Vedanta Seven Steps to Samadhi 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 17 discourses - Vedanta Seven Steps to Samadhi by Osho.
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Contemplating you floods me with a deep ecstasy, and I feel the grace. You say you are not doing anything to create this ecstasy in us, but it is for sure that I also am not doing anything. Then from where is this bliss coming and how is it happening if neither you nor I are doing anything? Is it possible for you to explain more about the mystery of it? What is this phenomenon which we call grace?
It can happen only when neither the disciple nor the master is doing anything; it can happen only in a nondoing, absolute nondoing, because grace is not something you can do anything about. You can simply be receptive, open, that’s all. Nothing positively can be done about it. It is already flowing – the whole existence is filled with grace.
You are closed, and the more you do something, the more you will become closed – because every effort gives you a more egocentric feeling; whatsoever you do creates your ego. You feel I am doing something – and whenever you do something you start thinking of the future, of the result. You start expecting.
So two things happen: firstly, whatsoever you do becomes a food for the ego; secondly, whatsoever you do leads you into the future, then you are not here and now. And these both are the barriers. One thing: you must be here and now, and you must not be – you must not be – an ego. Then you are open, and whenever you are open the grace is already flowing; it has been flowing forever. If you are not getting it, it is not something that you can get by doing. The more you do, the more it will be impossible for you to get it.
The whole effort of the master is to teach you nondoing, nonaction. Or in other words, the whole effort of the master is to take you back – to teach you how to die, how to throw the ego completely, and how to be in a state of nothingness, a state of nonbeing. Buddha called that state anatta, the state of no-self: you are but you are not a self. Then there is no boundary to it, then there is no barrier around you, then all the doors are open – then life can flow, come and go, through you. Grace is not something special that is going to happen to you: grace is the very existence itself, it is grace-filled. The blessing is showering on you.

I will tell you one Buddhist anecdote – it happened in Buddha’s time. One of Buddha’s great disciples, Manjushree, was sitting under a tree meditating. Then suddenly he became aware that flowers were dropping from the tree, many flowers showering. But he was surprised because it was not the season for the flowers, and just in the morning when he had come there was not a single flower on the tree – so where were these millions of flowers showering all around coming from?
So he looked at the tree. Then he was even more mystified, because they were not coming from the tree, they were showering from the sky. So he asked, “Who is doing this? What is happening?”
A voice was heard, “We are the deities, and we are happy that you have attained, and just to express our happiness we are showering these flowers.”
Manjushree said, “What have I attained? I have attained nothing. Rather, on the contrary, I have lost myself. There is no attainment because there is no one who can attain now. This very afternoon I have died.”
The voice said, “We are celebrating your death, because your death is the birth of a new life. You have died, Manjushree, but for the first time you are born.”
More and more flowers showered. Somebody reported to Buddha, “Some-thing has happened. Manjushree is sitting there and flowers go on showering.”
Buddha said, “For the first time Manjushree is not there, that’s why flowers are showering. Up till now Manjushree was there; just today he has disappeared. He has attained the state of no-self, anatta – that’s why flowers are showering.”

These flowers are just symbolic, they indicate grace. This voice is symbolic, no one had said anything. The flowers that were showering there were not those you can see, but invisible flowers. The whole existence celebrates it when you disappear – the whole existence feels blissful. When you are there, you are like a wound – the whole existence suffers with you.
I am trying only one thing – I am not doing anything – to make you filled with bliss. But that cannot be done. Only one thing can be done, and that is to help you to disappear, to help you not to be. And whenever, even for a single moment, you are not there, flowers will start showering. When Manjushree is not there, flowers have always showered.
I am not doing anything, I have never done anything with you. You are doing something. When you also stop, growth happens. When you also drop doing, suddenly the ego disappears. You are not ill; you have become whole and healthy. And whenever you are whole you have become holy.
Both the words come from the same root. The word holy doesn’t mean anything more than becoming whole. Whenever you are whole you are holy. And you cannot be whole with the ego, because ego consists of division. Ego creates a split, you divide yourself. When the ego disappears divisions disappear. So the whole effort is how to make you effortless, and the whole doing is how to bring you to a point where doing ceases, is no more.
