The Sword and the Lotus 21

TwentyFirst Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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Good evening. Islam has offered it with the Koran, and Christianity with the Bible. What is your offer?
They have offered to you because they wanted to purchase you. It was an insult to your humanity.
The very effort to convert anybody is trespassing his spiritual territory. It is an effort to enslave you through some doctrines, logic, but basically it is not a spiritual endeavor, it is political, the politics of numbers.
I am not a politician, and I am not interested in converting anybody. I don’t have any religion to which I can convert you. I cannot give you anything that you have not already got.
So my approach is totally different. I take away from you that which you don’t have, but which you believe that you have – your ego, your desires, your jealousies, your anger, your cruelties – all that prevents you from finding your real treasure.
I want to take away these shadows from you which are not authentic, which have been imposed on you by others. You are a victim. And I want to give you nothing but your own being, which you have already got but you have forgotten it. All that I can do is to help you remember it.
I am reminded of a very famous parable….

There was, in Japan, a thief who was known all over the country as the master thief because he had never been caught. And he never stole anything from anybody without warning him ahead of time. Even the emperors, the great warriors, the samurai – he would inform them, “Tonight, be aware! I am coming.”
And still he was never caught. In fact, a time came when people started feeling proud that the master thief had chosen them. It was a great credit, because the master thief was not going to choose somebody ordinary.
The man was getting old. His son asked him, “Your whole life you have been one of the most famous men. Everybody knows that you are the master thief, but nobody has been able to catch you red-handed. Now you are old and some day you will die. Won’t you teach me your art?”
The old man said, “If it was an art I would have taught you already without your asking. It is neither a craft nor a skill nor an art – it is a knack. If you are willing, I am ready to give you a chance. Perhaps you can get hold of the knack.”
The young man was enthusiastic and he said, “I am absolutely ready.” But he was unaware of what was going to happen….
That very night the father said, “Then come and follow me.”
The old man was almost beyond eighty. The young man was not more than thirty – healthy, strong. But out of fear and nervousness – it was not a cold night – he was shivering. But he was amazed that his father was going ahead of him so normally, so casually, like somebody going for a morning walk. And they were going to the king’s palace, which is the most dangerous place to enter.
And then to steal, to get away…the young man was already losing hope. The old man dug a hole in the palace wall, but with such care, with such awareness that there was no noise at all. Brick by brick he removed…and the young man standing by his side could not believe that you could do such a thing in somebody else’s house in the night. And the father was doing it as if it was his own house.
The hole was made, the father went in and he asked the young man to come in and follow. Now he was repenting why in the first place he had asked to learn this art – this was dangerous! “I cannot imagine how I am going to get back home. And this man has chosen the king’s palace to teach me. He is dangerous, he has no love for his own son. He should have started from a small place – some poor man’s hut.”
The whole house was surrounded by guards, but the old man went on working. He had many keys, he managed to enter to the very innermost room of the palace and he told the young man, “Go inside the cupboard because I know the king has immensely precious treasures studded with diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones. So you collect as many you can and I will wait outside.”
The man went into the cupboard. He could not believe his eyes – he had never seen such jewelry. But while he was looking at the treasures the old man gave him a shock. He closed the door of the cupboard, locked it, and shouted loudly, “Thief, thief!” He ran out from the same hole he had come in, leaving the young man locked inside the cupboard.
You can imagine what happened to the young man. He wanted to kill his father! But he had no hope that he would ever see him again. He would go directly to jail for his whole life. It was such an unfortunate moment that he had asked…but now nothing could be done.
The whole house was awake. Servants were running here and there, and they found the hole in the wall. It was certain a thief had been in. They found all the doors open.
One maidservant went, following the doors which were open, and reached to the innermost chamber – there was nobody. The man was inside the cupboard but he could see that some light had come in; the maidservant was carrying a candle in her hand. He could hear her footsteps, and suddenly he started making scratching noises as if some rat was inside the cupboard. He was amazed at himself, what he was doing. And the maidservant, thinking that there was a rat inside, unlocked the door. And as she opened the door, the young man blew out the candle, pushed the maidservant, ran away as fast as he could, and jumped out of the hole. A crowd of guards, and the neighbors, and the master of the house, and other servants…all were following him with torches in their hands.
He was a champion, a national champion in running. But he was amazed, he had never run this fast, even while he was competing for a championship, a national championship. He was running at least four times faster. It was a question of life and death, not just winning a trophy.
But he was afraid they would catch him anyhow. Where could he go? If he went to his house he would be caught. But as he was running, he came across a well and he saw a rock. He took the rock, threw it into the well and ran away. All this happened not through thinking, neither the noise he had made in the cupboard…because the mind can only do something which it knows already. Now this was an absolutely new situation – the computer of the mind could not function.
In a new situation the mind stops because it has no answer. Ask the old questions and it is a great scholar.
Nor had he ever run with such a great speed. His mind was not doing it; it was something deeper than the mind, greater than the mind, more vital than the mind – it was his basic energy. This is what is called running “from the very guts.” And then suddenly, when he threw the rock into the well, he was not able to understand what he was doing and why he was doing it. It was all happening – it was not a conclusion of the mind.
And because of the noise in the well the whole crowd gathered around thinking that he had jumped into the well. And even though they had torches they were of no use for looking into the well. The well was deep and they would have to wait for the morning. And they thought that now there was no problem either. Either the man would die, or if he survived the whole night, in the morning they could catch hold of him. “Just keep the well guarded” – and they all went back home.
The young man reached his home. He could not believe that his father was fast asleep, snoring. He looked at his father and he thought, “What to say to this old man?” He was angry, but he was also amazed that he had put his only son in such a dangerous situation. And still he was not tense, he was already fast asleep.
He shook him, he pulled his blanket…The father, without opening his eyes, said, “So you are back. Good, my boy. Just go to sleep. I know you want to tell the whole story now, but there is no need, you are back. I have understood the whole story. You did know the knack of being a master thief. It is not a question of the mind, it is something deeper than the mind. Now go to sleep. In the morning we will discuss in detail what happened.”
He was not even interested to know. He didn’t open his eyes.

