The Sword and the Lotus 14

Fourteenth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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I understand that the gap between the ideals and reality can be bridged by me on my own only. On the other hand, I am receiving your immense help. I cannot understand the contradiction.
There is no contradiction at all. I have been telling you that you have to walk the way, I cannot walk on your behalf.
That does not mean that I cannot help you. That does not mean that I cannot indicate the path to you. That does not mean that I can’t make you aware of the pitfalls on the path.
The master as a friend can help immensely, but the master should not become an owner. He should not possess the disciple as a slave, he should not ask for any surrender. The surrender has to be for the whole of existence, not for any individual.
You have to surrender the ego, not to someone, you have to simply drop it.
If somebody demands you to surrender yourself to him, demands that you should obey him and says that disobedience is sin, then he is creating a spiritual slave out of you. He is not going to help you, he is destroying you. And millions of people on the earth have been destroyed in this way. They have become simply slaves of traditions, scriptures, statues, temples, rituals, but nothing of it transforms their being, nothing of it brings them to truth.
How many centuries have you been a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jaina, a Christian, a Jew…what is the result? How long are you going to wait? If it has not happened for centuries, perhaps it is not going to happen ever. You have waited enough. It is time to do something.
Hence my emphasis is that you should not become attached to me, you should not become in any way obedient to me, you should not be surrendered to me. You don’t have any commitment to me, you are simply available to me as a friend, as a guide. And it is out of your freedom to accept the guidance or not to accept it. It is not a sin if you don’t accept it. If you don’t accept it, then it must be my mistake, I am not presenting it rightly to you. I should present it in a different way, from a different angle, so that it can become understandable to you.
Help is absolutely needed, and help is possible.
But you have been told that you have just to believe in someone and you will be saved –that you need not do anything. Just believe in Jesus Christ and on the ultimate judgment day he will choose you out of the crowd: “This is my follower.” Those he chooses will enter into the kingdom of God, and those he does not choose will fall into eternal darkness and hell.
Now this is all exploitation of the simplicity, of the innocence of human beings. Nobody can be your savior. Neither can Christ nor Krishna; neither can Mahavira nor Buddha…nobody can be your savior. And if you had not accepted these people as your saviors but just as your guides, you would have been in a totally different state. You would not have been in such misery and suffering and anguish. You would have been blissful. Your life would have been a light unto itself.
There is no contradiction. You can take the help, and the beauty of help is, it is not binding. You can take my help and you can take anybody else’s help too. There is no question of commitment.
You can accept help from every corner available. Why should you become attached only to one person? You should become available to all the wise people around you from wherever any ray of light comes towards you. You should be ready and receptive. It does not matter whether it comes from a Mohammedan or from a Buddhist or from a Hindu or from a Jew…it does not matter from whom the ray of light comes. If it leads towards truth, if it makes you more free, more independent, more integrated, more of an individual, solid, like a rock…then you are absolutely free to accept all the help possible.
A real friend cannot make you a slave. He cannot tell you, “You have only to accept my help.” If he is a real friend, he will say to you, “You have to learn to accept advice, wisdom from wherever it comes.”
Help is absolutely necessary. But help is one thing, and to become your savior is totally different.
There is no contradiction in what you are experiencing. They are absolutely consistent with each other. Just remember that I do not want to become in any way a bondage to you. I want to be remembered by you only as a freedom giver, not as somebody who enslaves you. And then from wherever you feel your thirst can be quenched, your heart starts dancing; you feel that you are moving, moving towards a more beautiful space, then go without hesitation.
You can have many friends, you cannot have many masters. That’s the difference. The master monopolizes. He wants to hold you completely in his hands, and only then he guarantees you that he will bring deliverance to you. But the deliverance is always after death, so nobody knows that any master has ever helped anybody after death because nobody returns to give any evidence.
I don’t want to help you after death. I want to help you right now.
If I cannot help you now, how can I help you after death?
While you are alive you should be changed. When you are full of energy and young you should put your youth, your energy into transforming yourself.
My help is available. You need not even feel grateful towards me. In fact, I always feel grateful whenever anybody accepts my help because I know he was capable of rejecting it, but he did not reject it.
And it is my joy to help you. By helping you I feel more blissful. The more people I can help, the more blissful I feel. That is the quality of bliss: share it, and it grows; stop sharing it, and it starts dying.
So remember, there is no contradiction; it is absolutely consistent. You are on your feet, you have to move with your own energy, you have to see with your own eyes, you have to experience with your own being. Still, immense help can be given to you because there are so many paths which lead nowhere.
The right path has to be chosen.
And even on the right path there are so many pitfalls, so many places people get stuck. Somebody is needed who has traveled on the path, who knows each inch of the path, who is aware of the pitfalls because he has fallen and he has risen so many times. He knows the stumbling blocks because he has stumbled. For many lives he has been struggling, and then finally he has been able to reach. Somebody who has traveled can be of great help, and one should not be ashamed of taking help from wherever it comes. One should be humble, one should be ready and open.
Rather than getting into a bondage with one person it is better to be available to all the wise ones in the world – living and dead. They all indicate to the same truth, because there are not so many truths, there is only one.
There are thousands of fingers pointing to the same moon. You should not become attached to the finger, because the finger is not the moon. You should forget the finger and look at the moon, and move towards the moon.

