Talks on Ashtavakra Samhita
Talks given from 11/09/1976 - 20/09/1976
Original in Hindi
Book Chapters : 10
Year published : 1993
Source: www.osho.com and www.oshoworld.com
[NOTE: This discourse is in the process of being edited for publication. It is for reference use only.]
Chapter No. 5 - No Title
14 September 1976 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
"O SON, LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CAUGHT IN THE NOOSE OF BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS. CUT THIS NOOSE WITH THE SWORD OF KNOWING 'I AM AWARENESS' AND BE HAPPY. THAT WHICH IS BORN, REMAINS, INCREASES, CHANGES, DETERIORATES AND PERISHES: YOU ARE NOT THAT. YOU ARE ALONE, VOID OF ACTION, SELF-ILLUMINATED AND INNOCENT. YOUR BONDAGE IS THIS: THAT YOU PRACTICE SAMADHI (MEDITATION).
"THIS UNIVERSE IS PERMEATED BY YOU, IT IS STRUNG ON THE THREAD OF YOU. IN REALITY YOU ARE PURE CONSCIOUSNESS BY NATURE, DO NOT BECOME SMALL-MINDED. YOU ARE UNCONCERNED, UNCHANGING, VOID OF FORM, OF COOL DISPOSITION, FATHOMLESS INTELLIGENCE, UNPERTURBED. THUS HAVE FAITH ONLY IN CONSCIOUSNESS.
"KNOW THAT WHICH HAS FORM IS FALSE, AND KNOW THE FORMLESS AS UNCHANGEABLE AND EVERLASTING. FROM THIS TEACHING OF THE TRUTH IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO BE BORN IN THE WORLD AGAIN. JUST AS A MIRROR IS THE SAME INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE REFLECTED IN IT, GOD IS THE SAME INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THIS BODY. JUST AS THE ONE ALL-PERVADING SKY IS THE SAME INSIDE AND OUTSIDE A POT, THE ETERNAL EVERLASTING BRAHMA IS THE SAME IN ALL THINGS."
The first sutra: Ashtavakra said, "O son, long have you been caught in the noose of body-consciousness. Cut this noose with the sword of knowing 'I am awareness' and be happy."
In Ashtavakra's vision -- and this is the purest vision, the ultimate vision -- bondage is only a belief, bondage is not real.
There is an episode in Ramakrishna's life.... For his whole life he had been worshipping Mother Kali, but at the very end he began to feel, "It is duality; the experience of oneness has still not happened. It is lovely, delightful, but two still remains two." Someone loves a woman, someone loves money, someone politics; he loved Ma Kali -- but love still was divided in two. Still the ultimate nonduality hadn't happened and he was in anguish. He began looking out for a nondualist, a Vedantist -- for some person to come who could show him the path.
A paramahansa named Totapuri was passing. Ramakrishna invited him to stop with him and asked, "Help me to have darshan of the one."
Totapuri said, "What's difficult in that? You believe there are two, so there are two. Drop the belief!"
Ramakrishna replied, "But dropping this belief is very difficult -- I have lived with it my whole life. When I close my eyes the image of Kali is standing there. I drown in that nectar. I forget that I am to become one; as soon as I close my eyes there are two. When I try to meditate, it becomes dual. Help me out of this!"
So Totapuri said, "Try this: when the image of Kali is before you, pick up a sword and cut her in two."
Ramakrishna said, "Where will I find a sword?"
What Totapuri said is the same as what is said in Ashtavakra's sutra. Totapuri said, "From where did you bring this Kali image? -- bring a sword from the same place. She too is imaginary. She too is an embellishment of your imagination. Through nurturing it for your whole life, through continuously projecting it for your whole life, it has become crystalized. It is just imagination. Not everyone sees Kali when they close their eyes."
After years of effort a Christian closes his eyes, and Christ comes to him. A devotee of Krishna closes his eyes and Krishna comes to him. A lover of Buddha closes his eyes and Buddha comes to him. A lover of Mahavira closes his eyes and Mahavira comes to him. Christ doesn't come to a Jaina, Mahavira doesn't come to a Christian: only the image you project will come. Ramakrishna's effort was with Kali, and the image became almost solid. It became so real from constant repetition, from continuous remembering, that it seemed Kali was standing in from of him. No one was standing there.
Consciousness is alone. There is no second here, no other.
"Just close your eyes," Totapuri said, "raise the sword and strike."
Ramakrishna closed his eyes, but as soon as he closed them his courage vanished. Raising his sword to strike Kali! -- the devotee has to raise his sword and strike God -- it was too hard.
To renounce the world is very easy. What is worth holding onto in the world? But when you have established an image deep in the mind, when you have created poetry in the mind, when the mind's dream has become manifest, then it is very difficult to renounce it. The world is like a nightmare. A dream of devotion, a dream of feeling is not a nightmare, it is a very sweet dream. How to drop it? how to break it?
Tears would start flowing from his eyes and he became ecstatic... his body would begin shaking. But he didn't raise his sword -- he would completely forget about it.
Finally Totapuri said, "I've wasted many days here. It's no good. Either you do it or I'm going to leave. Don't waste my time. Enough of this nonsense now!" That day Totapuri brought a piece of glass with him, and he said, "When you begin to be absorbed in delight, I will cut your forehead with this piece of glass. When I cut your forehead, inside gather courage, raise your sword and cut Kali in two. This is the last chance -- I am not staying any longer."
Totapuri's threat of leaving... and it is difficult to find such a master. Totapuri must have been a man like Ashtavakra. Ramakrishna closed his eyes and Kali's image appeared to him. He was about to bliss out -- tears were ready to flow from his eyes, overwhelmed, joy was coming -- he was about to become ecstatic when Totapuri held his forehead and, where the third eye chakra is, made a cut from top to bottom with the piece of glass. Blood began to stream from the cut, and this time Ramakrishna found courage. He raised the sword and cut Kali in two pieces. When Kali fell apart he became nondual: the wave dissolved in the ocean, the river fell into the ocean. It is said that he stayed immersed for six days in this ultimate silence. He was neither hungry nor thirsty -- there was no consciousness of the outside, no awareness. All was forgotten. And when he opened his eyes six days later, the first thing he said was, "The last barrier has fallen!"
This first sutra says, "O son, long have you been caught in the noose of body-consciousness." You have started believing this noose is your being. "I am the body, I am the body, I am the body!" -- you have repeated this, life after life. From this repetition we have become the body. But we are not the body. This is our misperception, this is our habit. This is our self-hypnosis, and we have believed it so deeply we have become it.
There is another episode in Ramakrishna's life.... He did the sadhanas, the spiritual practices, of all religions. He is the only person in the history of mankind who tried to attain the truth through paths of all religions. Ordinarily a person reaches by one path. When you have reached the summit of the mountain, who bothers about other paths? Do you walk the other trails up it then? Who cares? -- you have reached. The trail you came on, you came on; what's the use of walking all the others? But Ramakrishna reached to the summit of the mountain again and again, then descended. He climbed by a second path, then by a third path. He is the first person who practiced the sadhanas of all religions and attained to the same peak through all religions.
Many have talked about synthesis -- Ramakrishna is the first to create a science of synthesis. Many people have said that all religions are true, but it has just been talk. Ramakrishna made it a reality. He gave it the strength of experience, he proved it with his life. When he was doing Islamic sadhana he became a real Muslim fakir. He forgot Ramakrishna and began chanting, "Allahoo... Allahoo." He began listening to the verses of the Koran and lived right on the steps of the mosque. If he came near a temple he didn't even lift his eyes, let alone bow in greeting. He had forgotten about Kali.
In Bengal there is a sect, the sakhis. When Ramakrishna practiced the sadhana of the Sakhi sect.... The Sakhis believe that God alone is male, everyone else is female -- Krishna is God, everyone one else is his sakhi, his girlfriend -- so in the Sakhi tradition men also consider themselves women. But what happened in Ramakrishna's life had never happened in the life of any follower of the Sakhi tradition. A man can believe on the surface he is a woman, but he remains a man inside, he knows that he is a man. Members of the Sakhi sect take an idol of Krishna to bed with them -- this is their husband. But what difference does it make?
But when Ramakrishna did this sadhana something unprecedented happened -- scientists too will be surprised that such a thing happened.... He did the sadhana of the Sakhis for six months and after three months his breasts started to swell, his voice changed, he began walking like a woman, and his voice became sweet like a woman's. His breasts were growing, becoming the breasts of a woman's; the male structure of his body began to change.
This much is possible, because man too has breasts though undeveloped -- women's are developed. So it is possible that undeveloped breasts become developed, the seed does exist. Up to this point nothing great has happened. Many men's breasts become enlarged -- this is not such a great surprise. But when six months were nearly over he started menstruating. This was a miracle! To menstruate is completely against the science of the body. This had never happened to any man.
What happened during these six months? The belief "I am a woman" -- this idea became so strong, this feeling echoed so deep in his being, in every pore.... In every cell of the body it echoed: "I am a woman." No opposing feeling remained, he completely forgot about being a man; then it happened.
Ashtavakra is saying we are not bodies; it is just that we believed we were and we became bodies. Whatever we believed we became. The world is our belief. And the moment we drop beliefs we can immediately be transformed. To drop it, nothing real has to be changed, only an idea must be dropped. If we were really the body, transformation would be very difficult. We are not really the body. In reality we are hidden inside the body as consciousness -- the witness, the observer.
"O son, long have you been caught in the noose of body-consciousness. Cut this noose with the sword of knowing 'I am consciousness' and be happy." Raise the sword of awareness. "I am consciousness" -- raise this sword of understanding, chop away the idea that "I am the body," and you are happy.
All suffering is of the body. Birth, illness, old age, death -- all are of the body, and when there is identification with the body there is identification with all the pains of the body. When the body is worn out then we think "I have become worn out." When the body becomes ill we think "I have become ill." When the body approaches death we are frightened that we are dying. Beliefs... only beliefs.
I have heard that one night Mulla Nasruddin and his wife were lying in bed.... They had no children, and the wife was very eager to have a child. As they were about to fall asleep the wife said, "Listen, if we have a child where will we put him to sleep? -- because there is only one bed."
So Mulla slid a little towards the side, saying "We will put him right here between us."
And the wife said, "And then if we have a second?"
Mulla slid over a little more saying, "We can put him here also." Miserly fellow!
The wife said, "And if a third comes?"
Mulla slid over more and was just going to say "Put him right here," when he fell off the bed with a crash. His leg was broken. The neighbors gathered hearing all the noise -- he was crying loudly -- and they asked, "What happened?"
He said, "This child -- who does not yet exist -- broke my leg. And when a nonexistent child can cause so much trouble, what to say of a real one! Excuse me, but I don't want any children. This experience is enough!"
Sometimes... no, not sometimes, usually we live like this -- believing. We follow our belief, and when we follow our belief real consequences come, even if the belief is false. No child was there but a real leg was broken. The effect of the false can be real. If the false is believed deeply enough, its consequences will actually begin to happen.
Psychologists say many of the various experiences of our world are more belief than reality. A psychologist was doing experiments at Harvard University. In one, he sealed up a big bottle, carefully packed it and brought it to his classroom. Fifty students were there. He put the bottle on the table and told the students, "There is ammonia gas in this bottle. I want to do an experiment to find out how much time it takes for the smell of this gas to spread when I take the lid off. So when the smell reaches you raise your hand. As soon as you detect it raise your hand. I want to find out how many seconds it takes to reach the last row."
The students sat attentively. He opened the bottle. As soon as he opened it he quickly covered his nose with a handkerchief -- ammonia gas! He stood aside. Before two seconds had passed someone in the first row raised his hand, then a second, then a third. Then a hand came up in the second row, then the third row. In fifteen seconds the ammonia gas reached the whole class -- and there wasn't any ammonia in the bottle! The bottle was empty.
An idea -- so consequences happened. They believed it, it happened. When he said there wasn't any ammonia gas, the students said, "Whether there was or not we smelled it." The smell was projected. It was ss if the smell came from within -- there was nothing outside. They thought, so it came.
I have heard, a man was sick in the hospital and a nurse brought juice for him, orange juice. Just before she brought the juice another nurse had given him a bottle to put his urine sample in -- for testing. He enjoyed practical jokes, so he poured the orange juice into the bottle and put it aside. When the nurse came to take the bottle she was startled that it had such a strange color. The man said, "You are surprised too -- its color is rather strange. Okay, let me recycle it through the body one more time, that will fix the color" -- and he lifted the bottle to his mouth and drank the contents. They say the nurse passed out and fell over: she thought the man was drinking urine. And he had said, "... I will pass it through my body one more time and the color will be corrected, it will be put right." What kind of man is this? But it was only orange juice. If she had known it was orange juice she would not have passed out. But her becoming unconscious was real, though it came from belief.
In life you can find thousands of such incidents around you where belief has done something, where belief becomes actualized.
"I am the body" -- we have believed this for many lives, and believing it we have become the body. Believing it we have become small. Believing it we have become limited. Ashtavakra's fundamental premise is that this is self-hypnosis, auto-hypnosis. You have not become the body, you cannot become the body. There is no way to do it -- how can you become what you are not? What you are, you are right now; you only have to cut away false beliefs.