It is simply a knack to make you remember yourself. If it was an art it would have been very easy – a craft, very easy. Because it is a knack, it is the most difficult and mysterious phenomenon.
The master has to create devices in which he hopes it may happen. If it does not happen, he creates another device. The real master is nothing but a very creative artist about devices.
And some day or other, some device or other succeeds, and suddenly your mind stops. Suddenly, you become aware that you are not the mind. Just one moment’s taste is needed – you have found the key.
Then you can go to the same space again and again. And slowly, slowly that space becomes your very being, your very breathing. I don’t have a Holy Bible to give to you, I don’t have a holy Koran to give to you, because I don’t believe that any book is holy. All books are written by man. The holy books are only an exploitation, cheating. None of them is written by God. They are not even first-class literature.
I don’t have any holy book to give to you. My hands are empty. I don’t have a sword in my hand, because fear cannot make you self-realized. Fear can reduce you into a slave. Fear cannot help you to remember your being.
Neither have I bread and butter in my hand, because I don’t want any poverty on the earth. The religions who are increasing their numbers by giving bread, by giving medicines to the poor, opening orphanages, converting the untouchables, opening schools and hospitals – on the surface it seems they are doing great service.
It is not a service, for two reasons: one, their motivation is to increase their numbers. They are purchasing you very cheaply and in such a way that you don’t even feel that you are standing in a slave market – that you are being auctioned. And secondly, it is not service, there is another motivation. The more Christians you create, the more virtue you will be gathering in the other world. The more people you make Mohammedans, your paradise becomes more certain.
So it is greed on their part. And it is politics, because as their numbers grow they start throwing pressure upon governments, upon nations.
Just now the pope has been here. In his first day’s speech in New Delhi he was very much disappointed. It is reported that he made the remark that this has been the worst day in all his world travels. Now, a spiritual person does not get disappointed because only twenty thousand people have turned up to listen to him. And even they started leaving in the middle. Up to now he has been touring Catholic countries, so there were millions of people attending. In fact, these twenty thousand people had not come to listen to him, they had just come out of curiosity.
But why should he be disappointed? You are disappointed only if you have a certain desire; otherwise, whether anybody comes or not it makes no difference.
In that meeting he remarked in a very subtle, diplomatic, indirect way against the Hindu caste system, that all human beings should be treated equally. He is not aware or he is lying, because the sudras, the untouchables who have become Catholic Christians, they are not being allowed to worship with all the other Christians – they are segregated. They have been given different small churches to worship separately. Now the man had some nerve to condemn Hindus.
And the sudras who became converted to Christianity became converted only on the grounds that they were promised that they would be treated equally. And they are not treated equally – they cannot even worship in the other churches, with the other Christians.
So they are Christian sudras; there is no change at all. It has not been a gain in any way. It has been a loss, because when they were Hindu sudras the Indian constitution was giving them special privileges. In jobs there were limited quotas for them. Whether they were more proficient or not, those limited places were given to them. In universities, in colleges, they were given special scholarships. Whether they deserved them or not, that was not the question. They have suffered for centuries, and now some compensation has to be made. By becoming Christians they have lost all those privileges, because they are no longer Hindus. And as far as their being sudras is concerned, they are still sudras. So they have been cheated badly.
And the pope had not the guts to say directly to the Hindus, “Your caste system is inhuman.” He did not mention Hinduism. A criticism has to be direct and clear, honest and sincere. Why was he afraid of making a direct criticism? He was afraid because he was going to move around India, then everywhere he would be condemned and protested against because the caste system is the very corner stone of Hinduism. It is ugly, it should not be there, but even critics are such cowards.
And you hope these people can give you spiritual experience? They don’t have it themselves. Their spirituality is just their seniority; it is bureaucracy. It is not that somebody becomes a pope because he is enlightened, he becomes a pope because he is the seniormost priest. They cannot give you anything. Yes, they can force you or purchase you.
As far as I am concerned I have no religion to convert you, I have only an experience to share with you and perhaps you can get the knack of it. Sometimes just listening to me, a moment of silence may descend on you and in that silence you may see that you are not only the thoughts that pass through you, but an awareness.
The moment you become alert to your awareness you have found the key. Then it is up to you to use it as much as you can. And whenever you have time, space, don’t waste it in stupid things – playing cards, watching a football match, watching two idiots wrestling…Stop all that nonsense, that is not going to help you grow.
Use all this time, energy, just sitting silently, enjoying the peace that descends when you are only a watcher. And it goes on deepening, it takes you ultimately to your innermost core. And to experience the center of your being is to experience also the center of the whole universe.
We are different only on the periphery.
At the center we are one, one with the stars far away, one with the smallest leaf of grass. In existence there is no inequality.
Knowing this, experiencing this, you don’t become a Mohammedan, you don’t become a Christian, you don’t become a Hindu. You simply become religious – without any adjective. I am against all the adjectives; just being religious is enough. You don’t have a Hindu chemistry, a Mohammedan mathematics, a Buddhist geography…that would be nonsense.
You don’t have a Hindu love, a Mohammedan love, a Christian love…Love is simply love, it needs no adjectives. So is spirituality, so is religiousness.
I want you to be simply religious.

