The Wild Geese & Water 13

Thirteenth Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - The Wild Geese & Water by Osho.
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The first question:
I am not a sannyasin, and I am visiting for a short period. I appreciate the work that is done here, but there is one question that I cannot avoid asking. The theory is nice, but from the dozens of sannyasins with whom I have spoken, nobody could say, “I have found the way, I am proceeding, and I am sure one day I will be able to stand on my own feet.”
My feeling is that they develop a tremendous dependency on you and the ashram. As long as they are here they are fine, but when they leave they lose most of the benefits they gained, some of them even get worse because of the frustration. How do you face this reality? Do you prepare them for the day when this place won't exist anymore? Do you prepare them for the inevitable future? The future does exist. Most of them have thirty to forty years yet to live. Will they stay in Pune for the rest of their lives? I don't think so.
I would appreciate your comments.
Rami Gilboa, there are a few things which can only be understood by a sannyasin because a deep participation is needed to understand them. The outsider, at the most, can think about them. But thinking is not feeling; thinking is not experiencing. Thinking is a very poor substitute for knowing.
The blind man can think about light, but he cannot know it; for knowing he will need eyes. The deaf man can think, philosophize about music, but he cannot experience it – and without experiencing it, whatsoever he says is bound to be wrong.
Rami, you say, “I am not a sannyasin…” Then it will be very difficult for you to understand. I will do my best, but I don’t feel that it will be possible for you to get it.
You say, “…I am visiting the ashram for a short period.” This is not a place where you can just come and go. This is a space to be shared, to be loved, to be lived. If you are just an onlooker, a visitor – and that too, in a hurry – you are bound to miss the whole point. And your question shows absolutely that you have missed it – although it will be very difficult for other outsiders and observers and the visitors to see where you have missed it.
You say, “I appreciate the work that is done here…” It is not a question of appreciation at all. Either you participate, or you don’t participate. Appreciation always keeps things at a distance. It is not much different from criticizing; they both belong to the same spectrum. Criticism is negative, appreciation is positive, but the distance is the same. You have to participate in the mystery of it. You have to become part of it. Only – and I remind you and emphasize that the only way to understand is from being an insider.
The lover knows love. Others can appreciate that it is beautiful, but their appreciation is superficial, inevitably superficial. If you really appreciate, then participate; then show it by your participation, then become a sannyasin. There is no other way to show appreciation. If you love somebody, you cannot just appreciate – you become committed, you become involved. Sannyas is a love affair; it is involvement, it is commitment. And then a totally new insight opens up.
You say, “I appreciate the work that is done here…” No work is being done here. Work is the last thing that we do here. What we do is totally different from work. I am not so much against alcoholism, but I am very much against workaholism. Workaholics have been the most mischievous people in the world. Adolf Hitler is a workaholic, Joseph Stalin is a workaholic, Mao Zedong is a workaholic. Now, no alcoholic has ever done so much harm.
Just think – if Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and people like that, if they all would have been alcoholics, the world would have been in a far better state. But unfortunately they were workaholics.
Adolf Hitler was almost a mahatma. You can call him the Gandhi of the West; he is very similar to Mahatma Gandhi. He was a vegetarian – absolute vegetarian. He was against alcohol, against smoking, against taking anything like coffee or tea. These are the basic requirements for being a mahatma.
He used to get up in brahmamuhurt, early morning, and he would take a cold bath. His whole life was disciplined; there was no indiscipline in his life. The only difference was – which is not much of a difference, a difference which does not make any difference at all – that he used to kill others, that he loved killing others. And Mahatma Gandhi loved killing himself. And if you ask me, I will say he is far better than Mahatma Gandhi because when you kill somebody else, at least the other person has the possibility to defend. When you kill yourself, there is nobody to defend. The murderer is far better than the person who commits suicide.
But both are violent. And it is a strange coincidence that Adolf Hitler remained a murderer his whole life, and in the end committed suicide. Mahatma Gandhi tried to commit suicide his whole life, and was murdered in the end!
We don’t do any work here. I am a lazy man, and hence a lazy man’s guide to enlightenment. We are playing, it is a game – absolutely nonserious. But if you are an outsider, you will not be able to understand it. From the outside everything is being done systematically, from the inside there is immense chaos!
You say, “The theory is nice…” Rami, what theory are you talking about? From where did you get the idea that there is a theory here? I am a destroyer of all theories, and I don’t give you any substitute. I only decondition you, and I never recondition you. There is no doctrine, no dogma, no creed, no religion. My whole approach is that of being innocent, loving; dancing, singing, enjoying the small things of life because the small things, if enjoyed totally, become great things. The mundane, loved without any conditions, becomes the sacred.