Mystics have spoken about true consciousness, and about “one” without a second. Yet, the very foundation of experience, of knowing, conceiving and language, is duality –at least a distinction between the subject and object must be made. From a logical point of view, pure consciousness cannot be the unconsciousness.
What can be said about this?
Logic is basically dualistic. Existence is non-dualistic. So first you have to understand one thing: logic and existence are diametrically opposite. For example, for logic there is darkness, there is light. But in existence itself, it is the same energy – different degrees.
There are animals who see in the night only. Our night is their day, our day is their night. Their eyes are very sensitive. The light of the sun is dazzling for their delicate and sensitive eyes, they cannot open their eyes. Naturally, in the day they live in darkness, they can open their eyes only in the night. And their eyes are so sensitive that they can see while you cannot see.
Light and darkness are not two opposites, but two poles of one energy – different degrees. Logically they look opposite. In terms of logic, light is light and can never be dark, and darkness is darkness and can never be light.
In logical terms, a is always a and can never be b. b is always b and can never be a. But in existence, the logic is not applicable.
In existence, a changes into b because the difference between a and b is only of degrees. In existence life becomes death. We see it happening every day –life changing into death, its very opposite. And those who have died consciously know one thing more that is not seen by us: they see death changing into new life.
So it is not only life changing into death, death is continuously changing into life. They are not two different things, just two poles of one energy.
Logically, the experience mystics talk of as the experience of the one without the second –of the absolute, the ultimate –where only pure consciousness exists but it is not conscious of anything…there is no object but only consciousness. Logically, all mystics are wrong, because consciousness can exist only if there is an object because consciousness is the subject, subjectivity. Without an object there cannot be any subject. Knowledge is possible only if there is something known. If there is nothing to be known, then what are you going to know?
If there is only consciousness, as the mystics say, and there is nothing else, then logic will not agree –and logically it is correct to say that in that state consciousness cannot exist, it needs something to be conscious of. If there is nothing to be conscious of, then you will become unconscious, you cannot remain conscious.
But logic is not existence. And what the mystics are saying is existentially true. And who cares about logic? Logic is something man-made.
For example, Aristotle is the father of logic in the West, and for two thousand years he has remained unchallenged. But recently, in these past fifty years he has been insistently challenged that he is wrong, and a new logic, non-Aristotelian, has arisen. That is happening in the West right now, but in the East it had happened even before Aristotle was born.
Aristotle knows only about two: light and dark, life and death, subject and object.