Grace has been flowing always, that is already the case. It is there right now, flowing around you, but you don’t give a door to it. All your windows are closed, all your doors are closed; you are closed, imprisoned in yourself, you don’t allow any winds to blow. These meditations we are doing are just to help you to drop all doing.
It is said that once Milarepa, a Tibetan mystic, asked his master, Naropa, “Following you, listening to you, I have dropped everything. But still nothing has happened.”
Naropa laughed and said, “Drop this also – that you have dropped everything. Drop this also, don’t say it any more, because this again is a clinging: I have dropped everything. But the ‘I’ has remained, and the dropping itself has been converted into doing. The doer has remained.”

One man, a great king, came once to Buddha. In one hand he had brought many flowers; in the other hand he had brought a very rare, valuable diamond. And he had brought both because he thought, “Maybe Buddha will not like the diamond; then I will give these flowers, put these flowers at his feet.”
He came, both hands were full; in one hand the great diamond, in the other, flowers. First he tried to put the diamond at Buddha’s feet. Buddha said, “Drop it!” He thought, “He has rejected the diamond,” so he dropped it on the ground. Then he tried to put the flowers and Buddha said, “Drop it!” so he dropped those flowers also. Then there was nothing to give him as a present, so with both hands joined in namaskar, he tried to put his head at Buddha’s feet. And Buddha said, “Drop it!” Then he was in a puzzle – what to do? How to drop this head?
Buddha started laughing and he said, “Those things were useless – you can drop the diamond, that is not of any significance; you can drop the flowers, that is not of much significance – unless you drop yourself. And those two droppings, those two orders, were just to prepare you so that you can learn dropping. Now the ultimate has come. Drop yourself!”

And there cannot be anything else before a buddha. What can you give as a present? Flowers, diamonds are meaningless – unless you give yourself, unless you become the offering.
I am not doing anything; you are still doing – that’s why there is a problem. Whenever one of you drops doing and becomes just like me, not doing anything, suddenly the happening, suddenly flowers will start showering. When Manjushree disappeared…. Flowers had always been showering there at that tree, only Manjushree could not see them. When he disappeared he could see.

The second question:
We can practice right behavior, and behavior according to duty, but then we will be wearing false faces, as we are inwardly, as you say, a madhouse. So should we act as we feel, or act as we ought?
The first thing to be understood: you have to be authentic to yourself – sincere, honest. But that doesn’t mean that you have to hurt others through your honesty and sincerity, that doesn’t mean that you have to disturb others, that doesn’t mean that you have to disturb the rules of the game. All relationships are just rules of the game, and many times you will have to act and wear masks, false faces. The only thing to remember is: don’t become the mask. Use it if it is good, and keep the rules, but don’t become the mask, don’t get identified. Act it, don’t get identified with it.
This is a great problem, particularly in the West for the new generation. They have heard too much; they have already been seduced by this idea: be sincere and be honest. This is good, but you don’t know how cunning and destructive the mind is. Your mind can find excuses. You can say a truth, not because you love truth so much but just to hurt somebody; you can use it as a weapon. And if you are using it as a weapon it is not truth, it is worse than a lie.
Sometimes you can help somebody through a lie, and sometimes relationship becomes more easy through a lie. Then use it – but don’t get identified with it. What I am saying is: Be a good player, learn the rules of the game; don’t be too adamant about anything.
It happened:

I came back from the university and my father and my mother were worried; they were worried about me, about what I was going to do. They were worried about my marriage. So my father started sending messages through his friends asking my opinion whether I was ready to get married or not. So I told his friends, “This is between me and my father, don’t you come in. Tell my father that he can ask me.”
And he was afraid, because I have never said no to him for anything. So he was afraid, he was afraid because I would not say no. Even if I didn’t want to be married I would say yes – that was the worry in his mind. Even if I didn’t want to get into a householder’s life, I would not say no, I would say yes. And that yes would be false. So what to do? He couldn’t ask me – he has not asked yet – because he knew well that I would not break any rule. I would have said yes.
