Until You Die 01

First Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Until You Die by Osho.
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There was a rich and generous man of Bokhara. Because he had a high rank in the invisible hierarchy, he was known as the President of the World.
Every day he gave gold to one category of people – the sick, widows, and so on. But nothing was given to anyone who opened his mouth.
Not all could keep silent.
One day it was the turn of the lawyers to receive their share of the bounty. One of them could not restrain himself and he made the most complete appeal possible.
Nothing was given to him. This, however, was not the end of his efforts.
The following day invalids were being helped, so he pretended that his limbs had been broken. But the President knew him, and he obtained nothing.
Again and again he tried, even disguising himself as a woman, but without result.
Finally the lawyer found an undertaker and told him to wrap him in a shroud. “When the President passes by,” said the lawyer, “he will perhaps assume that this is a corpse, and he may throw some money toward my burial – and I will give you a share of it.”
This was done. A gold piece from the hand of the President fell upon the shroud. The lawyer seized it out of fear that the undertaker would get it first. Then he spoke to the benefactor, “You denied me your bounty. Note how I have gained it!”
“Nothing can you have from me,” replied the generous man, “until you die.” This is the meaning of the cryptic phrase “Man must die before he dies.” The gift comes after this death and not before. And even this death is not possible without help.
There are religions and religions, but Sufism is the religion – the very heart, the innermost core, the very soul.
Sufism is not part of Islam; on the contrary Islam is part of Sufism. Sufism existed before Mohammed was born and Sufism will exist when Mohammed is completely forgotten. Islams come and go; religions take form and dissolve. Sufism abides, continues, because it is not a dogma. It is the very heart of being religious.
You may not even have heard of Sufism but you may be a Sufi – if you are religious. Krishna is a Sufi and Christ too; Mahavira is a Sufi and Buddha too, and they never heard the word. They never knew that anything like Sufism exists.
Whenever a religion is alive it is because Sufism is alive within it. Whenever a religion is dead it shows only that the spirit, the Sufi spirit, has left it. Now there is only a corpse, however decorated – in philosophy, in metaphysics, in dogmas, doctrines – but whenever Sufism has left, religion stinks of death. This has happened many times. This is happening already almost all over the world. One has to be aware of it otherwise one can go on clinging to a dead corpse.
Christianity has no Sufism now. It is a dead religion; the church killed it. When “church” becomes too much, Sufism has to leave that body. It cannot exist with dogmas. It can exist with a dancing soul, but not with dogmas. It cannot exist with theology; they are not good companions. With popes and priests it is impossible for Sufism to exist. It is just the opposite. Sufism needs no popes, no priests; it needs no dogmas. It is not of the head, it belongs to the heart.
The heart is the church, not an organized church because every organization is of the mind. And once the mind takes possession, the heart has to simply leave that house completely. The house becomes too narrow for the heart. The heart needs the whole of the sky; nothing less than that will do. It cannot be confined in churches. The whole of existence is the only church for it. It can throb under the sky, it can throb in freedom, but it dies when everything becomes a system, an organized pattern, a ritual. The spirit of Sufism simply disappears from there.
Christianity killed Jesus, the Jews could not kill him. They crucified him, of course, but they failed. They could not kill him; he survived crucifixion. That is the meaning of the resurrection – not that Jesus physically survived, but that the crucifixion proved futile. The Jews could not kill him. They tried, but Jesus survived. Where the Jews failed, Christians succeeded. They killed him without any crucifixion. They killed him through prayer, they killed him through dogma, they killed him through organization. Followers succeed where enemies fail; apostles succeed where enemies fail.
Christianity is now a dead religion because it cannot allow Sufism to exist within its soul. It is afraid of Sufism. Every dogma is always afraid because Sufism means infinite freedom, no confinement, no limitations. It is more like love and less like a logical syllogism. It is more of a poem, less like prose. It is irrational. That’s why every rational theology is afraid of it. Once you give an opening to the irrational, you don’t know where you are. And remember: God is also irrational, and it is beautiful that he is irrational – otherwise he would have been a professor of philosophy in some university, or a pope, or a priest, but not God.
Sufism has died many deaths in many religions. Jainism is a dead religion. Once it flourished beautifully and gave birth to such a great mystic as Mahavira. Then suddenly the river disappeared – only the dry riverbed has remained. No river flows now, no greenery on the bank. It has become a desert land, completely deserted. What happened? Jaina followers became too intellectual, mathematical, logical. Out of the mystery of Mahavira they created doctrines and arguments. They became too calculative, too clever, and the spirit was killed. In Christianity, Sufism had to leave because of too much church ritual. In Jainism, Sufism had to leave because of too much intellectual, theological, philosophical effort.
Remember this: Sufism is not a church. It doesn’t belong to any religion. All religions, when alive, belong to it. It is a vast sky of a particular quality of consciousness. How does it happen? How does one become a Sufi? One becomes a Sufi not by belonging to a particular order but by dropping from the head to the heart.
You can exist in two ways. Either you can exist as a head-oriented person. Then you will succeed in the world, you will accumulate many riches, prestige, power. In politics you will be a successful man. In the eyes of the world you will become a pinnacle to be imitated, but in the inner you will fail completely, you will fail utterly because the head-oriented person cannot enter the inner at all. Head moves outwardly; it is an opening to the other. Heart opens inwardly; it is an opening to yourself. You can exist either as a head-oriented person, or you can exist as a heart-oriented person. When your energy, your life energy, falls from the head toward the heart, you become a Sufi.
A Sufi means a man of the heart, a man of love; a man who doesn’t bother from where this universe comes, who doesn’t bother who created it, who doesn’t bother where it is leading; in fact, who doesn’t ask any questions but on the contrary he starts living. Existence is there: only fools bother about where it comes from. Only fools, I say. They may have shrouded themselves in very cunning philosophical words, but they are fools. A man who is wise lives existence. It is here and now, why bother where it comes from? What does it matter from where it comes? Whether somebody created it or not is irrelevant. You are here, throbbing, alive – dance with existence! Live it, be it, and allow it to happen in its total mystery within you.