One morning a man asked Gautam Buddha, “Is there God?”
Buddha looked at him and said, “No. Absolutely no.”
That very same day, in the afternoon, another man asked, “Does God exist?”
Buddha looked at the man and said, “Yes. Absolutely yes.”
And the same day, by the evening as the sun was setting, a third man came, sat down, touched Buddha’s feet and asked, “Say something to me about God.”
Buddha remained silent and closed his eyes.
The man also closed his eyes. He thought, “Perhaps this is the answer.” He closed his eyes, and he sat with Gautam Buddha with closed eyes. And after half an hour or so he opened his eyes, touched Buddha’s feet and said, “I am grateful for the answer.”
Ananda, who was Gautam Buddha’s intimate disciple and constant companion –you can understand he was going crazy…To one man Buddha says, “No.” To another he says, “Yes.” To the third he does not say a word. And the third says, “I am grateful, I have received the answer.”
He was waiting for his time, because he was told by Buddha, “You are not to interfere while others are present…only in the night if you have some problem.”
When everybody was gone and Buddha was going to sleep, Ananda said, “Today I have got a problem. It has nothing to do with me, you have created it. And I cannot sleep unless you explain it to me completely. To one man, you said, ‘no,’ to the other man you said, ‘yes,’ and to the third man you remained silent. You have given three answers in a single day, about a single subject, God! And just think about me, a poor man…I have heard all the three answers and I am puzzled about what is right.”
Buddha said, “You should not get into other people’s troubles. Those were not your questions, why should you be worried?”
But Ananda said, “I have ears, what can I do? I heard the answers. I have eyes. I saw you sitting in silence for half an hour, I heard the man saying that he had received the answer and I have not heard it.”

Gautam Buddha’s logic has not only duality, his logic is threefold. He says that to everything from one aspect can be said yes, from another aspect can be said no, and from a third aspect nothing can be said about it except being silent.
The man to whom he had said no was a theist –he believed in God. He looked at the face of the man and said no –he was a believer. And the man to whom he said yes was a non-believer –he was an atheist. To the atheist he said yes. And the third person was neither a believer nor an unbeliever. He was just a seeker; that’s why he remained silent. And the man followed, he closed his eyes and became silent. And in the silence something transpired.
Nothing was said from Buddha’s side as far as Ananda was concerned, but something was understood by the man who was silent with Buddha. Something happened to him, something he experienced in that silence which cannot be expressed.
Buddha had a threefold logic and Mahavira had a sevenfold logic. Mahavira is even more puzzling because every question has seven answers…. And both of these were alive five hundred years before Aristotle was born.
Recently, in the West, they have started doubting Aristotle’s logic. Existence is far bigger; you cannot just divide it into two. It is too big, it needs something more. This division is very simple –simplistic.
Mahavira divides it into seven, just as light rays are divided into seven colors and it becomes the rainbow. And strange, all seven colors of the rainbow put together create a color which is not a color, it is white.
White is not a color, white is only a combination of seven colors. It has no independence in itself. Black is also not a color. It is the absence of the seven colors. Existence is big enough. Seven colors and then two more. One, the combination of the seven, and one, the absence of the seven. So there are nine colors. And yet they are all born of the same sunlight. The same ray is divided into nine.
Aristotle’s logic is good for children, for kindergarten schools; otherwise it has nothing important in it.
Existence is so vast that only silence can express it. The mystics have spoken through silence –it is just their compassion. Because you cannot understand silence, they have to use language.
And the moment they use language they commit a mistake, because language is logic. Language is dualistic, it cannot exist without dividing.
If somebody asks you what light is, you will say it is not darkness.
If somebody asks what darkness is you can say it is not light.
You need the other to define. Without the other you cannot even say “light,” you cannot use the word. The moment you use a word you have fallen into the world of duality.
So the mystic’s basic expression is silence, but because people cannot understand silence he has to speak, and then whatever he says can be proved wrong. If he says, “The experience is of pure consciousness,” he can be proved wrong logically, because consciousness alone, without any object, is logically impossible. But what is logically impossible is not existentially impossible. And that is where the philosopher and the mystic depart.
The philosopher remains in the world of logic and language, and the mystic moves into the world of silence. So it is not his fault, it is our fault. We force him to speak. We ask him to say something about the ultimate experience.
The only right way is not to say anything. But then the mystic will appear too hard –that he has no compassion on you. You have come to ask something and he is not answering. You think every question is answerable? No, the ultimate questions are not answerable. That which can be answered is not ultimate.
So the problem is, as Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most intelligent logicians of the contemporary world has said, “That which cannot be said should not be said.” He accepts that there is something which cannot be said. He makes it a point that it should not be said. On the one hand you say it cannot be said, and on the other hand you go on saying something about it. And whatever you say is going to be wrong.
When Buddha became enlightened, for seven days he was silent. He could not think how to say it – there was no way. He tried in many ways to think about it, but every way turned out to be wrong.
The moment you bring it to the level of language, suddenly something goes wrong. It is just as if you take a straight stick and put it down into water. Let half the stick be in the water, and you will be surprised. The stick is absolutely straight, but the half in the water and the half out of the water are not in a straight line. Light rays function differently in water than they function outside water. So the straight stick will look crooked. Take it out and it is straight. Put it back into the water and suddenly it is no longer straight.
What is absolutely clear in silence becomes crooked the moment you bring it into language.
The story, that after seven days the gods in heaven became troubled, is tremendously significant. It is just a symbolic story –don’t take it literally. There is no heaven and there are no gods….

