The White Lotus 02

Second Discourse from the series of 11 discourses - The White Lotus by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
Sometimes I want to scream, “Stop, Osho! Not so fast! I'm not up to it!”
I haven't been here for few days before I am having to confront my attachments, my possessiveness, my jealousy, my fear of dying, and distrust, in addition to diarrhea. Just at the point when I fear that you have asked too much, it all passes. What I feared was too hard to face breaks away and I'm not there – joy and gratitude rush in. Everything that is happening is a gift – the very gift that I needed to grow. A sense comes that all is possible.
Thank you, beloved one.
Amitabh, it is an arduous journey: the journey to the ultimate core of your being. It is an uphill task, it is moving toward the peak. And when you are moving toward the peak you have to unburden yourself of many things. You have to become more and more weightless. You can’t go on carrying rubbish with you.
Slowly, slowly attachments, possessiveness, jealousy, greed, fear, anger: all have to be dropped because as you move toward higher altitudes, things start becoming heavier and heavier. As you move toward purer layers of being, many things which you were never aware of become so clear, and you feel so stupid that you are carrying them, that you have carried them for lives together.
It is difficult to drop them because one becomes accustomed to one’s habits. Those habits may be creating misery, but still it is difficult to drop them because they have become so familiar. They have become part of your style of life. You are identified with them. Without them you will be somebody else. And one is afraid: afraid to be somebody other than one is. One is always afraid to go into the unknown. The fear of death is nothing but the fear of the unknown.
How can you be afraid of death? You have not encountered it yet. You have not seen its face, whether it is ugly or beautiful. You cannot say anything, whether it is going to be a curse or a blessing. You have no idea about it. How can you be afraid of death?
No, no one is ever afraid of death. People are really afraid of losing their attachments with life, with their lifestyles. One thing is certain: death will change you totally, death will take you into a dimension of which you are absolutely unaware.
One thing is certain: death will not leave you intact as you are. It will take away your body, it will take away your mind. It will take away all that you had thought you consist of. It will leave only the purest consciousness within you. Hence the fear of death, and hence the fear of going deep into meditation. They are the same.
Meditation does the same work as death. Meditation is a willful death. On your own accord you start dying, disappearing, evaporating. And to be close to me has no other purpose. To be close to me is to be close to your death.
The ancient Eastern sutras say that the master is nothing but death, and the disciple is one who is ready to die. But death is a prerequisite to be reborn. Jesus cannot be resurrected if he is not crucified.
Once a Christian missionary was asking me, “How do you explain the fact that God allowed Jesus to be crucified?” Christians have been at a loss to explain it. On the one hand they say Jesus is the only begotten son of God…and the father must be absolutely cruel that he allowed Jesus to be crucified.
Everybody was waiting that day for a miracle to happen. Even the enemies were thinking that something was going to happen. Thousands of people gathered to see the miracle. They have seen Jesus, known Jesus, they have looked into his eyes, they had felt his vibe – he was a rare man. He had something of the supernatural about him. He had something which is not ordinarily available: a depth, a height. He had roots deep into the earth, and wings to fly to the ultimate.
People had felt all this: the grace, the beauty, the grandeur of his being. They have felt the peace, the silence surrounding him. They have felt the nourishing love that continuously flowed from his being toward others. Something is bound to happen. God cannot leave Jesus; God is going to do something. They were waiting for the last moment.
It seems even Jesus himself was waiting for something to happen because in the last moments he says, “Why have you forsaken me? What have I done?” It shows that deep down somewhere he was also hoping that something would happen, maybe at the last moment he would be saved.
But there seems to be nothing happening. God seems to be absolutely cold, indifferent, not concerned. Of course, Christian theologians, priests, have been worried about it. They can’t answer why God did not do anything on that day.
This missionary was asking me. I said, “You don’t understand the whole phenomenon. If God had done a miracle and Jesus was saved, the whole story would be very ordinary. God did not do anything. He allowed Jesus to die. In fact, he helped in every possible way for him to die, because that is the only way to be resurrected.”
The real miracle is resurrection – not saving you, but helping you to die as you are, so that you can be as you should be. God allowed Jesus to die on the cross. And the story is beautiful: on the third day Jesus is back, resurrected, new, young, no longer the son of man but only the son of God. He is so new, so fresh, that even his own disciples miss recognizing him.
He meets two of his disciples who are going toward a village, escaping from Jerusalem because they are afraid now that the next thing is going to be the disciples will be caught and killed. The rumor is hot: the master has been killed, now the disciples will be killed. So everything is destroyed and not even a trace is left behind of this man and his work. So they were escaping.
Jesus meets them on the way, believing that at least his own disciples will recognize him. But they don’t recognize him. They talk with him as if he is a stranger. Jesus is very much puzzled.
Then they enter a small restaurant to eat something – they are tired – and Jesus breaks bread. Then they suddenly recognize, because that is the way Jesus used to break bread. Something of the old, then recognition happens.
Then they suddenly become awakened, as if they have come out of sleep or out of a dream, and they say, “Is it you? We could not recognize you on the way.” And they walked for at least three hours, talking – they were talking about their master being crucified to the master himself. Jesus must have been laughing inside himself, that they are talking about the master but they can’t recognize him.
People are recognized only by their old habits. When Jesus breaks bread, immediately the disciples recognize because: “That is the way of Jesus. Only he used to break bread that way.” As if suddenly the clouds disperse, the darkness is gone, and they see that Jesus has come back. The form is so new…no trace of the old. My own feeling is that Jesus must have deliberately broken bread in the old way just to give them a clue.
God allowed Jesus to die so that a resurrection becomes possible.
Amitabh, I am going to help you to die. That’s the function of a master: he has to be a death. And, yes, to die is difficult, hard. That diarrhea is nothing but a mind thing. You are so afraid that the fear is creating diarrhea. But it is good; it will cleanse the body. Your body, your mind, both need deep cleaning.
That’s why whenever clouds are not there, “…joy and gratitude rush in.” Whenever you are ready to die you will find joy and gratitude rushing in – whenever you accept. If you resist, then there is a problem. If you resist, then you will scream, your very being will scream, “Stop, Osho! Not so fast! I’m not up to it!” Nobody is up to it! Who wants to die?
And dropping all your old patterns is a great death, greater than the ordinary, physical death. Because when you die, ordinarily you only change the body, you change the garments. Your old habits, old patterns of thinking and feeling, continue in a new life, in a new body. Just the surface changes, nothing else.
The ordinary death is really ordinary. It is not a death, not much of a death. It only scratches the surface; it changes your skin, that’s all. Otherwise you remain the same person. Death after death you remain the same person.
But the death that happens in a love affair with a master is absolute, irrevocable. It is a point of no return. You cannot go back, you cannot fall back to the old patterns again; that becomes impossible. You have to go on moving ahead. And, of course, the mind screams, “Stop, Osho!” But because I love you, I cannot stop. Because I love you, I have to kill you.