And this is the miracle: a person who doesn’t bother from where it comes, a person who doesn’t ask questions, receives the answers. A man who is not curious, but celebrating whatever the case is, suddenly becomes aware of the very source, suddenly becomes aware of the very culmination. End and beginning meet in him because he himself becomes the mystery. Now the mystery is not something which is there as an object that you have to go around and around, and look at and observe. No, that is not the way to know it; that is the way to miss it.
You may go around and around, about and about, but you will never penetrate it. How can you know? You are beating around the bush, your attack is on the periphery. Rather, penetrate it, go to its center, become it. And you can become it because you are part of it. And you can become it because it is part of you. Then suddenly all questioning dissolves, suddenly the answer is there. It is not that you have come to a solution for your problems. No, there are no problems at all. When there are no problems at all, for the first time you become capable, capable of living the mystery that is life, capable of living God, capable of being gods.
A great Sufi – you must have heard his name, al-Hillaj Mansoor – was killed by Mohammedans because he said, “Ana’l Haq, I am God.” When you penetrate into the mystery of life, it is not that you are an observer – because an observer is always an outsider – but you become one with it. It is not that you swim in the river, it is not that you float in the river, it is not that you struggle in the river. No, you become the river. Suddenly you realize the wave is part of the river. And the contrary is also true: the river is part of the wave. It is not only that we are part of God, God is also part of us.
When al-Hillaj Mansoor asserted, “I am God,” Mohammedans killed him. Sufism is always killed by religious people – so-called religious people – because they cannot tolerate it, they cannot tolerate a man asserting that he is God. Their egos feel offended. How can a man be God? But when al-Hillaj says, “I am God,” he is not saying, “I am God and you are not”; he is not saying, “I am God and these trees are not”; he is not saying, “I am God and these stones, rocks are not.” Asserting, “I am God,” he is asserting that the whole is divine, sacred. Everything is divine.
So when these people – fanatics, believers in dogmas – said, “God created man, so man can only be a creature, not a creator. It is profanity, the very apex of profanity to assert I am God,” they killed him. And what was Mansoor saying when they killed him? He said loudly to the sky, “You cannot deceive me! Even in these murderers I see you – you cannot deceive me. You are here in these murderers. And in whatsoever form you come, my God, I will know you because I have known you.”
Sufism is not thinking about existence, it is being existence. It is not thinking, it is not doing something about existence. It is neither thought nor action; it is being. And right now, without any effort, you can be a Sufi. If you stop thinking, if you drop the idea of doing something, if you drop the idea of being a thinker and a doer, if you are simply content to be, suddenly you are a Sufi. And this will be my effort while I am talking about Sufism: not to indoctrinate you, not to make you more knowledgeable, but to make a Sufi out of you.
Sufis sing. They don’t give sermons because life is more like a song and less like a sermon. And they dance. They don’t talk about dogmas because a dance is more alive, more like existence, more like the birds singing in the trees and the wind passing through the pines; more like a waterfall, or clouds raining, or grass growing. The whole life is a dance – vibrating, throbbing with infinite life.
Sufis like to dance; they are not interested in dogmas. And they tell beautiful stories – life is more like a story, less like history. Sufis have created beautiful small stories. On the surface you may miss. On the surface it will look just like an ordinary anecdote, but if you penetrate deeply, Sufi stories are very pregnant – pregnant with significance, pregnant with the significance of the ultimate. So I will tell you a few stories, discuss the stories to help you penetrate their deeper core, just to make you understand a few things about the heart, to help you – your energy, your whole being – for a new journey toward the heart, to push you because you will be afraid.
The heart is the most dangerous thing in the world. Every culture, every civilization, every so-called religion cuts every child off from his heart. It is a most dangerous thing; all that is dangerous comes out of the heart. The mind is more secure, and with the mind you know where you are. With the heart, no one ever knows where he is. With the mind, everything is calculated, mapped, measured. And you can feel the crowd always with you, in front of you, at the back of you. Many are moving on it; it is a highway, concrete, solid. It gives you a feeling of security. With the heart you are alone. Nobody is with you. Fear grips; fear possesses you. Where are you going? Now you no longer know. When you move with a crowd on a highway, you know where you are moving because you think the crowd knows.
Everybody is in the same position. Everybody thinks, “So many people are moving, we must be moving somewhere; otherwise why are so many millions of people moving? They must be moving somewhere.” Everybody thinks like that. In fact, the crowd is not moving anywhere, no crowd has ever reached any goal. The crowd goes on moving and moving. You are born, you become part of the crowd. The crowd was already moving before you were born. Then a day comes when you are finished, you die, and the crowd goes on moving because new ones are always being born. The crowd never reaches anywhere but it gives a feeling of comfort. You feel cozy surrounded by so many people wiser than you, older than you, more experienced than you. They must know where they are moving; you feel secure.
The moment you start falling toward the heart… And it is a falling, like falling into an abyss. That’s why when somebody is in love we say he has fallen in love. It is a fall; the head sees it as a fall. Someone has gone astray, fallen. When you start falling toward the heart you become alone. Now nobody can be with you there. In your total loneliness, afraid, you will be scared. Now you will not know where you are going because nobody is there, and there are no milestones. In fact, there is no solid, concrete path. The heart is unmapped, unmeasured, uncharted. Tremendous fear will be there.
The whole of my effort is to help you not to be afraid because only through the heart will you be reborn. But before you are reborn you will have to die. Nobody can be reborn before he dies. So the whole message of Sufism, Zen, Hasidism – these are all forms of Sufism – is how to die. The whole art of dying is the base. I am teaching you here nothing except how to die.