"Cut this noose with the sword of knowing 'I am awareness' and be happy." Right now awaken in joy... because all our miseries are parasites of the belief that we are the body. Buddha also dies, but does not suffer at death. Ramakrishna dies, but does not suffer at death. Raman dies, but does not suffer at death.
When Raman died he had cancer. The doctors were very surprised: it was a a very difficult illness and it caused much suffering but Raman remained the same as ever, as if the illness made no difference. It made no change at all. The doctors were disturbed. It was not possible; how could it happen? Death was at the door and the man was relaxed, unwavering. We can understand the discomfort of the doctors: so much suffering but the man was calm, unwavering. We can understand their discomfort, their reasoning, because the body appears to be all to us. One who knows that "I am not the body... death is coming but it is the death of the body. And pain is coming, that too comes to the body...." A new consciousness has manifested that stands back and watches. And this distance between the body and consciousness is as the distance between earth and sky. There is no greater distance than this. In your inner world the most distant things in existence are meeting. You are the horizon where earth and sky meet.
"That which is born, remains, increases, changes, deteriorates and perishes: you are not that." That which observes all of this.... You have seen childhood, and you also saw childhood depart: if you were your childhood then who could remember now that there was childhood? You would have disappeared with childhood. You have seen youth: you saw it come, you saw it go. If you were youth then who remembers now? You would have gone with youth. You watched youth come, you watched it go -- obviously you are other than youth. It is such a simple thing, such a clear thing. You have seen suffering, seen pain arise, seen the clouds of pain gathering around you -- and you have seen suffering depart. You have seen unhappiness, you have seen happiness. A thorn has pierced your skin, you observed pain. The thorn is removed, and now there is no pain. You saw it -- you are the seer. You stand beyond. You cannot be touched, no event can touch you. You are a lotus floating on water.
"You are alone, void of action, self-illuminated and innocent. Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi." This is an amazing, revolutionary statement. It is impossible to find such a revolutionary statement in any scripture of the world. When you understand it completely a deep gratitude arises.
Patanjali has said, "Yoga is the stopping of chitta-vritti -- projections of the mind." In Yoga it is an accepted idea that until the mind stops projecting a person cannot know himself. When all mental projections become quiet, a person can know himself.
Ashtavakra is speaking against Patanjali's sutra. Ashtavakra is saying, "You are alone, void of action, self-illuminated and innocent. Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi." Samadhi cannot be practiced, samadhi cannot be prepared for, because samadhi is your nature. Mental projections are lower states. Trying to stop them is like entering a dark house and trying to fight with darkness.
Understand this. Bring your swords, spears, staffs and start fighting with darkness; call soldiers, strong men and start pushing darkness out. Will you ever be victorious? As a definition it is accurate -- the absence of darkness is light. But understand this definition. It is true that the absence of darkness is light. It is true that the quieting of mental projections is Yoga, but don't take it the other way. The absence of darkness is light, but don't start trying to get rid of darkness. The actual situation is just the reverse: the presence of light is the absence of darkness. Light a lamp and darkness disappears by itself. Darkness does not exist -- darkness is only an absence.
Patanjali says to calm the projections of the mind and you will know your being. Ashtavakra says know your being, and projections of the mind will become quiet. Without knowing your being, projections cannot be stilled. Mental projections arise because the being is not known. If you think you are the body, desires of the body arise. If you think you are the mind, desires of the mind arise. The desires of whatever you identify with will shadow you, will reflect in you. The color of whatever you sit next to reflects on you.
It is like placing a colored stone next to a crystal: the colors of the stone will shine on the crystal. Put it with a red stone and the crystal appears red. Put it with a blue stone and the crystal appears blue. This is from the proximity. The crystal doesn't become blue, it only seems to.
Darkness only seems to be, it is not. The nonexistence of light is called darkness. Darkness has no reality of its own, no existence of its own. Don't start fighting with darkness.
Yoga and Ashtavakra's vision are opposite. Hence I say if you want to understand Ashtavakra, you should try to understand Krishnamurti -- Krishnamurti is a modern edition of Ashtavakra. What Krishnamurti says in a modern idiom, in today's language, is the essence of Ashtavakra's message. The followers of Krishnamurti think he is saying something new. There is nothing new to be said, whatever can be said has already been said. Whatever facets life can have, have all been explored somewhere. Man has been seeking from time immemorial. There is nothing new to be said under the sun; only the language changes, the packaging changes, the clothes change. New ideas change according to the times, but what Krishnamurti is saying is exactly this.
Ashtavakra's language is very ancient, Krishnamurti's language is very modern. But those who can understand a little will see that they say the same thing.
Krishnamurti says that Yoga is not needed, meditation is not needed, mantras and ascetics are not needed. All of these are practices. Practice has to be done for what is not our nature. What practice can be done to find our inner nature? Drop all practices, look into yourself and your nature will become manifest.
"You are alone, void of action, self-illuminated and innocent." Look at this declaration. Ashtavakra says you are innocent. Don't even think yourself a sinner. Let the sadhus and priests say thousands of times that you are a sinner, to cleanse yourself of sins, to repent, that you have done bad karma -- become released from it. Remember Ashtavakra's sutra: You are free of action, how can you do anything?
Ashtavakra says there are six life waves. These six waves are hunger and thirst, sadness and happiness, birth and death. Hunger and thirst are waves of the body. If there is no body there is neither hunger nor thirst. These are needs of the body. When the body is healthy hunger increases. When the body is ill hunger decreases. If the body is out in the sun, thirst increases because sweat will evaporate. There is more thirst in hot weather, less thirst in cold. These are needs of the body, these are waves of the body. Hunger and thirst are of the body; sadness and happiness are of the mind.
When someone leaves you there is unhappiness because the mind grabs hold, makes attachments. When you meet someone, a beloved, there is happiness. When a beloved leaves, unhappiness. When you meet a disagreeable person, unhappiness; when the disagreeable leaves, happiness. This the play of the mind, the play of affection and disgust, the play of attraction and repulsion.
Inside one in whom mind has ceased to exist there is no sadness, no happiness. These are waves of the mind.
And birth-death... birth and death are waves of life energy. At birth breathing starts; at death breathing stops. As soon as a baby is born the doctor is concerned that he should start breathing, start crying -- crying, because to cry he will need to breath. In the spasms of crying the breath passages will open. In the spasms of crying the closed lungs will start functioning. If the child doesn't start crying within a few seconds the doctor will hang him upside down and spank him, forcing the breath to start. Breathing is birth. Breathing means the process of life. When a man dies, breathing is finished, the process of life stops. This goes on moment to moment. As the breath comes in, life comes in. As the breath goes out, life goes out.
Birth and death are happening every second. Every incoming breath is life. Every outgoing breath is death. So life and death are happening every moment. These are waves of life energy.
Ashtavakra says these are the six waves and you are beyond these six waves, you are the observer of these.
Buddha based his whole system of meditation on the breath. Buddha said one technique is enough: go on watching the incoming and outgoing breath. What will happen from watching the breath come and go? Slowly, as you see that the outgoing breath has gone out and that the incoming breath has come in, you will find a short gap in between where the breath stops, where it neither goes out nor comes in. Between each half breath there is a momentary gap -- where breath does not flow, does not move, does not stir. It goes out, stops for a moment, then comes in. It comes in, stops for a moment, then goes out. You will begin to see a gap. In this very gap you will find that you are: this coming and going of the breath is the play of life force. And if you become capable of watching the coming and going of the breath, then the seer is separate from the breath, is other than the breath.
Our body is the outermost circumference, mind is a circle within, and life, a circle deeper within. It is possible for the body to be crippled, broken, destroyed, and still man goes on living. The mind can be split, insane, idiotic, and still man goes on living. But without breath man will not live. Remove a man's entire brain, still he will go on living -- lying in a coma, but still alive. Limbs can be cut off so only breathing remains, man goes on living. If the breath stops, even if everything else is okay, the man will die. These are the six waves, and the observer is beyond these six.
"You are alone." No one is your companion. The body is not your companion, the breath is not your companion, thoughts are not your companions. You are alone. There is no companion within -- what to say of outside! Husband-wife, family, friends, beloveds: none are companions. There is none who is near, none who is related. To be near is only an outer phenomena. From within no union can be made with anyone.
"You are alone, void of action." Don't even raise the question of your karmas, your acts. If you should ask Ashtavakra, "You say one can be liberated right now, so what will happen to the fruits of our actions? What will happen to the sins of lifetimes? How to get released from them?," Ashtavakra will say, "You have never done them. Out of hunger the body may have done something. Out of vital energy life may have done something. Out of its own needs the mind may done something. You have never done anything. You are ever aloof, in non-doing. Doing has never happened through you; you are the observer of all actions. Liberation is possible right now."
Consider it: if we have to destroy the whole web of actions, we can never become liberated. It is impossible. We have done so many acts over infinite time -- just estimate how many. If we have to be released from all these actions then the release will take an infinite time, and during this infinite time you won't be sitting idle, you will do something, so acts will again accumulate. This chain will be endless. This chain will never finish, it will never come to any conclusion.
Ashtavakra says that if, to be free you have to become free of actions, then liberation can never happen. But liberation does happen. You cannot become free -- you are free. The existence of liberation is the proof that the being has never done any act. You are not a sinner, you are not a saint; you are not virtuous, not unvirtuous. There is no hell anywhere, there is no heaven. You have never done anything; you have only seen dreams, you only thought you were doing. You were sleeping within -- the body was doing. Those bodies that did things are long gone: how can the fruit of their actions be yours? You were sleeping inside -- the mind acted. The mind that acted is disappearing every second.
I have heard that a former maharaja saw that his drawing room was dirty. He scolded his servant, Junko, saying, "There are spider webs all over the drawing room. What have you been doing all day long?"
Junko said, "Some spider must have made those webs -- I have been dozing in my room."
You were dozing inside, some spider must have made the webs! The body spun webs, the mind spun webs, the life energy spun webs -- you were sleeping. Wake up! Awakening you find that you never did anything. Even if you wanted to do something you couldn't do it. Your nature is inaction. Non-doing is your natural state.
"You are alone, void of action, self-illuminated and innocent." Did you hear this proclamation? You are innocent! Throw away what the pandits and priests have taught you! You are innocent. Their teaching has been very harmful, they have made you a sinner. They have taught you in a thousand ways that you are bad... they have filled you with humiliation and guilt. You are innocent, you have committed no wrong.
"Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi." Look at this revolutionary statement! "Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi" -- you are making efforts for samadhi to come to fruit, for meditation to flower, for liberation to happen: practices, rites, rituals.... "Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi." This is your bondage. Raise the sword of awareness and sever it!
Now these two will become clear to you: the path of Yoga and the path of awareness are completely different. The ancient name for the path of awareness is sankhya. Sankhya means awareness, Yoga means sadhana, techniques. Sankhya means simply wake up, nothing needs to be done. Yoga means there is much to be done before awakening will happen. In Yoga there are means; in sankhya there are only ends. There is no path, only the destination, because you have never left the destination to go anywhere else, you have just been sitting in your inner temple. You don't have to come back -- just know that you have never gone anywhere.
"You are alone, void of action, self-illuminated and innocent. Your bondage is this: that you practice samadhi." You are bound only by this, that you are seeking liberation. The search for liberation creates new bondage.
A man is enslaved by the world, then he freaks out and begins to seek liberation. Here he renounces house and home, renounces his family, renounces business and money; then he is enslaved in a new bondage -- he becomes a monk. New restrictions, how to move and sit, how to eat and drink -- he creates a new slavery.
Have you observed that a monk's condition is like that of a prisoner. A monk is not free, because a monk thinks first he has to accept restrictions to become free. This is a hilarious idea! For liberation first one has to accept restrictions! To be free no restrictions are needed.
Krishnamurti has a book, The First and Last Freedom. It is the most up-to-date expression of Ashtavakra. If you are to be free then become free on the very first step. Don't think you will become free in the end. You can be free only on the first step, not on the second. On the first step if you make preparations for freedom, these very preparations will create bonds. Then to get rid of these new bonds you will have to make new preparations. These preparations will again make new bonds. You will get rid of one and be bound by the next. You will escape from the ditch and fall in the well.
Look how married people and sannyasins are both bound. Their slaveries are different, but the distinction is nothing. It seems that whatever you do will enslave you unless the basic stupidity is broken.
I have heard that someone's woman had run away, so he went to look for her. Searching everywhere he reached the jungle and there a sadhu was sitting under a tree. The man asked, "Have you seen my woman going this way? She has run away from home. I am terribly upset."
The sadhu asked, "What is her name?"
He said, "Her name is Trouble."
The sadhu said, "Trouble! You have given her a great name. All women are trouble, but only you have actually given the name. So what is your name?" The sadhu was eager to know -- this man seemed to be very clever with names.
He said, "My name is Foolish."
The sadhu started laughing. He said, "You drop this search. Wherever you sit 'Troubles' will come. You don't need to go anywhere. You being 'Foolish' is enough. Troubles will find you."