“Sweetheart,” gushed the ardent swain, “let me adore your lovely face and I will buy you a sable muff. Let me hold your hand and I will give you a red fox scarf. Let me kiss you and I will give you a mink cape. Let me…”
“Stop!” cried the girl. “That’s fur enough!”

Yes, Amitabh, many times you will scream, “That is far enough!” But I cannot stop. I am utterly helpless in that way. It is not within my hands to stop. I have to go on. The more you scream, the faster I have to go, so that soon the work is done.
Your screaming is coming from your mind. And your question is significant, because your heart is feeling deep joy and gratitude. Your mind is saying, “No, stop!” Your heart is saying, “Everything that is happening is a gift – the very gift that I needed to grow. A sense comes that all is possible. Thank you, beloved one.”
Two different layers, two different planes of your being – the head and the heart – both are expressed in your question. A part of you, the superficial part that is afraid of death – the ego, the mind – they are crying, begging, “Stop!” It is because of this superficial plane of your being that you have been escaping again and again from here.
Of course, the mind is very cunning and it tries to find excuses. If there are not any, it can invent. It is very capable of managing. It can create illnesses in the body so that you don’t blame the mind. What can you do?
This has been happening to Amitabh for at least three years continuously. He comes, he comes with great love, and then the mind starts playing tricks. And the mind has been playing a really subtle trick on him: each time he comes he starts losing weight, and naturally a point comes when he becomes afraid that he is losing so much weight he has to go back.
This is a mind trick. If you become aware of it this time, the mind will not be able to do it. And the excuse is such that nobody can blame you, you cannot blame yourself. It is natural: when the body starts losing weight you have to go.
There is no visible reason why his body should lose weight, because Amitabh remains a vegetarian in America and here too he is a vegetarian. Even people who are nonvegetarians in the West and come here and become vegetarians don’t lose weight. So a vegetarian coming to India will not lose weight. There is no reason. The doctors cannot find any reason at all. It is something in the mind. It is a trick of the mind, a subtle strategy.
And the mind has to be very subtle, because Amitabh’s love for me is tremendous. But as the moment of death comes close, the mind freaks out. And Amitabh will not listen to the mind, hence the mind has to take support from the body. And the body is always following the mind. If the mind wants to create a certain illness, the body is simply to submit to the mind, surrender to the mind.
Ninety percent of diseases are now known to be mind created, mind oriented. Many diseases that happen here around me are more or less mind created. You want a valid reason to escape, and a small thing won’t do because your love for me is great. Something really dangerous has to be created. Your life is at risk, only then you will go.
On one plane your mind says, “I’m not up to it. Stop, it is enough. Go slowly!” But there are a few things which can only be done in a sudden blow, in a single blow. The slower you go, the more painful they are. It is better to cut the knot with a single blow of the sword rather than going very slowly and making the whole process unnecessarily painful.
Secondly: you are aware of another plane, too. Your heart says, “This is what you need. You need a death, because only after death is a resurrection possible. The old has to cease for the new to be.” The mind has to go for the heart to take total possession of your being.
Hence you feel gratitude, you feel joy, you feel great thankfulness. And you understand that for you to grow, it is needed that all these things – attachments, possessiveness, jealousy, fear of death, distrust – have to be dropped. They are ugly. They are hanging around you. They are parasites; they suck your blood. They don’t allow you freedom. They don’t allow you the impossible.
But in those rare, crystal-clear moments when the heart is functioning as a master and not as a slave, you know: “A sense comes that all is possible.” Yes, all is possible, even the impossible is possible – because what I am really trying to do is put you in order. You are in a disorder. Everything is there but upside down. Things have to be put right side up, things have to be rearranged.
You have all that can create the orchestra, but everybody is trying to play on his instrument within you as if it is not an orchestra but everybody is a solo performer. The flute player is playing his flute with no idea of what others are doing. The sitar player is playing his sitar with no connection with the flute. The tabla player is playing the tabla absolutely unaware of the flute and the sitar, and so on and so forth. They are doing all that they can do, but they are only creating a chaos, a noise, which is destructive. They all have to be put in tune with each other, and then the same noise will become a great music.
Yes, Amitabh, all is possible, because you are carrying within you a buddha. Amitabh is one of the names of Buddha: it means infinite light. In the East we love to give many names to those who have arrived home. Each name represents a certain aspect.
Buddha is called Tathagata because he is like a wind which comes and goes from nowhere to nowhere: eternal movement, no beginning, no end. Buddha is also called Amitabh. Amitabh means infinite light, pure light, knowing no boundaries. When the mind disappears, all darkness disappears. When the mind dies, only light is left: and a light that needs no fuel, a light that is uncaused.
You are carrying a buddha within you as a seed. It is difficult to believe because you know only your mind: and thinking of a buddha and your mind, the distance seems to be unbridgeable. And it is unbridgeable! If we have to reach the buddha through the mind the distance is unbridgeable. But if we have to reach the buddha through the heart there is no distance at all, there is no need for any bridge.
Just the other day Bodhidharma was saying that there is no attainment. How can you attain the already attained? There is no question of becoming. Becoming is not needed because you already have the being. Your future is not in the future, it is already in the present. Your now contains all – your past, your future – all that you have been and all that you will be and all that you can be. Your present moment contains infinity in it.
Just the other day we were talking about Buddha asking Subhuti, “Subhuti, what do you say? When I was living with another buddha in my past life, Dipankara Buddha, what had I attained?”
Now, anybody who is only knowledgeable will answer, “You attained buddhahood. You have attained truth, nirvana.” But Subhuti says, “Bhagwan, you did not attain anything when you were with Dipankara Buddha because there is nothing to be attained. You simply became aware of your inner treasures. That is not attainment. You had simply forgotten about it – you remembered. Where is the question of attainment?”
A forgetfulness and a remembering, that’s all. The whole story of man, of every man: a forgetfulness and a remembering.