If you die, you become available to infinite sources of life. You die, really, in your present form. It has become too narrow. You only survive in it, you don’t live. The tremendous possibility of life is completely closed and you feel confined, imprisoned. You feel everywhere a limitation, a boundary. A wall, a stone wall, comes wherever you move – a wall. My whole effort is how to break down these stone walls. They are not made of stone, they are made of thoughts, and nothing is more rock-like than a thought. These walls made of dogmas, scriptures, surround you, and wherever you go you carry them with you, you carry your imprisonment with you. Your prison is always hanging around you. How to break them down?
The breaking down of the walls will appear to you like a death. In a way it is because your present identity will be lost. Whoever you are, that identity will be lost; you will no longer be that. Suddenly something else… It was always hidden within you but you were not aware of it. Suddenly, a discontinuity. The old is no longer there and something utterly new has entered. It is not continuous with your past, that’s why we call it a death. It is not continuous, a gap exists. If you look back you will not feel that whatever existed before this resurrection was real. No, it will appear as if you saw it in a dream, or it will appear as if you read it somewhere in a fiction, or as if somebody else related his own story – it was never yours, but somebody else’s. The old completely disappears.
That’s why we call it a death. An absolutely new phenomenon comes into existence. And remember the word absolutely. It is not a modified form of the old; it has no connection with the old. It is resurrection. But resurrection is possible only when you are capable of dying.
Sufism is a death and a resurrection. And I call it the religion.
Let us now enter this beautiful story.
There was a rich and generous man of Bokhara. Because he had a high rank in the invisible hierarchy, he was known as the President of the World.
Every day he gave gold to one category of people – the sick, widows, and so on. But nothing was given to anyone who opened his mouth.
Not all could keep silent.
Go slowly with me:
There was a rich and generous man of Bokhara. It is a difficult combination, rich and generous. The poor are always generous, the rich never are. That’s how they become rich. If a rich man is generous, a revolution has happened. A rich man becomes generous only when he has attained a deep understanding that riches are useless. When he has come to know that all this world can give is not worth taking. Only then does generosity become possible; then he starts sharing. Otherwise you go on accumulating more and more and more. The mind goes on asking for more, there is no end to it. If you are not alert, all the riches of all the worlds will not be enough because the mind does not bother about what you have. It simply goes on saying “More!”
It is said…

When Alexander the Great was on his way to India, he met a great mystic, Diogenes. Diogenes is one of the great Sufis. Diogenes used to live naked, just like the animals. He was so beautiful in his nakedness.
It is ugliness that we try to hide, not beauty. Why do you want to hide your body from others? What is wrong with it? Society, civilization, culture, they have conditioned your minds to believe that something is wrong with the body, and you feel guilty if you are caught naked. Laws and courts exist to force you not to be naked. The whole of nature is naked and it is so beautiful. Only man has gone ugly somewhere.
Someday, when man becomes more aware, man will be less and less attached to clothes. They may be used as utilities: if the weather is cold, of course you have to cover your body. But when the weather is pleasant and one can be like a simple, innocent animal, one has to be. Completely hidden under clothes, your bodies have lost the sensitivity to feel. To feel the touch of the rays of the sun and to enjoy it – you have completely forgotten the language. To feel the wind on your naked body, as trees feel, and dance – you have completely forgotten. Only your face has been left, only your head; otherwise, your whole body has been numbed.
Diogenes lived naked, but his nakedness was very, very beautiful because it was innocent. You can live naked as a perversion also; then it will not be beautiful. Then you may be an exhibitionist – something has gone wrong in your psychological world. Diogenes lived naked like the animals and Alexander, it is said, felt jealous. He was robed in the costliest costumes possible. It is said that on seeing Diogenes naked he felt jealous, envious. So beautiful!
He asked, “How can I also be like you, so innocent, so beautiful?”
Diogenes said, “There is no ‘how’ to it.”
He was lying down on a bank of a river in the sand. It was morning and the sun was rising, and he must have been enjoying the poetry that comes through the sands to the naked body, the subtle messages, the warm sun falling on him.
Diogenes said, “There is no need to ask about any ‘how.’ This bank is big enough for both of us. Throw off your clothes and lie down with me.”
There is no how to ask. Why ask how? How is a trick of the mind to postpone. If you ask how, then you are asking how to postpone. You are saying there must be something to be practiced, and practice will take time. And, of course, you cannot practice right now. Tomorrow comes in. And once the tomorrow comes in, you are done.
Diogenes said, “There is no question of how. Just lie down and rest. This bank is enough for both of us.”
Alexander said, “Someday… I always dream that someday there will be a possibility when I have conquered the whole world. I am waiting for that day. Then I will also relax and rest.”
Diogenes laughed and said, “Then you are foolish because Diogenes can rest and relax without conquering the whole world, so why should you make it a condition that when you have conquered the whole world you will rest and relax? And I tell you: it is not going to happen ever because the mind will ask for more and more. And when you have conquered this world then the mind will ask, ‘Is there any other world?’”
And it is reported that when Diogenes said this – that there is no other world but the mind will ask “Is there any other world?” – suddenly Alexander felt sad. The sadness came immediately to him, knowing that there is no other world.

Once you have conquered this world, what will you do? There is no other world to conquer. The mind will feel very frustrated. The mind goes on asking for more and more and more. It doesn’t bother what you have: you may be a beggar – it asks for more; you may be an emperor – it asks for more. The nature of the mind is to ask for more. What you have is not relevant; it is the very nature of the mind just to go on asking for more. A rich man goes on asking for more and remains poor. He goes on desiring for more and remains poor. It is difficult to find a really rich man.
In my whole life I have come across only one man who was really rich. I have come across many, many rich men, but only one man who was really rich. And why was he really rich? He was rich because he understood the futility of it all. When I met him for the first time he brought thousands of rupees and poured them at my feet. I said to him, “Right now I don’t need them. If some day I need them, I will send a message.”