The gods in heaven became very troubled, because it was centuries since somebody had become awakened, had become a buddha. And this was a great opportunity for the whole existence to hear from him about the highest peaks of experience: “This man has become enlightened, and for seven days the whole of existence has been waiting, but it seems he is not going to speak. We have to go and convince him, ‘You have to speak.’”
And they argued with Gautam Buddha. And Buddha said, “I have thought about every possible way, but the moment I say it, it will not be the truth that I have experienced. And the moment I say it, it will become logically refutable, and my experience is irrefutable. I cannot degrade my truth from irrefutableness to refutability.”
The gods went on arguing –giving this argument, that argument. Finally, they said, “Just think of those few people –perhaps only one percent –who will be able to understand the wordless experience through the words. You cannot deny that there are a few people who are just on the verge –they need just a little push. Your words may give them a little push to take the jump. And if you don’t speak you will simply show a very hard heart; it will not be compassionate. Don’t be worried about logicians, you should think about the potential mystics. You should speak for them.”
And that argument appealed to Buddha. He could not deny that there are people who may be able to take the final jump, who may be encouraged and inspired, who may be convinced that they are not groping in darkness. Somebody has already reached: “If somebody has already reached then we can also reach.”
Buddha agreed, “I will speak, but you are putting me into trouble, because whatever I will say will be refutable.”

In language you cannot say anything which cannot be refuted, particularly about the wordless experience which has to be said always in illogical ways. A few mystics have said it – it is the sound of one hand clapping. Now one hand cannot clap. And even if it claps there will be no sound. Sound needs two hands to clap. But the experience is like one hand clapping, and the sound of one hand clapping…What can the poor mystic do? And it is not only one mystic’s experience. Down the ages, whenever anybody has experienced truth it is the same problem, that it cannot be said.

When Lao Tzu was in China he experienced it. He never spoke about it; he spoke about other things. And his disciples asked again and again, “Why don’t you tell us about the real thing?”
And he would say, “To say anything about it is to betray the experience.”
They asked him to write it down for the coming generations. Lao Tzu said, “It is impossible, it cannot be written down.”
When he became eighty, he started traveling towards the Himalayas because he wanted to die in the silence of the Himalayas –the last moments in the pure world of the Himalayas.
The emperor of China ordered the guards on the boundary of China: “Lao Tzu is coming and he will have to pass through the gates. You stop him there. Unless he writes down his experience, don’t let him go out. That experience is valuable for the coming centuries; otherwise the coming centuries will not be able to forgive us ever.”
And poor Lao Tzu was stopped at the gate. With great respect the guards touched his feet but they said, “We cannot allow you…this is our cottage, you remain in it and you write down your experience.”
And he wrote a small book in three days. The first sentence of that book is: “Whatever can be written cannot be true. While you are reading this book, please remember it.”