There is no theory as such in it, no philosophy at all. But listening to me, and that too only for a short period, you will get the idea that there is a theory. You have to be here for a longer period to know that there is no theory at all because then only will you be able to see my contradictions.
A theoretician is very consistent, and you cannot find any man in the whole world who is more inconsistent than me, so I cannot be a theoretician. It is not logic that is happening here but a love-play.
As far as I have known, existence is understood not by theories, ideologies, but by a wondering heart, by the capacity to feel awe – an innocent heart, not a very clever head – a childlike quality. It is a very delicate phenomenon, and it is very subjective and inner. You will never be able to see it in others unless you have found it first in yourself.
Hence, I say, Rami, first become a sannyasin – and stay here a little longer to have a right perspective of what is happening. I can see from your question that you have not understood at all.
You say, “The theory is nice, but from the dozens of sannyasins with whom I have spoken, nobody could say, ‘I have found the way…’” Nobody can say, not even I. There is no way, we are not going anywhere; we are just being here. The way exists in the mind, the mind always thinks in terms of means and ends, ways and goals. The mind is always arrowed toward some target. The mind is always sacrificing the present for the future. The goal is bound to be in the future, the goal cannot be in the present. In the present is the way. Today is the way, tomorrow is the goal. But I say, today, this very moment, is all. Call it the way, call it the goal, but it is all.
And there is no need to divide existence into means and ends, ways and goals. That division is part of the duality of the mind – and that duality is the cause of all misery.
Everybody is ambitious for a goal. The goal may be worldly, it may be otherworldly, but the goal is always there. And whenever there is a goal you are bound to remain tense because you have not yet achieved it. You are bound to remain in anguish, a deep trembling; whether you are going to make it or not, whether you will be able to live to achieve the goal, whether you will be strong enough to compete for it, to struggle for it. And meanwhile life goes on slipping out of your fingers like water.
The goal always remains like the horizon: you can see it just there – maybe only a few miles away – and you can always hope that just a little more effort and you will reach. But nobody has ever reached the horizon because it exists not. It is an illusion, an appearance only; not a reality, an optical illusion. So when you move toward the horizon, the horizon goes on moving away from you. And the distance between you and the horizon always remains the same, exactly the same, absolutely the same. Wherever you are, the goal is always there somewhere ahead of you. It keeps you hoping, but it destroys your life.
I am not teaching any goal – worldly, otherworldly, materialistic, spiritualistic. I am teaching you how to live this moment. Naturally, this moment is so small it cannot contain the goal and the way, it cannot contain the means and the ends. It is so small that you cannot divide it, it is indivisible. Naturally, none of my sannyasins can say, “I have found the way.”
And then you will misunderstand. The misunderstanding comes from your own prejudice because you are thinking in terms of ways and goals, and my sannyasins are not thinking in terms of ways and goals. They are not thinking in terms of mind; they have dropped that jargon. They have moved into a totally different space, the space of the heart, where only this moment exists and nothing else.
Jesus says to his disciples: “Look at the lilies in the field, how beautiful they are! Even Solomon was not so beautiful, attired in all his grandeur.” Solomon was the richest emperor in the Jewish history or mythology. Even Solomon was not so beautiful, attired in all his grandeur. These poor lily flowers are far more beautiful.
Why? Jesus himself gives the reason. And only in such statements does he come very close to the ultimate truth. He says they are so beautiful because they think not of the morrow.
But if you don’t think of the morrow, how can you think of the goal? The goal is out of necessity in the future, has to be in the future. The goal is a way of avoiding the present – its misery, its ugliness – it is turning your face from the present toward a faraway, distant goal. It helps, it consoles, it is a kind of drug. And if the goal is in the future, then of course the present is only a passage, a bridge, a way. I am not teaching any way.
The Zen people are right. They say that the real path is a pathless path, the real gate is a gateless gate. The real effort is an effortless effort. Hence none of my sannyasins can say to you, Rami, “I have found the way.” In fact, the more he is drowned in the world of sannyas, he starts losing himself. There is nobody to find the way. There is no way to be found, and there is nobody to find it.
And this is what is happening here. This is the miracle that is happening here. This is the miracle that has always happened whenever there was a man like Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Bodhidharma. Rami would have misunderstood Bodhidharma if she had had an encounter with that great master. Even the Emperor Wu of China could not understand him. These were exactly the questions that Rami has asked…