A girl was walking along a country road and almost stepped on a frog. She was about to go on, when he began to speak.
“I have not always been a frog,” he croaked. “I was once a tall, dark, handsome man, but was transformed into this creature you know now by a wicked and magical genie. The spell can only be broken if I spend a night under the pillow of a beautiful girl.”
The girl, of course, was skeptical, but the pleading eyes of the unhappy frog caused her to take him home that night and put him under her pillow.
Sure enough, when she awoke the next morning, there beside her she found a tall, dark, gorgeous hunk of a man.
Well, you know, to this very day her mother does not believe that story!

Amitabh, frogs can turn into princes because princes have turned into frogs. You can become buddhas because you are buddhas turned into frogs. Maybe orange frogs…but buddhahood is already the case. It is not something that is going to happen in future, it is already the case. You have only to look in. But your attachments keep you engaged outside. Your jealousies, your possessiveness, don’t give you time to look in, space to look in.
In a subtle, surgical way I have to help you to come out of your dreams, attachments, jealousies, possessiveness. Once you are out of these illusions you are a buddha, as everybody else is.
Yes, all is possible, Amitabh, and I am here to help you to make it possible. The impossible can happen, and I am trying to create the right space for it to happen. But there are going to be a few painful moments, and you will have to accept those painful moments too, because they are only creating the right context in which bliss can descend in you. That’s why again and again you feel joy and gratitude rushing in.
Allow me, cooperate with me. Let your head be cut off by me. Surrender your head. It is happening. Slowly, slowly you are gaining courage. And it is not very far away.
But all depends on you. I cannot enforce buddhahood on you. I can only help you to discover it within your own being. But before you discover it, a few things that are hindrances have to be dropped, and you will not be a loser.
On the way toward Buddhahood, nobody has ever lost anything. And whatever we lose is not worth keeping. What we gain is so infinite, is so eternal, that one never feels sorry for what has been lost.
We are carrying pebbles, colored pebbles, thinking that they are precious diamonds. They are not. Your hands have to be emptied first and then diamonds will go on showering on you. They are always showering, just that your hands are not empty. Your hands are so full of ordinary stones that there is no space for the diamonds to be.
Be a little more empty. And this time don’t allow the mind to play tricks upon you.