Then he tried through my mother. She asked me one night; she came to my bed, sat there, and asked me what I thought about marriage. So I said, “I have not married yet, so I have no experience. You know well, you have the experience, so you tell me. Take fifteen days: think over it, contemplate, and if you feel you have achieved something through it, then just order me. I will follow the order. Don’t ask about my opinion – I have none, because I have no experience. You are experienced. If you were again given a chance, would you get married?”
She said, “You are trying to confuse me.”
I said, “You take your time, at your own ease. I will wait for two weeks, then you order me. I will just follow…because I don’t know.”
So for two weeks she was worried. She could not sleep, because she knew if she said to marry I would obey. Then she would be responsible, not I. So after two weeks she said, “I am not going to say anything, because if I look to my own experience, then I would not like you to move into that life. But I cannot say anything now.”

So this is how I remained unmarried. Sincerely, authentically, I was not ready to marry, I was not intending it at all. But I could have acted. And nothing is wrong, because every experience helps you to grow. No-marriage helps, marriage also helps; there is not much difference. Everything helps you to grow in its own way.
The one thing to remember is: life is a great complexity. You are not alone here, there are many others related to you. Be sincere unto yourself, never be false there. Know well what you want, and for yourself remain that. But there are others also; don’t unnecessarily hurt them. And if you need to wear masks, wear them and enjoy them, but remember, they are not your original face, and be capable of taking them off any moment. Remain the master, don’t become the slave; otherwise you can be violent through your sincerity, unnecessarily you can be violent.
I have seen persons who are cruel, violent, aggressive, sadistic – but sincere, very true, authentic. But they are using their authenticity just for their sadism. They want to make others suffer, and their trick is such that you cannot escape them. They are true, so you cannot say, “You are bad.” They are good people, they are never bad, so no one can say to them, “You are bad.” They are always good, and they do the bad through their good.
Don’t do that, and don’t take life too seriously. Nothing is wrong in masks also, faces also. Just as in the drama on the stage they use faces and enjoy and the audience also enjoys, why not enjoy them in real life also? It is not more than a drama. But I am not saying for you to be dishonest. Be sincere with yourself, don’t get identified. But life is great; there are many around you related in many invisible nets. Don’t hurt anybody.

I will tell you one anecdote. It happened, Buddha became enlightened, and then he came back to his town after twelve years. He had escaped one night from his house without even telling his wife that he was leaving. He had gone to her room. She was sleeping with Buddha’s child, the only child, who was just a few days old.
Buddha wanted to touch the small child, to feel, to love and embrace, but then he thought, “If the wife is awakened she may start crying and weeping and may create a mess. The whole house will gather, and then it will be difficult to leave.” So he simply escaped from the door; he just looked in and escaped like a coward. Then for twelve years he never came back.
After twelve years, when he had become enlightened, he came back. His chief disciple was Ananda. Ananda was his elder cousin-brother, and before he took initiation with Buddha he had asked for a few promises. He took sannyas, he took initiation from Buddha, but he was older than Buddha, “So,” he said, “before I take initiation give me some promises as your elder brother, because once I have been initiated you will be the master and I will be the disciple. Then I cannot ask anything. Now I can even order you.”
These are the rules of the game. So Buddha said, “Okay.” He was enlightened, and this unenlightened man was saying, “I am your elder brother.” So Buddha said, “Okay. What do you want?”
He said, “Three promises. One: I will always be with you, you cannot send me anywhere else; wherever you go I will be your shadow. Second: even in the night when you sleep in a room I can come in and out – even while you are asleep. No rules will apply to me. And third: even at midnight when you are asleep, if I bring someone, a seeker, you will have to answer his questions.”
Buddha said, “Okay. You are my elder brother, so I promise.” Then Ananda took initiation, then he become a disciple, and Buddha followed these three things his whole life.
When he came back to his home, he said to Ananda, “Just make one exception, Ananda. My wife Yashodhara has been waiting for twelve years. She is bound to be very angry, and she is a very proud woman. Twelve years is a long time, and I have not been a good husband to her. I escaped from her like a coward, I didn’t even tell her. And I know that if I had told her she would have accepted it because she loves me so much, but I couldn’t gather the courage.