That old man started weeping and crying. I couldn’t understand what the matter was. He said, “Don’t say that, I am poor. I have nothing to give you except money. I am so poor I have nothing else to give you. If you reject my money, it feels you have rejected me because I have nothing else. Money I can give; that is all I have, nothing else.”
This is a man who has come to understand that riches are not real riches; man remains poor.
There was a rich and generous man of Bokhara. “Generous” means he has really lived through riches, experienced the world, has come to a decision that this world is nothing more than a dream. And riches only give you an illusion of being rich; they don’t make you really rich. This man is disillusioned, that’s why he has become generous. Now he can share, now he can give all. Now there is no question, now he is not asking for more. On the contrary, whatever he has he is distributing and sharing it with others.
Because he had a high rank in the invisible hierarchy… Such a man immediately becomes very high in the world of consciousness. If you can share whatever you have, suddenly you rise in the hierarchy of the invisible. In this world you may look like a beggar, in the other world, for the first time you have become the emperor.

Buddha renounced his palaces, his kingdom, his riches, and became a beggar. When he came back to his capital his father was very angry, as all fathers are. It is difficult to find a father who is not angry with his son because whatever you do it makes no difference. You may become a criminal, he will be angry; you may become a saint, he will be angry. Even if you become a buddha… The father was angry.
You can never fulfill anybody’s expectations; that is impossible. How can you fulfill anybody else’s expectations? He could not fulfill them himself, and he expects you to fulfill them. So whatever you do will be wrong. The father was very angry. And Buddha had become enlightened. He had come as a totally transformed being, resurrected. He was surrounded by infinite light and silence. It is said that whenever Buddha would move, wherever he would move, even trees would feel his presence and flowers would come out of season. Wherever he would move, for twelve miles surrounding his body suddenly a deep silence would happen. But a father is an exception.
The father was angry. He couldn’t feel the silence, he couldn’t see the light; he could see only a vagabond, a beggar. He said, “It is enough! Now you have fooled around enough. Come back, my doors are still open. Look at yourself, the son of an emperor, asking for your food in the same capital, begging. Look at your begging bowl, your torn clothes, almost rags. What are you doing to yourself? I feel ashamed of you. But I have a heart, the heart of a father, and my doors are not closed. You have hurt me deeply, but still I have the heart of a father. Come back. Don’t move around like a beggar. Be an emperor.”
And it is said that Buddha replied, “I was a beggar, now I have become an emperor – but how to convince you? I was a beggar when I lived in the palace. When you thought I was going to be the heir of your kingdom, I was a beggar and I was imprisoned. Now I am totally free, and for the first time I have understood what it means to be an emperor. But how to convince you?”

The moment you start sharing you show that your consciousness has reached a point, a growth. A grown-up man always shares. If you cling to your things you are not grown-up yet; you are juvenile. Why? Because you can possess a thing only if you share; there is no other possession. If you cling to a thing it shows that the thing is bigger than you, bigger than your love, bigger than your being. That’s why you cling to the thing. Your soul is in the possessions. You cannot share, you cannot be generous.
Because he had a high rank in the invisible hierarchy, he was known as the President of the World. Sufis confer such titles on their beggars: President of the World. Don’t misunderstand, he is not a president in the sense Ford is or Nixon was. They are the poorest men in the world, the very last, in a deep illusion that they are the first. This man must have removed himself to the very last. Only those who are disillusioned with the world can stand at the very end. They can become the very last.
Jesus says, “Those who are last in this world will be the first in the Kingdom of God.” Jesus must have been talking about such a man – rich, generous. And I tell you: if you are generous, you are rich, and if you are not generous you may be in an illusion that you are rich, but you are poor. Generosity is the real richness. To be generous you don’t need many things to share. To be generous you just have to share whatever you have. You may not have much – that is not the point. Who has much? Who can ever have enough? It is never much, it is never enough.
You may not have anything at all, you may be just a beggar on the road, but still you can be generous. Can’t you smile when a stranger passes by? You can smile, you can share your being with a stranger, and then you are generous. Can’t you sing when somebody is sad? You can be generous – smiles cost nothing. But you have become so miserly that even before smiling you think thrice: to smile or not to smile? To sing or not to sing? To dance or not to dance? In fact, to be or not to be?
Share your being if you have nothing; that is the greatest wealth and everybody is born with it. Share your being, stretch out your hand, move toward the other with love in your heart. Don’t think anybody is a stranger, nobody is – or everybody is. If you share, nobody is; if you don’t share, everybody is.
You may be a very rich man, but a miser, a non-sharing one. Then your own children are strangers, then your own wife is a stranger because how can you meet a miserly man? He is closed, he is already dead in his grave. How can you move toward a miserly man? If you move, he escapes. He is always afraid because whenever somebody comes close, sharing starts. A miserly man feels even shaking hands is dangerous because who knows, friendship may grow out of it and then there is danger.
A miserly man is always alert, on guard, not allowing anybody too close. He keeps everybody at a distance. A smile is dangerous because it breaks distances. If you smile at a beggar on the road the distance is bridged. He is no longer a beggar, he has become a friend. Now, if he is hungry, you will have to do something. It is better to go on without smiling. It is safe, more economical, less dangerous – no risk in it.
It is not a question of sharing something, it is a question of simple sharing whatever you have. If you don’t have anything else you have a warm body. You can sit close to somebody and give your warmth. You can smile, you can dance, you can sing, you can laugh and help the other to laugh. And when two persons laugh together their beings are one in that moment. When two persons can smile together suddenly all distance dissolves – you are bridged.
So don’t think that to be generous you have to be rich. Just the contrary is the case: if you want to be rich, be generous. So many riches are always available; so many gifts you bring with your life and take with you with your death. You could have shared, and through sharing you would have become aware of how rich existence makes you and how poor you live. And the more you share, the more your being starts flowing. The more it flows, newer springs are always filling the river again and again – and you remain fresh.
