Until You Die 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Until You Die by Osho.
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A man came to the great teacher Bahauddin and asked for help in his problems, and guidance on the path of teaching.
Bahauddin told him to abandon spiritual studies and leave his court at once.
A kind-hearted visitor began to remonstrate with Bahauddin.
“You shall have a demonstration,” said the sage.
At that moment a bird flew into the room, darting hither and thither, not knowing where to go in order to escape.
The Sufi waited until the bird had settled near the only open window of the chamber and then suddenly clapped his hands.
Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window, to freedom.
Then Bahauddin said: “To him that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, don’t you agree?”
There is an old story…

In Thailand there exists a very ancient temple. And the myth goes that in the beginning of creation, God became angry with an angel. The angel had committed some disobedience, and it was so grave that God threw him onto the earth and told him that he would have to live as an invisible snake in this ancient temple.
The temple has a tower with one hundred steps, and every pilgrim that comes to the temple has to go to the tower – that is part of the pilgrimage.
God said to this angel, “You will have to live on the first step of the tower, and every pilgrim who comes, you will have to move with him.”
In Thailand they divide human consciousness into one hundred steps, and the snake would be able to go with the pilgrim only up to the point where his consciousness existed. If he had attained the twentieth step of consciousness, then the snake would be able to follow up to the twentieth; if to the fiftieth, then the fiftieth. And God said, “If you can reach thrice to the last step, then you will be freed of your sin.”
The myth goes that, up to now, only once has the snake been able to reach the hundredth. At least ten thousand pilgrims come every day to the ancient temple. Millennia have passed, pilgrims and pilgrims, and the snake has to follow every pilgrim. Sometimes, rarely, it can reach up to the twenty-fifth; very, very rarely up to the fiftieth, and only once to the hundredth. Then it falls back again to the first step.
Now the snake has become very, very depressed; there seems to be no hope. Only once up until now, and he has to reach the hundredth three times. Only then will he be freed of the sin.

The myth is beautiful. It says many things. One: among millions of people, only once does it happen that a man becomes enlightened. To become enlightened is difficult, but there is a greater difficulty that I would like to tell you about. Among millions, one person becomes enlightened, and among thousands of enlightened persons, one person becomes a master. To become a master is almost impossible. To become enlightened you have to work with yourself, your barriers, your hindrances – but your own. To become a master you have to work with others’ barriers, hindrances. To work with oneself is so difficult. To work with somebody else is almost impossible.
Many buddhas have existed, but once in a while a buddha becomes a master. The name of Gautama the Buddha is famous just because of his being a master. Millions of buddhas preceded him, but they were not masters.
It happened…

One day somebody asked Buddha, “You have almost fifty thousand sannyasins around you. How many of them have become like you?” Buddha is reported to have said that many had. But the questioner was puzzled. He said, “If many of them have become like you, why does nobody know about them?”
Buddha said, “They have become enlightened, but they are not masters. They are just like me, they exist on the same plane of being – that is one thing. But to persuade another to bring his consciousness to the same plane is a difficult art.”

To persuade the other toward higher peaks of being is almost impossible because the other will create all sorts of resistance. And the more you try to pull him up, the more his ego will be there to resist. The ego will enjoy falling down more and more. The ego will be the enemy. The other is identified with his own ego; he thinks he is the ego. So when a master tries to transform or help, the other creates all sorts of barriers in order not to be helped.
Teachers are many, masters are few. Teachers are very cheap. You can get them a rupee a dozen because to be a teacher is nothing. You need a little intellectual capacity to understand things, a little capacity to explain things. If you are a little articulate you can become a teacher. Scriptures are there: you can memorize them. With a little practice you can attain a certain logical penetration into things. You can silence people, you can prove things. And many will be attracted because people live in their intellectual center; they live in their heads.