“Now after twelve years, if you come with me when I go to meet my wife, she will feel even worse. She will think that this is a trick; that I have brought you with me so that she cannot express her mind, her suppressed anger, and the many things of these twelve years. And she will behave in a ladylike way, because she belongs to a very good family, a royal family. She will not even cry, no tears will come to her eyes; she will keep the rules of the game. So please, Ananda, only one exception I ask you, and I will never ask any other exception. You just wait outside.”
Ananda said, “Bhante, I think you are enlightened. You are no longer a husband and she is no longer a wife, so why play this game?”
Buddha said, “I am enlightened, she is not. I am no longer a husband, but she is still a wife, and I don’t want to hurt her. Let her keep her mind a little while and I will persuade her. I will persuade her to take a jump and become a sannyasin. But give me a chance. I am enlightened, she is not.”
So Buddha went inside the palace. Of course, Yashodhara was mad. She started saying things; she was angry, crying, weeping, tears coming down, and Buddha stood there, silent, listening to everything patiently, with deep compassion. When all her anger was out she looked at Buddha; when her tears were no more there in her eyes then she looked at Buddha. Then she realized that this man was no longer a husband and she had been talking to a ghost of her memory. The man who left her was no more there. This was totally a different man.
She surrendered, and she said to Buddha, “Why have you come? You are no longer a husband.”
Buddha repeated again, “I may not be a husband, but you are still a wife, and I have come to help you so that you can also transcend this misery, this relationship, this world.”

Others are there, consider them, and don’t try to be violent through so-called good things. So when it is said, “right conduct,” it means right relationship with others. You need not be false. When you can be true without hurting anybody, be true. But if you feel that your truth is going to hurt many and is unnecessary, it can be avoided, then avoid it, because it is not only going to hurt others, it will create patterns of cause, and those causes will return as effects on you, they will become your karmas. Then you will get entangled, and the more entangled you are the more you will have to behave in wrong ways.
Just stop. Just see the situation. If you can be true without hurting anybody, be true. To me, love is greater than truth. Be loving. And if you feel that your truth will be hurtful and violent, it is better to lie than to be true. Wait for the right moment when you can be true, and help the other person to come to such a state where your truth will not hurt him. Don’t be in a hurry.
And life is a big drama; don’t take it too seriously – because seriousness is also a disease of the mind, seriousness is part of the ego. Be playful, don’t be too serious. So sometimes you will have to use masks, because there are children around you and they like masks, they like false faces, and they enjoy. Help them to grow so they can face the real face, they can encounter it. But before they can encounter it, don’t create any trouble. Right conduct is just consideration for others.
And look: there is a great difference. You may misunderstand what I am saying. When you lie, you lie for yourself. And I am saying: if you need, and if you feel the need to lie, only lie for the consideration of others. Never lie for yourself, don’t use any mask for yourself. But if you feel it is going to help others, it will be good for them, use the mask. And inside remain alert that this is just a game you are acting, this is not real.
Sometimes you may need to be angry to your child, to your son, to your daughter. There are situations when anger helps. If you say something to your child coldly, it is not loving. If you say to your child, “Don’t do this,” in a cold manner, it is not loving, it is not going to help. When you say, “Don’t do this!” to your child in anger, deep anger, it reaches the child, and he feels that you love him, that’s why you are angry.
A father who has never been angry with his son has never been loving; anger means that you consider him, you can even be angry. You love him, you feel for him. Sometimes even when you are not feeling angry but you see the need, show the anger, have the face of anger – but remain the master. And if you are the master, then the faces are beautiful, you can use them. But don’t become the face; if you become the face you have become the slave. The whole thing is not to get identified. Remain aloof, distant, and capable at any time to put it on and off – the face is just a device. It will be difficult and complex. It is easy to be untrue, it is easy to be true. The most difficult thing is to be the master of yourself to such an extent that if you want to be untrue you can be untrue, and if you want to be true you can be true.
Gurdjieff’s disciples have written many books about him, and every disciple describes him in a different way. This is very mysterious, it has never happened with any other person in that way. Sometimes it happened that a person went to see Gurdjieff, then left, and then his friend went to see him. They would report to each other and would both give a different picture.