When someone renounces the world and escapes, this renunciation does not destroy his weak mindedness, his foolishness, his stupidity. He takes this stupidity and sits in the temple making new bondages. That stupidity weaves new webs. First enslaved by the world, now enslaved by sannyas, he cannot remain without bondage.
Freedom is on the first step. There is no planning it. Planning means to be bound in plans. Make preparations and you are enslaved in preparations. Then this will have to be renounced. How long is it going to go on? It will be endless.
I have heard, a man was afraid to enter a graveyard. His house was on the other side of the graveyard, so he had to cross it every day. He was so afraid that he wouldn't come out of his house at night; by dusk he would return home, trembling. Finally a sadhu took pity on him. He told him, "Stop worrying about it and take this charm. Always keep this charm tied to your wrist; then no ghost or spirit can bother you."
It worked. By tying the charm on his wrist his fear of ghosts disappeared. But now a new fear caught hold of him: What if the charm got lost? Naturally, that charm had protected him from ghosts... now he would cross the graveyard in the middle of the night with no fear. There had never been ghosts there -- it was only his own fear. The charm released him from that fear, but he was caught in a new fear, of losing the charm. He took the charm with him when he went to bathe, checking again and again to see that he had it. He was terrified now that while he slept at night someone would open the charm, someone would steal it. The charm became his life.
The fear continued in the same way -- if not of ghosts then of losing the charm. Now if someone substitutes something else for the charm, what difference will it make? -- this man is not going to change his fearfulness. It is not a question of ghosts, it is a question of fear. So you can push fear around from one place to another. Lots of people go on playing this kind of volleyball. Throwing the ball from here to there, from there to here, they just go on throwing and playing. And meanwhile life passes by.
Ashtavakra says practicing for samadhi is the cause of bondage. If you are to be free, then declare your freedom, don't go on getting ready. So I say, look at this revolutionary statement. This statement is rare, it is incomparable.
Ashtavakra says to declare your freedom here and now. Don't prepare for it. Don't say that first you must get ready, and then... because the preparations will enslave you. Then how to drop the preparations? One disease is dropped, another disease is taken up. This is just switching shoulders.
You have seen people carrying a body on a stretcher to the burning grounds: they go on switching shoulders. Tired of carrying the weight on one shoulder, they shift to the other shoulder. They get a few minute's relief; then the other shoulder starts to hurt, and again they switch. You are doing this life after life. You only find a short relief from this, you never find the ultimate rest from it.
Drop this carrying of dead bodies. Make your declaration. If you want freedom, then in a second, in a fraction of a second, it can be declared.
People ask me why I give sannyas to each and everyone. I say that everyone is entitled to it -- it is only a question of declaring it. There is nothing else needed, it only has to be declared. This declaration has to be enthroned in your heart, that "I am a sannyasin," and you have become a sannyasin, that "I am enlightened," and you are enlightened. Your declaration is your life.
Find the courage to declare. Why make small declarations? Proclaim: "Aham Brahmasmi -- I am Brahma!" -- and you have become the ultimate.
In the next sutra Ashtavakra says, "This universe is permeated by you, it is strung on the thread of you. In reality you are pure consciousness by nature, do not be small-minded." Why be involved with trivial things? Sometimes you are involved with, "This house is mine, this body is mine, this money is mine, this business is mine...." What trivial things the mind gets involved in!
"THIS UNIVERSE IS PERMEATED BY YOU, IT IS STRUNG ON THE THREAD OF YOU. IN REALITY...." This whole existence is infused by you. The whole expanse of Brahma is permeated by you. "... you are pure consciousness by nature, do not be small-minded." Why make small claims? Make a great proclamation. Proclaim this, "I am pure consciousness, I am pure intelligence!" "Do not be small-minded."
We have made such trivial claims, and we become what we declare. In this, India's contribution to the world is unique because India has made the world's greatest proclamations. Mansoor proclaimed in the Muslim world, "Anal Haq! -- I am the truth." They murdered him. They said, "This man is making too great a claim. "I am the truth" -- only God can say that. How can man say it?" But we didn't murder Ashtavakra, nor did we murder the seers of the Upanishads who said, "Aham Brahmasmi -- I am Brahma," because we understood one thing, that man becomes the proclamation he makes.
Why make a small claim? When the evolution of your life is dependent on your claim, then claim the most expansive, claim the infinite, the omnipresent, make the divine proclamation. Why be satisfied with anything less? Why be miserly? You are miserly in your very declaration. Then make your miserly claim and you will become it.
Say yes to the small, you will become small. Say yes to the infinite and you will become infinite. Your belief is your life.
"You are unconcerned, unchanging, void of form, fathomless intelligence, of cool disposition, unperturbed. Thus have faith only in consciousness." This one conviction is enough. Not practice -- faith, conviction. Not practice -- trust. This much faith is sufficient -- that you are pure consciousness. This is the greatest magic in the world.
Psychologists say that when you tell someone again and again that he is unintelligent, he becomes unintelligent. People aren't as stupid as they look. They are the supreme being. They have been called stupid, told they are stupid. It has been repeated by so many people and they have listened so many times that they have become idiots. They could have become buddhas, but they have become idiots, buddhoos.
Psychologists say that if you meet someone in good health on the street and say to him, "Oh! What happened to you? Your face looks yellow. You seem to have a fever. Let me feel your pulse... you are sick! Your legs seem to be shivering," at first he will deny it, because he hadn't thought until a moment before.... He will say, "No, no! I am completely fine. What are you talking about?"
You may say,"Okay, suit yourself." Then a little later another person comes to him saying, "Wait! Your face has gone completely pale. What's the matter?" Now he won't be able to say so boldly that he is completely fine.
He will say, "Yes, I'm feeling a little out of sorts." He will begin accepting it. His courage will start slipping.
Then a third man comes and starts the same talk. Now he will return home feeling, "My condition is very bad. Now there is no sense in going to the market."
You may have heard a story like this: once a brahmin bought a goat and was taking it home. Three or four thieves saw him and thought the goat could be snatched away from him. But the brahmin was strong and to steal from him would be no easy job, so they decided to try diplomacy, a little trickery.
One came up to him on the road saying, "Well done! How much did you pay for the dog?"
That man, that brahmin said, "Dog! Are you blind? Or only mad? It is a goat! I am bringing her from the market. I paid fifty rupees for her."
The thief said, "It's up to you, but you know... seeing a brahmin carrying a dog on his shoulders.... Dear brother, to me it looks like a dog. Could there be some mistake?"
The brahmin went on his way, wondering what kind of man was that! But he fingered the feet of the goat just to check, saying to himself, "It is a goat." Another of the gang was waiting across the road. He called over to the brahmin, "What a fine dog you bought!"
Now the brahmin hadn't the courage to insist it was not a dog: who knows maybe it was a dog -- two men could not be wrong. Still he said, "No no, it's not a dog." But it was weaker now. He said it, but the foundations inside were shaken. He said, "No, no it's a goat."
The man said, "It's a goat? You call this a goat? Then, respected brahmin, the definition of goat needs to be changed! If you call this a goat then what will you call a dog? But it's up to you. You are a scholarly man; you can change it if you want. It's just a name. Perhaps you say dog, perhaps you say goat -- a dog it remains. Nothing changes just by calling it a goat."
The man went away. The brahmin put the goat down and looked: it was definitely a goat... a goat like any other goat. He rubbed his eyes and splashed them with water from a roadside tap. He was nearing his own neighborhood: if people saw a brahmin carrying a dog on his shoulders it would be a blow against worship in the temple and against scholarship. People paid for his worship -- they would stop paying, they would think him mad.... Again he thoroughly inspected the animal, making sure it was a goat. But what was with those two guys?
Again he shouldered the goat and started off, but now he moved a little nervously. What if anyone else saw him? Then he came across the third fellow. He exclaimed, "What a fine dog! Where did you get it? I too have wanted to have a dog for a long time."
The brahmin said, "Friend, you just take it! If you want a dog, take it. It is really a dog. A friend gave it to me, you please relieve me of it." And he ran home before anyone could find out that he had bought a dog.
This is how man lives. You have become what you believe. And there are many cheats and scoundrels all around -- you have been led to believe all kinds of things. They have their own motives. The priest wants to convince you that you are a sinner, because if you are not a sinner how will he continue to pray for you? It is in his interest that a goat be taken for a dog. A pundit... if you are not ignorant what will become of his scholarship? How will he run his business? A religious teacher... if he explains to you that you are inactive, free of doing, that you have never committed sin -- then what need is there of him?
It is as if you go to a doctor and he explains that you are not sick, that you have never been sick, you cannot be sick, health is your nature -- then the doctor is committing suicide. What will happen to his business? In robust health go to a doctor, go when you are not at all sick; then too you will find that he discovers some problem. Go and try it. Go in absolutely top form, when you are not sick at all; just go and do it, tell the doctor that you just want him to do a check-up. It is not easy to find a doctor who will say you are not ill.
Mulla Nasruddin's son became a doctor. I asked Mulla, "How' is your son's practice?" He said, "Things are going very well indeed." I asked how he figured that things were going well. He said, "Things are going so well that many times he tells patients that they are not sick. Only a great doctor can say it, one whose practice is going well. It's going so good that now he doesn't want to be bothered, he doesn't have time." Mulla said, "This is how I know its going well. Many times he tells people there is nothing wrong with them!"
There are many businesses -- they have their own interests. Thousands of businesses are riding on your back -- pundits, priests, religious teachers. They need you to be a sinner, it is necessary that you have done evil. If not, what will happen to those who explain how to be released from bad karma? What will happen to those messiahs who come to save you? If Ashtavakra is right then all messiahs are useless. Then there is no need for your release -- you are saved, you are liberated.
Ashtavakra has no such profession. Ashtavakra doesn't want to do business with you. He speaks straightforwardly, he is giving crystal clear truths: "You are unconcerned, unchanging, void of form, of cool disposition, fathomless intelligence, unperturbed. Thus have faith only in consciousness."
Only one conviction is needed: "I am the witness." It is enough. Such a self-confident person is religious. There is no need for any other conviction. There is no need for faith in God, no need for faith in heaven and hell, no need for faith in the law of karma. One faith is enough, and that faith is that you are the witness, unchanging. And as soon as you have this conviction you find yourself becoming unchanging, steady.
A psychologist did an experiment. He divided a class in two, half the children here, half there -- in separate rooms. He told the first group, "This problem is very difficult, none of you will be able to solve it." He wrote an equation on the board and said, "It is not within your capacity. It is so difficult that even the students of the next class couldn't do it. But I am doing an experiment: I want to know if anyone among you can come close to solving it. If anyone can find a method, or make two or three steps in the right direction.... But it is impossible!" He repeated again and again, "It is impossible. Still you try."
He went into the other room with the rest of the students from the same class. He wrote the same equation on the board and said, "This problem is so easy it is unlikely that any of you will be unable to solve it. Children in the lower class have solved it too. So I am not giving you this as any kind of examination, it is so easy you are bound to solve it. I only want to know if there is anyone in the class who will have any difficulty with it."
The question was the same, the class was the same, but there was a great difference in the results. In the first group only three out of fifteen students could solve it. In second group twelve out of fifteen students solved it; only three could not. Such a big difference. The same question! The deciding factor was the attitude with which the problem was presented.
Ashtavakra does not say that religion is arduous, Ashtavakra says it is very easy. Those who say it is difficult, make it difficult. Those who say it is almost impossible, a razor's edge -- they are frightening you. They say it is like climbing the Himalayas, only rare beings can climb -- then you drop the idea, thinking, "I am not such a rare being. It is beyond me. Let the rare ones climb, I am not going to get into this trouble. I applaud these rare beings -- they can go ahead! But I am a simple person; just leave me in this ditch."
Ashtavakra says it is very easy. It is so easy, you don't need to do anything, just observing with alertness is enough.
This in the highest declaration of man's genius.
It is to make man aware of the highest possibility of human life.
Religion is the ultimate miracle of man's genius.
In contrast, politics is the most inferior expression of human intelligence, religion is the superiormost.
Once a politician fell seriously ill. The doctor advised, "Don't do any mental work for two or three months."
The politician asked, "Doctor, do you have any objection to my doing a bit of politics?"
The doctor replied, "No, none at all. Do as much politics as you want, just don't do any mental work."
The brain doesn't function at all in politics. In politics there is violence, not intelligence. There is grabbing, scrambling, struggling, not peace. There is no rest, only restlessness. There is ambition for greatness, jealousy, aggression -- there is no soul.
Religion is nonaggression, nonviolence, freedom from competition. It is not struggle, it is surrender. Nothing needs to be taken from anyone else. One declares what he has. When we have so much, what need is there to steal from others? Only those who don't know themselves can steal. They are fighting over bits and pieces when God is enthroned inside. Dying over bits and pieces while the ultimate expanse is present within. The ocean is present, and they crave droplets!
Only those who don't know themselves can be in politics.
And when I say politics, I don't mean only those who are in political parties. By politics I mean all those people who are struggling in some way: struggling for money, money politics; struggling for power, power politics; struggling for renunciation, the politics of renunciates.