The Emperor Wu had waited for Bodhidharma to come to China. He had heard beautiful stories about the man. It took years for Bodhidharma to fulfill the invitation of the emperor because he had to walk all the way from India to China. He had to cross the Himalayas. Even today it is difficult, and fourteen hundred years ago it was very difficult. But he managed; with a few disciples he reached China. It took years.
Emperor Wu was immensely happy. He had come to welcome the guest at the border of his country. He had managed a great festival in his whole empire to celebrate the moment, the entry of Bodhidharma. But the entry never happened because when Bodhidharma came, Emperor Wu, after formal questions, asked some questions that he had waited and waited and always wanted to ask an enlightened person. Now the person was there, a person of the caliber of Buddha was there – and in some ways far more juicy than Gautam Buddha himself.
He asked Bodhidharma, “What is the way to the ultimate truth?”
And Bodhidharma said, “Way? Are you crazy or something? There is no way and there is no ultimate truth. The truth is immediate, not ultimate. And because it is immediate there is no way.”
The Emperor Wu was shocked. For a moment there was silence, he could not figure out what he was saying – all the Buddhist masters who had come were talking about the way and the ultimate goal. And this man, in a single statement, demolished the whole thing: “There is no ultimate truth, the truth is immediate, hence there is no possibility of any way.”
He was afraid now to ask anything more – this man seemed to be dangerous. But he gathered courage and he asked a few more questions.
He said, “I have done many religious works. I have made many temples of Buddha, many ashrams for Buddhist bhikkus, sannyasins, monks. I have put thousands of scholars to translate all the Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. What is my merit?”
Bodhidharma looked at him – and he had really big eyes, and very ferocious – and he said, “Merit? You are waiting for merit and reward? You will fall in the seventh hell for doing all this!”
Now it was too much. Everybody had said to Wu, “You will reach the seventh heaven.” And here comes this mad monk and he says, “You will fall in the seventh hell!”
Bodhidharma said, “You have earned great demerit. You have committed great sin against religiousness.”
Wu asked, “What do you mean? I have not done anything that is wrong.”
Bodhidharma said, “You don’t understand me. The very idea of doing is wrong. ‘I have made the temples, I have made the ashrams, I have arranged for the translations of the Buddhist scriptures.’ This I, this doer, this is your demerit. This will take you to the seventh hell. It has become too loaded, too heavy. You cannot fly upward, you will fall downward. You are carrying too much weight.”
Now, even Emperor Wu, a very cultured man… And China has known real culture because of Confucius – Confucius transformed China into a very cultured country. The whole religion of Confucius is nothing but mannerism, etiquette. And Emperor Wu was taught and brought up by Confucian masters. He was very polite, but he forgot all his politeness. He became angry and he said, “Sir, can I ask you one question more? Who are you?”
Bodhidharma laughed and said, “I don’t know!”

