The Sword and the Lotus 13

Thirteenth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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Is there really upanishad happening here when we sit near you and you say something to us?
The word upanishad is immensely meaningful. It means sitting by the side of the master, whether he speaks or not. The upanishad can happen in silence. It can happen through words, through gestures, just looking into each other’s eyes. It is a kind of heart-to-heart contact: two individuals meeting and merging into one, an experience of deep love, great trust.
Here, it is happening! I can see your joy, your silence. I can feel your love, your trust. And I can also feel that the same is happening on your part. Something is transpiring which can only be experienced, cannot be explained. Any explanation will fall short of it. The experience is so rich and the words are very poor. At the moment when you put the experience into words much of the beauty, the grandeur, the greatness, is lost. Only a very small part, a fragment of the total remains; that too is no longer alive.
My eyes are alive in the whole organism. My hands are alive in the whole organism. If you take any part away it dies immediately, it has no life of its own. The same happens when you start explaining something which is beyond words. Only a fragment, just a part of it is caught in the words, but it is dead. It is no longer the same thing. It is no longer alive, it is no longer breathing.
The real upanishad happens only in silence. Speaking simply creates the groundwork for it to happen. Speaking itself is not upanishad. It is simply preparing a love sphere in which something which is beyond the words can descend. It is just helping to open your heart to be receptive, to be welcoming it. Because when the energy knocks on your doors, they should not be found closed.
This is one of the most fundamental things in spiritual life, that the master’s energy cannot even knock on your doors – that too will be violence, that too will be trespassing. The spiritual work is very delicate. You have to keep the doors open, waiting for the guest. It can come any moment. It is just by the corner. Your opening will be enough to pull it magnetically into your innermost core. That is the meaning of the word upanishad: the master becomes the guest in the heart of the disciple.
The master is ready to become the guest, but the disciple should be courageous enough to take a stranger, an outsider, somebody mysterious to the very core of his being. If there is even a little fear, then it cannot happen. That fear will keep you closed. It is fearlessness, courage, guts. It is trust and love, in one word.
The moment the disciple is ready, the master appears. This is one of the ancientmost sayings: “The moment the disciple is ready, the master appears.” The disciple need not go in search of the master, the master has always come in search of the disciple.
In Gautam Buddha’s life there is a small but very beautiful story….

He comes to a town – the whole town has gathered to listen to him – but he does not start speaking. People start becoming restless: “What is the matter? Everybody important in the town is present. Now for whom is he waiting?”
Finally, the chief of the village asks Gautam Buddha, “The whole village is here – why are you silent?”
And what Gautam Buddha said is worth remembering. He said, “Yes, I can see. Almost everybody is present, but the one girl for whom I have come to speak is not here. She has met me on the way. She has gone to give food to her father and she told me, ‘I will be coming, but don’t start unless I come.’ I have to wait; you need not. If you cannot, you need not. You can go home, but I have come only for her, because I know only she is ready to listen, ready to drink, ready to eat every word, absorb it – let it become her bones, her blood, her very heart. If you cannot wait, it will not be disrespectful to me. You can go.”
The people could not believe this. But the girl came running and Buddha said, “Now I can speak. She has come. I have come from the other village for this single girl. You are all getting the benefit without paying anything. She has paid for you all, because her love and her trust are so total that whenever I pass in this direction it is impossible not to come to this village. I start feeling hurt if I don’t come to this village. I hope one day I will be coming for you all…but you have to learn to love and trust.”