The mystics cannot be blamed for it. Logicians and linguistic people will have to understand that existence is much more than language, much more than logic, and there are experiences which cannot be reduced into arguments.
So I agree perfectly with you. As far as logic is concerned all mystics are wrong. But the mystics themselves are saying that as far as logic is concerned, whatever we say is wrong. Our experience is beyond logic and beyond language. If you really want to understand it you have to experience it, no explanation is going to be right.
Every mystic is absolutely clear about the point that his experience is something beyond duality. And that’s how existence is –nothing can be done about it.
I would like to say to you, you can call it pure consciousness, you can call it pure unconsciousness. It makes no difference, because pure consciousness also needs an object, and unconsciousness also needs an object. It can be asked, “Of what are you unconscious?” If it can be asked, “Of what are you conscious?” then the same question can be asked, “Of what are you unconscious?”
Unconsciousness cannot exist alone, nor can consciousness exist alone. But this is only a linguistic game. In existence they exist alone. And I am saying from my own experience, don’t listen to the words, listen to the silence.
It is an old proverb in Tibet that when a musician becomes perfect he breaks up his instrument of music and throws it away. Whenever somebody becomes perfect, then perfection cannot be produced on any instrument, because instrument means expression.
The moment a musician is perfect then he cannot play it on any instrument –all instruments are useless. Only imperfect music can be played. Only approximate truths can be expressed. But remember, an approximate truth is another name for a lie. I don’t want to say that mystics lie, so I say they speak in approximate truths.
But the truth remains beyond expression.
If you follow the path of philosophy then you will go far away from existence and you will be logical. Your language will be perfect, but your experience will be nil. If you go on the path of the mystic your experience will be full, so full, that there is no space to speak it.

I am reminded of my childhood….
Just in front of my house was a very beautiful, nice old man. He had a small sweet shop, and he was such a simple and beautiful fellow that to deceive him was the simplest thing in the world. And not only once…the same trick again and again and he would not get the idea.
I used to go to him and I would say, “Your wife is calling.” He was a little hard of hearing, so one had to shout. So I would shout, “Your wife is calling from the back of the house.”
So he would say, “You just wait here and look after my shop.” And by the time he came back, I had eaten as much as I could.
And it almost always happened I was in the middle…my mouth was full, and he would come! And he would say, “She is not calling me. Why did you unnecessarily lie to me? And why are you not speaking now?”
And I had to put my hand over my mouth because the mouth was so full there was no space to speak. And it was not the time to speak either!
He would tell me, “You are a strange type of boy. For no reason at all suddenly you come: ‘Your wife is calling’ –and it is always untrue. And when I come back then you stand so silently, almost like a saint, and you are a rascal!”
But I had to remain silent because to speak was to expose the whole game, and it was an agreed thing. Even my parents tried to stop me: “This is not right. We have seen you doing it so many times, and that man is so simple that even though he catches you red-handed, still he thinks you are strange that you don’t speak.”
The whole neighborhood knew why I could not speak…!

There is a fullness which cannot be contained in any word. All words fail. That fullness can only be experienced. It is up to you to follow logic and remain empty forever, or to follow existence and become full, over-full, with all the ecstasies, all the blessings and all the benedictions that are capable for human consciousness to experience.
But don’t mix the two, otherwise you will simply get confused. Just as you cannot mix water and oil, you cannot mix philosophy and mysticism. And that is being done almost all over the world in thousands of books every day. Mixing water with oil –you cannot do it, you should not do it; it is sacrilegious.
You can choose one path, but remember the condition: the logician ends as a beggar; the mystic lives as an emperor, dies as an emperor. Although he cannot say what he has got, he has got it! Who cares whether you can talk about it or not? The real thing is to get it.
The logician is very proficient in talking, but all that he is saying is meaningless and empty because his experience is nil. It is a strange situation: those who are capable of saying have nothing to say, and those who have something to say are not capable of saying it.
But my own situation is totally different. I am a trained logician. I have been a teacher of philosophy for nine years, and finding that there was nothing except words, I entered into the world of mysticism. There I have found what was missing in all the philosophies, in all the logical treatises. But now it is impossible to say it. Still I speak. I have been speaking for thirty years continuously – round and round, hoping that somebody may get caught into the net of words and may be pulled out of the misery in which he is drowning. The words can do that much. They can pull you out of your logical world, your linguistic world, your world of philosophies. That too is great. Half the work is done, the remaining can be done by meditation.
Use logic to destroy logic. And when you have destroyed logic and language from your mind, then use meditation to invite silence. Then each moment becomes so tremendously beautiful, so ecstatic, that one does not care whether he can say it or not. But one can show it always!
That’s what I am doing:
I cannot say it but I can show it.