Gurdjieff was a master of changing faces. It is said that he had become so capable that a person sitting by his right side would feel one thing, and a person sitting by his left side would feel differently. He may have been very loving with his left eye, and that half-face was showing love, and with the other side he may have been angry. And both persons would report to each other outside: “What type of man is this? He was so loving.” The other would say, “You are in some illusion…because he was so angry.”
That is possible and such a mastery is beautiful. It is said that no one reported Gurdjieff’s real face, because he never showed anybody his real face. He was always acting, but helping in a way; in many ways he was helping. He would show you the face that was needed by you for your consideration; he would never show you the face that was not needed by you.
To me, and to the Upanishads also, right conduct means just the right rules of behavior with others. You are not going to be here forever. You cannot change the whole world, you cannot change everybody; you can at the most change yourself. So it is better to change yourself inwardly, and don’t try to be in a continuous fight with everybody. Avoid fight – and faces can be helpful. Avoid unnecessary struggle, because that dissipates energy. Preserve your energy to be used for the inner work. And that work is so significant and it needs all your energy that you can give to it, so don’t waste it in unnecessary things.
For the outside world remain an actor, and don’t think that you are deceiving anybody. If they like deception, that’s what they need, that’s what should be given to them. If children like toys to play with, you are not deceiving them. Don’t give them a real gun; let them play with the toy gun, because they like the toy. And don’t think that the toy gun is false; don’t think, “I must be true, I must give a real gun to the child. If he needs a gun, then I must give the true thing. How can I give the toy? This is a deception.”
But the child needs the toy, there is no deception; he doesn’t need the real gun. So just look at the other, at what he needs, and give him that which he needs. Don’t give out of your own consideration, give out of consideration for him. Look at him, study and observe him, and behave in such a way that will be helpful to him and will not be unnecessary trouble for you. This is all that is meant by right conduct.

The third question:
Though we can be aware of anger and refrain from hurting others with it, inner anger seems to remain in a dormant state, and at times it becomes aroused by outer happenings. It doesn't seem possible to entirely throw it as it is deep-rooted in early, wrong training, and a lifetime of struggle in the world. Isn't the total disappearance of anger simultaneous with enlightenment? Does an enlightened one ever have any anger?
The first thing: if you feel angry and if you think that it is needed for it to be suppressed, suppress it for the time being – because it is useless just to be angry with someone and then create a chain. Then he will be angry and then more anger will be created, and this can continue even for lives. Everything has a continuity of cause and effect; it becomes a chain.
So if you feel anger and you see it is going to be destructive to you and to the other person, smile, have a false face. And move to your room, close the doors, take your pillow and beat it. Write the name of the person on the pillow and do whatsoever you wanted to do with the person. Don’t suppress it in the system because that is too dangerous. Anger is poison, and when the body is ready to fight the blood is filled with poison – you have to act it out. If you don’t act it out, if you don’t go through a catharsis then you will have to suffer for it. It may become a physical disease, it may cripple your body, and it may poison your relationships – because you were not angry, but the anger was there.
Your boss insulted you and you couldn’t reply to him, so you will come home and you will find some excuse to get angry with the wife. And you will think that she has done something wrong, but that is just rationalization; you wanted someone who is weaker than you, to whom you can be the boss. You will throw the anger on the wife, and she will wait for the child to come back from the school. Suppressed anger finds outlet towards the weaker person. She will wait for the child to come and she will find something – and you can always find something, there is no problem. She can say, “Why are your clothes dirty?” They have always been dirty; every day he comes with dirty clothes from the school. He is a child, not an old man – he doesn’t care about clothes. He can play with the dirt; that is more valuable than those clothes. Then the mother is going to beat the child. And what is the child supposed to do? He will go, take his dog and beat it, or throw his book into the street, or do something that he can do. This way anger goes on moving and moving, it creates ripples, and a single phenomenon becomes multidimensional, unnecessarily.
So I say to you, there is no need to be angry with the person by whom anger has come into you – there is no need. But there is no need to suppress it also. Express it in the vacuum. Have a room in your home, your meditation room, so whatsoever happens, go in that room and do it. And you will enjoy it so much, you cannot imagine; the whole exercise is so beautiful. In the beginning it will look absurd, but soon you will get into it and you will enjoy it. And the pillow is not going to answer, the pillow is not going to create any chain. Rather, on the contrary, the pillow will be very happy that you related with it.