Truth is not something that can be taught to you, it is not something that can be told to you. It cannot be taught, but it can be caught. I cannot give it to you, but you can take it. If you are ready, if you are open, if you are willing, welcoming, that which cannot be said will be heard by you.
It is not in the words, but between the words.
It is not in the lines, but between the lines.
It is in the silent gaps that upanishad happens. So it all depends on you. If you are ready, it is happening for you; if you are not ready, it cannot be forced upon you. Truth can never be forced.
George Gurdjieff, one of the great masters of this age, used to say one thing which strikes people as very strange: “The disciple has to be almost ready to steal the truth from the master.” And he is right!
The master is ready to give it to you, but you are not ready to take it. And Gurdjieff said that you have to be ready to even steal it if it is needed. The master cannot trespass you, but you can trespass the master, because the master has nothing to lose.
Truth is not something that, if you take it, it is lost to the master.
The more it is given, the more he has it.
The more it is spread and shared, the more it springs up from his innermost being. It is inexhaustible. A single master can make the whole world enlightened; people are just not ready.
One friend has asked how he can become a seeker. I can show you the water, I can show you the well, but I cannot create the thirst. The thirst has to come from you. And you are asking me how to create the thirst? I can make available the truth, but on your part the thirst has to be there.
If you are thirsty, you know you are thirsty. If you are not thirsty, you know you are not thirsty. And there is no way to enforce thirst on you.
I did not choose that question to be answered for the simple reason that the person who has asked is sincere, he wants to become a seeker. But if you are not even aware that your life is a misery, that your existence is meaningless, that you go round the clock like a robot doing the same things every day knowing perfectly well one day you will have to die…All this routine is absolutely futile. You don’t have any contentment. You cannot say, “I am fulfilled.” You cannot say, “I have achieved all that my being was destined to achieve, I have realized my potential, I don’t need anything anymore.” If you can say that, then there is no need for becoming a seeker, you have found it already.
And if you are in misery, in pain, in anxiety, in anguish, if your whole life is just a meaningless tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing, then do you have to ask me how to become a seeker? Your house is burning – can’t you see the flames? Don’t you feel the heat? When your house is on fire, do you ask people, “Where is the way out?” Do you consult scriptures to find it? Do you ask an astrologer what is the astrologically right direction to get out of the house? No, you don’t do anything. You don’t even bother whether you are naked or with clothes. If you are in the bathroom taking your shower and the house is on fire, you will run out naked, you may even jump out of the window. You will not give a second thought, “This is not the door, this is a window, and it is not meant for coming in and going out.”
When the house is on fire, then everything is right if you get out, and everything is wrong if you remain stuck inside. Just look at your life and that will make you a seeker. I cannot make you a seeker.
If you cannot see for yourself that your house is on fire, nobody can make you see it. Just look around: half of your life has passed and what is your achievement? Where have you reached? Are not your hands empty and your hearts empty? If this is not making you a seeker, then what is going to make you a seeker?
The person who has asked the question is certainly sincere, but he has not been aware about his own life. He is more concerned about truth – more concerned about water and less concerned about thirst.
You be thirsty. The water will be available. It has never happened in the world that somebody was thirsty for truth and truth was not available. It is not in the nature of things. And life is enough to make you thirsty. Life is really a school to create the thirst, to create the search, to make you a seeker and an adventurer.
The questioner certainly wants to reach somewhere, but he is more interested in the goal far away. His eyes are searching for something that can make him a seeker. That is not the way. You should look close enough within yourself and see all the misery and anguish. See that this life is fleeting – each moment you are dying. Death does not come suddenly. The day you were born, you started dying. It takes seventy years to complete the process – that is another thing – but every moment we are dying.
But people try to deceive themselves even by celebrating their birthday. Each birthday means you have lost one year’s life. Now another year’s life is going to be lost – this is the beginning. Another year is going to be dead soon. Every day you take the dates off the calendar, you are taking some life off from your being. Your death is becoming bigger, and your life is becoming shorter, smaller.
People think when they were children they were small. That is the wrong attitude. When they become old, then they are small, because now life is very small. A child has a long life. Just look at the reality of life and it will create a thirst, it will create a search, it will create a seeking.