Among renunciates there is great rivalry that no other renunciate should get ahead. An Olympics goes on among the renunciates, that no mahatma becomes too big. One mahatma will go out to defeat another. If the Olympics are ever hosted by India, there should also be an event for the competition of mahatmas.
But wherever there is competition, there is politics. The basis sutra of politics is, "What I don't have, someone else has; I can seize it and make it mine." But what you take from others, how can it become yours? How will stolen goods become yours? What has been seized will be taken away. If not today, tomorrow someone else will take it from you. And if no one succeeds in taking it from you, death will surely take it. Only that which you don't have to take from anyone else is yours. Then even death will not be able take it.
Yours is what you had before you were born, what you will still have after death.
Seek that one.
And to search for that one, Ashtavakra says you don't need to practice: only be alert, only witness.
Many times you feel you are running unnecessarily, but how to stop? It is not that you haven't felt it is a meaningless rat-race. You have, but how to stop? And the training for the rat-race is very deep. You have forgotten how to stop -- your legs are in the habit of running, the mind is in the habit of running. Your training is such that you can't sit. Training for sitting has disappeared.
"A complaint came to my lips but who to tell it to that it won't be meaningless. Swallowing the pain, I keep moving along, refusing to sit, refusing defeat."
And people still think it is defeat to just sit. If they sit they think they are defeated. If they sit they think it is escapism, running away! If they just sit the passing thousands will look with condemnation... so people keep moving.
"Complaints that all is useless come often to the mind, but who to tell? Who will understand? Here everyone is like you. No one tells anyone. People go on moving, each hiding his own wound."
"A complaint came to my lips but who to tell it to that it won't be meaningless." If you meet an Ashtavakra or a Buddha it is meaningful to say it. Here who can you tell?
"Swallowing the pain, I keep moving along...." People swallow the pain and move on. "Refusing to sit, refusing defeat."
And this becomes the idea of the ego: "Sitting defeated means... finished, gone under, dead. Keep going, keep doing something or other. Keep trying to accomplish something or other. If not you will be lost."
And those who just sit attain. Those who stop attain.
God is not attained by running, he is attained by stopping.
Ashtavakra says attain in ultimate ease.
Just sit sometimes. Find some time, only to sit, not doing anything. Zen monks have a meditation technique: Zazen. Zazen means just sitting not doing a thing. It is a very deep method of meditation. To call it a method is not right, because there is no method, just sit not doing anything. Zen says the same as Ashtavakra is saying: Sit down! Sit for a while and relax. Leave this turmoil for a while. Leave all ambition a little while. Leave the mind's running around, leave its rat-race. Simply sit a while, and sink into yourself.
A light will gradually begin spreading inside of you. Perhaps you won't see it at first. It is like returning home in the bright afternoon sun, at first the house seems dark inside. The eyes are used to the sun. Sit a little while, and the eyes will adjust, and the room becomes lit. Slowly, slowly light comes into the room. It is the same inside. You have been going out, going out for lives, so it seems dark inside. The first time you go in nothing will be visible... nothing but darkness. Don't freak out. Sit... let the eyes get adjusted to the inside. The pupils of those eyes have been used to bright sun.
Have you ever thought, in the sun the pupil of the eye becomes small. If you look in a mirror right after being in the sun the pupil will appear very small because so much sunlight cannot be taken in, it is more than enough, so the pupil contracts. Contracting is automatic. Then when you come into the dark the pupil has to expand, the pupil has to enlarge. After sitting in darkness for a while, again look in the mirror and you will find the pupil has become enlarged.
For the third eye it happens exactly the same as with the outer eyes. To look outside the pupil should be small; to look within the pupil should be large. There has been a long and ancient training. To destroy that training no new practice is needed -- just go on sitting.
People ask, "What will we do sitting? Just give us 'ram-ram,' some mantra to chant, we will repeat it -- give us something to do." People say, "We want crutches, we want help." As soon as you practice, bondage starts. Just sit! By sitting I don't mean sitting down; you can remain standing, you can lay down also. Sitting means don't do anything, in twenty-four hours just spend some time in non-doing. Become free of action. Remain empty. Let what is happening happen. The world is flowing by, let it flow. It is moving, let it move. Sounds come, let them come. A train starts out, a plane flies over, there is noise -- let it be, you go on sitting. Don't concentrate -- you just sit. Samadhi will gradually start becoming strong inside of you. You will suddenly understand what Ashtavakra means -- what it means to be free of practice and rituals.
"Know that which has form is false, and know the formless as unchangeable and everlasting. Learning this truth it is not possible to be born in the world again."
Then you are what the Buddha has called anagamin -- a person who never returns after death. We come back because of our desires, we come because of our politics; we come back because of desires and hopes. One who dies knowing, "I am the knower," doesn't enter again. He is released from this useless wheel -- from coming and going.
"Know that which has form is false, and know the formless as unchangeable and everlasting. Learning this truth it is not possible to be born in the world again."
"Know that which has form is false...." Within us what has form is illusory, what has no form is the truth. Look at a whirlpool sometime. What is a whirlpool but waves arising in water? When it becomes calm, where has it gone? There was no whirlpool, it was just a wave in the water, it was just a shape that arose in the water. Likewise, we are just waves of the divine. When the wave is gone, nothing is left behind. Not even ash is left, not a trace remains. It is like writing on water, it disappears as you write -- in the same way all that happens in our life are only waves.
"Just as a mirror is the same inside and outside the image reflected in it, God is the same inside and outside this body." You have seen that when you stand in front of a mirror it makes a reflection. Does something happen in the mirror? A reflection made means that nothing happens. Move aside and the reflection is gone -- the mirror remains just as it was. Your reflection is made by your coming before it; step aside and it is gone. But in the mirror nothing is made and nothing moves aside. The mirror remains in its own nature.
This sutra of Ashtavakra says: stand before a mirror, a reflection is made in the mirror, but is a reflection really made? It seems to be. But don't be fooled by the reflection. Many are fooled by reflections.
And this sutra says that reflective mirrors are surrounding you; outside, inside, mirrors are reflecting in mirrors, and there is nothing at all. In just the same way God exists inside and outside of this body. God is within, God is without, God is above, God is below, God is in the west, God is in the east, God is in the south, God is in the north -- in every direction that same one. We are small whirlpools, small waves rising in that vast ocean.
Don't get confused by thinking of yourself as a wave -- think of yourself as the ocean. Just this much difference in belie: it is the difference between slavery and freedom. See yourself as a wave and you are bound, see yourself as the ocean and you are liberated.
"Just as the one all-pervading sky is the same inside and outside a pot, the eternal everlasting Brahma is the same in all things."
"Just as the one all-pervading sky is the same inside and outside a pot...." Consider a pot: it is the same sky inside the pot, the same sky outside. You may smash the pot but the sky is not smashed. You can make a pot but it doesn't distort the sky. No matter how the pot is shaped -- crooked or round -- the sky takes no form. We are all vessels of clay, earthen pots. It is the same outside, the same inside: don't place too much value on the thin wall of clay. This wall of clay makes you into a vessel -- don't be too tightly identified with it. If you believe you are this wall of clay, you will go on being made into pots of clay, your belief will pull you back here again and again.
No one else brings you into the world. Your fixation that you are a pot brings you back. Once you know that you are the emptiness inside the pot.... Lao Tzu's statement is meaningful. Lao Tzu says, "What is the meaning of the sides of the pot? The real meaning is in the emptiness inside the pot. If you fill it with water, the water fills the space, not the sides. When you make a house, do you call the walls the house? That is not right. The empty space left inside is the house. You live in this, you don't live in the walls. The walls are only a boundary. In reality we live in the sky. We all exist as digambaras, sky-clad. What difference do the walls make? We remain in the sky, inner or outer. Today the wall exists, tomorrow it will fall -- the sky always exists.
If you mistakenly take the house as the walls, take the pot as layers of clay and take yourself as a body, it will be the same bondage. Just a small mistake in reading the sutra of life and everything goes wrong; a very small mistake....
Once Mulla Nasruddin boarded a bus. Absorbed in thought he took a seat and lit a cigarette.
"It is clearly written that smoking is forbidden on the bus," the conductor angrily said. "Didn't you read it? Don't you know how to read?"
"I read it but there is so much written in the bus. Which of them should I do?" Nasruddin said. "Look at this: it says here, 'Always wear Handloom Saris!'"
One need only be a little careful to avoid such mistakes. The body is very close -- to read the language of the body is very easy. And the body is so close that its shadow falls on the inner mirror and is reflected. You are in the body, but you are not the body. The body is yours, you are not the body's. The body is your means, you are the end. Use the body, don't lose your mastership. Though living in the body, remain beyond the body -- like a lotus in the water.
Hari Om Tat Sat.
Chapter No. 6 - The Touchstone of Truth
14 September 1976 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
The first question:
BELOVED OSHO, THROUGH STUDYING TEXTS LIKE VEDANTA AND THE ASHTAVAKRA GEETA, I HAVE LEARNT THAT WHATEVER IS WORTH ATTAINING HAS ALREADY BEEN ATTAINED. MAKING EFFORTS FOR IT IS GOING ASTRAY. I HAVE DEEPENED THIS CONVICTION, SO WHY HAS SELF-REALIZATION NOT HAPPENED? PLEASE SHOW ME THE PATH.
Never think that what you understand from scriptures is your own understanding. Never think what you understand from words has become your own experience.
Hearing Ashtavakra, many people will feel, "Far out, everything is already attained." But it is not attained this way. What connection is there between your listening to Ashtavakra and attaining? It has already happened: this must be your own experience. The recognition, the blessing, must be yours, it is not an intellectual conclusion.
Intellect will quickly accept it. What could be easier than, "It has already happened. Good, our troubles are over. Now there is no need to search, no need to meditate, no need to worship or pray -- it has already happened."
Intellect is ready to accept -- not because it has grasped the truth. It accepts because the difficulties of the path can be dropped, efforts of sadhana dropped, and the need to continue meditating is dropped. Soon you look around and find that you have not attained. If it could happen merely by the intellect grasping it, there could be spiritual universities. There is no university of spiritual study. It is not attained from scriptures, it is attained by your own spontaneous inspired wisdom.
Listen to Ashtavakra, but don't be in a hurry to believe. Your greed makes you hurry. Your greed will tell you, "This is very handy. We already have the treasure, so the whole botheration of attaining is over. Now there is nowhere to go, now there is nothing to do."
You always wanted to attain without effort. But remember the desire to attain is still there behind all this: attain without doing! Previously you thought of striving to attain; now you think of attaining without exertion -- but the desire to attain is still there. This is why the question arises of why has self-realization not yet happened.
For one who has understood: "Forget about self-realization, what's the use?" If you had understood Ashtavakra, no other question could arise. The question "Self-realization has not happened" indicates that while accepting what Ashtavakra says, you are watching from the corner of your eye: is it attained yet or not? Your eye is still focused on attaining.
People come to me and I tell them, "Meditation cannot go deep as long as you continue desiring. As long as you expect to attain something -- bliss, God, atma -- meditation will not go deep, because thinking of attaining is greed. It is ambition, it is politics. It is not yet religion." They say, "Okay, we'll meditate without thinking about it, but we will attain, won't we?"
There is no difference. They are ready to stop desiring because, "You say this is the way to attain, so we won't think of it -- but still, we will attain it, won't we?"
You are not able to rid yourself of greed. Hearing Ashtavakra many people will very quickly accept that it has happened. If it could happen so quickly... and it is not that there is any barrier to it happening. The barrier is the foolishness of your desiring. The happening is so near!
Ashtavakra is right -- it has already happened. But only when all desire for attaining disappears then this, "It has happened already," will be understood. Then you will know from your totality that it is attained. But at the moment it is just an intellectual diversion: "If a great master like Ashtavakra said it, it must be right." You are hurrying to believe. Your belief is impotent. Without doubting you have quickly accepted it.
In this country the habit has disappeared of doubting anything stated in scriptures. If it is in the scriptures it must be right.
One day Mulla Nasruddin came carrying a very handsome umbrella. I asked him, "Where did you get it? Such fine umbrellas are not made here."
He said, "My sister sent a gift."
I said, "Nasruddin! You have always said that you don't have any sisters."
He replied, "It is true."
Then I said, "Yet this gift is sent by your sister...?"
He said, "If you don't believe me: here, it is written on the handle, 'A gift for my beloved brother, from your sister.' I was coming out of a restaurant and these letters on the umbrella -- I thought it seems I do have a sister. When it is written it has to be believed. And perhaps there is some sister or cousin.... And religious people have always said you should take every woman except your wife as your mother or sister."
When something is published -- and in the scriptures... belief in the written word is very strong. When you tell someone something, he asks where it was this published. If you say where he will believe what you said. It is as if there is some power in writing. Say how ancient it is -- people will accept it. It is as if truth is somehow related to age. Who said it? Ashtavakra? Buddha? Mahavir? -- then it must be right.
From your side you haven't made any effort to wake up -- not a tiny bit. Someone said it, you believed it -- and such convenience: you have attained without doing anything!