I am puzzled as to why I have identified myself with this particular body and ego. And if my essence is in the universal consciousness, what keeps me from seeing through the eyes of other beings?
An old businessman was dying…. It was evening time, the sun was setting and it was becoming darker. Suddenly, the old man opened his eyes and asked his wife who was holding his hand, sitting by his left side, “Where is my eldest son?”
The wife was surprised. This was the first time he had ever inquired so lovingly about the eldest son. He had never bothered about his children – he had no time.
The wife said, “Don’t be worried. He is sitting on your right side.”
He said, “Then what about the second son?”
She said, “He is also sitting on your right side, by your eldest son’s side.”
At that moment, the dying man, who had only few breaths left, suddenly came to life. He had not been sitting for months, he was so sick and so weak. But he managed to sit up and ask, “Where is my youngest son?”
The wife said, “Don’t get so worried. They are all here – he is just sitting by your feet.”
He said, “And you say to me not to be worried…! If they are all here, then who is tending the shop?”
And the man fell down and died with heart failure.

What do you think this man is going to be in his next life?
The law of existence is that whatever essential desire is at the moment of your death, that becomes the seed of your next life.
It will be easy to understand it this way – you can even experiment….
When you are going to sleep, just watch what is the last thought before you fall asleep. And then when you wake up, remember what is the first thought. You will be surprised – they are exactly the same thought.
The thought that you fall into sleep with is the thought that you wake up with. The same is true about death, because death is a little longer life, a little deeper sleep, but the law is the same. Whatever is the last desire hovering on your mind and being while you are dying will be the first when you wake up in another life. This will create the passage and the form of your birth.
The question is that if consciousness is universal then why can’t you see from other people’s eyes?
Consciousness is universal, but for you it is only a principle, not an experience. Principles are good if you are sitting an examination; they are of no use as far as existence is concerned. If it was your experience that you have a universal consciousness then you would be able to see from other people’s eyes too. In fact, they would not be other people any longer.
I will tell you one incident that happened in Ramakrishna’s life. It is not a story, it is a historical fact….

Ramakrishna died from cancer of the throat. The cancer became so big that it clogged the whole throat. He could not eat anything, he could not drink anything. It was really a tragic scene for his disciples.
They all persuaded Vivekananda, Ramakrishna’s very close disciple, to ask Ramakrishna, “Why don’t you ask God. If you ask, that very moment the cancer will disappear.”
He tried many times. He would close his eyes, tears of joy and ecstasy would flow, and when he opened his eyes he would say, “It was so beautiful.”
But they would ask, “Have you asked? For what did you go into meditation?”
He said, “This is a difficult thing. The moment I reach into deep meditation I forget all about the body, all about the cancer. I even forget all about God. It is so ecstatic and so blissful.”
Then they all approached Ramakrishna’s wife, Sharda, and asked her, “Now, only you may be able to persuade him. We have failed.”
Sharda had never asked for anything in her whole life. And many times Ramakrishna had told her, “You have never asked for anything. You are a strange wife. Every wife asks for something, goes on asking continuously; her desires are never fulfilled.”
Sharda said, “Finding you I have found everything, but if you insist then promise me just one time, if I ask something you will have to fulfill it.” And he promised.
So all the disciples said, “This is the time. What are you waiting for? He is dying, and he has a promise to fulfill. So you go and ask him.”
She asked. Ramakrishna closed his eyes. This time there were no tears, no ecstasy. He was simply calm and quiet, and then he opened his eyes and said, “Sharda, you will have to forgive me, I cannot fulfill your demand. The reason is, I have asked the ultimate reality to remove this cancer because my people are unnecessarily suffering because I cannot eat, cannot drink, and I received the answer, ‘Ramakrishna, don’t be childish. It is time for you to start eating from other people’s throats! It is time for you to start drinking from other people’s throats!’
“So you have to forgive me but I have received the answer. Now all the throats here are mine, so don’t be worried about me. Now I am no longer an individual. Soon this body will be gone. But even before the body is gone, I am already one with the universal existence. Your throats are mine and your eyes are mine, and it was certainly stupid of me to ask. But because I had given the promise, I had to ask.”
Ramakrishna died within three or four days. But before he died he made it clear to everybody: “Remember, when you are eating, don’t eat anything that I don’t like, don’t drink anything that I have prohibited you, because now I will be drinking from your throats and I will be eating from your throats.”
On his death he transformed thousands of his disciples who were secretly smoking, who were drinking alcohol once in a while. Now it was impossible. Now you could not deceive because Ramakrishna was within you.

