The Mahageeta

Talks on Ashtavakra Samhita
Talks given from 11/09/1976 - 20/09/1976
Original in Hindi
Book Chapters : 10
Year published : 1993
Source: and

[NOTE: This discourse is in the process of being edited for publication. It is for reference use only.]

Chapter No. 7 - No Title
17 September 1976 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

Janak said,








In darkness like a sudden flash of light, or like a blind man suddenly seeing -- this is what happened to Janak. He saw what he had never seen before. He heard what he had never heard before. His heart was filled with a new rhythm, a new zest. His spirit had a new vision. Certainly Janak was ready and available.

When it rains on mountains, mountains remain empty, because they are already full. When it rains on lakes, the empty lakes fill up.

One who is empty is available, the filled are unavailable.

Ego makes one stone like. Egolessness gives one spaciousness, emptiness.

Janak must have been an empty vessel. Wonder, awe immediately arose. He heard the call and was awakened. The call was hardly given when he heard. The shadow of the whip was enough: there was no need to crack it, and no question at all of whipping.

Ashtavakra is very fortunate in having such a worthy listener as Janak.

There is no other master in all of human history that has been as fortunate as Ashtavakra. It is very rare to find a disciple like Janak -- who awakens with just the slightest hint, as if he was just waiting, as if a small puff of wind was enough to break his sleep. The sleep was not deep, not loaded with many dreams, just about to break. The pre-dawn had arrived, dawn was fast approaching.

There is a story in the Buddhist Jataka Tales that when Buddha was enlightened he remained silent for seven days. Buddha thought, "Those who will understand me, will understand me without my speaking anyway, and those who will not understand will not understand, no matter how much I explain. So what's the use? Why should I speak? Why uselessly exert myself? Anything can awaken those who are ready to awaken. For them there is no need to call out or shout. A bird will sing his song, a breeze will pass through the trees -- it will be enough."

... And that has happened. Lao Tzu was sitting under a tree when a dry leaf fell from the tree: he attained total awareness watching the dry leaf falling from the tree. The dry leaf became his master. He just watched everything -- in that dry leaf he saw his birth, he saw his death. In the death of that dry leaf, everything died. One day he too would fall like a dry leaf -- everything was finished.

It was the same for Buddha. He was shocked, seeing a sick old man on the road. And when he saw a corpse he asked, "What has happened to this man?"

His chariot driver said, "The same will happen to you, and to everyone else. One day death will come."

Buddha said, "Then turn the chariot around and take me home. Now there is nowhere to go. If death is approaching, life has no meaning."

You have seen corpses being carried down the road for burning. You also have stood at the road side and felt sympathy for a moment. You might say, "This poor guy has died. What a tragedy! He was still young, he left behind his young wife and kids. How tragic!"

You had pity for the dead person -- you didn't feel any pity for yourself. The dying person brought the message of your death. Today he goes carried out on a stretcher; tomorrow or the next day you will be loaded up and carried out. Just as you are standing at the roadside feeling sympathy for him, other people will also be standing along the road feeling sympathy for you. You will be so helpless that you won't even be able to thank them. The dead body you see going down the road is yours.

If you have the eyes, the vision, the depth, a profound awareness, then you will know that when one man dies, the whole humanity dies and life becomes meaningless.

Buddha renounced everything and went away. But when he became enlightened he thought that whoever is going to wake up, will wake up anyway without anyone awakening him. For him any excuse will be enough.

It is said that a Zen nun was carrying water back from the well when her pole broke and the pots crashed to the ground. It was a full moon night, the moon was reflected in the water pots. Shouldering the pole with the pots hanging from it, while she was returning to the ashram she was watching the reflection of the moon in the pots. The pots fell, and she stood there in shock. The pots fell, water flowed out -- the moon too flowed out.

It is said enlightenment occurred then and there. Samadhi happened. She returned dancing. She had seen that this world is nothing more than a reflection. Whatever we go on making here will break any moment. All these moons will vanish. All these beautiful poems will disappear. These charming faces will all vanish. They are all reflections on water. She saw this -- all was finished.

Buddha thought, "What's the use? Who will I speak to? Those who are going to wake up will wake up sooner or later without me; it is only a question of a little time. And those who don't want to wake up, even if I scream and shout, they will just roll over and go back to sleep. If they open their eyes they will look angry and ask, "Why are you disturbing my sleep? Don't you have anything better to do? Can't you let those who want to sleep, sleep in peace? I was sleeping soundly and you come along to wake me up?"

You tell someone to wake you up early and when he wakes you, you are angry. You had told him, "I have to catch a train -- get me up early, at four o'clock." But when he wakes you up you are ready to kill him!

Immanuel Kant was a great German thinker. He would get up every day at three o'clock in the morning. He followed the clock, followed the very hands of the clock. It is said that when he went to the university to teach, people along the way set their watches by him -- because for years, thirty years continuously, he would set out at exactly the same minute, the same second.