The second question:
I believe in discipline, law and order, and that's why I am hesitating to take a jump into sannyas. What should I do?
Sannyas is the greatest discipline there is. It is the greatest order possible. Sannyas belongs to the ultimate law, what Buddha calls aes dhammo sanantano: the inexhaustible, ultimate law.
You say, “I believe in discipline, law and order…” If you really understand what discipline is, what order and law is, then there is no question of hesitating. Then sannyas is the only way for you. There will be no other way, no alternative. But you don’t understand what discipline is. You believe, but you don’t understand. In fact, if you understand there is no need to believe.
Belief is a state of non-understanding. People believe because they don’t know. You don’t believe in the sun, you don’t believe in the trees, you don’t believe that the trees are green; you simply know. But you believe that God exists, that heaven and hell exist. These are beliefs, because you don’t know.
Belief is a substitute for knowing; it deceives you. It keeps you in a state of ignorance because it helps you to pretend. And if you have been pretending long enough, you are so deeply befooled by your own belief that you don’t suspect, you don’t doubt. Your belief starts becoming your wisdom, and belief can never become your wisdom.
Remember one thing: believing is a wrong approach. Don’t believe in God. Why believe in God when God can be known? Don’t believe in love when love can be lived. Don’t believe in me while you can experience the truth of my being present to you. When you can commune with me, why believe in me? Belief is a barrier, not a bridge. If you believe in me, you will never understand me.
Drop believing and start knowing. Sannyas is a jump from belief to understanding. You were a believing Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. Sannyas is a jump from your Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism. Sannyas is a jump from belief into a real, authentic search for the truth.
Belief simply means that others have told you, and you have believed them: maybe your parents, your teachers, priests, politicians, friends, or just the climate around you, the social conditioning. You were born into a certain society, into a certain structure. You have imbibed the spirit of it unknowingly. Just as you breathe in air, you breathe in beliefs.
But you have not experienced anything. And these beliefs can be dangerous because if you are a sincere man, you may start imposing your beliefs upon your life. You may start creating a character, cultivating a character.
And that’s what you must be doing. You must be trying to live a very disciplined life. But if a man is conscious, he need not live a disciplined life. He only needs to live a conscious life, and discipline follows him like a shadow.
A disciplined life is rigid, frozen, cold, dead. You simply go on doing things mechanically. Sometimes it may suit the situation, many more times it is absolutely irrelevant. Then the disciplined man, the so-called disciplined man, is always lagging behind. The situation demands something else, but his discipline reacts in its own way, so he is never in a deep communion with reality. He is always isolated, alienated.
It happened…

A Sufi mystic, Junnaid, was going for a pilgrimage, a holy pilgrimage to Kaaba. He told his disciples, “It will take one month for us to reach Kaaba, and we will fast so that by the time we reach Kaaba our bodies will be absolutely purified.”
The disciples agreed. The journey started and the third day they reached a village. The whole village had come to receive them. Junnaid had a disciple there who was a very poor man, and because Junnaid was coming for the first and maybe the last time to his village and was going to be his guest, he sold his field, his house, everything, to give a feast to the whole village. He was not aware at all that Junnaid was on a fast and that he was followed by hundreds of disciples.
Junnaid saw the joy of the disciple. He was just ecstatic, although he had gambled everything just to give a feast to the whole village in welcoming his master. Junnaid did not say anything. He did not even mention that he was keeping a fast. When Junnaid did not say anything the disciples were also silent, but they were boiling within.
The feast started. Junnaid ate well and thanked the disciple, blessed the disciple. The other disciples also had to eat when Junnaid was eating. They could not say, “We are on a fast,” when the master had himself forgotten about the fast. And moreover the food was delicious, and for three days they had been hungry too. But deep down they were feeling angry: “What kind of discipline is this?”
When they departed, the first thing they did on the way was to ask the master, “This we can’t understand. Did you forget all about the fast? You did not even mention it.”
He said, “No, I never forget anything, but his joy was such and his ecstasy was such. It would have been such a pain to his heart if I had said, ‘I am not going to eat.’ He had prepared the food with such love. There is no problem,” said Junnaid, “we can keep our fast for three more days. Forget about those three days. We start our fast from today, and we will keep the fast for one month. There is no problem in it. Why hurt the poor man for a simple thing? We can continue the fast three more days.”
But the disciples said, “But it is a question of discipline: when we had taken the vow we should have followed it.”
Junnaid said, “Live consciously, don’t live according to a dead discipline. You were feeling irritated. I saw it on your faces. You were angry at me – I watched it – because you were simply following a dead rule: ‘We have taken a vow so it has to be followed.’ We are the masters. We take the vow, we can break it. And the situation was such that what we did was the right thing.
“Our fast is just ordinary. His love was something really holy. Eating or not eating does not matter much, but you missed his joy, you could not share his ecstasy. A great opportunity has been lost.
“If it happens again,” said the master, “because we may be coming across other disciples in other towns, don’t be worried. I act out of the moment. I see the situation and I act. That is my discipline. I don’t act according to the past.”

And the people who act according to the past are not necessarily in order, in discipline, in accord, because the people who have a law-abiding mind can be very cunning and they can always find ways to bypass the laws. They can find loopholes to get out of obeying. There is not much of a problem in it.
In the Buddhist scriptures there are ten thousand major rules and thirty-three thousand minor rules for the disciple. Now, even to remember them is impossible: forty-three thousand rules in all! How are you going to remember those rules? And why were they created? It was not Buddha who created them but the tradition, the priests that followed him. And even forty-three thousand rules are not enough, because people go on doing things.
They can always find a way to do what they really want to do: where there’s a will there’s a way. No law can prevent you. And every law can be interpreted in such a way that it is very easy to wriggle out of anything.

During an inspection a lieutenant discovered that a young soldier’s laundry bag was full of books. Being a stickler for having everything in the proper place, he bawled out the guilty private in no uncertain terms. When he was just about out of breath he asked, “Now, how by any stretch of imagination can you justify stuffing your laundry with books?”
Quietly the lad replied, “With all due respect, sir – they’re dirty books.”