Krishnamurti's followers have been listening for forty years -- exactly the same people more or less. They have attained nothing. Sometimes one of them comes to me saying, "I know that everything is already attained, but why hasn't it happened? I listen to Krishnamurti, I understand that everything is already attained."
These people are greedy. They hoped that instead of having to make any effort they should get it free. They have not heard Krishnamurti nor understood Ashtavakra. They have heard their greed. They have heard through their greed. Then they interpret in their own way.
A friend has asked, "Doing meditations seems irrelevant now. Five meditations a day -- and this lecture series on Ashtavakra going on.... It seems stupid."
It is so easy to drop meditation -- so hard to do it. What Ashtavakra attained was not attained through doing, and yet it was not attained without doing anything.
Try to understand, this is a subtle point.
I have told you Buddha attained when he dropped all doing. But first he did everything. Six years of untiring effort, he gave everything to it. By giving everything, he experienced that nothing can be attained by doing. It wasn't by reading Ashtavakra... even though the Ashtavakra Gita was available in Buddha's time. He could have studied it -- there was no need for six years of effort. He made an untiring effort for six years, and in the midst of this effort he found out it is not attained by effort. He didn't leave a single stone unturned, proving to himself that it couldn't be attained by inner effort. There was no desire left inside. He did everything, and he saw that he didn't attain. His effort became so crystallized that in this crystallization, doing dropped. Then it happened.
I say unto you, the state of non-doing will come when you have done everything. Don't hurry, otherwise what little meditation you are already doing will be lost, what little prayer you are doing will be lost. Ashtavakra remains far away and the little progress you were making on the journey will stop too.
Before stopping one needs to run totally. Though one does not attain by running, this knowing will be crystallized by it. One day effort will drop, but not from mere intellectual understanding. When every cell, every atom understands it is useless -- this is the moment it happens.
Ashtavakra is right in saying that practice is bondage.
But only one who practices will find out.
I am telling you this because I have practiced and found it is a dead end. I am telling you this because I have practiced sadhana and found that no sadhana leads one to the sadhya, to the goal. I meditated and found that no meditation brings one to samadhi.
When this becomes your deep experience, and one day that moment comes when it boils at one hundred degrees, when you have given everything.... Holding back nothing -- you have thrown yourself totally into the fire, the effort has become total, the inner fire is total, the sadhana is total; now existence cannot tell you that you have held anything back, all is given -- that day, in that crystallization, in that state of ignited consciousness suddenly everything is burnt to ash. All sadhana, all practices, all meditation, all renunciation -- suddenly you wake up and find, "Oh! What I was seeking was already attained!"
But if it could happen just by reading Ashtavakra then it would be very convenient. What is hard about reading Ashtavakra? The sutra is so clear and simple. Remember, to understand simple things is the most difficult thing in the world. And the difficulty comes from within you. You hope you won't have to do anything. It is very hard for people to accept the need to meditate.
This is the acid test -- the Ashtavakra Gita. Those who hear Ashtavakra and continue meditating have understood. Those who hear Ashtavakra and stop meditating have not understood Ashtavakra and they lose their meditation too.
Practice, and you will find out that practice is a dead end. This is the final phase of practicing. Don't be in too much of a hurry.
"Through the study of texts like Vedanta and the Ashtavakra Geeta, I have learnt...." Has anyone ever known through study? Has anyone known through memorizing texts? Has anyone ever known through learning scriptures, learning words? This is not knowing; it is information, knowing about. You can say this information is known: "What is worth attaining is already attained." But when you realize it, everything is finished.
You were informed, you got excited, and it sprouted in greed! Your greed said, "Look, I have been meaninglessly making efforts. Ashtavakra says 'without doing anything,' so I will sit without doing anything." So you sit doing nothing. After a while you observe, "The happening has not happened yet. Why this delay? And Ashtavakra said right now!" You sit looking at the clock, "Five seconds have past, five minutes have past, an hour is almost over -- and Ashtavakra said immediately! Right now! There is no need for even a second to pass!" You start thinking he was lying, your trust is broken.
This is not knowing, it is information. Always remember the difference between information and knowing. Information means borrowed. Someone else has known, and listening to him you have become informed. This is information. Knowing is an experience. No one else can know for you; it cannot be borrowed.
I have known -- your knowing will not happen from this. My knowing will be mine, your knowing will be yours. Yes, if you collect my words it will be information. Through information one can become a scholar but not a wise man. Knowledge about wisdom can be collected, but not the liberation of wisdom. A whole system of words can be created, but not the beauty of truth. The words will hem you in more, will enslave you more. So you will find scholars very restricted. Where is the open sky? Knowing that what is worth attaining is already attained -- if you know it then what is left to ask?
"... Making efforts is going astray." If you know this then what else is there to ask? "I have deepened this conviction." Either there is conviction or there is not; there is no way to deepen it. How can you deepen it? If there is faith there is faith; if there isn't there isn't -- how will you deepen it? What method is there for making faith deepen? Will you suppress your doubts? Will you sit on top of your doubts? What will you do? Will you falsify your doubts? When the mind raises questions will you ignore them?
Inside, the worm of doubt will be gnawing. It will say, "Now listen, is anything attained without doing anything? Has anything ever happened just by sitting? Things happen by doing; does anything happen by sitting idle? Can you get anything for free? What nonsense are you getting into? What illusion are you suffering from? Get up, move, run; otherwise life will run out -- life is already running out! Don't waste time sitting here like an idiot."
These doubts will arise: what will you do with them? Will you suppress them? Will you falsify them? Will you say you don't want to hear about it? Will you throw them into the unconscious? Will you hide them inside, in your basement? Will you avoid looking them in the face?
What will you do to deepen your faith? You will do something like this -- you will repress in some way. This faith will be false; disbelief will be smouldering beneath it. This faith is superficial. Above is a threadbare covering; underneath, the coals of disbelief, of doubt. Soon they will burn up your faith. This faith is of no use, you cannot deepen it. Faith is, or faith is not.
It is like someone drawing a circle. If he draws half a circle will you call it a circle? Can half a circle be called a circle? It is an arc, not a circle. It can be called a circle only if it is complete. An incomplete circle is not a circle. Incomplete trust is not trust, because incomplete trust means that distrust is also present. In the empty arc, what will happen? There will be doubt. Doubt and trust cannot move together. It would be like one foot going east, the other foot going west -- you won't get anywhere. It would be like riding in two boats, one going to this shore and one going to that shore -- where will you go?
The journeys of doubt and trust are quite separate. You are riding in two boats. What is the meaning of incomplete trust? Does half faith mean half disbelief is also present? If trust exists it is complete, otherwise it exists not.
And remember one important fact: whenever the higher is mixed with the lower, the lower does not lose anything, but the higher does. When you mix the higher with the lower there is no harm to the lower, but the higher is harmed.
A feast is prepared, fine foods are set out. Throw just a small handful of dirt on it. You could say it is a vast feast, what can a small handful of dirt do? But a small handful of dirt destroys the whole feast. The whole feast cannot destroy even this small handful of dirt.
Throw a rock at a flower and nothing happens to the rock, but the flower will be destroyed. The rock is lower, lifeless. The flower is glorious, full of life. The flower is of the sky, the rock is of the earth. The flower is the poetry of life. When the flower and rock collide the flower is completely crushed, the rocked completely unscratched.
One drop of poison is enough. Remember, doubt is lower. If the rock of doubt falls on the flower of trust, the flower will be flattened and die, the flower will be murdered. Do not think that trust will transform the rock. The rock will destroy the flower.
Either faith is or it is not -- there are not two possibilities. When faith exists, it encompasses your whole life, it spreads into every cell. Faith is expansive. But such a faith does not come from the scriptures, it cannot come. Such a faith comes from live experience. It comes when you read the scripture of life, not from reading Ashtavakra.
Understand Ashtavakra, but don't think this understanding is wisdom. Understand Ashtavakra and preserve this inside yourself, put it away. You have received a touchstone. You didn't receive wisdom, but an analyst's experience. And when you do attain wisdom, you can easily test it with the touchstone of Ashtavakra.
The touchstone is not gold. When you go to a goldsmith you see he has a black testing stone. This black stone is not gold. When he receives gold, the goldsmith rubs it on this black stone to find out if it is gold or not.
When you have understood Ashtavakra's words carefully keep them, pack them away and when your experience of life comes you can test it. Ashtavakra's touchstone will be helpful then. You will be able to know what has happened. You will have the language to understand it. You will have a method to understand it. Ashtavakra will be your witness.
This is the way I take the scriptures. The scriptures are witnesses. The path of truth is unknown. You need witnesses on that unknown path. When you first come face to face with truth, truth will be so vast that you will tremble, you will be unable to grasp it. You will shake to your very roots. There will be fear that you could go mad.
Imagine what will happen to a man who has been searching for a treasure for lifetimes and suddenly he finds that the treasure is buried where he is standing -- won't he go mad? "This seeking for many lives was a waste! The treasure is buried right under my feet!"
Just imagine. It will be a tremendous shock for this man: "So many years I have wasted! This whole time has been a meaningless effort, a nightmare. What I have been seeking was waiting inside." Won't a man go mad from such a shock? At that time Ashtavakra's sweet words will soothe you. At that time the Vedanta, Buddha, the Upanishads, the Bible, the Koran, Buddha, will stand as your witnesses. In that situation you will be unable to comprehend the new experiences that are happening to you. In aloneness it is very difficult.
I am speaking on the scriptures -- not because by hearing the scriptures you will become wise. I am speaking on them so that as you move on the path of meditation -- if not today, then tomorrow it will happen, it has to happen -- when the happening takes place it need not be that gold is in front of you and you cannot comprehend.
I am giving you a touchstone.
Test your experiences on these touchstones.
Ashtavakra is the most precise touchstone. Don't have faith in Ashtavakra, use Ashtavakra as a touchstone for your own experiences. Make Ashtavakra a witness.
Jesus said to his disciples, "I will be your witness when you arrive." But his disciples misunderstood. The disciples understood that when they died and reach God's heaven, then Jesus would bear witness that they were his disciples; "Let them come in -- these are mine, they are Christians. Be especially compassionate to them. Let more blessings shower on them."
But what Jesus meant is something completely different. Jesus said, "when you arrive I will be your witness" -- this did not mean that Jesus would be standing there, but that what Jesus had said would be there as a touchstone. When your experience happens, immediately you can test it and unravel the knot. As it is, you have wandered around for so long in untruth, your eyes have become used to it. The shock of truth should not break you apart, should not drive you insane.
Remember, many seekers of truth have gone mad. Many seekers of truth have gone mad just as they neared the stage of becoming enlightened, they became deranged, because the happening is so vast, it is inconceivable, unbelievable. It is as if the whole sky has crashed on you.
Your pot is small and the infinite is raining in your pot. You will be shattered -- you won't be able to contain it. You are face to face with the sun and your eyes will be dazzled and then go dark. The sun is before you and all is darkness, your eyes will shut. At that moment you can use Ashtavakra's statements to understand the sun. At that time, the voice of Ashtavakra that has been lying in your unconscious will immediately speak. The sutras of the Upanishads will start resounding, the Gita will echo, the Koran will echo -- its verses will come forth! Their fragrance will assure you that you have come home, there is nothing to freak out about; this vastness is you.
Ashtavakra says that you are expansive, you are vast. You are omnipresent. You are void of action, uncorrupted. You are the ultimate reality. These statements will immediately give an explanation.
Merely having faith in them, merely holding on to them, will lead you nowhere. And greed is waiting within you, saying self-realization has not happened.
"To control desire, a continuous stream spreads out from the snake charmer's pipe. Dense, impenetrable desire quivers in response...."
Listen to it again: "To control desire, a continuous stream spreads out from the snake charmer's pipe. Dense, impenetrable desire quivers in response like a cobra whose coil is motionless, while the hood dances to and fro."
You want to become free of desire, but still you spread out a net of desire. You want to be completely clean and pure but still you do it by means of greed, still desire goes on quivering.
See how an alone, uncrowded desire quivers. The snake's coil is motionless, now only the hood dances to and fro.
You have gone to attain God, but your way of attaining is the same as for attaining money. You go to seek God but your desire, your passion is the same as the one who is after material things. Your madness is the same as the madness of one who wants to attain the world. The object of desire has changed, but the desire has not changed.
Listening to Ashtavakra your desire says: "Wow, this is great! I never knew that what I am seeking is already attained. So now I will just sit." Then you will wait: "Did it happen yet? did it happen yet? did it happen yet?..." Desire goes on quivering. "Did it happen yet?" -- you haven't understood.
Listen to Ashtavakra again. Ashtavakra says it is already attained. But how can you hear it, how can you understand it? -- your desire goes on quivering. Until you have chased after your desires, until you have seen the worthlessness of chasing after them, run and fallen down and scraped yourself, you won't be able to understand. Only through the experience of desire does desire become worthless. Exhausted it falls down broken -- in this moment of desirelessness you will understand that what you have been seeking has already happened.