Your question is very significant but it is only theoretical. You are asking why you cannot see from other people’s eyes. You are still surrounded by your own ego, your own desires. You are living in a small cage, made by your own hands. You will have to come out of it. You will have to spread yourself all over existence, then perhaps your question will be answered. I cannot answer it because it is only theoretical.
While Ramakrishna was alive…another incident will help you to understand….

One day they were crossing over the Ganges from one side to the other side with at least thirty disciples in a boat. And suddenly, in the middle of the Ganges, Ramakrishna started shouting, “Why are you beating me? Don’t beat me, it hurts.”
And the disciples said, “What are you saying? We are your disciples all around and in the middle of the Ganges, who else can beat you?”
But tears were coming from his eyes and he showed his back. They took off his shawl to see his back. There were scratches and blood was oozing as if somebody had beaten him badly with a stick. They could not believe what had happened. And as they reached to the other side they found a crowd. A sudra, an untouchable, had touched a brahmin, and the brahmin had given him a good beating.
And the most surprising thing was that when they removed the sudra’s clothes and looked at the backs of both Ramakrishna and the sudra, the scratches were exactly the same; the blood was oozing in exactly the same way.
They asked Ramakrishna, “What happened? This man has been beaten, but why have you got his beatings on your back?”
Ramakrishna said, “He is a sudra, but he is far more developed than this brahmin. He has always been coming to me, and I have found such a deep intimacy with him.”

In English there are three words: sympathy, antipathy and empathy. Sympathy means feeling with you, in your sadness, feeling your sadness; antipathy means feeling happy that you are sad; and the third word, empathy, means not just feeling like someone else, but actually living it the way he is living it.
If he has a wound, in empathy you will have a similar wound; if he dies, you will die, you have become so connected with him.

And Ramakrishna said, “This is a lesson for you. You are my disciples, but this would not have happened if any one of you was beaten. This man comes only when everybody is gone so nobody sees that a sudra has come. And slowly, slowly such a deep synchronicity has evolved that although he was beaten, I was beaten also.”
The day Ramakrishna died that sudra also died.
These are historical facts for which there were thousands of eyewitnesses. It was not very long ago, just one hundred years have passed….

It is possible to see from somebody else’s eyes, and it is possible to live through somebody’s heart, but for that you will have to withdraw all your egoistic barriers. You will have to go so deep in meditation that you become universal.

This question is from a lady who is staying here at the hotel…
Where is she?
She has left; she has left the discourse.
Leave the question. That’s what my feeling was – that the lady has left. The question cannot be answered.

Can the watcher, the consciousness, ever be judgmental about what he sees, or is it still the ego judging the ego, the mind condemning itself?
Consciousness is never judgmental. Consciousness is only a mirror. The mirror reflects, but it never gives any judgment. A beautiful woman may be standing in front of it or an ugly woman may be standing in front of it. It reflects both without any distinction. It has no judgment. Its function is to reflect exactly, authentically, whatever is in front of it – a sinner, a saint…
Consciousness simply reflects – that’s why it becomes very difficult to understand people of consciousness, people of awareness.