It is very easy to play with words. It is very easy to get out of any discipline that you have imposed upon yourself. And exceptions are always allowed.

A disciple was going on a pilgrimage. He asked Buddha, “I will be away from you for many months. The only thing that I am afraid of is the existence of women. Here with you I can keep myself disciplined, but alone I am afraid, afraid of myself. If I see a woman, what am I supposed to do?”
Buddha said, “Just look at the ground four feet ahead. Don’t look at the woman. That will be enough to avoid the woman. Just looking down four feet ahead of you is enough to walk. And you will not be seeing the face and the beauty, and whether it is a man or a woman.”
The disciple said, “That’s right, but sometimes there may be a situation in which I will not be aware that a woman is coming, and before I look down I will have already seen her. Then what to do? Then even looking down on the earth won’t help. And the possibility is there…” So he asked, “Then what to do?”
Buddha smiled and he said, “Then don’t talk to her. Just go on moving and don’t look back.”
But the disciple asked, “But there could be a situation in which the woman starts talking. Then just out of etiquette… And a bhikku, a disciple of Buddha, has to be graceful and cultured. If a woman asks something, am I not supposed to listen to it? Am I not supposed to answer her?”
Buddha said, “Okay, so you can talk, but don’t touch her.”
The disciple said, “Just one more thing: in a certain situation it can happen that you have to touch a woman. For example, some accident has happened. A woman has fallen into a ditch, or a bullock cart has gone into a ditch and the woman is underneath the bullock cart. Do you suppose that I should simply go on moving without saying anything, without touching her? Because I will have to take her out of the ditch or from underneath the cart, and then I will have to touch her. What do you say about that?”
Buddha laughed and he said, “Then do only one thing: just remain aware.”
The bhikku said, “That’s okay, that I can do.”

Now, small things he cannot do. Awareness? “Yes,” he says, “that I can do.” Because who can see your awareness? It is simply an inside phenomenon, only you know whether you are aware or not aware. Now he has asked permission to do everything. Creating imaginary situations, he has asked for exceptions.
So although there are thirty-three thousand minor rules and ten thousand major rules, Buddhists have been doing all the same things that others are doing who have not even heard about these forty-three thousand rules.
Rules can’t help. If they are imposed from the outside they are utterly useless. Not only useless but they burden you, and unnecessarily burden you.
Drop the legal mind. If you really want to know the law, the ultimate law, and if you want to live according to the ultimate law, don’t be legal. Man-made laws are worthless.

The young woman was depositing a fifty-dollar bill at the bank.
“I can’t accept this,” said the teller, “it’s counterfeit.”
“Oh, my god!” exclaimed the woman, “I have been raped!”

Now immediately the interpretation changes. It all depends on you: your law, your words.

When the next patient is called, a skeleton walks in. “Hmm!” says the doctor. “A bit late, aren’t you?”

Must have been a very legal-minded man.
You say, “I believe in discipline, law and order, and that’s why I am thinking but hesitating to take a jump into sannyas.” Many people think that my sannyas has no discipline, no law, no order. They are utterly wrong. Yes, I have not given you thirty-three thousand minor rules and ten thousand major rules to live by. I give you a single commandment: Be aware.
Even Buddha had to do that after seeing the man trying to find ways out. Finally he has to say, “Then just be aware.” He said it only at the end. I say it from the very beginning, so that you need not find excuses, exceptions, strategies, tricks. You need not be diplomatic. I simply say it from the beginning.
This is the only commandment – the eleventh commandment. And the eleventh is enough. The other ten are not needed at all. Be aware and let your discipline come out of your awareness. And there will come a discipline which has a beauty. It will not be like a plastic flower, it will be a real rose. It will have perfume, it will have life. And there will come a certain order, but not imposed, not cultivated – natural.
Just the other day Bodhidharma was saying: When you know the ultimate law, the dharma, when you have become aware of it, when you are attuned to it, your life becomes simple, easy, natural, flowing. No hindrances, no obstructions are there, no blocks are there. That is order.
Order is not like railroad tracks, where the train goes on moving on the rails, the same rails, every day. Order is like a river coming down from the Himalayas and moving toward the ocean. The river is alive. It is not following a certain map, it is not running like a canal, it is not man-made. It simply flows freely, but it still reaches the ocean. And a canal always looks ugly, artificial, because it does not have the natural turns, sudden surprises; it is straight, geometrical. The real river is zigzag, sometimes going to the south and sometimes moving to the north.
If you are too legal you will say, “This is a waste of time and waste of land and waste of energy.” If you are too legal minded you start believing only in straight lines: the shortest path is to go straight from one point to the other.
But the river goes zigzag, takes a long route, sometimes flows fast and sometimes goes very lazy. And there are different moods and different climates and different lands which it passes through. It takes sudden turns. It goes in a dancing way – not confined, not like a slave, not like a prisoner, chained, following the policeman. It goes in freedom. Then each step has its own beauty.
My sannyasin is like a river, not like a canal. Yes, there is a discipline, but very subtle: that of love, that of understanding, that of meditation. Yes, there is an order, but not imposed, not cultivated – natural, spontaneous. Yes, there is a law, but not the law made by stupid politicians or stupid priests – the law of nature itself, the law of God.
Buddha calls God the ultimate law. My sannyasin is working out how to be more attuned with nature, with the whole, how to drop this ego, how not to be separate from the whole. Because to me, to be one with the whole is to be holy.
There is no need to hesitate. Try what I am saying. Experiment with it and come to your own conclusions. But never believe. Experiment, experience, and your experience will prove the truth of what I am saying.