But the man must be immensely interested because he has offered me his four acres of land in Kathmandu. It is more than enough for me – but he doesn’t know that I am not alone. I have a world caravan!
In the commune in America the government of America became so jealous and so antagonistic. We had sixty-four thousand acres of land – one hundred and twenty-six square miles. And it was needed, because five thousand sannyasins were living with me, and fifty thousand sannyasins were coming and going all the year round. At festival times there were twenty thousand sannyasins. And I wanted them to have enough space – lakes, the forest – to have the fresh air, to swim…and not to become a crowded city. Otherwise, fifty thousand people at one time would be stepping over each other.
No, even if one hundred thousand people had been there, it would have remained absolutely silent. There would have been no overcrowding. The idea was that everybody should have enough space around himself so he could feel relaxed, at ease.
Perhaps you don’t know that whenever you are overcrowded, something in you is crushed, pressed from every side; it creates tension. And whenever you go to the sea or to the mountains, suddenly you feel a widening, as if you are no longer pressed from every side, but your being has freedom to take as much space as it wants.
So I am grateful for your suggestion that you want to donate those four acres to me, but I want you to note that for thirty years I have not accepted any gift, I have not possessed anything. The closest center has to be given the land. If you want to give the land to me, I cannot take it. But you should donate the land to the meditation center in Kathmandu. They can make a place for me, and you will create a trouble for them, because then they will have to find hundreds of acres more land, because thousands of people will be coming here whenever I am here. Right now they are being prevented. I’m telling them not to come because I’m going on a world tour myself. So you need not come to be in one place and I can meet you around…if the governments and countries and popes allow me! Because even countries where I have never been have made laws that I cannot enter their territory.
There are countries I was planning to go to and I heard that they had been instructed by the pope that I should not be allowed to enter because they are all Catholic countries. This world is not yet human, it is not yet civilized. It is utterly uncultured.
Because the commune in America had become such a great center of meditation – people were coming there to learn meditation from all the corners of the world – the American government became jealous. No other place in America was being visited by so many people from all over the world. Even the White House started looking poor!
Naturally they became jealous, they became very much afraid, and they tried every illegal thing to destroy it. They have destroyed the commune, but they cannot destroy the spirit of meditation, they cannot destroy the seekers, they cannot destroy the people who were coming there. They will meditate somewhere else. It does not matter. They have simply harmed themselves.
It was prestige for America. Otherwise, who goes to America on a spiritual search? Have you ever heard of anybody going to America on a spiritual search? It was prestige for them if they had been a little intelligent. I had created a place where, from all over the world, people were coming to seek, to learn, to be more authentic and real. And we purchased that big piece of land simply for one reason, that nobody would be disturbed.
The closest town to us was twenty miles away. We were an island in ourselves. Nobody was being disturbed by us. Still, the whole American government was immensely disturbed for no reason. Just because people were coming there…it became a world capital. It became more important than Washington. Washington has all the powers and all the money – they could not tolerate that there was some other place also in America where people would come and simply go back. They didn’t travel around America because they did not come to see America. They had not come to see the cities and the American wealth. They were simply coming to the commune – staying there for three months, going directly back home.
They have been ugly in destroying the commune. The sannyasins from all over the world had invested three hundred million dollars in it. They have offended millions of sannyasins around the world for no reason at all.
So I would suggest you give those four acres. For me, they are more than enough, but then the center will be in difficulty. It will have to find a place where the people can come – I cannot prevent them forever. I’m just postponing, week by week. From all over the world people want to come, but we don’t have the space, we don’t have the place.
In the American commune we had a meeting hall for thirty thousand people. Now if thirty thousand people are here in Kathmandu, where are we going to even be able to make them sit together?
But you begin, then others will follow. Somebody else has told me that he has a diamond worth ten million rupees and asked if I am interested in it. He also promises in the footnote that whoever functions as an agent will also get commission, proper commission. Now I’m not interested in the diamond, I’m not interested even in the Kohinoor. What will I do with it? I don’t have any pockets to keep anything. But I will suggest to the man to donate it to the meditation center: that way you will save the commission also!