In Gautam Buddha’s time there was a man who was very angry, violent, and for some reason he became so murderous that he took a vow that he would kill one thousand people and cut off their heads. And just to remember how many he had finished off, he would also cut from each, one finger. And out of those fingers he made a garland – just to keep count. He was not very educated. One thousand was a big number. And it would take years to kill one thousand people.
He moved outside the city and he killed many people, almost nine hundred and ninety-nine. His name became known as Angulimal, the man who wears the garland of fingers.
And his terror was so great that the road was no longer functioning – nobody was going on the road where he used to live. Even kings were afraid to move with their armies on that road. A single man had threatened the whole empire.
He lived in the empire of Prasenjita. Gautam Buddha was going from Prasenjita’s empire to another empire, and finding a beautiful road absolutely without traffic, he chose it.
His disciples said, “What are you doing? Have you not heard about Angulimal? Even his own mother, who used to visit him before, is now afraid to come to see him because he needs only one finger more to complete his garland. And he is such a man he would not even hesitate to cut the head of his own mother. So even his mother is no longer coming to see him. What are you doing?”
Gautam Buddha said, “If you had not told me I might have changed the route, but now it is impossible. The man is suffering because he needs one finger, because he needs to cut one head. I have one head and I have ten fingers and if nobody goes on this road then how is that poor man going to fulfill his goal? I am going. If I cannot go then nobody can go.”
They could not understand his logic, what he was saying – going by your own hand into death’s mouth…?
But when Gautam Buddha said he was going, they had to follow. There was always a competition amongst the followers who remained close to Gautam Buddha, but today it was a different matter! There was a competition for who would remain far away! So there was a big gap between Gautam Buddha and his followers which had never been there before.
Angulimal was making his sword more sharp. He was rubbing it on a stone, on a rock, because for many days nobody had come that way and today he saw, from far away in the distance, that a few people were coming. So he was getting ready. He was immensely happy that today his desire would be completed. But as Gautam Buddha came closer, he saw the man – he saw the beauty of the man, he saw the peace and the love and the compassion of the man. And even the man who had killed nine hundred and ninety-nine people without any consideration, hesitated: “This man is not worth killing. The world needs this type of man more and more. I am a sinner, a murderer, but I am not so fallen as to kill this innocent man.”
So he shouted at Gautam Buddha, “Listen, don’t move a single foot closer to me! Return back. This is the first time I am allowing someone to go back alive. Perhaps you are unaware of me, I am Angulimal, and look at my garland of fingers. I have killed nine hundred and ninety-nine people. And if you step one inch more then I will not take into consideration who you are. I can see you are no ordinary man. I have killed kings, but I have never seen such beauty and such radiance; I have never seen such eyes so penetrating. You are unique. Please listen to me and go back. Don’t force me to kill you.”
Gautam Buddha said, “Angulimal, you are wrong. I stopped moving almost thirty years back. The day my mind stopped, all movement stopped. It is desire that keeps people moving. I don’t have any desire, how can I move? I am not moving, Angulimal, you are moving. Your mind has so many thoughts, so many desires, you are constantly moving even while you are asleep. So you stop! I am not going to stop because I have already stopped thirty years ago.”
Angulimal said, “You are not only innocent, beautiful, and a unique being, you are also mad! You are coming closer to me – I am standing, and you are saying that I am moving and you are not moving.”
“But it is no joke,” Buddha said. “You have to understand it clearly.”
Angulimal shouted, “You see this sword shining in the sunlight? Soon it will cut your head off. Listen to me!”
Buddha said, “I cannot do anything. One cannot stop twice. You have just to forgive me. Everything has stopped. Time has stopped, mind has stopped…everything has stopped for me. For thirty years there has been no movement.”
And he went on coming closer to Angulimal. Finally, Buddha was just standing in front of him and he told Angulimal, “If you want you can cut my head; in fact, I have come only for you. Hearing that you have been waiting for years only for one head, this is too much; somebody should take compassion. And I have no use for this head, I have no use for this body. I can live without this body. You can have the head, you can have my fingers…whatever you want…. But before you do it, would you respect the wish of a dying man?”
Angulimal said, “Yes, I would not have listened to anybody, but you are a man of tremendous courage. You have even made me afraid. Whatever you wish I will fulfill.”
Gautam Buddha said, “Then cut a branch of the tree under which we are standing.”
Angulimal immediately cut a branch with his sword and said, “Strange, you are proving stranger and stranger! What kind of wish is this?”
Buddha said, “It is only half of the wish. The other half is: now join it back.”
Angulimal said, “My God, I have come across a madman! How can I join it?”
Buddha said, “If you cannot join it, then what right have you to cut it? Secondly, by cutting you think you are a great warrior? Any child can do that. If you have some intelligence and courage, join it. That will prove your mettle – not cutting.”
Angulimal said, “That is impossible.”
Gautam Buddha said, “Then drop that garland of nine hundred and ninety-nine people – throw it away. Throw this sword. These are not for really brave people; these are for cowards to hide their cowardice. I will make you a really brave person.”
Angulimal said, “That I can understand. You are the most brave man I have ever come across.”
He threw the sword, he threw the garland of fingers, and he fell at the feet of Gautam Buddha and asked him, “Please initiate me. I know you cannot be anybody other than Gautam the Buddha. I have heard about Gautam the Buddha and I can see that nobody else is standing in front of me.”
Buddha initiated Angulimal.
Now this I say is a man of awareness – he has no discrimination. He did not say, “You are such a sinner. You have killed so many people single-handedly that no murderer can compete with you…in the whole history of man, single-handedly. And now you want to become a saint?”
No, he gave him initiation.
His disciples could not believe that he would do it. He had refused great scholars, he had refused great pundits, and he was not refusing a sinner.
It was getting late, so they had to come back to Prasenjita’s capital. Prasenjita heard what had happened. He himself was so afraid of Angulimal he had stopped traveling on that road. And he was very much worried because Angulimal was so close to the palace and that man was simply mad.
Prasenjita came the next day to see. He had always respected Gautam Buddha. He had always come to listen to him. It was the first time he came with his sword – you don’t go to listen to an enlightened man with a sword. And Prasenjita said, “Forgive me. I had to bring this sword because I hear you have initiated Angulimal” – and he was so nervous and perspiring.
And Buddha said, “Yes. But there is no need to bring a sword. Angulimal is now a sannyasin, a bhikkshu. You are not to be afraid of him.”
But Prasenjita said, “That’s okay. Where is he? I just want to see his face. That man has been a terror my whole life.”
Angulimal was sitting just by the side of Gautam Buddha. And Buddha said, “Look at this person – this is Angulimal.”
And hearing the name of Angulimal and seeing him, Prasenjita immediately pulled his sword. His name was such a fear, such a terror.
Buddha laughed. Angulimal laughed; he said, “Keep the sword in the sheath. If you are such a swordsman, then you should have come while I was Angulimal. Now I am a sannyasin. Keep it in the sheath!” And the way he said this, Prasenjita had to keep it in. Angulimal was, after all, Angulimal. Even the emperor had to follow the order.
Buddha said, “Angulimal, you will have to change your tone. You will have to change your ways because now you are a sannyasin. Today you will go begging, and anything can happen because this whole capital has been in terror of you. When you go to beg perhaps you may not get any door open…just the fear…. But don’t feel offended, those poor people can’t see the change. Perhaps they may start taking revenge, but now you have to prove that you are a sannyasin.”
Angulimal went ahead. Buddha followed him from far back to see what happened. And actually this is what happened – no door opened; nobody came to give him anything to eat. People started throwing stones, standing on their terraces, on their roofs – still afraid, not coming close. But they had piled up stones on their roofs, on their terraces, and they were throwing stones. Finally, Angulimal fell on the road and they continued to throw stones. He was bleeding all over the body.
When Buddha arrived he was covered with blood and stones. He pulled him out of the stones – it was his last moment. Buddha said, “Angulimal, you have proved that you are a sannyasin. You have proved that a sinner can become a sannyasin in a single moment. You lived like a sinner but you are dying like a saint.”
Angulimal touched Buddha’s feet and died.
Hundreds of times Buddha was asked, “Why did you initiate a sinner?”
And Buddha again and again said, “In my consciousness there is no distinction. The society may call somebody a sinner and somebody a saint – that is their distinction. But my consciousness only reflects the truth behind the mask. And I could see the immense potentiality of the man – wrongly directed. He needed only a slight turn, just a compassionate, loving turn. He proved a better saint than many of my other sannyasins are going to prove. And he was my youngest sannyasin – not even one day old. It was just last evening, yesterday, he was initiated. Only one night has he been with me.”