The third question:
I am a God-fearing man, but you say that all fear has to be dropped. Is the fear of God also to be dropped?
Fear is fear. It does not matter of what, of whom. The object makes no difference. Your subjectivity is full of fear. And if you are God-fearing you can never be God-loving.
In all the languages of the world this ugly type of phrase exists: God-fearing. This is ugly, because fear and love cannot exist together, like light and darkness. If there is fear you cannot love God. How can you love God if you are afraid of him? You may submit and surrender, but deep down there will be resistance, anger. Somewhere in your unconscious there will persist the idea of taking revenge. You cannot forgive a God of whom you are afraid.
And fear is just the opposite of love. Hate is not really the opposite of love. You will be surprised – fear is the exact opposite. Hate is love standing upside down. Fear is just the opposite. You cannot be afraid of God if you understand what God is. This total universe is God. In fact, there is no God as a person. The whole existence is permeated, overflowing, with a quality called godliness. It is in the flowers and in the grass and in the stars. It is in you: it is everywhere. The whole existence is made of the stuff called godliness. God is not a person. How can you be afraid?
If you follow a religious life out of fear it will be the life of a slave, not of a man who is free. And if you start in fear you cannot end in freedom. You will end in slavery. And all that you will do out of fear is going to be wrong. It is going to be false, superficial.

The young couple were canoeing in the middle of the lake when a sudden squall hit.
Terrified at the intensity of the wind and rain, the boy started to pray: “O Lord, save us, and I’ll give up smoking. I’ll give up drinking. I’ll give up…”
At this moment the young lady yelled, “Don’t give up anything else! I think the storm is over!”

Out of fear nothing radical is possible.

I have heard a story about Mulla Nasruddin. He was also coming from a faraway journey in a small ship, and a great storm arose and it appeared that there seemed to be no chance of surviving.
Nasruddin had a beautiful palace, a marble palace of which he was very proud, in the capital of his country. Even the king was jealous of him and he had offered him whatever money he wanted to take, “…but give the palace to me.”
But Nasruddin was insistent that he was not going to give the palace to anybody at any price. Great offers had come, but he had always refused.
Now that his life was in danger he prayed to God and he said, “Listen! I will give the palace to the poor. I will sell the palace and distribute the money to the poor.”
It so happened that the moment he said it the storm started subsiding. As the storm started to subside, Nasruddin started having second thoughts. This is too much! And maybe the storm was going to subside anyway. I have unnecessarily risked my palace.
But then he was in for a big surprise: the storm started rising again. Then he really became afraid. He said, “Listen! Don’t be bothered with my thoughts – I am a foolish man – but whatever I have said, I am going to do. I promise you that I will sell the house and distribute the money to the poor.”
The storm subsided again. Again he wanted to have second thoughts, but now he was afraid.
He reached the shore and the next day he informed the whole capital that he was going to auction his palace. All the rich people, the king, the prime minister, other ministers, the general, all came, because everybody was interested in his palace. And they were all surprised at what he was doing. They thought him crazy.
Just in front of the palace he had kept a cat, and he told the people who had gathered, “The price of the cat is ten lakh rupees, and the price of the palace is only one rupee, but I am going to sell them together.”
The whole thing looked crazy: the cat, ten lakh rupees – just an ordinary cat! He must have caught any wandering cat. But people thought, “Why be worried? That is not our business.”
The king purchased them. Ten lakh rupees were paid for the cat, one rupee for the palace. Nasruddin gave one rupee to a beggar and said to God, “Look! What I promised, I have fulfilled!”