Never suppress, but never create chains – this is the rule. Remember not to suppress, and remember not to create any chain. Once you learn the art you can be free of all these madnesses which come into you, without creating any disturbance in life. Every day catharsis is needed. Life is complex, and many things come into the mind which have to be thrown. That’s why I emphasize Dynamic Meditation so much. You don’t know what you are doing here. When you get into it you are doing all sorts of things. Somebody is throwing anger, somebody is throwing jealousy, somebody throwing hatred, somebody throwing his sadness, screaming – the whole life of misery is being thrown in it.
Make it a point every day: just as you clean your body every day, clean your mind. This is a bath for the mind. Throw everything, but don’t throw upon anybody; that is violence. Throw it into the vacuum. And the vacuum is big enough, the space is big enough. Don’t you get worried about what will happen to the pillow, what will happen to the space – nothing is going to happen, all that you throw into it is absorbed. And then it never replies to you, there is no chain created. The act simply ends, no karma is created through it. Do things in such a way that no future is created through them.
Whatsoever has happened to you, relief is needed, you need that it should be thrown out, but don’t throw it on persons. If you can remember that, soon you will realize that it was absolute foolishness to throw it on persons when it could be thrown just on a pillow. And the same relaxation is felt – even more, because whenever you throw on a person you will feel repentance in the end. You will feel bad, you will feel that you have not done good; then you will feel that it would have been better if you had not done it. But now nothing can be done, and you cannot undo something which has happened. Whatsoever you do, it is there now, you cannot wash it away. There is no way, because you cannot move to the past; it will remain always there.
That’s what Hindus have called the theory of karma: whatsoever you do will remain and will have its influence on your future. A catharsis is necessary, and every day it is necessary unless you have become enlightened, then you don’t gather the past. Now you gather, you collect dust. Throw it every day. In the night, every day for one hour, just throw the past, the whole day. Whatsoever has been done to you and you have done to others, or you wanted to do with others…emotions, anger, hate – many things are there – drop them before you go to sleep.
In the West sleep has become a problem, and in the East also it is becoming a problem. And the problem is only this: you don’t know how to get rid of the day. It follows you, it continues in the mind, and you cannot stop it. You cannot stop unless you throw it. Whosoever is suffering from insomnia should try this dynamic meditation in the night. Just before going to sleep have an inner bath; throw everything and then go to sleep. You will feel like a child again – innocent, unburdened. Sleep will be totally different, the quality will change. But don’t suppress – express. But don’t express to persons.

The fourth question:
Can love be taught? Can one be schooled in love? Can one without heart learn to have heart?
No one is without heart. You have the heart, but a nonfunctioning heart; it is there, but not functioning. It is there as a seed, it has not grown. Love cannot be taught, but situations can be created where the heart can grow; and when the heart grows love grows. Situations are needed. Love cannot be taught like mathematics. Mathematics can be directly taught, it is informative; love cannot be taught that way, it is not simply information. You have to grow, you have to change – but situations can be created.
In old Eastern universities – Nalanda, Taxila – there were many situations created where love became possible. For example, children were not taught under the roofs, in the rooms; they were always taught under the trees, in the shade of the trees. Have you ever felt any difference? Sit by the side of a concrete wall, and then go out, close your eyes, sit under a tree, your back in contact with the tree, and feel the difference. With a concrete wall you can feel only death just behind you, everything dead – and a dead situation makes you dead. Under a living tree in the open, where sunrays are dancing and where flowers are blooming, where the breeze will come and the tree will dance, sitting there under the tree you can feel the vibration of life. The more vibrations of life you feel, the more your heart will start functioning. Play with children and you will feel that you have become younger. One of the secrets of remaining always young is to play with children, because when you play with children you forget that you are old.
There have been many experiments. I was reading about one experiment in an Oxford laboratory. One woman who was eighty years old and almost blind, ninety percent blind, was hypnotized. In hypnosis it was suggested to her that her age was regressing, by and by she was becoming younger, then she was becoming a child again. Then the hypnotist suggested, “Now you are only eight years old” – from eighty to eight. And then the hypnotist said, “Now open your eyes.”