Otherwise you repeat like a parrot. It doesn't make the slightest difference if you are a Hindu parrot or a Muslim parrot or a Jaina, a Christian, a Buddhist -- a parrot is a parrot. A parrot may recite The Bible, a parrot may recite the Koran. A parrot is a parrot, he will go on repeating.
"Inside the temple all bathed and rubbed down, in full voice, engrossed, throats open in loud tones, extremely well practiced they go on chanting Ram-Ram. Inside themselves they are all deaf-mutes, repeating meaninglessly without understanding, dwarfs. But outside the most childish, the most loudmouthed."
Look in the temples! "Inside the temple, all bathed and rubbed down, in full voice, engrossed...." People seem so innocent in the temples. Look in the market at the same faces that you see in the temples. Their coverings appeared different in the temples. "... Throats open in loud tones, extremely well practiced...." You must have seen people taking up a rosary and chanting. Wrapped in a blanket printed with Ram-ram, with sandal paste on the forehead -- what a spotless, radiant image! When you meet the same man in the market, in the crowds, you won't be able to recognize him. People have different faces: they wear one face in the market, they wear another face in the temple.
"... Engrossed, throats open in loud tones, extremely well practiced they go on chanting Ram-Ram. Inside themselves they are all deaf-mutes, repeating meaninglessly without understanding, dwarfs. But outside the most childish, the most loudmouthed." Information can make you a parrot, can give you a big mouth. It can give you the illusion of being religious, can give deceptions. But don't think it is wisdom. And on the basis of information the conviction that you put forward will be sitting on doubt, riding on the shoulders of doubt. This conviction cannot take you to the door of truth. Don't put much faith in this conviction -- it is worthless.
Faith must come from your own experience. Faith must come from the pure formlessness of your own meditation.
The second question:
BELOVED OSHO, WHILE OUT WALKING AT DUSK, I FELT SUDDENLY YOUR WHOLE LECTURE OF YESTERDAY MORNING BEGAN ECHOING IN EVERY CELL OF MY BODY. I WAS LOOKING AS A SPECTATOR AT THE SPLENDOR OF SCENES GOING BY, WHEN THE MEMORY OF THE OBSERVER AROSE. THIS PLAY OF THE OBSERVER WENT ON FOR SOME TIME, THEN MY LEGS BEGAN WOBBLING AND TO KEEP FROM FALLING I SAT DOWN AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. AND THEN NEITHER SCENE NOR SPECTATOR REMAINED, NOR EVEN THE OBSERVER. EVERYTHING DISAPPEARED BUT STILL SOMETHING WAS -- SOMETIMES DARK, SOMETIMES LIGHT, PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK. BUT SINCE THEN ANXIETY HAS INCREASED AND I CANNOT UNDERSTAND ALL THIS.
This is just what I was saying. If a small glimpse of the truth comes to you, you will be upset, you won't be able to understand. Not understanding it, a deep uneasiness will take hold of you; madness too can overtake you.
This is why I speak on these scriptures. This is why I go on explaining every day, so that the information will remain in your unconscious, and when the happening takes place you can figure it out, you can clearly define what happened. Otherwise how will you comprehend it? You won't have the language, the words; you will have no way to understand it, no measuring stick, no scales -- how will you weigh it? You will have no touchstone. How can you appraise it?
You have said: "... Your whole lecture of yesterday morning began echoing in every cell of my body. I was looking as a spectator at the splendor of scenes going by, when the memory of the observer arose. This play of the observer went on for some time, then my legs began wobbling and to keep from falling I sat down at the side of the road."
Certainly this happens. When you first become aware of the observer, you wobble. Your whole life totters, because your whole life is set up without the observer. This new happening will shatter everything. It is like a blind man whose eyes suddenly open: do you think he will be able to walk down the road? He will stagger. Blind for forty, fifty years, he felt his way along with the help of his cane. In his blindness he gradually developed the ability to walk in the dark. He became skillful. He interpreted sounds around him. He got to know the turns in the roads. He had learned the art of seeing with his ears. For fifty years everything had been going well.
This life of the blind -- which you cannot even imagine -- bereft of light, color, beauty, shape; it depends only on the medium of sound.... He has only one language: sound. He has created his whole life on this basis. If on the way to the market in the morning suddenly his eyes open, think of what will happen. His whole world will come crashing down. His world of sound will go completely topsy-turvy.
This event will be so strong -- the eyes opening, seeing peoples' faces, seeing colors, the rays of the sun, sunlight and shadow, this crowd; so many people, buses, cars, bicycles -- he will completely freak out! It will be such a great shock to his life: Will the small world he has made with the help of sound disappear, be wiped out, die, be trampled under? He will sit down on the spot trembling, he may stagger and fall. Perhaps he will not be able to make it home... maybe he will faint.
And this example is nothing. When the observer makes its entrance into your life, when just one ray of the observer comes, then this example is nothing -- the event is so much bigger. The inner eye is opening. You have created your world without the inner eye and when the inner eye suddenly opens it makes your whole world wrong. You will remain speechless in amazement.
You have asked rightly and asked from experience. Consider the two types of questions. One is theoretical -- it has no great value. But this question comes out of experience. If there were no experience this question could not have arisen. If these legs had not staggered, this question would not have arisen. This question is from direct experience.
"... The memory of the observer arose." Ashtavakra's words must have reverberated. An echo must have remained of what I had said in the morning. Its fragrance must have arisen in you, a few threads of what I said must have become entangled in you.
"... The memory of the observer arose. This play of the observer went on for some time...." Perhaps it was only a moment. A moment of the observer seems very long, because the observer is beyond time. Here only a second passes on your watch; there, as the observer, it seems centuries have passed. This watch is of no use there. This watch is not made for the inner eye.
"This play of the observer went on for some time, but then my legs began wobbling and I sat down at the side of the road to keep from falling." This wobbling indicates that it happened. The questioner has not asked a question from his listening or reading -- something transpired. "And then neither scene nor spectator remained, nor even the observer." In that wobbling everything dispersed, everything disappeared. In such moments confusion arises if there has been no gradual preparation. If we are unable to assimilate it drop by drop, if it happens all of a sudden, there can be an explosion.
"Everything disappeared but still something was." Certainly something was. Actually everything was for the first time. Everything of yours ended, your little house of straw fell down. The sky, the moon and stars -- the ultimate remained. The boundaries, the lines you had drawn all disappeared -- cloudless sky remained. Your conditioning of living in a confined shell was shaken. You were frightened by this wobbling and sat down at the roadside. Certainly something was. The experience makes one speechless. One cannot grasp: what was it, who was it?
Have you noticed? -- sometimes something suddenly wakes you up when you were deep asleep. At five a.m. you were sound asleep, at the hour of deepest sleep, and something suddenly awakens you. Some noise, some firecracker goes off in the street, a car crashes into your door: some noise that immediately wakes you up. Instantly! You jump immediately from sleep to wakefulness. You come like an arrow from the depths of sleep. Usually when we come out of deep sleep we come very slowly. First deep sleep drops away, then dreams gradually start floating, then we remain in dreams for a while.
You can remember your morning dreams, but you do not recall the night dreams, because the morning dreams are very light and exactly half way between sleep and waking up. Then gradually dreams disappear. Then there is half broken sleep. Then sun and shadow play a little hide and seek with your eyes: you are one moment awake, one moment again asleep; you roll over as if awake.... In between you hear your wife making tea, a dish falls, the milkman comes, someone passes by on the street, the servant knocks, the kids are getting ready for school. Then you roll over again and start falling into the depths. In this way you very gradually come to the surface. Then you open your eyes.
But if something happens suddenly, you come like an arrow from the depths straight to awakening. Your eyes open and you wonder: Where am I? Who am I? For a moment nothing is clear.
This must have happened to all of you at some time or other: you wonder, Who am I? Even your name and address will be gone. Where am I? This too will be unclear. It is as if you have suddenly come to some alien world. It lasts only a moment then you come back together, because this shock isn't such a great shock. And then too you are used to it -- it happens every day. You get up every morning: you return from the world of dreams into the world of wakefulness. This routine is old, yet sometimes when it happens suddenly you are startled and frightened.
When the real awakening happens you will be completely speechless. You won't have any idea what is happening. Everything will become calm and silent.
But it was good. "... Neither scene nor spectator remained, not even the observer remained. Everything disappeared but still something was." It is to help you to comprehend this "something" that I speak on scriptures -- so you become capable of interpreting it. You can give meaning to this "something," you can identify it, you can define it. If not, it can drown you. You will be carried away in a flood, you won't have any place to stand. Hence I go on saying so many things.
"Everything disappeared but still something was. Sometimes dark, sometimes light playing hide and seek. But since then anxiety has increased and I cannot understand all this."
Put it away, keep what I say to you. Make a jewelled box for it. Don't take it as wisdom but only as information. Consciously make a box for it. Then gradually you will find, as experiences begin happening, that my words arise from your unconscious, and make clear and comprehensible the experiences that happen. I will be your witness.
But if you argue with me as you listen I cannot become your witness -- you listen and you are creating some kind of internal struggle against me, refuting me. If you are not listening sympathetically, lovingly, but go on debating, then I cannot be your witness because then when you put something in your box it won't be mine, it will be yours.
Last night a psychologist from Australia took sannyas. I told him, "You are welcome here even if you don't take sannyas. But then you will not become my guest. You are welcomed. But if you take sannyas you are welcome here and you will also become my guest."
People ask me, "Will your love for us be less if we don't take sannyas?" My love for you will remain total. Be welcome! But the moment you take sannyas you become my guest also. And there is a great difference. Without taking sannyas you listen from a distance. Taking sannyas you come close.
Without your taking sannyas your intellect goes on analyzing, goes on shifting whatever I say. Whatever fits with your mind you keep, whatever does not fit you throw out. And the possibility is that what doesn't fit with you is what will be useful for you. Whatever agrees with your mind cannot transform you. If it agrees with you it means that it is in harmony with your past. What doesn't fit with your past can spark a revolution within. What doesn't fit with you can transform. Whatever totally fits you will strengthen you as you are, not transform you. You go on selecting -- you think you are intelligent.
Intelligent people sometimes do very idiotic things. They sit here selecting. They go on choosing. They hold on to things that fit their prejudice, and make no connection with anything that is against their prejudice. But I repeat to you that what doesn't seem to fit you will some day be useful. Now you don't have any way to understand it, because you don't have any experience of it. But still I say unto you, keep it with you. When the experience comes some day, then suddenly it will arise from your unconscious and clarify everything. Then you will not remain speechless, the amazement will not break you apart. And you need not be frightened and uneasy.
"High above what the wind sang and the cedars echoed, what was shining on the snow peaks, what spilled over from the evening sky, who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it? Oh, it has descended into my already given heart. It overflows in my accepted tears. It came unknown, unrecognized. It has manifested itself by means of all these and me. It has permeated itself. Alone where it is resplendent, eyes are helplessly lowered. Not only sounds, the echoing of the infinite silence is also lost there."
Hear me -- with deep tears! Hear me -- with the heart. Hear me -- with love. Not with intellect, not with logic. This is the meaning of trust and faith.
"High above what the wind sang and the cedars echoed, what was shining on the snow peaks, what spilled over from the evening sky, who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it?" No! Whenever the hand of desire is extended, it shrinks. The hand of desire can only contain alms, not an empire. A heart opened by love is needed to contain an empire. A begging, desiring bowl will not do.
"... who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it?"
You can listen to me in such a way that you take what fits your prejudices and put it in your bag. Then you come to me extending your begging bowl. Desire is a beggar. You can take a little, but what you take are just scraps of bread fallen from the table. You could not become a guest. Sannyas will make you a guest. "Oh, it has descended into my already given heart. It overflows in my accepted tears. It came unknown, unrecognized. It has manifested itself by means of all these and me. It has permeated itself. Alone where it is resplendent, eyes are helplessly lowered."
Where eyes bow down.... "Not only sounds, the echoing of the infinite silence is also lost there." Get ready for this. Fill the heart with love for this. Learn to listen with sympathy. And keep in a treasure box what I am saying to you. Then you will not suffer. Then when the unacquainted, the unknown descends, you can understand it. You will be able to understand its hidden music. You will not drown or be frightened by its silence, you will be liberated; otherwise it seems like death.
If God comes without your understanding, if you have no means to understand him, it will feel like death, that you are finished. If you have a little understanding, some preparation, you have learnt something from a master, have sat in his presence, then God is liberation; otherwise he seems to be death. And once you have freaked out, you will stop going in that direction. Once you have been so frightened, every cell of your body will tremble. You will go everywhere except where there is such fear. Where your arms and legs tremble, where you have to sit at the side of the road, where everything goes dark and all seems to be lost; something unknown, unacquainted remains and you are just freaked out -- you won't go back there.
In one of Rabindranath Tagore's poems he says, "I searched for God for many lives... searched but never found. Sometimes I got a glimpse of him among the most distant stars. I kept hoping, kept looking. Then one day by a lucky accident I reached his door. There was a sign: 'This is God's house.' I climbed the steps -- in one leap the journey of many lives was complete. Benediction!