What is your message for the pope who is in India now?
It is absolutely wrong of Hindus to oppose the pope, because this is not the way of the East. It is ugly. He should be treated in an Eastern way. He should be invited in every place he goes for a public discussion, in a friendly way. Hindus have nothing to lose; they have a far richer religion. The pope is simply poor. To oppose him is not worth it. Expose him, don’t oppose.
And Christianity is a third-rate religion anyway. It has no great heights, it has never produced great mystics. It has not produced great philosophers. Its heritage is very poor.
In every place where the pope goes, respectfully, lovingly invite him for a public discussion. There are Hindu thinkers, Hindu mystics, there are Buddhist mystics, there are Jaina mystics. They should have an open discussion about each of the fundamentals of religion. That will be something valuable, and it will give him some taste of what religion is. Right now he has only tasted cow dung!
When he kissed the land on the airport in India, what do you think he tasted? This is not good to let him go with this taste; it is not right. We should give him some taste of real spirituality.
I oppose the opposition of the Hindus. It is absolutely ugly and un-Eastern.
That’s what they have done to me in America. The government harassed me simply because of Christian pressure –in which there is every possibility that the pope’s hand was involved, because Ronald Reagan had met the pope just a few days before I was arrested. He had just come back from the Vatican.
There is every possibility that the pope also suggested that I should be thrown out of America, that my commune should be completely destroyed, because this was the first time that a man from the East had taken so many Christians out of the Christian fold. And particularly intelligent, young, educated, sophisticated people…professors, doctors, scientists, electronic engineers, Nobel Prize winners, artists, musicians….
And what have the Christians been doing in the East? The missionaries have only been able to convert the beggars, the aboriginals. Not a single educated, cultured, rich person have they been able to convert to Christianity.
So it was a real shock to them that I have been taking the very cream from their fold.
Illegally they arrested me, illegally they destroyed the commune, illegally they have mistreated thousands of sannyasins and have thrown them out of America.
I say that I suspect perhaps the pope’s hand was in it, because when he heard that I was coming to Italy he immediately informed all the Catholic news media. In Italy, all the news media are in the hands of Catholics. One of the Catholic journalists informed me –because he loves me he informed –that all Catholic news media had been informed by the pope that they had not to give any publicity to me. “Not only have you not to be positive, you should not even give negative publicity. Don’t even write against him; don’t write for him. Just don’t write about him –as if he is not here.”
When I was in jail, he had not the guts to speak to the American government that this was not the right way to treat somebody who does not belong to your religion and is against it. But I say to the Hindus in India not to make the same mistake as they have always been making in the West.
You should invite him, and you don’t have to be afraid, because you have such a great source of wisdom, compared to which Christianity has nothing. And it will be good that you expose the pope, intelligently, in every place he goes. Let the people hear. Let the Hindus hear and let the Christians hear. Those who have become Christians should know that what they have left they are not aware of it, and what they have found is nothing.
But the way they are opposing is chauvinistic. It is terroristic, it will not help them. It will help the pope and his missionaries.
You have to understand the subtleties of how the mind functions. Any ugly opposition simply creates sympathy. A right discussion about the fundamentals of religion will make him afraid to come back again to the East because then he has to face the giants, not the hooligans on the streets.
I don’t see that any religion that is born outside India has anything comparable to the religions that are born in India. India’s whole genius is invested in religion, just as the whole Western genius is invested in science.
So these pygmies have nothing to discuss. They cannot argue for their theology, for their religion –and they are not really religious people either. The pope particularly is a politician.
A mystic will not like to be head of a state. The pope is not only the head of the Catholic religion, he is also a head of a small state –the Vatican. It is only eight square miles, but it is an independent nation, and that is a strategy. Because of that, when he comes to India, the president, and the prime minister have to come to receive him. They have not come to receive the Catholic pope, they have come to receive the head of a state. They have to come, that is just political courtesy.
But the pope uses that in a cunning way, politically. These politicians –the Indian president or the prime minister – will not come to receive a shankaracharya, particularly now, will not come to receive the Dalai Lama. When he was head of a state they would have come, but now he is only a refugee.
But why not have a discussion between the Dalai Lama and the pope? It would create a worldwide impact. Although the pope has informed the media in Italy that they have not to publish anything about me – negative or positive – an Italian television crew came here and they took a one-and-a-half-hour interview which was released on the twenty-seventh of last month. Thirteen million people listened and have seen the program. The program director informed me that this is the first time that any program has been heard by thirteen million people. And now the whole country is in a great discussion: “Half of the people are for you, half are against you, and the whole country is discussing only one thing –the repetition of the program.”
I am going to go. They have been blocking the visa application for almost one month. They have been postponing it every day, and this must be through the instructions of the pope. But still I will not say that he should not be allowed entry into India or Nepal, or anywhere. He should be welcomed everywhere, and he should be allowed to speak, and he should be invited for discussions.
The East is so rich. We have refined the whole past of the East and everything about spirituality to the utmost, almost exhaustively. More cannot be done. We have sharpened every logic and every philosophical approach. There is nothing to fear.
This will be the right way to prevent these people –not by preventing their visas, or preventing the news media, or preventing the people, or preventing their path and throwing stones at them…. These are ugly things.
I am absolutely against what the Hindus are doing to the pope. I would like him to be treated as a guest, but he should be shown clearly that he has nothing to teach to the East. If he wants to come to the East he has to come to learn. That will also help the Christians to understand what a mistake they have made moving from beautiful philosophies and great religions into a very third-rate theology which has no grounding, no roots. The visit of the pope should be used creatively.
But the way it is happening now, it will simply become a condemnation of the Hindus and cause a sympathy for the pope which he does not deserve.