How can we be close to you when you are far and above us in every respect.
In neither case am I far away or far above you. All that you need is to open your heart. Thinking creates distance. Feeling destroys distance.
Between two lovers – they may be thousands of miles away but there is no distance. And the person who is sitting by your side – if you don’t have any love for the person, although he is sitting by your side almost touching your body there is a distance of thousands of millions of miles.
Closeness is not a physical phenomenon, it is a spiritual thing. Neither time nor space can create any distance. Your question is important, important for all to remember, that the more you love the more you are close to me. And when I say love I do not mean love to me, I mean simply love more – whoever is around you. People, animals, birds, trees – just love more and you will be close to me!
I have heard about an old Buddhist nun….

She had a very beautiful golden buddha. She used to travel and stay in one temple, another temple, and all those temples had big buddhas, many statues. She had a small, portable buddha, because she had to continuously travel. But it was solid gold and a very artistic creation. It was a very beautiful statue.
Each morning, praying to the buddha, there was only one difficulty. She would burn incense, and you cannot say to incense, “Only go to my buddha.” The incense will go in all directions, it will reach to other buddhas. Big buddhas which have big noses…the small buddhas sometimes will miss all the incense….
No, the old nun was in great despair that this was not right, something had to be done. Finally, she managed to do something. She made a small device, a hollow bamboo. So she would burn the incense and put the bamboo with one side touching her small buddha’s nose and the other side near the incense. But then a great difficulty arose: the small buddha’s nose became black! The incense reached, but it burned the poor buddha.
She went to the abbot of that monastery where she was staying and she asked. “What to do? I am stupid. I did this just to take care of my buddha, because I am praying to him and the incense goes to the other buddhas. I am not praying to them.”
The abbot said, “To pray to Buddha and still to be so possessive that you cannot even allow other statues of the same man to have the incense…. In fact, even if the incense reaches to human beings, to animals, to the trees, you should be happy. It is reaching to life! And unless you can see your buddha everywhere, not only in this small statue, you have not understood at all. Your misunderstanding has damaged your buddha.”

So when I say love, when I say trust, I do not mean love me only, trust me only. That’s where religions have gone wrong. Be loving, be trusting to all without any discrimination. Your love, your trust has not to be a relationship with me, it has to be a state of your being that you are loving, that you are trusting; that whatever happens your loving and your trusting will remain the same…you may be deceived, you may be cheated.

It happened in a court that the magistrate was astonished at the fact that the same man was again and again cheated….
Almost every two weeks there was some case in which the same man was deceived, cheated. The magistrate asked the man, “What is the matter with you? Why does everybody cheat you, deceive you?”
The man said, “It is simple: I trust people. How can they deceive if I don’t trust? It is not their fault. It is my way of life: I trust. And naturally, I become more vulnerable to being deceived. If anybody has to be punished, you can punish me; don’t punish them. And I am going to trust whatever happens. Howsoever I am deceived it doesn’t matter. What matters is that my trust remains unwavering. Whether my love is returned with love or not, whether anybody responds lovingly or not does not matter. What matters is that my love remains unwavering.”
In this world people will certainly cheat you more if you love, they will deceive you more if you trust. But it is worth it. What can they cheat? What can they take? Finally, death is going to take everything away. So if they are taking some burden before death comes, let them! Finally, death will collect it either from you or from them. It does not matter finally.
But if you can remain trusting, loving, in spite of everything that goes against your love and your trust, it will make you such a joyous being that in joy you will find yourself close to me. In your rejoicing you will find me close too. Singing and dancing or playing on the flute or on the tamboura, you will find me close to you, listening.
It is not a question of physical closeness. All that is needed is a quality of unshakable love and trust.
One of the monks in Japan was a famous saint….

He used to steal small things from people – very small things – and then he would be sent to jail. Everybody was puzzled. He had followers, rich followers. Even the king used to come to listen to him. And they all asked him again and again, “Whatever you need, you just tell us, but don’t steal. It doesn’t look right. We all feel embarrassed that the man we love, the man we respect goes to jail – at least two or three times in a year.”
But the man never listened.
When he was dying they asked him, “Now at least tell us, because whatsoever you were stealing was useless – one shoe…Now what are you going to do with it? You have not even stolen two shoes, and they were not your size…” And he would do it in such a way that he would be caught immediately – as if the whole device was to be caught and sent to jail.
They wanted to know from him what was the secret. He said, “Nothing much – just a small thing. In the jail there are so many criminals, and nobody takes care of them. Outside there are so many saints, so many masters. You can learn from them, you can afford to go anywhere, but in the jails those poor people depend only on me. I have changed the lives of thousands of people just by going to jail. And I have found in those people, who are thought to be criminals, very loving human beings, very trusting human beings, very simple people.
“It was easier to teach them meditation than to teach meditation to the people who are outside the jail. They seem to be more cunning, more clever, more full of rubbish thoughts.”

It is my understanding too.

One of the governors in India was my friend, and so he gave me permission to visit all the jails in his state whenever I wanted. So I was going to his state jails and I found those people so ready to change, to trust, to love. I was surprised what the reason was. I inquired, investigated, and the reason that I found was that thieves never deceive each other. Criminals never commit crimes against each other, they have a certain honesty about that.
They may be thieves, but if they are partners, they don’t deceive each other as businessmen always do – because to have a partner is very dangerous. In actual life, both will try to deceive each other. Thieves also have partnerships, but it is not known in the whole of history that any thief has deceived the other.
This trusting quality is far more important than their small crimes. And I simply tried to teach them that you can spread your trusting quality towards other human beings.
You know to love, but you just have a very limited area to your love. These qualities are basically such that if you want them, you have to have them in their unlimitedness. You cannot have just a little bit of love, just a little bit of honesty, just a little bit of trust. Either you have the whole trust, the whole love, or you don’t have it at all. It is indivisible.
So I teach very simple things: be loving, be trustful. As far as others are concerned, be compassionate. And as far as you are concerned, be more and more silent, be more and more aware, be more and more conscious.
Whatever you do, do it with consciousness. Just don’t go on doing it like a machine, out of habit.