A teacher is a head-oriented person, more heady than you. He can impress you, but that impression will not lead you anywhere. You will remain in the same rut. He himself is nowhere. A teacher is a man who teaches without knowing what he is teaching. A teacher is a man who talks about things he has not known, who talks about worlds with no experience. He has not tasted anything of the unknown. He may have tasted many things of the Vedas, the Koran, the Bible, the Upanishads, he may have gathered much knowledge, but knowing he has none. But you can adjust to a teacher very easily because he is of the same type; he belongs to the same level of being as you, to the same plane. Teachers become very, very influential. They lead great movements. Millions are attracted to them because they talk the language that you can understand.
Masters cannot lead big movements – almost impossible. In fact, by the time they become known they are no longer here; by the time people come to hear about them they are gone. Then they are worshipped for thousands of years, but that worship won’t help much. To be impressed with a master is difficult because that means dying to your own ego. To allow a master to work on you is very courageous: you open your heart, you become vulnerable. Nobody knows where he is leading; you have to trust. Logic is not of much help, only love. And love is rare. Everybody is logical, but who is loving? Everybody has a cunning intellect, but who has a trusting heart? This is the first thing to be understood before we can enter this story.
Sufis don’t believe in teachings and teachers. This man Bahauddin is one of the greatest masters. The master does not teach, he demonstrates. His whole being is a demonstration. He opens new dimensions and he invites you to look through these new dimensions, new vistas, new windows. He demonstrates, he does not teach. And even if he teaches, it is just to persuade your intellect to come to his window from where things have a totally different look. And a master has to be skilled in the greatest art – the art of the human heart – because the problems are subtle, very complicated and complex.
For example: a person comes to me. He is ready to take the jump; he thinks he is ready to take the jump, but he is not ready. And I see that this is not the right moment for him. If he takes the jump he will miss. I have to persuade him to wait; I have to persuade him to wait for the right moment. I have to divert his mind; I have to give him some other occupation so he forgets, at least for the present, about the final jump. He will be ready one day, and everything comes in its own season.
You cannot force a phenomenon like enlightenment, you cannot manipulate it. You have to wait for it. It comes when it comes, it comes on its own. In fact, there is no way to force it; you cannot control it. All that you can do is to learn how to wait lovingly: how to wait, how to trust. When the right moment comes, it will happen.
Somebody comes. He says he is ready, he thinks he is ready, but I see he is not ready. So I have to divert his mind. I have to give him something to play with so time can pass and he becomes ripe. He thinks he is ready: it is not really thinking, it is the ego. He says, “Right now, help me.”
Then there is somebody else who thinks he is not ready. Thinking is not of much value in the world of the innermost. Somebody is there who is not ready but thinks he is ready. Somebody is there who is ready but thinks he is not ready. Him, I have to persuade – in fact seduce – to take the jump. He hesitates, he’s afraid. He says he is not ready. “What are you doing? Why are you forcing me? Why are you haunting me?” But I know that he is ready, and if this moment is lost, it may be many years before the next moment comes again or it may be many lives.
At a certain point the whole of existence is ready to accept you, but you hesitate. This moment may not be there again soon. Maybe a life passes, or many lives, then again a moment comes. I have to watch. I don’t listen to you. I cannot. I have to go on doing my own thing. I cannot listen to you because you don’t know what you are saying. You don’t know what is happening to you; you are in confusion. If I listen to you I will not be of any help to you. I have to go on my own, and I have to create a feeling in you that I am listening to you, I have to go on persuading you that it is according to you that everything is being done.
Sometimes I see it will be good for you to stop all meditations because with your mind even meditation can become a strain and it can become the barrier. Sometimes I have to force you exactly against yourself into meditation because unless there is a certain strain in you, a tension, the transformation will not be possible. The art is very subtle. You need a certain tension, just as when an arrow is put on the bow a certain tension is needed, otherwise the arrow will not be thrown. But too much tension can break the bow.
Meditation is needed, with vigorous effort, but you don’t know where to start and where to stop; that I have to watch. So sometimes I will say to you, “Stop meditations,” and you cannot understand, because I continually teach, “Meditate!” And sometimes I have to say, “Go into meditation,” and then you cannot understand because I continually teach that no effort is needed – it will come when it comes, it is a happening.