What is prayer?
It is a tremendously significant question because I do not have a God, but I still have some place for prayer in my vision, in my approach.
Prayer ordinarily is towards the concept of a God. I do not think that is a right kind of prayer, because in the first place it is based on a belief. You don’t know God, you have only heard about him. And you have heard from people who have heard it from somebody else. It is simply a hearsay. How can you love someone you do not know exists or not?
Prayer is love.
Prayer is gratitude.
Prayer is thankfulness.
My sannyasins can pray to existence itself. To the sunrise or to the sunset, or to the sky full of stars, or to the earth, to the mountains, to the rivers…they can pray to this existence which is their experience. It is not a belief, we are part of it.
Now prayer can be possible only if your life has become so beautiful, so blissful, that you feel a gratitude, a thankfulness towards existence. So prayer is not for everybody, it is only for those who have succeeded in meditation. It is the last word in meditation.
When you have come to know the silence of existence, when you have experienced life itself, when you have experienced the unspeakable, when you are drowned in the beatitude of your meditation, the last word is a wordless gratitude, a thankfulness.
It has to be of the heart. You need not say anything, because in such moments whatever you say will be a disturbance. It has to be simply of the heart.
Your heart should be full of gratitude –”Existence has been compassionate to me that it has allowed me to come out of misery, it has allowed me to experience the ultimate of consciousness and I am grateful to its compassion. Without its help it was not possible for me alone to reach to this beautiful space.”
So prayer is possible only for meditators –that too, when they have succeeded. It is a gratefulness, it is a thank you to existence.

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