If you do things out of fear you can’t do them with your heart. You will be cunning, you will find ways. And whenever the fear will be gone, you will be the same again.
Please don’t be God-fearing. Be God-loving: that is my essential message.
Up to now, religion has been based in fear. That’s why the earth has remained irreligious or only superficially religious. Religion has remained something just like a painted face: false, pseudo. And the basic reason why it has failed is fear.
The priests have based religion on fear and greed, which are two aspects of the same coin. Because of fear they have created the idea of hell, to make people really God-fearing.
And they have also created the idea of heaven to make people really greedy. Greed creates fear. Greed means: if you don’t follow God, if you don’t pray to God regularly, you may miss all the joys of heaven. Missing the joys of heaven is a great fear-creating situation. And you will be thrown into hell, hellfire.
In the scriptures they have invented so many methods of torture that it seems that Adolf Hitler must have read all the scriptures of the world. Otherwise, how had he come across so many methods to torture people? They can be found only in religious scriptures. He must have asked the advice of knowledgeable priests, because whatever is written in the scriptures he managed to do in his concentration camps, in his gas chambers. And the only thing that is not written in the scriptures he also managed to do.
In the scriptures it is not written that there are windows in hell which you can go and look through to see what is happening inside. He made windows in his gas chambers. Those windows had the kind of glass that you can look in through, but through which the people who are being gassed inside cannot look out at the spectators.
And see the inhumanity of man: thousands of people waited for months to look through those windows and thousands of people came to see through those windows. They stood in queues for hours to gain entry and to see people disappearing in smoke. Those gas chambers were such that within seconds one thousand people in one gas chamber would be just smoke and nothing would be left. It was almost like an entertainment for the people. People enjoyed seeing it very much.
The Devil should learn something from Adolf Hitler. He can earn much money if he makes a few windows in hell and sells tickets. The tickets will be sold out for almost one century ahead. Who would not like to have a look into hell?
The priests have based their religion on two basic, ugly instincts: fear and greed. And both have nothing to do with real religion. Real religion is freedom from greed and freedom from fear.
You will have to get rid of all fear. Yes, the fear of God is included in it. It has to be dropped if you really want to understand what God is. But our whole life is so covered with fear. We love out of fear, we pray out of fear.
There are people like Dale Carnegie who write books which are sold in millions. I think his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has sold only next to the Bible – millions of copies in almost all the languages of the world. Why do people read such rubbish? And what is he teaching in those books? – cunningness, diplomacy.
He suggests that even if you don’t love your wife, that is not the point. At least whenever you have a chance to say to her, “I love you,” say it. Repeat it as many times as possible because she only hears your words, she does not know your heart.
Your wife is not a veterinary doctor. The vet has to look and decide about the disease of the animal himself, he cannot ask the animal, “How are you? How do you feel? How is your sleep?” Your wife is not a vet. She depends on your words. She does not know what goes on inside you. That is your business.
But if you repeat ten times a day – whenever you come across her, just say, “Darling, I love you!” And say it with great fervor. Be an actor, that’s what he is saying. And she will believe you, and your life will be smooth. There will be less conflict. This he calls love! This is just fear of conflict, fear that something disturbing may happen. So just keep things smooth.
Your saying again and again, “I love you,” is like a lubricant. And be afraid, that is the message. If you are not afraid you will be in trouble. Wives are afraid of their husbands, and husbands are afraid of their wives. Parents are afraid of their children, and children are afraid of their parents. Children are afraid of their teachers, and teachers are afraid of their pupils. Everybody is afraid of everybody else. As if fear seems is the only climate we live in.

A traveling salesman who was not feeling up to snuff visited a doctor for a checkup. A routine examination did not reveal any particular ailment. The doctor then questioned his patient about his living habits.
“Now I’m going to get personal,” said the doc. “How often do you engage in sexual relationship?”
“Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, regularly,” replied the salesman.
“Well,” went on the doctor, “your trouble may lie there. I suggest you eliminate Wednesdays.”
“Oh, no,” answered the salesman, “l couldn’t do that. That’s the only night of the week I’m home!”

People are even loving… Even love is nothing but fear: a diplomacy, a strategy, to keep things running smoothly. And that’s why you pray regularly. Morning, evening, you go on praying, hoping that God will hear your prayer. There is nobody to hear your prayers! Your prayer is simply a monologue. You are praying to the empty sky. Nobody is going to reward you for your prayers, remember.
If you really know what prayer is, then prayer itself is its own reward. There is nobody else to reward you. The reward is not there in the future, not in the afterlife. But praying itself is such a beautiful phenomenon, who cares about the future and who bothers about the reward? The idea of a reward is greed.
Prayer in itself is such a celebration, it brings such great joy and ecstasy, that one prays for the prayer’s sake. One does not pray out of fear and one does not pray out of greed. One prays because one enjoys it. One does not even bother whether there is a God or not.
If you enjoy dancing, you don’t ask whether there is a God or not. If you enjoy dancing, you simply dance. Whether anybody sees the dance from the sky or not is not your concern. Whether the stars and the sun and the moon are going to reward you for your dance, you don’t care. The dance is enough of a reward in itself. If you love singing you sing. Whether anybody listens or not is not the point.
So is prayer. It is a dance, it is a song, it is music, it is love. You enjoy it, and there it is finished. Prayer is the means and prayer is the end. The ends and the means are not separate. Only then do you know what prayer is. And prayer is far more important than God.
Patanjali says God is only an excuse to pray. It is like a peg on the wall to hang your coat on. If the peg is not there you can hang your coat somewhere else. You can hang it on the door, on the window, anywhere. Patanjali has great insight when he says that God is just a peg, because it will be difficult for you to pray, hence God has been invented. Ordinarily you think prayer is a means to reach God. Patanjali says God is only a means so that you can pray. But it is only for the beginners: to help them.
It is just like when a small child goes to school to learn the alphabet, we give him a few helpful clues. We say, “D is for donkey.” Now, D has nothing to do with the donkey in particular; donkey is not the owner of D. D is as much for dog as it is for donkey, and D is for many things. “D is for donkey” is just to help the child because he can visualize the donkey more easily. He giggles and enjoys – he knows the donkey perfectly well – and in this way he remembers D.
But if a grown-up reading always reads “D for donkey” and then goes on, then something has gone wrong. Then he will be in difficulty, he will not be able to read anything. “M is for monkey, and D is for donkey” – if he goes on reading that way, the donkeys and monkeys will get so mixed that he will not be able to make any sense out of it. No, the child soon learns that it was only a device.
God is a device – according to Patanjali, one of the greatest masters of the world – a device to help you pray. Once you have learned to pray, forget all about God. Prayer itself is enough, more than enough.
Prayer means surrender. Prayer means bowing down to existence. Prayer means gratitude. Prayer means thankfulness. Prayer means silence. Prayer means: “I am happy that I am.” Prayer simply means: “This tremendous gift of life is so much for such an unworthy man like me. I don’t deserve it, yet the unknown has showered it on me.” Seeing it, gratitude arises.
You ask me, “I am a God-fearing man, but you say that all fear has to be dropped. Is the fear of God also to be dropped?” Yes, absolutely yes. Only then will you know what God is, and only then will you know what love is, and only then will you know what being religious means, what it is all about.