Now, Rami, listening to Bodhidharma saying, “I don’t know,” what would you have thought? You would have thought, “Poor fellow, he does not know himself. And that is the whole thing of all religious teaching: Know thyself. Socrates says, ‘Know thyself.’ The Upanishads say, ‘Know thyself.’ And this man says, ‘I don’t know.’ So he has not risen to the heights of a Socrates, or to the heights of the Upanishadic seers. He is ignorant.”
You would have totally missed the point. The Upanishadic seers and Socrates and all others can be put on one side of a weighing machine and Bodhidharma on the other side, and he will be far weightier than all of them because when he says, “I don’t know,” he is making the most profound, the profoundest statement ever made. There is no I, so how can you know it? There is no knower, so how can you know? The more you go into inner silence, the I disappears like dewdrops in the early morning sun. It simply evaporates.
And when you reach the very core of your existence there is no knower to be found. All is absolutely silent and still. Knowing is also a disturbance, a distraction, a division – a division between the object and the subject, the knower and the known. When you reach the profound silence of your innermost shrine, there is no object to be known, no subject to know – that’s what Bodhidharma is saying: “I do not know.”
This state of luminous ignorance is the most significant ever achieved.
But Rami, just as Wu misunderstood him, you would have misunderstood him. Wu turned away. He said, “Then there is no need for you to come to my kingdom. You have shattered all my hopes.”
Bodhidharma also turned back toward the Himalayas. He remained outside Emperor Wu’s kingdom. Only when Emperor Wu was dying did he realize, “What Bodhidharma said, I misunderstood.” But it was too late.
Rami, you say, “I have found the way.” No sannyasins could say it. How can my sannyasins say it? They have lost themselves. That’s what sannyas is all about: not finding the way, not finding the goal, not finding anything – but losing, disappearing, melting, merging into the whole.
You say, “Nobody could say, ‘I am proceeding…’” Where? There is nowhere to proceed. One is always now and always here. But this whole idea of proceeding, of going – always on the go – is one of the most contagious, contemporary diseases. It originated in America. It is the American disease – always on the go, everybody is going somewhere; nobody exactly knows why, for what. People are even going to the moon! And what they will do on the moon? They will simply look silly there. Just think, Rami, of yourself standing on the moon, how silly you will look. What will you do there?
But the American will not be at a loss. He will immediately start preparing to go to Mars, and from Mars to somewhere else. He is always on the go. He is never where he is; he is always somewhere else.
You say, “Nobody could say, ‘…I am sure one day I will be able to stand on my own feet.’” These are all egoistic ways of thinking – “on my own feet,” do you think my sannyasins are standing on my feet? I have got two hundred thousand sannyasins – they will kill me if they are all standing on my feet.
And you say they are not sure. Only ignorance, stupidity, is sure. Wisdom is never sure.
Lao Tzu says, “The wise man walks as if passing through a very cold stream” – very cautious, hesitant, not sure. The stream is very cold, ice cold, unknown. Who knows – the next step and you will fall into a deep pool, or you may stumble into a rock. The wise man walks very cautiously, very alert.
Lao Tzu also says, “Everybody is sure except me. Everybody seems to be very certain about everything, but I am very muddle-headed.” And these are the words of one of the most significant men who has ever walked on the earth.
If I have to choose between Buddha, Zarathustra, Jesus, Mohammed, Mahavira, and Lao Tzu, that only one person can exist, then I will choose Lao Tzu because nobody has been so close in his expression of truth. How can you be sure of truth? Truth is so vast, truth is so infinite. To be sure will simply show you are stupid. You can be sure of small things, but you cannot be sure of vastness, infinity, eternity.
And people are losing themselves – so there is no question of standing on their own feet. That does not mean that they are standing on somebody else’s feet. Of course they are standing on their own feet, but now they are no longer their own feet – they belong to existence. They themselves belong to existence. That’s why none of my sannyasins will say that.
You say, Rami, “My feeling is that they develop a tremendous dependency on you and this place.” This is not your feeling, this is your logical guess – guesswork – and it looks very logical!
If the Emperor Wu had concluded, “This man is not wise – this Bodhidharma seems to be utterly ignorant. He cannot even say with surety, ‘I know myself,’ then what else can he know?” If he turned away, he was very logical.
So you are logical. But he misunderstood, and you are also misunderstanding. That’s why I invited you in the first place. Participate! Dive deep into this phenomenon, experience it from the inside, and then you will know – nobody is dependent on me. Nobody is dependent because nobody is there. How can one be dependent if one is not? I am not here, my sannyasins are not there, so who can be dependent on whom? I am dissolved into the existence and they are dissolving, disappearing.
But for the outsider this will appear – and I can understand the outsider’s difficulty also because this will be the logical conclusion – that people are becoming dependent. In fact, to be independent is ugly, to be dependent is ugly – not to be is the only beautiful experience. A sannyasin is neither independent nor dependent. He simply is not, he is part of the organic unity of existence, of this orgasmic celebration of the whole.
You say, “As long as they are here, they are fine, but when they leave they lose most of the benefits they gained…” How do you know it? Have you followed my sannyasins? But Rami is doing great intellectual work.
Follow my sannyasins! Now one of my very intimate sannyasins, Teertha, is going to England. Follow him. Another of my intimate sannyasins, Ajit Saraswati, is going to Tel Aviv. Follow him. And see whether they lose anything or they gain. You will be surprised: they always gain. I send them myself purposely to gain something because when they are here, whatsoever is happening is so obvious, one tends to take it for granted, one tends to forget all about it.
Now Teertha, back in London, mad London, will know the contrast. I was not very willing to send him because he has been here for many years, and his health is not good for all this traveling. But just to give him an experience, a contrast, to see what has happened to him… The best place will be London, where he used to live before, to see that he has become a totally different being. Meeting the same people, visiting the same places, he will be able to see the contrast. He will be able to see the difference that has happened to him. Here, it will not be possible. Slowly, slowly he has almost disappeared. There, suddenly, he will find that he is no longer. London is there, he is no longer.
Rami, don’t just assume. Follow any of my sannyasins. But if you really want to follow, then ask me whom to follow because there are many people who become sannyasins accidentally – they had just come to visit somebody and got the idea, the whim. And it is easy to get the idea here to be a sannyasin without any real understanding, real involvement. And deep down they know that as soon as they leave this place they will drop sannyas. If you follow them, certainly you will see that sannyas is something which depends on Osho’s presence.
Don’t follow the accidental ones. There are a few who become sannyasins just experimentally to see what it is all about, to have a little taste. But they don’t mean it and they can’t have the taste. Unless you mean it from your very heart…
Thousands of my sannyasins are working around the earth, and everybody is growing. They cannot lose because it is not a question of gain, if you gain something you can lose. Here you lose! You lose everything. I don’t leave anything with you to lose anywhere else. I do my job totally. I finish you completely! So what is there to lose whether you are here or anywhere else?
Yes, somewhere else, you will become more aware of what a tremendous transformation has happened to you. So once in a while I send my people. It is a good experience.
And you say, “Do you prepare them for the inevitable future?” I have never come across the future. So why should I prepare them for something which I have never come across? And I know they are not going to come across it either.
You say, “The future does exist.” You are simply talking nonsense. Only the present exists.
You say, “Most of them have thirty to forty years yet to live.” If you can live now, totally, then the next moment will also be now, and next to that will also be now. It is always now, tomorrow never comes.
And why thirty, forty years? My people are going to live for eternity. They have found eternity, but it is not the future, it is the present. So I prepare them only for the present, not for the future.
But the only way to understand me is to become a sannyasin.