Buddha was walking on a street, followed by his disciple Ananda….
A fly just came and sat on his forehead. And automatically – as you would have done, he did – he just waved his hand. He continued to talk to Ananda, waved his hand and the fly was gone. But then he suddenly stopped, closed his eyes and again waved his hand, but with a very slow motion. Now there was no fly!
Ananda asked, “What are you doing? The fly is not there.”
Buddha said, “The last time it was there, I moved my hand unconsciously. I continued to talk to you, so my whole consciousness was there and the hand simply moved mechanically. It can move even in sleep.”
When you are asleep, if an ant starts crawling over your feet, your feet will throw it off and you will remain asleep. That much the body can do without waking you up.
So Buddha said, “That I did wrong, and now I am doing as I should have done, just to remind me that never again such a thing happens. My hand should move consciously, with awareness. I should have stopped talking to you. My whole attention should have been towards my hand which was removing the fly from my forehead.”

So as far as others are concerned the three qualities are love, trust, compassion. As far as you are concerned the three qualities are silence, awareness, consciousness.
If these things are possible, you will find me close, very close, as you have never found anybody. And this closeness will be an achievement. I may be miles away – that does not matter. I may not be in the body – that too does not matter, because now you have a secret key of being close spiritually.

I've read a translation of the Indian aesthetician, Abhinava Gupta, in which he says the taste of rasa is the same as the taste of Brahma. His meaning, if I understand correctly, is that the aesthetic experience is of the same order as the experience of God. Sometimes, especially with art and music, I find a spontaneous joy arising. Is this a small taste of what it's like to be egoless?
The great philosopher, Abhinava Gupta, knows exactly what rasa is. There is no exact word in English to translate the Sanskrit word rasa. In Western aesthetics, the concept has not been evolved at all. The only word that can give you a little hint is juice. Literally, rasa means juice.
There are moments of aesthetic experience when you are drowned in a juice: you have a certain taste of spontaneous joy, a feeling of timelessness, a moment when your thoughts have stopped. It can happen seeing a painting, or a beautiful piece of sculpture, or listening to music, or seeing a great dancer, or dancing yourself. All these are aesthetic activities. You can be drowned into some juice which is not of this world.
It happens spontaneously; you cannot manage it to happen. If you make an effort to make it happen then there is no possibility of its happening; it only happens spontaneously.
So either it happens or it does not. You cannot do anything about it. It depends on a certain synchronicity between you and the music. Perhaps a moment comes, listening to music, that your thoughts stop. The listening becomes so intense that you forget your own ego, that you forget thinking about the music, that you disappear almost – just the listening remains, not the listener – and then it is there.

Van Gogh, the great painter, was asked, “Your paintings are never sold?” In his whole lifetime not a single painting was sold, because he was almost a hundred years ahead of his time. He was a genius. It took a hundred years for people to understand his paintings. Now he has become one of the greatest painters, but while he was alive he lived starving, giving away his paintings – which now cost millions of dollars – just for a cup of tea!
Somebody asked him, “You don’t sell your paintings, your brother sends you enough money to keep you alive, but you eat only four days in a week and three days you fast to save money to purchase colors, canvasses, brushes, painting materials” – perhaps never has anybody done his painting with his own blood, but this man did – “what joy can you get out of it?”
Van Gogh said, “You cannot understand. While I am painting, I am not. The painter disappears. There is only the process of painting, and the joy is immense.”