Consciousness is non-judgmental. So whenever you start judging, remember, it is the mind. Whenever you start judging, remember, it is your conditioning, and your conditioning is not very mature.

(A woman’s voice is heard to interrupt from the back of the hall.)
It is the same lady whose questions I told you that I would answer when she asked a real question about herself. Today she asked – perhaps with a desire that she would get an answer.
I chose her question to be answered, but before answering her question I had to talk about the pope, and she left immediately….
(Again the woman interrupts.)
Then come here.
(There is much laughter as the woman comes to the front.)
I have been waiting for you. Give her her question.

(She reads her question.)
When you spoke to me the other night, you said I was coming closer to a real question. I felt so incredibly excited to hear you speaking to me. This excitement helped me to understand that when I asked about your seemingly insulting remarks, I was asking out of fear. I was afraid you weren't being loving – that if you don't love Polacks, maybe you also don't love me.
So I understand that what I wanted to ask was: Do you love me? But whether the answer is yes or no, what does it matter? Isn't the real question: Do I love myself? And that answer is no. And my real fear is that I will never find this love in the deep well from which I should draw nurturing and love for myself. There is only a mud puddle in which I wallow.
I hear you say I must walk the path alone – I am so afraid. While traveling this river of existence, I have been battered against huge boulders and am afraid to travel any farther. Sometimes I can feel that this fear is my own creation but it is so strong it stops my breath. I do not want to give up. Is there any help you can give me?
Sit down…
(Again much laughter from everyone.)
I can see the sincerity of your question. I can also see why you became offended when I criticized some people. You thought that perhaps if I am not respectful to the so-called great people, I will not be loving to you either. That is where you misunderstood me.
I have not insulted, not criticized a single ordinary human being. I have certainly criticized people who are pretenders, who are not showing their original face, but are covering it with a mask of superiority. Somebody has to pull their mask. It is not insulting, it is not disrespectful. In fact, they also will be grateful one day that somebody pulled their mask and revealed their original face, because only your original face can grow. The mask cannot grow; the mask is dead. And your original face is almost forgotten. You have not only deceived others, you have deceived yourself too.
The most neglected thing in the world is your original being, and that’s why there is so much fear.
The original being has no fear. The problem is that our original being remains retarded, and our physical body goes on growing old and we go on pretending things which we are not.
I hit only when I see somebody is carrying a big ego – it needs to be punctured. But you don’t have any ego – you need not be afraid of me. I have never hurt anybody unless I see that somebody is carrying a dangerous, canceric ego with him. Then I have to cut that ego. And of course the job of a spiritual surgeon is a thankless job.
Your fear is out of your conditioning. I was hitting the pope, Christianity, and those are your conditionings. Somewhere, deep down, you were also feeling hurt, your conditioning was also shaken. It is your conditioning that is creating all the troubles for you, and you are protecting it.
You say you were afraid that I would not love you, that I would not say yes as far as love is concerned. Because of the fear you have already protected yourself in the question. You have to see it – just seeing is all that is needed. You have to see that on the one hand you want to be loved – who will not want to be loved…?
You want to be loved, but you are afraid perhaps my answer may be no, and that will be insulting, so you protect yourself beforehand. You continue the question, that does it matter whether I say yes or not? If it does not matter, why do you mention it at all? It matters – we have to look deeply into our questions – otherwise you would not have mentioned it. It matters immensely, but you are afraid of the no. And who knows, it is better to keep yourself protected. And the protection is in the next sentence – does it matter whether I say no or yes? I say to you, it matters, and I say yes.
I have never said no to anybody, because love is not something to me as a relationship. It is something more of a state of my being. I cannot do anything but love. Even the people I criticize – I love them, otherwise I wouldn’t take so much trouble to criticize them. It is not that I don’t love them and that’s why I criticize them. I love them, and I would like them to be more authentic, because they can help humanity immensely by being more authentic.
If the pope drops his ego he will help millions of Catholics to drop their egos. But if he goes on pretending to be infallible, a representative of God, he is helping other people also to have big egos because their religious leader is in direct communication with God. Because their religious leader is great, they are great.
The master is great, hence the disciple is great. Every disciple wants his master to be the greatest master in the world for the simple reason that is the only way that he can be the greatest disciple in the world. He is not worried about the master! But behind him, in his shadow…