The second question:
I have no interest in anything. It all seems to be meaningless. Nothing excites, provokes or challenges me. There is no juice, no zest. I have felt like this all my life. Why should I do this or that when nothing fulfills me anyway? I am always trying to be joyful – pretending to feel, to be excited, interested and alive. I am always trying to be courageous, to jump over some of my fears. But for what? I am tired, I feel that “I am not” – and even that I don't really feel.
Osho, where am I?
Devagyan, are you a Jew or something? The question is very Jewish.
You say: “I have no interest in anything.” What do you want? How much interest?

Little Moishe asked his father, “Father, how do you say ‘one hundred percent profit’ in Yiddish?”
“It is Yiddish, my boy,” the father replies.

Hundred percent profit – it is Yiddish!

Moishe fell overboard and was eaten by a shark. In an endeavor to beat the shark off while Moishe was rescued, the passengers had pelted it with oranges, boxes and anything they could lay hands on. The cook in the galley waited until the shark was near, and hurled a kitchen table at it. The shark was stunned and was eventually killed.
When it was drawn aboard, there was an instant clamor for souvenirs, so the shark was cut open. Inside, Moishe was discovered – he had set up shop on the kitchen table and was selling oranges at cut prices!

You say, Devagyan, “I have not got any interest in anything. It all seems to be meaningless.” Has it to be meaningful? Why you are expecting it to be meaningful? That very expectation is creating trouble. There is no meaning. In fact because there is no meaning, joy is possible. Because there is no meaning, playfulness is possible. Because there is no meaning, dance is possible.
Listen to the birds – do you think there is any meaning? There is no meaning. But why should there be? See the trees too, the flowers, the stars – is there any meaning? But why should there be?

Once Picasso was doing his painting. A friend came to see him. He watched for a while and then said, “But I don’t see any meaning in the painting.”
Picasso took him into the garden, showed him a rosebush with beautiful flowers, and said, “Do you see any meaning in these roses? If the roses have no obligation to be meaningful, why should my paintings be meaningful? I am enjoying painting them. If somebody can enjoy seeing them, good; if nobody enjoys, that is their business. But I have enjoyed just doing my painting – splashing color – I have enjoyed!”