Only a generous man is fresh. A non-generous man, a closed, miserly man, becomes dirty, is bound to become so. It is just like a well. When nobody comes to it and the well is not ready to give its water to anybody, then what will happen to the well? Fresh springs will not be supplying it because there is no need. The old water will become more and more dirty, the whole well will be dead. Fresh, living waters are not coming into it. This is how it has happened to many of you.
Invite people to share you. Invite people to drink you. That is the meaning when Jesus says, “Drink me. Eat me.” The more you eat him, the more Jesus grows. The more you drink him, the more fresh water is flowing in. The riches that life has endowed you with are not limited, but only a generous man can know they are unlimited. You are not a company with limited sources, you are a company with unlimited sources. Behind you is hidden the divine. Nobody can exhaust it. Sing as many songs as you can. You will not be exhausted but rather, on the contrary, better and better songs will be coming in.
It is said…

When one of the greatest poets of India, Rabindranath Tagore, was dying a friend came to see him, a literary friend, a great critic, and he said, “You can die in deep contentment because you have sung so many songs. Nobody has ever before sung so many.”
Rabindranath has written six thousand songs. The great English poet, Shelley, has written only two thousand. Rabindranath has written six thousand poems, and every poem is a marvel in itself, a beautiful diamond, unique.
The friend was right. He said, “You can die with deep contentment, fulfilled. You have sung so many songs, not even a Kalidas, not even a Shelley, can compete with you.”
When he was saying this tears were flowing in Rabindranath’s eyes. The friend couldn’t believe it. He said, “You – and crying! Are you afraid of death? I can’t believe that a man who has sung his whole life that death is “the great friend” is afraid of death.”
Rabindranath said, “No, not afraid of death. Death is beautiful, as beautiful as life. I am weeping and crying because better and better songs were coming lately. Up until now I was just a child. Now a maturity was happening, and existence was giving me more and more. The more I sang, the more was flowing out of me. In fact, now the veena is ready but the time has come to leave. This is unjust. Now I was feeling ready to really sing.”

But I tell you: even if Rabindranath had lived one thousand years the same would have been the case because it is ever-flowing. You share and you know it is ever-flowing; you sing and you know it is ever-coming – there is no end to it. Even after a thousand years Rabindranath would have died with tears in the eyes because more was flowing. Nobody can exhaust it; existence is inexhaustible. And you have existence within you, why are you so miserly?
Miserly, you become poor. Generous, you become rich. And you can become generous right now as you are. There is nothing else to it; you simply have to understand – and become. Nothing is lacking, all that you need to be generous is already the case. Of course: …he was known as the President of the World. Every day he gave gold to one category of people – the sick, widows, and so on. But nothing was given to anyone who opened his mouth. Not all could keep silent. Very, very deep, pregnant lines.
If you go to the temple and your prayer becomes a desire it will never be heard because a prayer is possible only when desire is not there. A desire can never become a prayer. If you ask for something you will miss. You are not praying. And God knows what your need is.

There was a Sufi saint, Bayazid, and he always used to say, “God knows what my need is, so I have never prayed because that is foolish. What to say to him? He already knows. If I say something which he knows, it is foolish. If I try to find something which he does not know, that too is foolish. How can you find such a thing? So I have simply never bothered. Whatever my need is, he always gives.”
But at that time he was very, very poor, hungry, rejected by the town he was passing through. Nobody was ready to give him shelter for the night. The night was dark and he was sitting under a tree, outside the town. It was dangerous, and one disciple asked, “But what about this situation? If he knows that his lover Bayazid is in such trouble – the town has rejected him, he is hungry and without food, sitting under a tree, wild animals all around, he cannot even sleep – what type of God are you talking about who knows everything that you need?”
Bayazid laughed and he said, “He knows that this is what I need at this moment. This is my need; otherwise, why should it be there? God knows when you need poverty,” said Bayazid, “and God knows when you need riches; God knows when you have to go on a fast, and God knows when you have to participate in a feast. He knows. And this is my need right now.”

You cannot ask. If you ask, it will not be given to you. In the very asking, you prove yourself not yet capable of receiving it. Prayer should be silent. Silence is prayer. When words come in, suddenly desires follow because words are the vehicles of desire. In silence, how can you desire? Have you tried it? In silence, can you desire something? How can you desire in silence? Language will be needed. All languages belong to the realm of desire. Hence the insistence of all those who “know” on you becoming silent – only when there are no words in your mind will desire cease completely; otherwise, with every word, desire is lurking behind.
Whatever you say… Even if you go to the temple and the mosque and the church and you say, “I don’t desire anything,” it is a desire. Just look, watch – hidden somewhere is a desire. And you have heard that until you stop desiring it will not be given, that’s why you are saying, “I don’t desire” – to get it. But it is lurking in the back, in the shadow it is there; otherwise, what is the need to say “I don’t desire anything”? Be silent. Only silence is prayer.
All the prayers you have been doing are false. All the prayers that have been taught to you are not prayers at all; they are dead rituals. There is only one prayer, and that is to be silent. That is to be so silent that not a single word floats in the lake of your consciousness. No ripple; the lake is completely silent. It becomes a mirror; it mirrors existence, it mirrors the divine. In that moment of silence everything is achieved. So this story says: Every day he gave gold to one category of people – the sick, widows, and so on. But nothing was given to anyone who opened his mouth.
This Sufi story says, “Keep your mouth completely shut” – not only outwardly, but inwardly also; then much will be given to you. When you don’t ask, much will be given to you. When you ask, nothing will be given to you. It looks like a paradox, but it is the very foundational law of existence. Don’t ask – and suddenly you realize that much is coming.
