with it, your consciousness constantly moving with the coming breath and the going breath – inhaling, exhaling. There is no time left. When you inhale, you cannot think about the exhalation; if you think, you cannot watch inhalation, you have moved. When you see exhalation, you cannot think of inhalation; if you think, you have missed. So the breath will keep you tethered to the herenow. Breath is just an excuse to keep you herenow. If you can remain herenow, no need to use the method, but if you cannot, then it is a beautiful method of immense value.
The only thing that is needed, all that is needed, is not to go anywhere. Be in a passive, alert state, and you will see the sun rising in the evening, you will see the impossible becoming possible. You will see mysteries opening up; you will see all paradoxes dissolving. You will know, yet you cannot reduce it to knowledge. You will know, but you will become dumb. You will know, but you will not be able to say anything about it. Nobody has ever said anything about it.
I am also not saying anything about it. All that I am saying is how it can become possible, how you can create the occasion in which it becomes recognized by you, how you can remove a few rocks around you of words, principles, doctrines, so that the stream starts flowing. That flow is the flow of existence, of life itself. It knows no death, it knows no fear; it knows no greed. Its purity, its grandeur, its beatitude, its benediction, is infinite.
I have seen the sun rising in the evening. Come with me, so that you can also see the sun rising in the evening. Once you have seen it rising in the evening, darkness disappears and your night is full of the day. Death disappears; your death is full of life.
Enough for today.

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