A distant call of the cuckoo and do you see the beauty of it? But you never ask about the meaning, what she is saying. She’s not saying anything. It is just glossolalia, she’s just enjoying, an outburst of joy.
Children running hither and thither, so excited, do you think there is any meaning? Do you think they have found a treasure? Do you think they have found diamonds? Nothing much, maybe just colored stones or a dead butterfly, or maybe they have collected a few old leaves, seashells on the sea beach – but they are so immensely blissful.
Blissfulness need not be rooted in meaningfulness. In fact, the very idea of meaning destroys bliss. Once you start looking for meaning you become a calculator, you become a mind. You lose your being. Then you will be in tremendous trouble because everything will only make you ask again.
For example, “Why did God create the world? What is the meaning?” Even if some fool can supply you the answer – and there have been very foolish theologians who have been supplying all kinds of answers because whenever there is a demand there is going to be supply. When fools ask, “foolosophers” answer.
But any meaning that can be given: God created the world because of this… Hindus say he created the world because he was feeling lonely. Seems to be meaningful. You can understand it: when you are feeling lonely you start doing something – reading the same newspaper which you have read thrice before, or fixing the radio which is perfectly right. You have to do something, otherwise you start feeling meaningless.
So, God was feeling meaningless, lonely; he started creating the world. But the question is: Why only at a certain moment did he start creating the world? What had he been doing before?
Christians say he created the world exactly four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. Of course, it must have been a Monday when he started; the week starts on Monday! But the question is: four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ – that makes only six thousand years – and what had he been doing for the whole eternity? Just vegetating? And if he could manage for the whole eternity, he should have managed for six thousand years more because six thousand years are not much compared to eternity. Not even six moments.
And if he had to create a world, he had to create this world? Maybe he was feeling lonely, but why have so many people to suffer for that? Let him feel lonely; he can commit suicide. But why should so many people suffer? And how is he feeling now? Very great? Since then he has not been seen at all. They say since he created woman, he escaped, he renounced the world. Must have become afraid. That was his last creation. First he created man, then he created woman, and since then nothing has been known about him. Maybe doing some austerities because he has committed such a sin!
Subhuti has informed me that the Polack pope in the Philippines has met Cardinal Sin – that is the archpriest of the Philippines – Cardinal Sin. Such a great meeting!
He must be doing penance, fasting, standing on his head, yoga postures, somehow to get rid of the karma that he has done, creating the world. But can’t he “uncreate” it? Can’t he say, “Lo and behold! This is the end!” Just as he said in the beginning, “Let there be light!” – and there was light. Can’t he say, “Let there be darkness!” – and there is darkness?
Has he gone dumb? He must have been dumb from the very beginning, otherwise why should he create this world? Such misery, such suffering that everybody is trying to get rid of misery.
Even Devagyan feels there is no juice, no zest. What kind of world has he created? – no juice, no zest. He should have learned something from Zorba the Greek – a little zest, a little juice. He should have learned a little laughter before he created the world. He created with such seriousness. That is the only thing wrong with God – he is too serious.
You say, Devagyan: “I have not got any interest in anything.” Neither have I. But I don’t see that there is any problem; I am enjoying it. In fact, since I lost all interest in everything, I have been in immense joy. Now each moment is just a joke. Then the whole thing is so ridiculous, I can even joke about God without any fear because there is no problem.
One thing is certain: if ever I meet God I am going to hit him hard on the head, “You son-of-a-bitch, why did you create the world? And particularly, why did you create Devagyan? No zest, no juice, nothing excites him.”
Nothing excites me either. Nothing provokes him. Nothing provokes me either. Nothing challenges him. You are almost close to enlightenment, Devagyan. That’s how one becomes enlightened. When there is nothing to do, what else? Then one thinks, “Let me be enlightened now. No zest, no juice, no excitement, no provocation, no challenge. Why not be enlightened now?”
That’s how it happened to me. One day, I saw that there was nothing else left, so I said, “It is good now. Everything is finished, all is done, so I can be enlightened, at ease.” And since then I have remained enlightened because nothing has happened to change my idea.
Life is meaningless, but that’s why it can be enjoyed. If you start asking for meaning you are asking for trouble. Then kissing your woman, first you will brood, “What is the meaning of kissing?” There is no meaning.
There are many aboriginal tribes who have never kissed – they rub their noses. It looks foolish to you – kissing looks foolish to them. And my feeling is they are more hygienic, rubbing noses is more hygienic. Kissing each other’s lips is really dangerous. And avoid French kisses absolutely! Exploring each other’s mouth through your tongue – absolutely meaningless. You won’t find anything, believe me! Unnecessary trouble. You may get a few diseases, it is simply an exchange of many germs, millions of germs. I think they say one million germs are exchanged in a single kiss.
If people have lived for centuries without kissing, why can’t you? If there were any meaning they would have discovered it. If you have lived without rubbing noses – if there were any meaning, you would have discovered it. In fact, there is no meaning. Meaning is only a mind desire.
What is the meaning of anything? If you start asking that, naturally you will lose all juice, all zest. When you wake up in the morning, ask the question, “Why should I get up? What is the meaning of it all? And I have been getting up every day for thirty, forty, sixty years – what is the point of it all?” Every day you get up and nothing happens – and again you have to go to bed. When you have to go to bed again, why not remain in it? You will lose all zest, all juice. Ask of everything that you do: Why should I do it? What is the meaning of it?
For twenty-four hours, Devagyan, do this. And, naturally, the only thing that will be left for you to do will be to commit suicide. But remember, you have to ask the same question again: Why? Why should I commit suicide? What is the meaning of it? That will save you!
If you ask stupid questions, you will destroy your own life. What I am trying to point out is that the whole question of meaning is stupid. Enjoy, love, sing, dance! There is no meaning, so why not enjoy? If there was meaning, that means there would have been some kind of mechanical life.
Machines have meaning. The car has a meaning – it transports you from one place to another. The food has meaning, the house has meaning – it protects you from sun and rain – the clothes have meaning, but life has no meaning. That’s why life is freedom. Meaning will become a bondage, an imprisonment. Only machines have meaning; man cannot have meaning.
But that freedom – once you drop that nonsensical idea of meaning, you will feel immense freedom. And in that freedom there will be juice and zest.
You say, “I have felt like this all my life.” So enough! You have done enough, now try my way. You have tried your way, try my way. Forget all about meaning, start living meaninglessly. Do all kinds of meaningless things, and see what happens. You will immediately become alive, immensely alive, because life has no meaning. So the moment you drop meaning, mind disappears and life possesses you.
You say, “Why should I do this or that when nothing fulfills me anyway?” It is not that nothing fulfills you: it is your why that creates trouble, that has created trouble for millions of people. In fact, all the so-called religions have been doing this stupidity that you are doing. They go on asking why.
There is a beautiful story by Turgenev…