The last question:
Can't psychoanalysis help people to know themselves? Is religion really necessary?
Psychoanalysis can help a little bit, it can prepare the ground, but it cannot be a substitute for religion. In the West it is becoming a substitute for religion, and that is going to destroy something immensely beautiful. Religion is a totally different phenomenon from psychoanalysis. Religion is not analysis at all, religion is meditation. It is not thinking, it is not analysis.
Psychoanalysis is concerned with the mind and helping the mind to become adjusted to society, whatever is thought to be normal. It may be, it may not be. Usually the average is thought to be normal, but the average is not necessarily normal. The word normal comes from norm; norm means “the law.” Normal is one who lives according to the law, the ultimate law, the ultimate norm.
A Buddha is normal, a Jesus is normal, a Zarathustra is normal, a Bodhidharma is normal. You are not normal, you are simply average. You are not following the norm. You don’t know anything about the norm. But psychoanalysis simply helps you to adjust yourself with the society you live in. It makes your life a little easier.
Sigmund Freud is reported to have said, “We cannot make man happy, because there is no possibility of man ever being happy. All that we can do is we can make him less unhappy.” This is a significant statement, and coming from the founder of psychoanalysis it has great importance. And he is being true.
One thing must be said about Freud: that he is always sincere. Even though his sincerity goes against many things he wants, goes against his own psychoanalysis, still he remains sincere. He never hides behind facades and masks. He is a simple man in that way. In that way he has some religious quality about him.
But otherwise, psychoanalysis can help you in particular problems: it can give you a little insight into your problems, it can make you accept them. It can bring you down from your feverish state to the average, and that too at a very great cost and years of work.
Meditation can do it within days, and meditation can do far more. It does not help you to become adjusted with the society. It helps you to be adjusted with God, with godliness. The society means the crowd. To be adjusted with the crowd is not growth, it is just the opposite of growth. The crowd consists of the lowest, and to be adjusted with the lowest you have to remain the lowest. Religion takes you to the heights, it takes you toward the sky, it gives you wings.
Religion will always be needed. Psychoanalysis may not be needed one day. Psychoanalysis is a temporary phenomenon. It is only the contemporary mind that needs it. For centuries man had lived without psychoanalysis. In the East we have not given birth to any system like psychoanalysis. We have lived without it, we are still living without it.
It is just the contemporary Western mind that has become too tense, that needs psychoanalysis. It is something like a phase which is going to pass.
Psychoanalysis will soon be part of history, but religion is going to remain forever. Religion is something without which man cannot be man.
And the psychoanalyst himself is in the same trap as you are. He needs religion as much as you. He needs meditation as much as you, or maybe he needs it more than you because he has to live with mentally ill people. He becomes infected by all their illnesses.

Patient: “People seem to think I’m brash, provocative and forward.”
Psychiatrist: “I quite understand, Miss. Now, I want to make a few notes. Would you mind getting off my lap for a few minutes?”

If you live with people like this long enough, you may be helping them, bits of insight may be given to them, but they are also changing you meanwhile.
More psychoanalysts commit suicide than any other profession. More psychoanalysts go mad than any other profession. It is very strange. Psychoanalysts going mad is enough condemnation of psychoanalysis.

A gorgeous girl walked into the psychiatrist’s office. No sooner had she closed the door, when the doctor ripped off her clothes and attacked her.
After fifteen minutes he got up and said, “Well, that takes care of my problem. What’s yours?”

Now, how can these people help you and how much can they help? Professionally they know much about the mind, but they know nothing about the soul. In fact, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, should not be named the way that they are, because psyche means soul and they don’t believe in the soul.
Psychology means the science of the soul. Religion is the science of the soul. Psychology is not the science of the soul. Psychology is the science of the mind, and not even a science yet, just a very primitive, crude state, just at the beginning.
Religion is the science of the soul. It is an effort to help you to meet and merge with the totality of existence: call it dharma, Tao, God, or anything you like. It is an effort to destroy all barriers between you and the whole so that you can start feeling the whole merging in you and you merging in the whole.
When you simply become a wave in the ocean there is great joy because all fear of death disappears. You are no longer separate so you cannot die. When you are just a wave in the ocean, all anxiety disappears because anxiety is possible only if you think of yourself as an individual – separate. When you are just a wave in the ocean, then the ocean takes care.
Sometimes you are there manifest and sometimes you are there unmanifest, but you are there always and forever.
Religion is a totally different phenomenon. Psychoanalysis cannot become a substitute for it. It is good that psychoanalysis helps a little bit – people need help – but it is not religion, because psychoanalysis never transforms you. Religion is the science of transformation.
You need a radical transformation, you need a mutation, you need a new birth. Psychology cannot become that.
Religion is nothing but the process of rebirthing. You are born anew, you are born in God, you are resurrected. Religion is death and resurrection.
Enough for today.

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