It happened…

A man came to Bayazid and he said, “Because of your teachings my life is destroyed. Twenty years ago I came to you and you told me, ‘If you don’t ask, riches will follow you. If you don’t seek, everything will be given to you. If you don’t hanker after beautiful women, the most beautiful woman will come.’ Twenty years wasted! Not a single, not even an ugly, woman has come. And no riches. I have remained poor. You destroyed my life. What do you say now?”
Bayazid said, “It would have happened, but you were looking backward too much, looking again and again to see whether they were coming or not. The desire was there. You missed because of desire not because of me. You were waiting, thinking always, ‘Now a beautiful woman is going to come and knock on the door. Now the goddess of riches will be coming.’ You were not silent. You were not in a state of desirelessness.”

Sufis say, “When you don’t ask, it is given.” This teaching goes deeper than Jesus’ teaching. Jesus says, “Ask and it shall be given. Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you.” And Sufis say, “Ask and it will never be given to you. Knock, knock your head on the door and it will be more closed than ever.” But not all could keep silent, even knowing that this man, this generous man of Bokhara, will give only if you keep silent. But it is so difficult because the mind says, “Make an appeal! Tell him the whole situation so that more can be fetched out of him.”
The story is beautiful because now it comes to a lawyer. Anybody else may keep his mouth shut but not a lawyer. He knows how to make an appeal in the court. He knows how to convince and seduce the judge. He knows if you keep silent you will lose the case. In the world, words are very, very significant. A lawyer lives by words because the court is the very temple of this world.
Have you seen the buildings of the High Courts? They are the temples now. Much is wasted on them. Why? Even temples have become tiny, but High Court buildings go on getting higher and higher and bigger and bigger. In fact, the power is there – the power of violence and murder, the power of law and language and logic. A lawyer is a logician. He knew well that this man had a condition: if you remain silent, he will give; if you ask, he will not give, but even then: Not all could keep silent.
It is so difficult to keep silent. You know, I tell you again and again: Be silent – but is it so? I tell you again and again, a thousand and one times, that existence is ready to give and you show your readiness to receive by your silence. But you have not shown it. You would like to say to existence that you are really in very great misery, in anguish, anxiety, so that something more can be fetched out of it.
One day it was the turn of the lawyers to receive their share of the bounty. One of them could not restrain himself and he made the most complete appeal possible.
Nothing was given to him. This, however, was not the end of his efforts.
It is difficult to get rid of a lawyer; he will find other ways. If one way is not possible, then he will find other ways; he will find other loopholes. From somewhere else he will try to enter the house – maybe from the back door.
I have a great friend. He is a very famous lawyer. He was telling me that once it happened that he was fighting a case in the court of a very saintly man. I also know that judge. He was really a saintly man; he would not receive any bribes. On the contrary, if somebody tried to bribe him it was certain he would lose the case. So what did this lawyer do? He found a way: he tried to bribe him through the opposite party. Of course, the opposite party lost the case.
He sent a man, his agent, in the name of the other party and tried to bribe the judge. The judge was very angry, so of course the other party lost the case, although the other party was in the right. Nobody ever came to know how they lost the case. The other party was also puzzled. With such a saintly man as the judge it was absolutely certain that they were going to win. It was so simple; there was nothing involved in it. How did they lose the case?
The lawyer always finds a way. If he can enter from the front door, okay; otherwise he will come in from the back door. If in the day, okay; otherwise in the night.
This, however, was not the end of his efforts. The following day invalids were being helped, so he pretended that his limbs had been broken.
But the President knew him, and he obtained nothing.
The President is symbolic here. The President means the higher consciousness which always knows the lower consciousness. You cannot deceive it, unless the higher consciousness itself wants to be deceived for certain reasons; otherwise you cannot deceive it. How can you deceive a higher consciousness?
But the President knew him and he obtained nothing. Again and again he tried, even disguising himself as a woman…
In Mohammedan countries you can disguise yourself as a woman and nobody will be able to know whether you are a man or a woman.
…but without result.
You cannot deceive a higher consciousness. Never try to deceive a master. And you try, because your logical mind, the lawyer, tries in every way. It happens every day with me. It is rare that you don’t deceive me or don’t try to deceive me.
A person comes. He is happy; I see he is happy, for the first time filled with an unknown joy. And I ask him, “How are you?” and he shrugs his shoulders and says, “So so.” Why is he trying to deceive me? He would like more sympathy from me; this is what he is doing. If he says he is happy and joyful, then there is no need for any sympathy. And you are so foolish in your ways that you ask for sympathy and you could have got love. But you ask for sympathy.
Love can be given to one who is happy, sympathy to one who is unhappy. Love cannot be given to one who is unhappy, it is impossible. He is not in the right mood. You cannot give love to him; you can only sympathize. Love can be given only when somebody is happy and flowing; then he is in the right tuning, and love is possible. I was going to give love but you tried to deceive me and you got only sympathy. You cannot deceive me. You are deceiving yourself. But you have become so trained in your deceptions because in the whole of your life you have been doing that.
The woman in the house is singing, humming, and happy. The moment she hears the car coming into the driveway, the husband arriving, her face changes. Now she is getting ready to ask for sympathy. She becomes sad, tired; just a moment before she was absolutely okay, nothing was wrong with her. Just the noise of the car, and she has changed. The husband is coming. Now she knows the trick: if she is unhappy he will be sympathetic, if she is not unhappy he will read his newspaper.
You have learned deceptions. And they work! They work with the same level of people as you; they are also doing the same. The husband may have been humming a song while he was driving; the moment he reaches the house he takes on a pose: tired, working the whole day for the wife and the children, dead tired, needs somebody to sympathize.
Remember: sympathy is a poor substitute for love. Never settle for sympathy. Sympathy is nothing. And nobody feels good when he gives you sympathy. It looks like a burden: one has to do it; it is a duty. Somebody is ill and you have to talk to him. Somebody is ill in the hospital and you have to go and sympathize. It is a duty one has to do.