Try to understand my situation. And I have to work with many, so I will be making many contradictory statements. I will say something to one and just the opposite to the other because both are different. So whatever I say is personal. When I say it to you, I say it to you, not to anybody else. And when I say it to you, it is not only personal, it is also momentary because tomorrow you will have changed and then something else will be said to you. It is a continuous response, an alive response.
A teacher is dead, he has a dead teaching. He doesn’t bother about you; you don’t matter. He has a teaching, he continues. He is more focused on the teaching, less focused on you – in fact, not focused at all. A teacher is a madman. The teaching is important. The teaching exists not for man, man exists for the teaching, the doctrine. But for a master, teachings are toys. Doctrines are good if they help, bad if they don’t help. And sometimes they help and sometimes they don’t help. To some they become a bridge, to some they become a barrier. Man is important.
To a master, man is the measure of all things – individual, personal – not men, but human beings, not mankind, but you, in your total personality, in your unique personality. Whatever a master says is addressed to a person, it is a letter. You cannot make a criterion out of it, you cannot make a generalization out of it. All generalizations are false, even this generalization that all generalizations are false!
Very subtle is the art. It has to be because it is an effort to transform the human heart, the greatest thing in evolution, the highest peak to which existence has reached. A teacher goes on giving you information about God, about truth, about heaven and hell. A master simply opens his being to you, demonstrates to you what truth is.
What am I doing here? I’m drunk with existence, a drunkard, and I allow you to come nearer to me to be drunk with me, to participate. And the closer you come, the drunker you will become. A moment comes when the disciple and the master sit silently. Nobody knows who is the disciple and who is the master. They have come so close, like two flames coming closer and closer and closer. A sudden jump – and the two flames have become one.
To understand a master you need to come close. With a teacher you can remain as distant as possible: there is no problem. Closeness is not needed, intimacy is not involved. With a teacher you remain uncommitted. With a master, the final, the utterly final commitment is needed. That is the meaning: “You can’t have anything from me until you die.” That is the meaning of this Sufi saying, because when you die then you are totally committed. Now there is no going back. There is nobody else you can fall back upon.
A commitment is a point of no return. Where will you go back to? You have burned the house. A cunning mind would like to be distant – not a participant but an observer. Keeping a distance he keeps his house intact, so if something goes wrong he can go back, he can fall back. But all that is beautiful in life comes through commitment.
In the West particularly, commitment has become a wrong word, a taboo word. The moment you hear commitment you become afraid. That’s why, in the West, all that is beautiful and the deepest is disappearing. Love is not possible, only sex is possible. Sex is without involvement, love is a commitment. Sex is between two strangers, love is between two who are intimate – not strangers – who feel an affinity, who are not there just to exploit each other but to grow with each other. A commitment is needed in love. And without love, sex will become futile. It has already become so in the West.
Meditation is not possible if you are not committed. You cannot remain a spectator. If you want to be a spectator, then you will remain on the periphery. Commitment leads you to the very center of things. To be with a master is a commitment. It is the highest form of love, the highest form of meditation, the highest form of prayer. In the West, only teachers have existed. In the West, teacher and master are not two totally different words, they are synonymous, they mean the same. That’s why in this story master is translated as teacher. Bahauddin is not a teacher, he is a master. But in English there is no difference between a master and a teacher. In English there exists no word such as guru. It is a deep involvement with a person, such a deep involvement that you are ready to die for it.
Love, meditation, prayer, all are deep commitments. And who is afraid of commitment? The ego is afraid of commitment because commitment means no longer coming back. The bridge is broken. You feel afraid. Only the future, the unknown future, is there; the past is no more. You will feel dizzy. And if you look into the eyes of a master you will feel dizzy because he is vacant. It is like an abyss with no bottom to it. You would like to cling to something because there is a danger you will be lost forever. And this is so!
But you cannot find yourself unless you are lost. And you cannot be reborn unless you die. A master is a death and a life. A master is a death and a resurrection.
Now let us move slowly into this story…
A man came to the great master Bahauddin and asked for help in his problems, and guidance on the path of teaching.
Bahauddin told him to abandon spiritual studies and leave his court at once.