"My hand was on the doorbell chain when a fear overcame me: 'What if I meet him? Then? What will I do? My whole work has been to seek God. I live in this hope -- it is my life's journey. So if I meet God it will be death. What will happen to my life, my journey? Then where will I go, what will I attain, what will I seek? Then nothing will remain.' So in fright I let go of the chain, slowly let go of it so there would be no noise, so that he would not open the door. I took my shoes in my hand and fled, and since then I have been fleeing."
"Still I go on seeking" -- the poem continues -- "even now I am seeking God, though I know where his house is. I seek him everywhere except there, because seeking is my life. I keep myself from going near it. I go anywhere except towards that house. I turn away from it. I ask everywhere else, 'Where is God?' -- and all along I know where God is."
As I see it, many people have come close to that house many times in their endless seeking, but freaked out. Freaked out and forgot everything; only that fright they cannot forget. This is why people are not readily attracted to meditation. People are scared, and avoid even talking about things like meditation. They make formal use of the word God, but they never let themselves go in a deep search for him. They go to the temple, the mosque -- it is a social formality, a convention, a custom. They go because they are supposed to, but they never let the temple, the mosque, be established in their heart. They won't take on such danger. They keep God far away. And there is a reason for it -- somewhere hidden deep in their memory is an experience of fear. Sometime they must have faltered in front of that door.
If the friend who has had this experience does not understand it correctly he will start being frightened. Sitting down freaked out in the street, all limbs trembling, heart pounding wildly, breath coming in gulps, everything every which-way -- it is better to stay away from such meditation! It is trouble. It is okay if you come back, but if you don't come back? If you go on sitting at the roadside people will think you are crazy. It is okay for an hour or two; more, and the police will come. More, and the neighbors will take you away, or send you to the hospital to find out what happened. The medics will start giving injections, concerned that you have lost consciousness, that there may be a brain injury.
A friend has written -- a sannyasin -- that he left here dancing, ecstatic. His family had never seen him dancing and ecstatic. When he danced and was blissed out at home they thought he was insane. They came running, caught him, sat him down, and asked what happened.
He said, "Nothing happened to me. I am very happy, in bliss." The more he spoke of spiritual truths the more his family were sure something was wrong. They took him from the house and forced him to enter a hospital.
A letter has come from him. He says, "I am lying here in the hospital laughing. This is great fun. When I was sad no one took me for medical help. Now I am happy people have brought me to the hospital. I am watching this drama. But they think I am insane. And the more they think I am mad the more I laugh! The more I laugh the more they think I am mad!"
It is good that you have asked. Don't be frightened. This experience will gradually quieten down. Witness it. This happening is natural.
The fourth question:
BELOVED OSHO, WE ARE PART AND PARCEL OF GOD, AND INDESTRUCTIBLE TOO. PLEASE EXPLAIN WHEN, WHY AND HOW THIS PART GOT SEPARATED FROM THE ROOT? AND REUNITING THE PART TO THE ROOT -- IS IT POSSIBLE THERE IS A UNION THAT CANNOT BE SEPARATED? IF IT IS POSSIBLE THEN PLEASE JOIN THIS PART TO THE ROOT SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO BE FRIGHTENED IN THIS CHAOS AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Do you see the difference? The last question came from experience. This question is academic.
"We are part and parcel of God, and indestructible too." Do you know this? You have heard it, you have read it -- and as it gives your ego satisfaction, you believed it. What could give the ego more satisfaction than saying we are part of God... we are God, we are Brahma, we are indestructible! This is what you want. This is the search of the ego. This is your deepest desire -- that you should become indestructible, a part of God, one who is Brahma, the lord of the whole universe.
"We are part and parcel of God, and indestructible too." Do you know this? If you know this there is no need to ask. If you don't know then writing it is meaningless: asking the question is enough.
"Please explain when, why and how this part got separated from the root?" This is a scholarly question. When? -- you want date and time. What will you do with it? If I tell you the date what difference can it make? If I give the year and time, that exactly at six a.m. on such and such a day -- what change will that make? What transformation will it bring to your life? What will you attain?
"... When, why and how this part got separated?" If you know you are a part of God then you know you have never been separated. You have had a dream of separation. You have never been separated -- how can a part be separated? The part exists only with the whole. You have forgotten. You cannot be separated but you can forget. There is no way to separate. We are that which exists. Even though we can forget, still we can remember -- the whole difference is of forgetting and remembering.
"... When, why and how this part got separated from the root?" If you were separate I could tell you when, why and how. You are not separate. Asleep at night, you dream you are a horse. In the morning you ask, "Why, how, when did I become a horse? It is very difficult -- why did I become a horse?" The first thing is that you never became a horse. If you had, would there be anyone left to ask? Horses don't ask questions. You were never a horse, you only dreamt it. In the morning you wake up saying, "What a dream I had!" Remember, you were not a horse even when you were watching the dream, and even though you may have been completely absorbed in feeling you were a horse. This is Ashtavakra's basic teaching.
Ashtavakra says that you become that with which you identify your "I." Body consciousness -- you become a body. You say you are a body and you are a body. Brahma consciousness -- say you are Brahma and you are Brahma. You become that with which you identify your "I." In your dream you were identified with a horse -- you became a horse. Now you are identified with a body, you become a man. But you never really do, you are always what you are -- just the same. There is never any change in your nature.
This kind of question has no meaning. Don't waste time in asking such questions. And those who answer questions like these are even more idiotic than you.
There is an anecdote about the Zen monk, Bokoju. One morning he woke up and immediately called his chief disciple, telling him, "Listen, I have had a dream. Can you analyze it for me?"
The disciple said, "Wait! I will bring a little water. First wash your face."
He brought a pot full of water and helped the master wash his face and hands. While he was doing that another disciple was passing by. The master said, "Listen, I had this dream. Will you analyze it for me?"
He said, "Just wait... it is better I bring a cup of tea for you" -- and he brought him a cup of tea.
The master had a good belly laugh. He said, "If you had analyzed my dream I would have beaten you and thrown you out!"
What analysis can a dream have? Now you have seen it, you are awake, now drop the whole circus!
The disciples gave the correct answer. It was a test, their examination -- the moment of testing had come. One disciple brought water to wash the master's hands and face. "The dream is gone, now be finished with it! What more analysis? -- the dream was a dream, it is finished. What analysis? The truth can be analyzed, but a dream? Can the false be analyzed? Can what never happened be analyzed? It is enough to know it was a dream; now wash your face. Now you have come back, just come out of it."
The other youth also did well, bringing a cup to tea: "You've washed your face, but it seems there is still a little sleep left. Enjoy a cup of tea and you will be completely awake."
This is what I am telling you: "Wash your face, drink your tea! You were never separate -- there is no way to be separate."
Then you ask, "And re-uniting the part to the root -- is it possible there is a union that cannot be separated?" When you are not separate, to talk about union is nonsense. This is why Ashtavakra says practice for liberation prevents liberation. What is he saying? He is saying, "You want a method to unite you with that from which you have never been separate? Does madness have no limit? This very method will prevent union."
Think a little. If you never left your house then efforts to return home will prevent you from waking up.
A drunk returned home one night. He had drunk too much. He managed to knock on the door but didn't know that it was his own house. His mother opened the door. He said, "My dear old woman, can you tell me where my house is?"
The old woman replied, "You are my son, I am your mother, idiot! This is your home."
He said, "Don't try to fool me. Don't confuse me. I am sure my house is somewhere around here, but where?"
The neighbors gathered around and they tried to persuade him. But it is no use arguing with drunks. One who argues with drunkards is also drunk. They told him, "This is your house!" They began proving it, showing him proof: "Look at this," "Look at that." They didn't understand that this man is drunk -- what proof is needed for anything? Who knows all that he is seeing? Something you cannot imagine. He is not seeing what you see, he is in some other world. He doesn't even recognize his own mother; can he recognize his home? He does not recognize himself; can he recognize anyone else?
Another drunk came along. He arrived with his bullock cart all hitched up. He said, "Climb on my bullock cart, I will take you home."
The drunk said, "This man seems to be right. I've found my guru! These others are all idiots: I ask them where my house is and they just go on repeating that this is my house. What, am I blind? This man is a perfect master."
Remember: if you ask wrong questions you will fall into the snares of wrong masters. Once you ask a wrong question you will meet someone or other who will give you a wrong answer. This is the law of life. Ask and someone is waiting to answer. The fact is that even if you don't ask, someone is ready to answer. They are looking for you. When you ask a question like this you only put yourself in trouble.
"And reuniting...." You were never separated, you never left -- how can you be reunited? And you ask "Is it possible there is a union that cannot be separated?" What if union happens but somehow it separates again? These things all look real because we don't remember who we are. If God is separate then all these things are true.
God is our nature, but we can forget our nature. This too is our inner nature, that we can forget our nature.
A friend has asked, "If the atma is uncorrupted, freedom, and infinite energy, supreme independence, then how does desire arise?" This too is the independence of our being -- that if it wants to desire it can desire. If our being could not desire it would be dependent. Think about it. This world is your freedom. You wanted it, so it happened. Your desire is free. If you wish, it ceases right now. If you wish, it is back immediately.
So I cannot say to you there is a union that cannot be broken. You have never been separated, but your being's ultimate freedom is that when it wants, it can forget something, and when it wants it can remember. If this possibility did not exist, the being would be confined, its freedom would be limited. Something would be projected on it; it would have characteristics.
There was a philosopher in the West, Diderot. He proved that God is not omnipotent, not all powerful. He gave arguments that seem to be right. For example, he says, "Can God make two plus two equal five?" It seemed difficult for even God to make two plus two equal five. So how could he be omnipotent? Two plus two equal four. "Can God make a triangle a rectangle? How can he do it? If he makes it a rectangle, it will no longer be a triangle. If it remains a triangle, then he couldn't make a rectangle out of it, so God is limited."
Diderot gave a shock to the Christian idea of God. But if Diderot knew the Indian ideas he would have been in difficulty. They say that this is the whole trouble -- that God has the freedom to make two plus two equal five, two plus two equal three. This is what we call maya, illusion -- it can make two plus two equal five, two plus two equal three. When two plus two equals four we are out of maya.
Here triangles look like rectangles. Here great deceptions go on. Here someone understands something, someone else understands something else. Only what actually is, that is unknown to anyone. This much is certain, that two plus two will be anything, but not four. This is what we call maya.
We have called maya the power of God. Have you ever thought what this means? We call maya the power of God: it means God has the power even to deceive himself. If not, he would be limited. What sort of God would he be if he couldn't dream? Then he would be limited because he is incapable of dreaming. No, God can see dreams.
You are dreaming. You are God seeing dreams. He can wake up, he can dream -- and this ability is yours. Hence when you want you can dream, and when you want you can wake up. This is your choice: if you want to stay awake, you can remain awake; if you want to stay in dreams, you can continue dreaming.
Man's freedom is unrestrained.
The power of your being is unrestrained.
Truth and dream -- they are the ultimate's two streams. Everything is contained in these two streams.
You ask is reuniting possible? First, don't say "reunite." If you say "remember," it will be the right word. And you ask, "... THAT CANNOT BE SEPARATED...." I cannot guarantee it, because it depends on you, it is your choice. If you want to renounce, to forget, then no one can stop you. If you want to remember, no one can stop you. And don't be troubled by this. Take it as a blessing that your freedom is so great that even when you want to forget God there is no objection. God does not harass you at all. If you want to oppose him, there is no objection. He still remains with you. When you want to go against him, he still goes on giving you energy.
The Sufi monk, Hassan, has written, "One night I asked God, 'Who is the most religious person in the village?' God told me it is my next door neighbor."
Hassan had never even thought about him. He was a simple, straightforward man. No one thinks about simple folk. Thinking is about troublemakers. His neighbor was a simple fellow, living quietly. An ordinary man, in his own joy -- nothing to do with anyone else. No one had taken any notice of him. Hassan said to himself, "This man is the most virtuous?"
The next morning he inspected him carefully and found what radiance the man had. The next night he asked God, "Now, another question. It is good what you said. I will worship this man, I will bow down to him -- he has become my guru. Now tell me one more thing: Who is the worst man in this village? -- so I can avoid him."
God said, "The same neighbor."
Hassan said, "This is really confusing!"
God replied, "What can I do? Last night he was in a beautiful mood, now he is in a lousy mood. I cannot do anything. I cannot say what state he will be in by the morning. He could be in a good mood again."
Your being is ultimate freedom. Nothing limits it. This ultimate freedom we call moksha, liberation. Moksha includes the freedom to forget. If you want to forget no one can stop you. What liberation would it be if you weren't free to come out of it when you wanted to?
I have heard, a Catholic priest died and when he reached heaven he was surprised to see many people bound in chains and irons. He said, "What's going on? Chains and irons in heaven?"
He was told, "They want to return -- they are Americans, and they want to go back to America. They say it is more fun there. They had to be put in irons because it would be a scandal for heaven. They say, 'We don't want to stay in heaven, we'd rather return to America. It is juicier there. We have better women than these heavenly damsels. Liquor? -- we have better liquor. Buildings? -- they are taller than this. What's with all these ancient buildings?'