Never ask for sympathy. Be happy, and love will be flowing toward you. Love is the right coin; sympathy is the wrong coin. It looks like love; it is not love. So this is the trouble: you ask for sympathy, and when sympathy is given you are not fulfilled – nobody can be fulfilled by sympathy. You needed love and you asked for sympathy. You asked for the wrong food. If it is given, it will disturb your stomach; if it is not given, it will disturb your stomach all the same.
When you are asking for sympathy and it is not given, you will become unhappier because nobody cares about you. If it is given, it will not be a fulfillment because sympathy is very thin, it is nothing. You needed real, authentic love, a flowing of the heart. You needed your husband running toward you. But then you have to become a magnetic force, a happiness. Nobody runs headlong toward unhappiness. One tries to protect oneself, moves guardedly. But you have learned these tricks. And even when you come to me, you go on playing your tricks. You have learned them too well.
But the President knew him and he obtained nothing. Again and again he tried, even disguising himself as a woman, but without result. You cannot disguise yourself because a higher consciousness means simply a penetrating consciousness. Not only does it penetrate clothes – the burka of a Mohammedan woman – it penetrates your body; that too is clothing, natural. It penetrates your mind; that too is clothing, cultural. It penetrates to the very core of your being. It reaches directly to you.
Be true, natural, loose. Whenever you encounter a higher consciousness be natural, loose. Whatever you are, put everything on the table. Don’t save even a trump card. Put everything, all your cards, open on the table. You will receive much love, you will receive all because when you put yourself completely naked you are ready to die. Unprotected, you open yourself, you become vulnerable. And a master is a death.
In fact, in the old Indian scriptures it is said that a master is a death. When you come to a master you are coming to a very, very deep death. Even ordinary death is not so deep because ordinary death will not destroy much. You will remain intact in your mind; only the body will be changed. The older body will be replaced with a newer body – but not the mind. The old mind will continue.
A master is a great death. If you can pass through a master and his love and his blessings, your body will die, your mind will die, your ego will die. All that can die will die – only that which cannot die, the deathless, will remain; only the deathless you, the immortal you, the brahman.
Finally the lawyer found an undertaker and told him to wrap him in a shroud. “When the President passes by,” said the lawyer, “he will perhaps assume that this is a corpse, and he may throw some money toward my burial – and I will give you a share of it.”
Now it became a struggle. The lawyer is trying in every way to defeat the master so he can say, “Yes, even you were deceived.” He is trying to have the upper hand on the master so he can say, “You are not a higher consciousness than me.” This happens to every disciple. The disciple tries in every way with the master to make sure, “Is he really higher than me?” And the disciple tries in every way to prove, “He is not higher than me, he is just like me.” Then your ego can grow more if you can come to a point and realize, “The master is not higher than me – he is just like me.” Then your ego is strengthened. Rather than dying through the master, you have revived your dying ego; again you have supplied blood to it.
Every disciple when he comes to a master is entering a conflict. The master will try to kill your ego completely, utterly. But you will try to save it; not only save it, but feed it, make it more vital, stronger. A disciple comes for certain reasons to a master, and a master exists for some other reasons. A disciple comes tattered, sad, because in life he couldn’t fulfill his ego. Now he is moving toward the other world; maybe there he can fulfill his ego. He can become a great sannyasin, he can become the topmost enlightened man in the world, he can become this and that. The world has failed; now he tries the other world. Maybe he can find some anchor and save his ego.
You come to a master for a wrong reason. This is natural. You are wrong, so how can you come to a master for right reasons? You have to come for wrong reasons. And the master exists for absolutely different reasons. He attracts you, he takes you closer and closer, just to kill you, and to kill you so utterly that the very seed of the ego is burned. That is what Patanjali calls nirbeej samadhi: when the seed is so absolutely burned that, whatsoever you do with the seed, now no sprout can come out of it.
The master is a fire. The master is a death.
Finally the lawyer found an undertaker…
his last effort to deceive
…and told him to wrap him in a shroud. “When the President passes by,” said the lawyer, “he will perhaps assume that this is a corpse, and he may throw some money toward my burial – and I will give you a share of it.”
This was done. A gold piece from the hand of the President fell upon the shroud. The lawyer seized it out of fear that the undertaker would get it first. Then he spoke to the benefactor: “You denied me your bounty. Note how I have gained it!”
He’s saying, “I have deceived you. Where is your higher consciousness? Mister President of the World, where is your higher consciousness? Finally, I have won. I am victorious. You couldn’t judge whether I am dead or alive.”
“Nothing can you have from me,” replied the generous man, “until you die.”
The generous man used the situation – not that the lawyer deceived him. Now he can use the situation to give the lawyer a subtle message: “Nothing can you have from me…until you die.” Of course, this is not real death, so you have not received real gold – just a piece of the unreal gold of the world. False is your death, and the gold I have given is also false. But keep the message in your heart: “Nothing can you have from me…until you die.”
This is the whole message of the Sufi path: Die!
Die as you are so that you can become that which you really are.
Die to the ego so that the divine can be born in you.
Die to the past so that you become open to the future.
Die to the known so the unknown can penetrate you.
Die to the mind so the heart can start throbbing again, so that you can rediscover your own heart which you have lost completely.
You don’t know what the heart is. The throbbing that you hear is not the real heart; it is just the body part of the heart. Hidden behind it there is a soul part. These heartbeats are from the body part of the heart. In these beats or between these beats – in the gaps – is the real beat of the real heart: the soul part. The heart you know is only the matter part. You have completely lost contact with the divine part of your heart. You live a loveless life, a heartless life. You are like hard rocks. Even rocks are not so hard; they can be broken. I say this with long and great experience.
When I try to break your rock it is very difficult because your rock tries to protect itself in every way. You try to protect your diseases, your illnesses. You try to protect your neurosis, your madness because that’s what you are identified with. You think you are that. You are not. Until you die you will never know who you are.