I was visiting one of the shankaracharyas, one of the Hindu leaders. He was sitting on a high pedestal. By the side of his throne – Hindu shankaracharyas sit on a throne. By the side there was a small table lower than his pedestal on which was sitting an old man, also a Hindu sannyasin.
As I went in there were at least two hundred people gathered to see what would conspire between me and the shankaracharya. The shankaracharya said to me, “You will be happy to know that this old man who is sitting by my side is so humble that he always keeps his table lower than mine.”
I said, “If he is really humble then the people who are sitting on the floor are more humble. If this is the sign of humility, then this man is just middle class. The first-class humble people are sitting on the floor. And if he wants to be more humble he should dig a ditch and sit in the ditch – the deeper the ditch the better! Then he will be really humble. And if he is humble by sitting just four inches below you, what about you? You are trying to introduce me to this man but you have forgotten that you are sitting higher than him, you are sitting higher than everybody. If, just by sitting higher or lower, people become humble or egoist, then…”
A spider was just above his head. I said, “That spider seems to be the greatest guru in the world. He is just sitting on your head.”
He was very embarrassed. Still he continued, “This man was the chief justice of the Supreme Court; he is no ordinary man.”
I said, “After renouncing the world, after renouncing everything, he still remembers that he was the chief justice of the Supreme Court? And it seems whether he remembers it or not, you are feeling very gratified that you have a disciple who was the chief justice of the Supreme Court. You are enjoying it. This enjoyment, this nourishment is for the ego. And I want you to be aware that this man is sitting just four inches below you waiting for you to be dead. The moment you are dead he will be sitting in your place. Naturally he is the successor, nobody else is sitting so close to you as he is.”
I said to the retired chief justice of the Supreme Court, “If you have any understanding, just get down from your place and sit on the ground.”
But he would not move from there.
I said, “Is there some trouble, do you need somebody to move you? Are you paralyzed? Are you deaf? Are you hearing me or not?”
And I told the shankaracharya, “Even in the name of religion you go on creating hierarchies. The same kind of bureaucracy as there is in politics, you create in churches. But you have some place in that hierarchy so you don’t want to lose your place. And you are always hoping to get higher. But this is the same ego, the same trip, the same number.”

I was hitting the pope for your sake because the pope is not here. But the conditioning of the Christian mind is here, and that conditioning has to be broken.
Fearlessness is the basic quality of a religious man. But all the religions are trying to make you fearful, afraid of doing something wrong, and particularly Christianity more than any other. All the other religions of the world have a hell for the people who are not following their code of conduct, their prescribed rules – they will be thrown into hell. Only Christianity is a religion whose hell is eternal. It is better to get into anybody else’s religion and their hell because that hell is for a time according to your sins. Then you will get out of it.
But from the Christian hell you cannot get out. Once you have fallen into it you have fallen forever. And this is simply absurd, so absurd that one of the most significant philosophers of Europe, Bertrand Russell, had to write a book called, Why I Am Not A Christian. He was born a Christian, but as he became aware of all the things – these are so absurd…He was a mathematician, one of the greatest mathematicians. He has written a book, Principia Mathematica, which is thought to be the greatest book ever written on mathematics. Nobody reads it – it is difficult to read it, because just to prove that two plus two is equal to four, you have to read one hundred and sixty-five pages. Then the conclusion comes that certainly two plus two is four. A very intricate and complex argumentation – one hundred and sixty-five pages only for this small thing. The whole book is one thousand pages.
Why did Bertrand Russell have to write a book called, Why I Am Not A Christian? In the many things that he puts in it, this is one: Christians have only one life; Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists have millions of lives. It is possible for a Hindu in millions of lives to commit so many sins that he may go to hell for millions of years.
But for a Christian who has only a life of seventy years, eighty years, Bertrand Russell says, “Even if I go on committing sin day and night without sleeping, continuously for eighty years sinning and sinning, then too eternal hell is not fair. As a punishment you could put me there for eighty years…eighty years I was committing sins. You can put me there for eighty years, one hundred and sixty years, but you cannot put me for eternity. How could I commit so many sins to deserve eternal hell?”
None of the popes, none of the Christian theologians have answered the book because there is no answer – the thing is so clear.
Bertrand Russell says, “As far as I am concerned, if I count all the sins that I have committed and all the sins that I have dreamed about but not committed, then too, the hardest-hearted judge cannot send me to jail for more than four or five years, dreams included. But to send me for millions and millions and millions of years, no end…!”
The Christian hell has only an entrance, no exit; you simply get in, and finished! Seventy years’ life – how can you manage to commit so many sins? Bertrand Russell was a mathematician, so he was simply thinking in terms of mathematics – that this was improbable.
Your fear has to be understood as basically Christian. The Christian lives in fear, and the more sincere a person is, the more he is in a difficulty because he takes everything very seriously. Disobedience is a sin; not going to confess your sins to the priest is a sin. The sins that you have committed are there; if you are not going to confess them, this is another sin.