The buildings in heaven are old-fashioned now. They are completely out of date. The architects and engineers designed them 25,000 years ago and they are still standing. "They say they want to return to America. We had to chain them. If they run away and make it back to America it will be a great disgrace for heaven. How will anyone want to come here?"
But what heaven is this, where you can be put in irons? Hell would be better; at least there aren't chains. Remember this: heaven is independence. Moksha is freedom. Liberation is where you are independent. And this is the ultimate experience. It is ultimate and unconditional; there can be no conditions on it.
If some liberated soul has the feeling to return to the world, no one can stop him. Liberated ones won't return, this is another matter. But if a liberated being wanted to return no one could stop him. And who would stop him? And if someone can stop a liberated being, then what liberation is this?
If you start leaving heaven and someone says, "Stop! You can't leave. This is heaven, where are you going?" -- heaven is finished that very moment. I am not saying that liberated beings return. I am saying that no one can stop them. Hence I cannot give you a guarantee. If you want to return, what can I do? If you want to avoid God, what can I do? I can only make a declaration of your total freedom.
"If it is possible then please join this part to the root...." Your hope is very cheap. You are saying that you don't really want to be joined, someone else should take the trouble to do it. How can this be? Union can happen only if you want it... only if it is your desire, your will, your yearning, your thirst.... No one else can unite you. There is no way freedom can be forced -- neither outer nor inner. You go by your own choice.
And if I manage somehow to join you, you will still escape, because a happening brought from outside cannot be connected with your being. It will be forced. It is not possible; otherwise one enlightened person could enlighten the whole world. One enlightened one would be enough. He would liberate everyone, unite everyone with God. Are enlightened ones lacking in compassion? No they are not, but nothing can be done against your wish. And if you wish it, it can happen right now, this very moment. Be happy! Right now!
And this desire you have, that someone else should unite you with God -- this is your means of returning to the world. Any desire for the other is a way of returning to the world. Someone else should make you happy, should love you, should respect you -- now these old habits are saying someone should liberate you, should unite you with God... but someone else. How long are you going to remain weak, powerless, impotent? When will you awaken to your own power? When will you declare your virility? When will you stand on your own two feet? Sometimes you lean on your wife's shoulders, sometimes on the government's shoulders, sometimes on politicians' shoulders....
I have heard that near Delhi some laborers were sent to do some work on the street. They arrived there only to find they had forgotten their picks, they hadn't brought their picks and shovels. They phoned the engineer to say they had come without their tools, and to send them right away.
He said, "I'll send them. until then you'll have to manage by leaning on each other's shoulders."
This is what laborers do. To rest they lean on their picks and shovels. The engineer said, "I'll send them as fast as I can, but in the meantime you'll just have to lean on each other's shoulders."
We are leaning, we go on changing shoulders. Then we drop all this and lean on the guru's shoulders. Now some guru should take us across, take us beyond.
When will you make your own declaration, your individual proclamation? With your own declaration comes the potential of your own being to flower, to blossom. How long are you going to be dependent? How long are you going to insist on being a beggar? Are you going to attain god as alms too? Wake up from this sleep.
"... so that I don't have to be frightened in this chaos again and again." You wanted to enter this chaos, so you entered. And the strange thing is, if you are put in solitude you will be frightened there too. Who is stopping you? Run away to the Himalayas, sit in isolation: there you will fear aloneness and you will come running back to this chaos. We remain in this chaos because we are afraid to remain alone, we cannot live alone. And we feel bad in the crowd. It is very difficult: we cannot live alone, we cannot live in the crowd.
Have you noticed what happens when you are left alone? What happens when you are alone in the forest on a dark night? What happens? Does bliss come? The chaos seems better. "If I could only meet someone, talk to someone...." Alone, you become very afraid of dying. Alone, you feel death. When you dissolve into God you will be completely alone. There are not two gods here -- there is only one. Dissolve and you are alone. Dissolving into God you don't remain you, God does not remain God -- only one remains. This is why the preparation of meditation is needed, so you start enjoying the taste of being alone. Before entering into ultimate aloneness, let the joy of aloneness begin, let its melody play, its song resound. Start enjoying aloneness; then you can drop into ultimate aloneness. It is a training so you can endure the experience of God.
If you ask me I will say that meditation is not a method to attain God; God can be attained without meditation too. Meditation is a training to endure God. Meditation gives you the capacity to withstand. When you enter ultimate aloneness you will be completely alone. No radio, no television, no newspaper -- no friend, no club, no society -- nothing at all. You will be completely alone. Prepare for that aloneness.
I am ready to take you out of this chaos, but are you ready? When you sit alone your head starts creating this same chaos. The friends that renounce their homes start talking to themselves. In their head they start talking to the wife they left behind. The whole crowd is collected again. Webs of imagination are woven. You cannot remain alone; hence you return again and again. You do not return to the world without cause. You return on your own accord. You want this chaos, hence you return.
"The life of man is nothing at all. The matter is this: it doesn't matter at all." "The life of man is nothing at all... man's life is not life. Life belongs to the whole. "The matter is this: it doesn't matter at all"... man is just meaningless.
Yesterday, Mulla Nasruddin's falling off the bed -- just meaningless. He was making space for a child that doesn't exist when he fell and broke his leg.
There was a case in court in which two men had been fighting. The judge asked what happened. Both of them hesitated. They said, "What can we say? If we say what happened we will be very embarrassed. You give whatever punishment is needed."
He said, "I still want to know what happened. Who should I punish?"
They looked at each other saying, "You tell him." When the judge started getting angry, and said, "Are you going to tell me or not?" they were forced to speak, and they said, "This is the situation: we are friends, and we were sitting in the sand on the river bank. This friend said he was going to buy a buffalo. I said, 'Don't buy a buffalo because I am buying a field, and if your buffalo comes into my field then our life-long friendship will be spoiled.'
"He said, 'Get lost! Because you are buying a field I shouldn't buy a buffalo? Don't buy a field then! And a buffalo is a buffalo -- if it gets in it gets in. I'm not going to spend my whole day chasing after him. And what is the value of this friendship? -- that just because my buffalo enters your field you make such a fuss about it?'
"I too mounted my throne and said, 'Good, I will show you my field, show me the buffalo you bought.' Then with a stick I drew a field in the sand -- and this idiot made his stick drawing of a buffalo enter! We quarreled, we came to blows. What can we say to you? Give us the punishment. We are embarrassed to say anything more."
"The life of man is nothing at all. The matter is this: it's no matter at all. You have given man everything such that man's person is nothing at all. Except this joy of heart and liver the messengers of pleasure are nothing at all. The /kaynat of beauty is everything, the /kaynat of love is nothing at all. Man changes clothing: this life-death /mayaat is nothing at all."
Man goes on changing his clothes. Neither life is anything, nor death is anything. "Man changes clothing: this life-death /mayaat is nothing at all. The life of man is nothing at all. The matter is this: it's no matter at all." If you understand this, that you are a matter which doesn't matter, then you have understood everything.
The last question:
BELOVED OSHO, FOR AGES I HAVE WANTED TO ASK: PLEASE, TELL ME, WHAT SHOULD I ASK? ACCEPT MY PRANAM, MY BOWING SALUTATION.
Dulari has asked. It is absolutely true: I have known her for years, and she has never asked anything. Very few people have never asked. This is the first time, and still she doesn't ask anything: "For ages I have wanted to ask: please, you tell me, what should I ask?
The real question of life is such that it cannot be asked. A question you can ask is not worth asking. What you cannot ask -- that is worth asking. The real question of life cannot be put into words. Life questions can only be said with eyes thirsting for rain, eyes filled with the longing to know.
I know Dulari. She has never asked, but I have heard her question. And her question is not hers, because what you are able to ask is yours. What you are unable to ask is everyone's.
The same question is inside every one of us. And this question is: all this is happening, all is going on but still nothing seems real. All this running around, this hubbub -- but nothing makes any sense. So much is attained and lost; still nothing is attained, nothing is lost. This vast journey birth after birth where no destination is visible. We are -- why? What is this being of ours? Where are we going, and what is going on? What is our purpose? What is the meaning of this music?
This existential question is inside everyone: What is the purpose of existence? And in words there is no answer. A question that cannot be asked in words, cannot have an answer in words. That which is inside us -- call it the witness, observer, river of life, consciousness, whatever name you like. It is nameless so give it any name you want -- God, liberation, nirvana, being, non-being, whatever you like -- fullness, emptiness, whatever; it is nameless within -- submerge yourself in this. By your just dropping into it questions start gradually disappearing.
I am not saying you will find answers -- the questions just dissolve. And when the questions dissolve your very consciousness becomes the answer. I am not saying you get an answer. When you become questionless the joy of life, the great auspicious blessing comes raining down. You dance, you shout and sing. Samadhi has flowered. Then you don't ask anything -- there is nothing to ask. Then life is not a question, life is a mystery. It is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived, to be danced, to be sung. A mystery to be celebrated.
Go in. Beyond the body, beyond the mind, beyond emotions -- go in deeper and deeper! "Life long I could not find out, What is affection? Where is love? And where do the flowers spread their perfume?" A fragrance seems to be arising -- where does it come from? Life is, its shadow falls here, but where is its root? Reflections are shimmering, but where is the original? Echoes reverberate in the mountains, but where is the original sound? "Life long I could not find out, What is affection? Where is love? And where do the flowers spread their perfume? A bride of sighs I met and for my grief a laugh. Life long I could not find out, What is fragrance? Where is the pollen? And where do the clouds rain?"
But the clouds rain -- in your deepest interiority. Flowers give off their perfume -- in your innermost center. The fragrance is in the musk deer's navel. This fragrance that surrounds you and has become a question -- where does it arise? This fragrance is yours, it is no one else's. If you look for it outside it will become a mirage, it will spread the net of maya, taking you on an endless journey. The day you look within, the door of the temple opens. That day you will reach to your fragrant center. Love is there, divinity is there.
The mind gets caught up outside. Mind says, "I'll go inside, but a little later on." "Supported by some desire, I stand long alone on the bank of the river, keeping silent. It is a pleasant evening, seems a gathering of the happy. This weightless twilight overwhelms my thinking. I am reminded, this is the evening of my life. It looks stupid but in life, hopelessness too clings to some hope. Cry out a little longer, O heart! Receive the embrace of the charmed twilight with a smile, there is still plenty of time before night falls."
Mind goes on suggesting, a little more, a little longer -- just forget yourself in dreams. Go on running after mirages a little more. Such beautiful dreams! And there is still plenty of time before death comes.
People think we will take sannyas, we will pray, we will meditate -- in old age, when death has come and stands at the door. When one foot is already in the grave we will lift the other foot for meditation. "Cry out a little longer, O heart! Receive the embrace of the charmed twilight with a smile, there is still plenty of time before night falls."
We go on postponing. Night is drawing near. There isn't plenty of time, night has already fallen. Many times we have wasted this birth, this life. We are waiting for death -- and death comes before meditation has come. One more life spoiled, one more chance wasted. Don't let it happen this time. This time don't postpone. This fragrance is your own. This life is hidden within you. The veil has to be opened within you.
Don't ask questions without. No answer is going to come from there. Enter within, from where the question arises. Don't bother if the question is unclear. Enter this unclear half-light of questioning. Gradually enter inside this faint dusky light.
Seek that place where questions arise. Don't bother much what the question is -- just watch where are they coming from. Find that place, that deep place, within yourself where the seeds of questioning sprout, where questions take leaf. There is the root, there you will find the answer.
"The answer" does not mean you will find some fixed answer, some conclusion. The answer means you will experience blessedness, gratefulness, life. Where life is not a problem, where it becomes a celebration.
"A screaming silence in which voiced burning desires burn up, are dissolved. From this your rhythm pulsates, your season is known. A screaming silence in which voiced burning desires burn up, are dissolved."
No, there is a silence within, a peace in which all the fire of desiring is gradually lost and becomes calm. "From this your rhythm pulsates...." Then no melody is heard only the rhythm echoes -- a rhythm without words, without tone. Pure rhythm reverberates. "From this your rhythm pulsates, your season is known." Here the truth of life manifests: "your season is known."
"A black roundish night in which form, statues, icons are all melted down and fade away. A deep sleep beyond dreams, beyond forms, sacred: within it extend your hand and immediately draw him near and embrace him!"
God is hidden within you. Go in a little. Leave your idols, your thoughts, icons, beliefs... soap bubbles of the mind! Enter the depths. Where there are no waves, no words, where silence is. Where ultimate silence takes voice. Where only silence resounds. "From this your rhythm pulsates, your season is known."
Enter there. "You extend your hand and immediately draw him near and embrace him!"
This is the meeting, the union.
What you seek is hidden within you. The question you are searching for, its answer is hidden within you. Wake up! Celebrate it right now! All of Ashtavakra's sutras give this one message: it is not to be attained, it is already attained. Wake up and celebrate.
Hari Om Tat Sat.
Chapter No. 7 and 8 - No Title
Chapter No. 9 and 10 - No Title