Looks too cruel, too crude. Doesn’t fit with the ideal of a master. The man has come as a seeker; he wants help. He has come as a beggar and it is no behavior on the part of Bahauddin to say, “Abandon spiritual studies and leave this court immediately, right now!” Why is Bahauddin throwing him back? A master exists to help, a master invites people, a master welcomes; he exists for that purpose. Why is Bahauddin then behaving in such a bad way? No one expects such behavior from a master. And the man has only asked for some help with his problems, guidance on the path.
A kind-hearted visitor began to remonstrate with Bahauddin.
A kind-hearted man must have been there, and he said, “What is this? Explain to me why you behave this way. That man has not done anything wrong. An innocent seeker, and you throw him out – then what is the purpose of your being here? He asks for help and you close the door. He begs, and you are hard.”
“You shall have a demonstration,” said the sage.
Said Bahauddin, “Wait! There are things which cannot be explained. Wait. You shall have a demonstration.”
Only a situation can explain certain things because they become apparent only in an alive situation; an explanation won’t be helpful. And how can you explain? Bahauddin sees something in the seeker which this kind-hearted man cannot see. How can you explain light to a blind man? No explanation will be enough. And whatever you say will look like a rationalization, will look as though you are hard and cruel and now you are trying to rationalize your behavior. Bahauddin said, “Wait. You shall have a demonstration.
At that moment a bird flew into the room, darting hither and thither, not knowing where to go in order to escape.
The Sufi waited until the bird settled near the only open window of the chamber, and then suddenly Bahauddin clapped his hands.
Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window, to freedom.
Then Bahauddin said: “To him”
– to the bird –
“that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, do you not agree?”
It is a really beautiful situation. Bahauddin is saying many things without saying them. He is saying: the man who has approached was just on the brink of total freedom. He does not need any help. Help will become a bondage to him; he will be burdened by it. He does not need any more teachings; that phase has passed. He is almost ready to fly into the sky, he does not need any training. He needs to be pushed and that’s what I have done. If I had allowed him to be here that would not have been compassion. Throwing him out and closing the door is the compassion. Bahauddin is saying: “I know this man; his heart is absolutely ready. Any moment the bird will be on the wing – now no longer clinging to words, no need for any teachings, no need to understand the path.”
It is a need. At a certain phase of spiritual growth you need teachings and all, and you need to be taught about the path. You have to be reassured about it. You need many trainings, but a moment comes when one has to grow above them. First one has to learn many things, and then one has to unlearn. First one has to be taught meditation, and then one has to be taught to throw it into the dustbin. First one has to be brought out of concepts, words, and taught silence. And then a moment comes when you also have to throw out that silence, otherwise that too can become a clinging. You can cling to a thought, you can cling to silence, because then silence is nothing but a thought of silence. How do you know you have become silent? It is again a thought. How do you know that now you are happy? It is again a thought. And if there is happiness and the feeling of being happy and the thought, then somewhere in the background there must be unhappiness lurking and waiting as a shadow.
First one has to drop unhappiness and then happiness also; otherwise happiness itself will become a prison. And you are so skilled in creating prisons. You can create a prison out of anything, even out of godliness. You have created prisons – your churches, temples, mosques, gurdwaras. Out of the divine you have created imprisonments for yourself, out of beautiful scriptures. The Upanishads are beautiful, their poetry is the purest. But nobody reads the Upanishads for poetry, you read the Upanishads for doctrine. They have become a prison. As poetry they are beautiful, they are wonderful. As poetry, incomparable – there is nothing you can compare them with.
Just now I was reading an interview by a journalist with J. Krishnamurti. I don’t think the journalist could follow what he was saying. Krishnamurti said, “I have read the New Testament. It is beautiful poetry and I loved it, but as a scripture I get bored with it.” He is absolutely right. One should read the Bible; it is really one of the greatest literary accomplishments of the ages. And the New Testament is simply superb. Nowhere else can you find words so pregnant with significance, but not with meaning. The moment meaning comes in, poetry is lost; it has become a doctrine. Significance, but no meaning. Grandeur, beauty, but no dogma.