One day it happened that a Catholic priest was taking confessions….
One of his friends was a rabbi, and they were both very much interested in football matches. That evening there was a football match so the rabbi had come to the church to pick up his friend, the priest. But the Catholic priest said, “Wait a few minutes, just a few minutes while I finish with these people. I have just to take their confession and give them some penance.”
But in the middle, a phone call came that his wife was seriously sick, suddenly taken sick – maybe a heart attack or something. So the priest said, “You sit, because there is a curtain, and behind the curtain sits the priest. Outside the curtain is the confessor who confesses his sins.”
He said to the rabbi, “You please sit here. And you have heard what kind of punishments I give to people: you have to come every Sunday to church, you have to read the Bible every day…things like that. You manage, and I will be coming soon.”
Now the rabbi had never done such a thing, he was in a difficulty. A man came and he said, “Forgive me, Father, but I have committed adultery again.”
The rabbi asked, “How many times before have you committed adultery?”
He said, “Four times.”
“And what was the punishment that I gave to you?”
He said, “Each time you said, ‘Donate one dollar to the church.’”
The rabbi said, “That is very simple. This time you donate ten dollars to the church.”
“But,” he said, “I have committed only one adultery.”
The rabbi said, “Nine adulteries in advance…No need to come nine times, just give ten dollars to the church.” And he told the priest, “You people don’t know how to do business – when you catch hold of somebody, just one dollar…?”
The priest said, “What do you mean?”
The rabbi said, “I have taken ten dollars for one adultery – nine dollars in advance. For the nine adulteries that you can commit, you are free.”
And the priest said, “What are you saying? This is not the Catholic religion what you are doing!”
He said, “I don’t know the Catholic religion. I simply know what business is!”

In fact, fear is created by condemning your nature, your biology, your love…everything that gives you joy is condemned. Then naturally you become miserable. On the one hand you are miserable; on the other hand your nature demands its fulfillment. It wants to be loved, it wants to love, but then there is fear.
That love is not accepted by the church. You can love Jesus Christ but you cannot love a human being, you cannot love in an ordinary, natural human way. You can have spiritual love as much as you want, but the spiritual love is not going to satisfy you.
Spiritual love comes when your natural love reaches to its peaks, when your natural love brings you to such a blissful state that you want to go beyond it. Spiritual love is not against the natural love, it is ahead of natural love. Then there is no fear. Then this world and that world are no longer separated. Then your body and your soul are no longer separated. Then there is nothing like sin.
I have never come across anything which I can call sin. There are only mistakes, errors, which can be corrected. You need not be afraid. Remember, one of the greatest needs of human beings is to be loved and to love. If that is not fulfilled you will feel like an island in an ocean – alone, utterly alone, deserted, nobody to share in your pain; nobody to share…nobody to dance with you, to sing with you, nobody to sit in silence with you.
I teach human love, because it is in the fulfillment of human love that divine love flowers – not against it, but in absolute continuity with it.
You have to be in paradise from this very moment if you want to be in paradise forever. Paradise all the way, not only in the end. Because all the way you are so sad and so miserable and so much in suffering that by the time you reach paradise, I don’t think they are going to allow you in!
You should go dancing to God. But if your life is not a dance, how can you go dancing to God?
You should go singing to God, but your life has to become a song.
I am a pagan without any religion.
I teach simple naturalness, spontaneity. And I have seen in thousands of people who have come close to me that their fears have disappeared, their heaven and hell have disappeared, their God has disappeared. All that has remained is their own eternal consciousness, and to know it is such a benediction, is such a bliss that you can go on sharing it with the whole world; you cannot exhaust it.
But your conditionings from the very childhood have gone very deep. You will have to be courageous enough to take them out. Children are the most suppressed people of the world.

In one Christian school the lady teacher was talking about the Christian trinity – God the father, Jesus Christ the only begotten son, and the Holy Ghost. Then she asked all the children to make a picture of the trinity from their imagination. She looked around – everybody had done a good job according to their imagination. But at one small boy she stopped…. He had made a beautiful picture of an airplane with four windows.
She said, “What is this? What do you mean by this? Where is the trinity?”
He said, “Can’t you see it? In one window there is one man looking out – that is God the father.”
She said, “Okay.”
“The second window the person looking out is the only begotten son.”
She said, “Okay.”
“In the third window, this is the Holy Ghost. You cannot recognize him because nobody knows how the Holy Ghost looks, so I have just made him according to my own imagination.”
She said, “That is okay, but what about the fourth window?”
He said, “Lady, you are really dumb! This is Pontius the pilot. Without him the whole airplane would fall down.”

Laugh at your conditionings, and let them all fall down.
Be free to love, to dance, to sing.
Be free to be human – this is your birthright.

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