Abhinava Gupta is a great philosopher, particularly of art, aesthetics, but he is not an enlightened man. So when he starts saying that the experience of rasa, the experience of aesthetic beauty, is the same as the experience of ultimate reality, then he is going beyond his limits. I cannot support him there.
I know both. He knows only one. What he is saying is tremendously significant, but he does not know anything about enlightenment, about the experience of ultimate reality, about self-realization. There is not even the difference of quantity between the two, otherwise I would not have objected. I have great respect for Abhinava Gupta; I would not have objected if there was even a slight chance of a difference of only quantity.
For example, one candle is burning in the room – this may be the experience of rasa; ten thousand candles are burning in the room – this may be the experience of enlightenment. The difference is only of quantity. I would have accepted what he says, but the difference is of quality. They cannot be synonymous. They are not, otherwise all artists would have become enlightened. All painters, all musicians, all singers, all dancers, all sculptors, would have become buddhas, but that has not happened, nor have all the buddhas become painters or dancers or musicians. The experiences are qualitatively different.
The experience of beauty is a very momentary flash. It does not change you; it has no radical effect on you. You remain the same person. Before the experience and after the experience you are the same person.
The experience of enlightenment is qualitatively different because it is a radical transformation. Before the experience and after the experience you are not the same person. It is almost a death and a new birth. Before the experience you were one person, after the experience you are another. The change is so vast and so discontinuous with your past.

One day, Gautam Buddha was talking to one of the kings, Prasenjita….
While he was talking, an old bhikkhu came to touch his feet. He asked his forgiveness for interrupting Buddha talking, but he had to leave – according to Buddha’s order, this is the time he should leave – and he could not leave without touching his feet.
Buddha asked him, “How old are you?”
This was a strange question, particularly for Prasenjita the king, who said, “What is the relationship of all this? Just bless him and let him go. You are asking how old he is? You can see him – he is very old, must be seventy or seventy-five.”
The man said, “I am only four years old.”
That was even more amazing. Prasenjita could not contain himself. He said, “Wait. What is happening? First, I was puzzled why you asked, ‘How old are you?’ Now, I am really shocked. I cannot believe this man is four years old. He is at least seventy-five. He may be more.”
Buddha and the old monk both laughed, and Buddha said to Prasenjita, “You don’t know how we count age. We count age only after enlightenment. Just four years ago he became enlightened. The other person who would have been seventy-five years old by now, died four years back; this is a new person. The body is old, but the consciousness is new.”

Abhinava Gupta has no experience of enlightenment. He is right to talk about aesthetic beauty, its experience, but he should not say anything about the ultimate transformation of being. That is committing a crime.
I respect the man for his great insight into aesthetics, but I cannot forgive him for giving a very wrong idea – for generations. Those two experiences are totally different.
If you ask me, I can say that the aesthetic experience, rasa, is close to the sexual experience of orgasm, but not to the spiritual experience of enlightenment. They have a similarity, but are not exactly the same. In sexual orgasm time stops. For a moment two persons are no longer two; there is a great oneness, and an overflowing of spontaneous joy. And there is circumstantial evidence for it.
All great artists are great lovers, not great spiritual people. All great musicians, great dancers, painters, poets – all are great lovers, because the experience of love is very close to the experience of their aesthetic creativity. But it can be said that although the experiences are qualitatively different, if the person who has experienced aesthetic beauty does not stop there…If he starts seeking for how this experience of joy can be not just momentary, a fleeting moment, a breeze coming in and going out by the other door, but asks, “How can I make it something that becomes part of my being so that I do not have to depend on music, on dance, on a beautiful sunrise, on a beautiful painting; so that I have not to depend on anything outside of me, so that I can be absolutely independent?”, that is the qualitative difference.
The aesthetic experience is dependent on something outside you. That’s why I said it is more similar to the sexual experience, because the sexual is also dependent on an outside person. But the spiritual experience is independent, and it is not momentary. It is not that suddenly it happens and then stops. No, it is not momentary. You have to prepare the ground. That preparation is called meditation. You have to make your being ready for it. And the moment you are open and vulnerable and absolutely ready – you cannot say it is happening momentarily, because before it can happen you have to fulfill certain conditions.
You have to be silent – not by the experience, but before the experience. You have to be in a state of no-thought – not by the experience, but before the experience. You have to drop the ego – not in the experience, but before the experience. You have to be absolutely prepared and ready. And the moment you are ready, it happens. It is not momentary; you deserve it. You have earned it; it is your achievement.
And because you have earned it, there is no way of its going. It has become part of you; it is your growth. The aesthetic experience was just dreamlike, very superficial. This is a radical change. You have grown. Now meditation is not something that you do. Now meditation is something that you are in. Even if you want to get out of it, there is no door.
People fall in love and people fall out of love. Nobody has ever fallen out of enlightenment. There is no way.
So let everybody be warned: once enlightened, then don’t tell me, “I want to go back.” There is no way back. Once enlightened, you are enlightened forever.