Right now you can sit in a yoga posture and repeat the mantra of Ramana Maharshi: “Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?” but you will not know. That mantra will just be in the mind. Ramana knew through it; he passed through this death.

It happened when he was seventeen years of age. He had been meditating continuously from his very childhood; he must have carried the urge from past lives. He was not like an ordinary child, not interested in this world from the very beginning. Whenever he had the opportunity, he was waiting, and with closed eyes moving into silence and deeper silence. When he was seventeen years of age, suddenly in meditation he felt that he was going to die. And when you are in a deep meditation and you feel that you are going to die, it is not just a feeling or a vagrant thought. It grips you in your totality because there is no thought to fight with it. You cannot argue. It is so self-evident in a silent mind that you are going to die. It comes to every meditator, and blessed are those to whom it comes.
Suddenly he felt that he was going to die – and nothing could be done: death was absolutely certain. So what to do? He was sitting under a tree. He lay down, ready to die. He accepted, relaxed his body – no struggle with death. By and by, he found that the body had become cold. It was a dead corpse. Even if he had wanted to move his hand he couldn’t have. The contact with the body was lost.
Then he felt the mind disappearing, like when water evaporates. And soon there was no mind; the contact with the mind was lost. Then he waited and waited and waited – when will death happen? And it never happened. He had come to the deathless. But this was a totally new man; the old man was there no longer. The son to some father and to some mother was there no longer; he was no longer Ramana. Suddenly Ramana has disappeared. A blessed one was born. He had become divine.

When you reach the bottom-most core of your being, the deathless, you are divine. The divine means nothing else; the divine means the immortal, the deathless.
“Nothing can you have from me,” replied the generous man, “until you die.” And nothing can you have from me also until you die. And nothing can you have from the divine also until you die. In fact, until you die, you live a death, you live dead. Your life is nothing but a slow suicide, spread over seventy or eighty years, but a slow suicide, a slow death. From the very moment you are born you are dying and dying and dying. Until you die you will live a dead life.
If you are courageous and you take the jump into death, suddenly, for the first time, life dawns upon you. For the first time, the deathless dances within you. For the first time, you overflow with what Jesus calls life abundant. Now you are no longer a tiny stream in the summer, just somehow pulling together, with vast sand all around, a desert. You become a flooded Ganges in the rains: overflowing, all bonds broken, all limitations broken – life abundant. But that never happens until you die.
So this is the paradox. Jesus says if you cling to life you will miss it; if you try to save life, you will not have it. The only way to have it is to lose it. And this is what I call sannyas. It is an inner mutation, it is a readiness to die, a readiness to die to the ego. One door closes, the door of the ego; another opens, the door of the deathless.
This is the meaning of the cryptic phrase, “Man must die before he dies.”
You have died many times – but we are not talking about that death. That you have done many times. It has not done anything to you; you remain the same, you survive. You need a greater death. There is a death which happens naturally. Anything that is born will die, anything that is combined together will fall apart. So your body is going to die, that is natural. It has happened millions of times and it will go on happening if you don’t become alert and aware.
There is another kind of death. The quality is totally different: a voluntary death, not a natural death. Not that the body dies, but that you take the jump, you die. You don’t wait for death. This is sannyas. This is taking a voluntary jump into death itself.
Through death, the deathless is achieved.
This is the meaning of the cryptic phrase, “Man must die before he dies.” The gift comes after this death and not before. And even this death is not possible without help.
That’s why I am here. Alone, you will not even be able to die. Such a simple thing you cannot do alone. It is so simple, it will be difficult for you to do it alone. A great help is needed from someone who has died before you. He can pull and push; he can create a situation in which, unknowingly, you are caught. A master throws a net, catches hold of many fish. Those who are ready to die will be chosen. Those who are not ready to die yet will be thrown back into the river.
You have come to me from many parts of the world. You can go on thinking that you have come to me; that is again a deception of the ego. I have caught hold of you, that’s why you are here; you have not come. You think you have come and you are wrong. I have been calling you in many subtle ways, pulling you toward me – and you have come. Now you are caught in the net. Still many of you are trying not to be caught.
Sannyas is just a surrender on your part, that you allow me to do whatever I want to do. Surrender is a trust: “I leave. Now you do whatever you want to do. I will not interfere.” It is just like when you go to a surgeon and put yourself in his trust, because if you don’t and you say “I have to watch what you are doing,” surgery is not possible. You have to become completely unconscious, and in unconsciousness there is total surrender. Even if the surgeon kills you, you will not be there to object.
Trust means that you leave yourself in the hands of someone. Even if he is going to kill you, you are ready to pass through it. Sannyas means laying yourself down before me on the surgical table and allowing me to cut whatever I want to cut. It is painful. It is very, very painful because this surgery cannot be done in your unconsciousness; I have to do it while you are conscious. I cannot give you morphine, I cannot use chloroform, but rather, on the contrary, I give you meditations to become more alert and more aware.
This is a different type of surgery, a totally different type of surgery. Your awareness is needed. You have to be completely a witness so that I can cut out that part which is not in fact you but with which you have become identified, so I can show you a way where you can feel your innermost, your authentic being. It was there before you were born, it is there before you die; it will be there after you are dead.
Existence goes on living in many, many forms. You need help so that you can feel the formless hidden behind the form. You are attached to the form, your eyes are closed with the form, and great surgery is needed.
Says this Sufi saying: The gift comes after this death and not before. And even this death is not possible without help. And help is possible if you surrender.
In fact, if you surrender, the very death we are talking about becomes possible. Surrender is like death – that’s why you are so afraid of surrendering. You try to protect yourself. You try to snatch something from me, remaining yourself. That is not possible.
You must die. Only then can something be given to you. The gift is ready, already packed, your name written on it – but you are not ready. “Nothing can you have from me…until you die.”
Enough for today.

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