Out of the Upanishads, the New Testament, the Koran – such beauty! If you can sing, beautiful; if you think, you have lost the track. If you can sing the Koran, nothing is so beautiful. Have you seen somebody reciting the Koran? It is something to be recited, to be sung, enjoyed. You can dance, that’s okay, but don’t think about it. The moment you think, a Mohammedan is born, a fanatical Mohammedan. If you love, enjoy, dance, sing, a Sufi is born. And a Sufi is farthest from a Mohammedan, the farthest possible. If you sing the Upanishads, a Sufi is born. If you believe in the Upanishads, a Hindu is born – a dead Hindu, rotten to the roots.
You are so skilled in making imprisonments for yourself that everything that falls into your hands becomes a chain. Even a Buddha, a Jesus, they come to liberate you, they try to liberate you, and finally they become a bondage because of you.
This man who reached Bahauddin was ready, ripe to fall from the tree. Not even the slightest help was needed. Bahauddin could have allowed this man to sit in his court, to become part of it, to become a disciple, but that would not have been compassion and no Bahauddin can allow that. But on the surface he looks unkind; he looks as if he is without any compassion. A seeker comes and you close the door in his face.
Remember: that is the difference between kindness and compassion. Kindness is something understood on the surface. Even an ignorant man can be kind, even a foolish man can be kind, even a criminal can be kind, a sinner can be kind. Kindness is just a value on the surface of the mind. An ignorant man cannot be compassionate; that’s not possible. It is a quality that happens when the center has been achieved. When you are centered, then compassion happens. And compassion may not always look like kindness, remember. Compassion may sometimes look very unkind.
The kind man, the kind-hearted visitor, remonstrated with Bahauddin: “What have you done?” Bahauddin sees something which the kind-hearted cannot see. He has seen the man just on the brink of the abyss. If he is thrown out he will be liberated. If he is allowed… And he is ready, he has come to seek discipleship. If he had gone to a teacher, a teacher would have been very kind-hearted, he would have received him. A teacher would have initiated him, but not a master, because a master is there to help you to be totally free. If he initiates you it is just as a step, it is not the end. Finally, eventually, he is going to throw you into the open sky.
Once you are ready you will be thrown into the open sky. A master’s house is just a training place where you get ready, but it is not the final home. It is where you get ready, and then the master throws you into the sky because there is the final home, in total freedom, in moksha. A master is helpful just on the way. In front of the temple of the divine he will suddenly leave you. In front of the temple of the divine he will push you in, and if you look back you will no longer find him. He will not be there because with the divine you have to be alone. The work of the master is completed.
But this man was already on the brink. He could not know it. How can you know that you are on the brink? You have never been on the brink before, so how can the mind understand? This man who is on the brink does not know. He has never been in this state before, so how can he recognize it? He is seeking support, not knowing that now there is no need for support. And if he is allowed to sit, many more things will happen which can be dangerous.
I know that if Bahauddin allows him to sit, this man may fall in love with Bahauddin – it is difficult not to fall in love with Bahauddin – and that love will become a bondage. You are so skilled, you are so efficient… So it is better to be hard from the beginning. If even for a single moment the man is allowed, it will be difficult for him to leave Bahauddin. The man should not be given even a glimpse of Bahauddin’s heart, his love, his compassion. Bahauddin must show him a very hard face so he never thinks about him again.
This was what Gurdjieff was doing to many disciples and they couldn’t understand because in the West it is difficult to understand. The East has its own ways. Gurdjieff was a Sufi. He was taught by many Sufi masters, he went to many Sufi monasteries, he lived with many Sufis, and he had the attitude of a Sufi. But in the West the understanding is not there. Sufi symbols, Sufi demonstrations are not meaningful.
I was reading a book written by a disciple of Gurdjieff – a woman, a very talented musician – and she writes that Gurdjieff was angry about something she was told not to do and she had done. He was very angry and he told her: “This is the end; never come back again and never come to see me.” Of course the woman left him, but she left as a Westerner, and missed. She thought, “This man is not yet enlightened; otherwise, why is he so angry?”