Your answers are very convincing, very clear and very useful. I think your presence in Nepal has been a great blessing. In you I have found especially these three qualities of love, trust, and compassion. You have loved our country, Nepal, you have trusted us, and also you are compassionate to us.
Thank you so much for your being this.
I have another question:
Is there a way to save the drowning human world?
There is a way. There has always been a way, but the world seems to have decided not to be saved. Century after century man has gone more towards darkness than towards light. And today, perhaps we are for the first time in the whole history of man, very close to global death.
I am not a pessimist.
I am not an optimist either.
I am a realist.
The situation is grave and dangerous. We are sitting on nuclear weapons. They can explode any moment and destroy all life on the earth. But in this darkness and in this moment which is so close to global death, there is a ray of light too. And that ray of light is that if we make all human beings alert of the danger which governments are hiding from people, which politicians are not allowing people to know…If we can make everybody aware of the danger into which the politicians are leading the world, then it is within the hands of the people. And because the danger is great, very great, there is a possibility of a radical change of human mind, because whenever there is a great danger, there is also a great challenge. This is the greatest challenge and the greatest danger that man has ever encountered.
We have as many nuclear weapons as can destroy this earth seventy times. And still we are living as if nothing is a problem, everything is going on as usual. And the politicians are accumulating more and more nuclear weapons. The only way to prevent them is to create a public opinion around the world that we do not want war, that there is no cause which can justify the destruction of the whole of life.
Neither can communism nor capitalism nor any other ism – no cause can justify the destruction of the whole of humanity, because then what is the point? If all are dead, nobody is victorious and nobody is defeated. The third world war will be the most stupid world war, because the war is fought with the idea to be victorious: somebody will be victorious, somebody will be defeated. It is understandable. But in the third world war nobody is going to be victorious, nobody is going to be defeated – all are going to be dead. Now only idiots can be ready to go for such a thing.
And so much energy which could be diverted towards creative ends, which could destroy world poverty, sickness, old age, could give man a longer life, a healthier life…The same energy which becomes death to all can become a tremendous release of life to everybody. The energy is so much available, and energy is always neutral: you can destroy with it; you can create with it.
All that is needed is that all people of intelligence, all people of understanding, all people who have any love for life should create a worldwide opinion that the war is not possible: “We will not allow it to happen.”
This is, on the one hand, a collective effort to save humanity from being destroyed, but just that is not enough, because this kind of humanity has existed for centuries. If people are going to remain just the same, then I don’t think there is much point in saving them. Let them be finished! So this is only half of the process.
The second thing which is even more important is that we should start spreading the scientific method of meditation without any religious ritual, religious adjective. Rather than making it a religious thing, we should talk in terms of science, so that even atheists can become participants in meditation. If there is no question of believing in God, no question of believing in heaven and hell, no question of believing at all, then theist or atheist, Hindu or Buddhist, Christian or Mohammedan, Jew or Jaina, it makes no difference. Just a simple process of going inwards, realizing oneself.
So two things have to happen simultaneously. One, a world opinion against war, and second, a great movement for meditation so each individual becomes more integrated, more intense, more loving, less violent, less angry. In that way he will not support the war, he will be against the war. And perhaps each individual has even to be made aware of the world opinion that the war is going to happen.
So it is not only a question of saving the world. The few years that you have got, you have to realize yourself before they destroy all humanity and all life on this planet.
This is a double-front attack against destruction and the drowning of humanity so that there should be no war, because war has lost its point. It makes no sense anymore. And secondly, that this kind of humanity is not worth saving, we have to change man. We have to save man just to change him.
So simultaneously, everybody who is interested in this beautiful planet, in this vast universe…this is the only small planet, this very small planet which is full of life. Not only is it full of life, but full of consciousness. Not only full of consciousness, but this is the only planet in the whole universe of millions of stars and billions of planets – a single planet, this earth – that has reached to the ultimate experience of enlightenment. We should not allow this earth to be destroyed.
This is the very crown, the very cream in the whole universe. If this earth is dead, the whole universe is dead – and without life and without consciousness and without any possibility of another Gautam Buddha.

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