In a village there was a poor man who was thought to be an idiot. The whole village laughed at him. Even if he said something very serious they laughed, they found something idiotic in it. It was a determined thing that that idiot could not say anything meaningful. The idiot was getting tired of it.
A mystic was passing by. The idiot went to the mystic, fell at his feet and said, “Save me! The whole village thinks I am an idiot! How can I get rid of this idea that surrounds me? And everybody goes on and on hammering the same idea on me.”
The mystic said, “It is very simple. Do one thing: for seven days don’t make any statement on your own, so nobody will say, ‘This is idiotic.’ Instead, start asking ‘Why?’ to others – whatsoever they say. Somebody says, ‘Look, the roseflower is so beautiful.’ Ask ‘Why? Prove it! How can you prove that this roseflower is beautiful? What grounds have you got?’ And that will make him feel foolish, because nobody can prove it. Somebody says, ‘Tonight is beautiful, the full moon…’ Immediately ask – don’t miss any opportunity – ‘Why? What grounds have you got?’ For seven days, don’t make any statement that anybody can ask you why. Simply wait for others to make a statement. And ask. Somebody says, ‘Shakespeare is a great poet.’ Ask ‘Why? What grounds have you got? It is all nonsense that he has written, all meaningless, gibberish. I don’t see any beauty, any poetry in it.’”
For seven days the idiot did the same thing. The whole village was very puzzled. He made everybody feel idiotic. Naturally, they all started thinking he had become wise. After seven days he came to the mystic immensely happy. He said, “It was a great trick. I was not thinking that much is going to happen out of it, but now the whole village worships me.”
The mystic said, “Continue. They will worship you because there are things – in fact, anything that is really significant is meaningless.”

In dictionaries significance and meaning are synonymous, but in existence they are not synonymous, they are antonyms. Meaning is of the mind, and significance is a natural phenomenon. It cannot be proved; it can only be felt – it is a heart thing. When you feel that the rose is beautiful, it is not a head thing, so you cannot prove it. When you say, “This woman is beautiful,” you cannot prove it; “This man is beautiful,” you cannot prove it. Because you cannot prove it, it is not of the mind, it is a feeling – your heart starts throbbing faster.

A very famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt, became old. She started living on a fourth floor. In those days there were no lifts, so people had to go to see her, meet her, through a long staircase – four floors they had to… By the time they reached her they were huffing and puffing.
A friend came to see her and asked, “What is the point? Why do you live on the fourth floor? Can’t you live on the ground floor? So many people come to see you and this is unnecessary torture. And on the ground floor there is an apartment available – I can manage it for you immediately.”
She said, “No, that I cannot do, for two reasons: one, on the fourth floor…” The fourth floor was the last – in those days the fourth floor used to be the highest. She said, “There are two reasons. One is: living on the fourth floor only God is above me, nobody above me. Secondly, now I am no longer young and I love people huffing and puffing. When I was young they used to huff and puff just seeing me; now these four staircases do the work. I don’t want to see anybody unaffected. When they come perspiring and their hearts beating faster, I still feel the old thrill.”