She opened her eyes; a book was given to her. It had been impossible for her to read anything, but she simply started reading and she said, “My eyes are so young and fresh.” Just the idea that she was now eight years old, not eighty but eight years old, changed the whole pattern of the eyes.
In England there are almost eight hundred people who have gone beyond the age of one hundred. So there was a report: an interviewer went to ask many of these old persons, these centenarians, how they could live so long. Many answers were given, but I liked one the best, and it may be the key. One old man who was one hundred and twenty said, “I am still interested in young girls.” That may be the key. If a person of one hundred and twenty is still interested in young girls, he can live long.
It is written in old scriptures that in India, whenever a king became old, it was suggested by the wise men that he should sleep in the night with a young girl on each side. You may be one hundred and twenty, but if a girl of twenty years falls in love with you, you cannot remain one hundred and twenty – immediately something, regression, happens. Play with children and you will be younger; sit with old men, listen to their talk and you will feel you are dead, already dead. Your mind depends on many things; situations help.
Bernard Shaw, in his old age, changed his home from London to a village. He was then ninety, and somebody asked, “Why have you changed to this village? Why have you chosen this village?”
He said, “I was walking one day in the cemetery of this village, and there I saw one stone. It was written on that stone, on somebody’s stone, that this man was born in 1800 and died in 1900, and it was written that this man died untimely, when he was only one hundred years of age. So,” Bernard Shaw said, “this village is good to live in, because people here think that death at one hundred years is untimely death. This is a good milieu for living a long time.” He really lived a long time.
Love cannot be taught; you cannot be given a book to read about love. But a situation, a more natural milieu, birds, trees, animals, where you feel life more, will help you to grow into your heart dimension. Persons who love are needed near you, because love is infectious. When a loving person comes near you…you may have been sad before, but when he comes – blissful, loving – suddenly the sadness disappears as if a cloud has moved and the sun has become visible. You feel it. Sit with someone who is sad; within minutes you will feel a sadness gathering in you. We are not like islands, we are joined together, so everyone influences everybody else.
A loving milieu is needed to teach love. In our schools, colleges, universities, there is no loving milieu. The teacher is not related at all. Just because of the traditions of the old days, in India the vice-chancellor is never called the vice-chancellor, he is called kulapati, the head of the family. There were ten thousand students in Nalanda, and the head of the family, the vice-chancellor, knew every student by his face and name. He knew everybody – ten thousand students. When someone was ill and when someone was okay, he would go and see. He loved his students, he knew them by name. He was really the “head of the family.” Just traditionally in India they still go on calling the vice-chancellor kulapati.
I was in a university, and I asked the kulapati, “What type of kulapati are you? What type of head of the family are you? You don’t know even a single student by name – no personal relationships, you are not related at all. You may be an administrator but you are not a head of the family.” The teacher has to be a loving father; only through love can love be taught. If you love a child you are teaching love to him.
I was reading a letter somebody wrote to me. The woman who wrote the letter belongs to a theosophical family, very religious. She wrote to me, “When-ever there was any problem in the family, any sadness, any anger, any conflict, my mother would give me a book and she would say, ‘Go and look in it.’ The Philosophy of Divine Love, or The Art of Love – but nobody loved me ever; they would always give me books to read. So I would read the books, but I never felt what love is.”
Love cannot be taught in that way; a milieu has to be created. The teacher, the family, the society, must be loving; only then a child learns how to love. Many experiments have been done. A child can be brought up without the mother, or without the mother’s breast. He will grow, he will be healthy, but he will become incapable of love. If the mother has not loved him, if he has not been breastfed, if he has not felt the warmth of his mother’s body, if he has not been touched lovingly, he will not be able to love anybody, his sensitivity will never grow.
So I know love cannot be taught, but still I say it has to be taught. And by teaching love I mean create a milieu, an atmosphere where love can grow, where heart can start functioning. And remember, you are with a heart, but a nonfunctioning heart. It is there waiting to function, and when it starts functioning you will be totally a different person.

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