You judge according to your own criteria. “Why is he so angry over such an ordinary thing? If I have disobeyed in such a trivial thing, he could have forgiven me. Great masters are forgiveness, embodied forgiveness. Buddha is compassion, and Jesus forgives even his enemies, the murderers who killed him – he forgives them. And I have not committed anything like that. Just a small thing he has said, and I have not followed, but there seems to be no reason to be so angry.”
She had lived for almost twenty years with Gurdjieff; a disciple of twenty years’ standing simply thrown out and the door closed. And Gurdjieff said, “Never see me again. If you want to see me, only then when I am dead.” The ego was hurt, and she never went to see Gurdjieff again. She went only when he was dead – but she missed.
What was Gurdjieff saying? If this had happened in the East, where through a long, long inner disciplehood, an inner discipline of many people… It would have been totally different. What was Gurdjieff saying in fact? He was saying: “Either come dead to see me, or come to see me when I am dead; otherwise there is no point.” But that was implied. So she waited for twenty years. When Gurdjieff died, then she went to pay her homage. She could have been dead herself. That was a situation.
Gurdjieff was not angry because she had disobeyed. That anger was creating a situation; that disobedience was just something to hang it upon. Gurdjieff would have been angry whether she had obeyed or disobeyed; that was irrelevant. He would have found something and would have been angry. That was needed: a hard face, very angry, because a person who has lived with him for twenty years should not be deceived by the surface, should be capable of penetrating deeper, looking into the heart. And in the heart Gurdjieff was so compassionate, so loving, but he had a very hard shell around him.
This man who was thrown out, if he had a Western attitude… The story says nothing about him, we don’t know what happened to him; but it will in fact be good to know what is possible. If he had a Western attitude – a Western attitude means an egoistic attitude – if he thought that he had been thrown out because he was not worthy, if his ego was hurt, he would have missed. If he had an Eastern attitude… If the master is angry there must be compassion in it, otherwise why should he get angry? If the master has closed the door there must be meaning in it because by closing this door some other door opens. If the master has said to abandon all spiritual studies and leave his court at once, not even a single moment is to be wasted, that means there is some urgency, urgency in leaving all spiritual studies, the spiritual path, the seeking, everything; there is some urgency.
If the attitude had been Eastern, that of a disciple, that of a humble man, of one who is ready to die, that man would have become enlightened – just at that door, just that moment. But it depends. It doesn’t depend only on the master, it depends on the disciple also. It is a subtle cooperation, the subtlest harmony there is.
A kind-hearted visitor began to remonstrate with Bahauddin. “You shall have a demonstration,” said the sage. At that moment a bird flew into the room… Every moment birds are flying into the room, every moment situations are flying into the room. Situations are never lacking. If you have the master touch, if you have the master key, everything becomes a situation. You can turn anything into a situation – it becomes a demonstration. A bird flew in, and as it happens – not only with birds but with you too – as it happens with all types of minds…
You may have sometimes observed: a bird enters the room. He has entered from the window, so he must know where he has entered. But the moment he has entered he forgets about the window; then he darts hither and thither. He looks very foolish because he has entered and he knows, so why not go out by the same window? Why go hither and thither? And the more hectic, afraid, the bird becomes, the more the source is lost. Then a miracle happens: the bird will go to every wall and knock his head, but not to the window. Don’t laugh at the bird. The bird is poor – poor bird! But the same is the case with you.
Every day I encounter people who know how to enter a situation, but don’t know how to get out. You enter a marriage, then it is difficult – how to get out? But you know the window. How did you enter in the first place? Then why not step back? Disillusioned, you want to get out. Why is it so complex? Why can’t you understand the thing and get out? It is very easy to get into a marriage; it is very, very difficult to get out of it. Everybody knows how to get in and nobody knows how to get out. You become angry. You never go to ask anybody how to be angry, but you then come to me and ask, “How to get out of anger?” But how did you get in? The same phenomenon happening: the bird knows how to get into the room, and forgets completely…
It seems that somewhere in the mind there is a deceptive mechanism; otherwise, why the problem? It is so apparent. The window is open, the bird has come in, so go out by the same window. But it seems there is an idea in the mind, somewhere in the unconscious, that for going in and for going out different routes are needed. That is the trouble. You get into anxiety and then you ask how to get out. You are in anguish and then you inquire how to get out. But how did you get in?