When your heart feels thrilled, it is a totally different dimension; it is the dimension of significance.
Devagyan, if you can drop your search for meaning, you will be immensely showered by a thousand and one significant experiences. But if you look for meaning, you will lose all significance and you will never find meaning.
Mind is the most impotent thing in the world. It can make machines, it can create technology, it can do much scientific work, but it cannot create poetry, it cannot create love, it cannot give you significance. That is not the work of the mind. For that a totally different center exists in you – the heart, and the opening of the heart. When the heart lotus opens, the whole of life is significant, but I will not say it is meaningful. Remember the difference.
I don’t teach you meaning, I teach you significance.
And you say, “I am always trying to be joyful…” That is the best way to kill joy forever: trying to be joyful? You say, “I am pretending to feel.” These are the surest poisons to kill all feeling.
You say: “I am trying to be excited, interested and alive.” In the very effort you have accepted that you are dead, that you are not interested, that you are not excited, that you are not feeling, that you are only pretending. Trying to be joyful simply means you know perfectly well that you are sad. Now, you may be able to deceive others – how can you deceive yourself? You are trying to be joyful. You know perfectly well that you are sad. And each time you try, you are emphasizing your sadness. Each time you try to feel, you are going farther away from feeling. Each time you try to be excited, it is bogus. And you are becoming hypnotized by your repetition of being interested and alive.
This is a very suicidal course that you have chosen. If you are sad, be sad. Nothing is wrong in being sad. Be really sad, enjoy it! Sadness has its own beauty, sadness has its own silence, sadness has its own depth. And if you can be really sad, sooner or later you will have to come out of it. But that will not be a pretension; you will simply come out of it.
In my childhood I used to love swimming, and my village river becomes very dangerous in the rainy season, it becomes flooded. It is a hilly river; so much water comes to it, it becomes almost oceanic. And it has a few dangerous spots where many people have died. Those few dangerous spots are whirlpools, and if you are caught in a whirlpool it sucks you. It goes on sucking you deeper and deeper. Of course, you try to get out of it, and the whirlpool is powerful. You fight, but your energy is not enough. And by fighting you become very much exhausted, and the whirlpool kills you.
I found a small strategy, and that strategy was – everybody was surprised – that I would jump into the whirlpool and come out of it without any trouble. The strategy was not to fight with the whirlpool, to go with it. In fact, go faster than it sucks you so you are not tired, you are simply diving into it. And you are going so fast that there is no struggle between you and the whirlpool.
And the whirlpool is bigger on the surface, then it becomes smaller and smaller and smaller. It is difficult to get out unless it is very small. At the very end, rock bottom, it is so small you are simply out of it. You need not try to get out of it, you are simply out of it. I learned my art of let-go through those whirlpools. I am indebted to my river.
And then I tried that let-go in every situation of my life. If there was sadness I simply dived into it, and I was surprised to know that it works. If you dive deep into it, soon you are out of it and refreshed, not tired because you were not fighting with it because you were not pretending, so there was no question of fighting. You accepted it totally, full-heartedly. And when you totally accept something, in that very acceptance you have transformed its character.
Nobody accepts sadness, hence sadness remains sadness. Accept it and see. In that very acceptance you have transformed its quality. You have brought a new element into it, that of acceptance, which is extraordinary. And in accepting it you start seeing its beauties. It has a few beautiful aspects. No laughter can have depth, as much depth as sadness. No joy can be so silent as sadness.
So why not enjoy those aspects of sadness which sadness makes available to you, rather than fighting with it, rather than pretending the opposite? And remember one fundamental law: “Aes dhammo sanantano,” Buddha says. It is the law of life that nothing remains the same for long. Just enjoy while there is sadness, and nothing remains the same for long.
Heraclitus says, “You cannot step in the same river twice, the river is so fast-moving.” Life is moving like a river. So why be worried? If sadness is there, enjoy it while it is there. And soon it will be gone. If you enjoy it to the very core, it will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated – and then there will be joy. And that joy will be natural and spontaneous.
You say: “I am tired…” You are bound to be tired because you have been fighting. Relax, let go, and all tiredness will be gone.
You are using the wrong language. You are fighting with existence rather than being part of it, rather than welcoming its gifts, whatsoever those gifts are. Sometimes it is sadness, sometimes it is joy, sometimes it is dark, sometimes it is light, sometimes it is winter and sometimes it is summer. Enjoy all the seasons. All those seasons are needed; the sun is needed, the rain is needed, the wind is needed, the darkness is needed, the light is needed. In fact, everything that exists has its place in life. Use it and you will not feel tired, you will feel over-full of energy. You will feel a dance of energy within you.
But you will have to change your whole approach toward life. What I have spoken to you is exactly my definition of sannyas.
Enough for today.

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