It happened…

Mulla Nasruddin was walking with his child, and the child saw an unfamiliar egg lying by the side of the road. And as children do, he asked his father, “I always wonder how the birds enter the egg?”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “I also wonder, but I wonder how they get out of it. And I don’t know the answer. I have been wondering my whole life and now you have created a new question. I have not come across the answer as to how they get out of it, and now you have created a new problem: how they get into it.”

Somewhere in the unconscious the mind has a deep-rooted mechanism. It feels that there must be two ways: how to get in and how to get out. No, there are not two ways. It is the same: by one door you enter and by the same door you get out. And if you can understand how you get in, you can understand how you get out. So when you become angry, just watch how you are getting into it. Step-by-step, slowly, watch, and suddenly you will be illuminated. You will feel a sudden light – this is the way you have to move backward.
The bird entered. At that moment – when Bahauddin said, “Soon I will demonstrate” – a bird flew – entered – into the room, darting hither and thither, not knowing where to go in order to escape. This is the situation of everybody. You have entered life, now you are darting hither and thither not knowing how to escape, where to escape to.
All techniques of meditation are nothing but aids to make you aware of how you have come in. It is going backward. When your mind becomes silent you will be able to go backward. You can relive the whole film backward. You move toward childhood, then you move into the womb. Then a moment comes when you see the first thing: how you entered the womb. Your mother and father only created a situation. In that situation you moved in. The window was open; you moved in, and the same is the way to move out.
Deeper meditation will reveal to you your whole past, not only of this life but of other lives also. Buddha talks of his many lives: he relates how he was an elephant and how he died, and how he became a hare and how he died, and how he became a lion and how he died – and how he became Siddhartha. Just moving backward you come to the very door by which you entered existence, and that is the door from where you can fly out. But it will need a very, very silent mind, alert, watchful, intelligent.
The Sufi waited until the bird settled… In stories like these every word is significant. The Sufi waited until the bird settled… You cannot help a bird out while the bird himself is trying to seek the way out. You cannot; your help will be more of a disturbance to the bird. You will make him more hectic and crazy. He will lose all consciousness if you try to help in that moment. And this is how I have to watch. Many times you come to me and you are so unsettled, so confused, that if I start helping you right now it will confuse you more. I have to wait until you settle, the confusion settles a little, things drop back into the unconscious. By coming to me everybody becomes unsettled. It has to be so because you are entering a totally new way of life.
It is as if a house was closed for many years and then you open the door. For years dust has settled in the house. You enter the door and the dust is stirred, and everything becomes cloudy and confused. When you come to me you open a door in your own house that you have closed for many years or many lives; much dust has settled there. When you open the door and a new wind starts blowing, everything is stirred. Everybody who comes to me becomes confused, more confused than he ever was. But this is natural. If in that confusion you escape from me, you have escaped a very potential situation.
Many escape. They think that because of me they have become unsettled. No, because of me they have entered their own unconscious. Of course, dust has arisen, the mind has become cloudy; one doesn’t know where one is, what one is. The old identity is lost. A trembling, a feverish state – and you want me to help you immediately. Of course, you think you need help immediately, but if I do something immediately that will stir more dust in you. I will have to postpone a little. I will console you, but I will not do anything. I will promise you, but I will not do anything. I have to be a liar many times because of you; otherwise you won’t be able to understand. I can help you only when the bird has settled, then something can be done. Now the bird is in a situation where something can be of help.
The Sufi waited until the bird settled near the only open window of the chamber, and then suddenly clapped his hands. The bird has settled near the window. Now the bird is not so crazy about getting out. When you are too crazy about enlightenment it is not possible. When you are obsessed about meditation it is not possible. When you settle a little, everything becomes possible. When you are in a fever, the first thing is to help you to come out of the fever. Right now nothing else can be done. No other training, no other discipline, is possible right now.
So whenever people come to me, I tell them, “Just rest for a few days, settle, feel yourself at home.” Then I can clap my hands. The Sufi – what did he do? Then he: …suddenly clapped his hands. Afraid, scared, shocked, the bird flew out of the window.
Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window, to freedom. Then Bahauddin said: “To him that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, do you not agree?” He asked the kind-hearted man, “What is the attitude of the bird? The clapping of my hands must have been a shock, but that was the only way to help him. It was hard, it must have been an affront, but only through it did the bird achieve freedom. Now he is high in the sky, flying. Now he will be feeling thankful toward me. When I clapped my hands, the bird must have felt angry, the bird must have felt that I am hard, an enemy. The bird was scared, but now, when the bird is on the wing and enjoying the sky again, totally free, now he can be thankful toward me, now he can feel grateful.”
Many times I will hurt you. Many times I have already hurt you. Many times you will be shocked. Many times you will see the enemy in me, not the friend. But this is how it is – naturally. I don’t expect anything else right now; it is not possible for you. But when you are on the wing, moving into the infinite sky, then you will understand those hurts, that I had to hurt you. They were not because I was hard; they were the only way to help you. Only then will you feel grateful.
It happened…

In a Zen monastery in China, a master was celebrating his master’s enlightenment day. His master was dead. In China, a disciple celebrates the enlightenment day of his master only if he is an initiated disciple, otherwise not.
People of the nearby villages gathered and they asked the master who was celebrating his master’s enlightenment day, “Why are you celebrating? We never heard that you were ever accepted by the master or initiated. Rather, on the contrary, the rumor goes that when you asked to be initiated he rejected you, you were thrown out. So why are you celebrating?”
The master laughed and he said, “Because he rejected me – that’s why. His rejecting was the initiation, but at that time I couldn’t understand it. Had he accepted me, I would not have been enlightened so soon. He rejected me out of deep compassion, and his very rejection was the initiation; in his very rejection he accepted me.
“He said, ‘You don’t need it.’ He said, ‘Go away, as far away as possible from me, otherwise you will make a prison out of me.’ And when he rejected me I felt very hurt; I carried the wound for years. And the wound was so painful that I never tried with any other master. I became so afraid. I simply moved to the forest and started sitting on my own. If this compassionate man had rejected me, who would accept me? This was the last shelter and the doors had closed. Now there was no shelter for me.
“Feeling unworthy, wounded, hurt, I moved. I never tried, I never knocked on any other master’s door again. I became so scared. But sitting silently, not doing anything, because I didn’t know what to do –the master had rejected me, he had not given me any method, any technique, nothing – feeling lonely, remaining lonely, in the beginning it was sad, in the beginning it was negative. In the beginning I was continuously feeling the rejection. But by and by, sitting silently, the rejection disappeared, sadness disappeared, because how long can you be sad? It comes, it goes.
“By and by loneliness disappeared: I became alone. And by and by I started to feel that maybe the master had rejected me just to throw me into my aloneness there in that forest. Maybe he had said that no method was needed – you just sit silently; maybe he had rejected me so that I wouldn’t start clinging to him. By and by the wound was no longer there, it healed, and I started feeling deep love for the master. By and by, the love became trust, and one day suddenly I realized and laughed loudly, a belly laugh, because this master was something strange; he had initiated me through his rejection. That’s why I am celebrating his enlightenment day. I am his disciple. He initiated me through rejection. I have been initiated, I am his disciple, I am enlightened because of him. It would have been cruel had he accepted me.”

Subtle are the ways, and you cannot judge with your crude criteria. Your criteria are just on the surface. Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window, to freedom. Bahauddin said: “To him that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, do you not agree?”
And I ask the same to you: Do you not agree? If you feel that the agreement is difficult that means the ego is strong. If you feel that agreement comes, flows into your being, then the ego is not strong. And you cannot have anything from me until you die – don’t you agree?
Enough for today.

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