But when it was very cold he would tell his servant, "No matter what happens, you have to get me up at three a.m. Even if I hit you and fight back, don't pay any attention. You also hit me, but get me up." This was such a big hassle that servants didn't last long with him. Awakened at three a.m. he would be very angry. If he wasn't awakened, he would be angry when he awoke in the morning. And it wasn't just that he was angry, they would actually come to blows. He had told the servant, "Don't worry about it -- you have to get me up at three. Even if you have to drag me out of bed, you have to get me out of bed at three. Don't worry about what I do, don't listen to what I say at that time, because I am asleep then. There is no need to listen to me." There are people like this too!

Buddha thought, "What's the use? -- those who want to sleep will go on sleeping in spite of my shouting, and those ready to wake up will wake up even without me shouting." He remained silent for seven days. Then the gods pleaded with him: "What are you doing? Only rarely does anyone attain buddhahood. The earth is craving water, thirsty people are yearning: the clouds have formed, now they have to rain. You are silent? Let the rain pour! The flower has bloomed, let the fragrance be spread. Let the rivers of juice flow. Many have been thirsting for lives.

"We have listened to your argument -- we have been continuously watching your mind for these seven days. You say there are people who will wake up without your speaking, and there are people who will not wake up no matter how much you speak. Is this why you remain silent? We come to you after thinking for a long time about it: Are there not some who are standing between these two? You cannot neglect them. If someone awakens them they will wake up. If no one awakens them they will continue sleeping life after life. Consider these few. Ninety-nine percent will be those you mention, but consider that one percent who are standing exactly on the edge. If someone tries to awaken them they will wake up, and if no one awakens them, they will go on sleeping."

Buddha could not refute their plea, so he had to speak. The gods convinced him. He ate his words.

Buddha's point was right, and the gods' idea was also right.

There are three types of listeners. One, who you try waking again and again but you can't wake them up. This kind of people are the vast majority. They hear but they don't listen. They look but they don't see. They understand but make their own interpretations -- patching up and whitewashing everything. They understand but still they hold on to their misunderstanding. They have a deep vested interest in misunderstanding. They are afraid to give up their old, familiar beliefs. There is a second type of listener in the middle. If someone makes an effort -- a Buddha, an Ashtavakra, a Krishna -- they will wake up. Arjuna was this kind of listener. Krishna had to work hard. Krishna had to work long and hard on him. The Gita was born out of this effort. At the very end Arjuna felt, "My illusions are far away, my doubts have fallen, I come to surrender at your feet, I have seen!" But this was after a great struggle had taken place, a great conflict. And there is an even more superior listener -- like Janak -- who hears when it has hardly been spoken. Just as Ashtavakra started to speak, Janak started seeing. Today's sutras are Janak's words. So quickly, immediately, Janak realized what Ashtavakra was saying was absolutely right. The blow struck home. So I say, rains fall, but sometimes the ground they rain on is stony: it is raining but seeds will not sprout. And sometimes it rains on ground that is a bit rocky: seeds sprout, but not as many as could. And sometimes it rains on ground that is completely ready, that is fertile and has no rocks -- there is a great harvest. Janak is that type of soil. A hint was enough. It is worth trying to understand Janak's state, because you will be somewhere among these three. And it depends on you, where you insist on placing yourself in these three.

You can be just an ordinary person who insists on not listening, who has vowed to fight against the truth; who, listening, hears something else; who interprets as he listens, who as he listens goes on projecting other things he has heard onto it... colors it, distorts it, hears whatever he wants. You do not hear what is being said. You hear what you want to hear.

I have heard that one day Mulla Nasruddin's wife came home in a rage and said to Mulla that beggars are big cheats.

"Why, what happened?" Nasruddin asked.

"Listen, a beggar had a sign hung around his neck which said 'Blind from birth.' I took pity on him and took ten paise from my purse and dropped it in his begging bowl. When he heard he said, 'Oh beautiful woman, may God make you happy.' Now you tell me how could he know that I am beautiful?"

Mulla Nasruddin started to laugh and said, "Then he is really blind and blind since birth." Then Mulla added, "I am not the only one blind, there is one more blind man; otherwise, if he had eyes how could he say that you are beautiful?"

The wife says one thing, Mulla hears something else. Mulla hears what he wants to hear.

Remember, this goes on happening twenty four hours a day. You go on hearing what you want to hear, never thinking whether what you hear is just yours or if it was actually said.

Mulla was working somewhere and the boss told him, "You are not doing good work, Nasruddin. I am forced to hire someone else now."

Nasruddin said, "You certainly should, boss -- there is work here for two men."

The boss is saying, "I am going to sack you and hire another man." Mulla is saying, "There is enough work for two -- you must hire someone."

Step back and think one more time about what you hear: is it what was said? If an individual becomes capable of hearing correctly, he becomes the second type of listener. He rises above the third, the lowest type. The third adds his own interpretations to what he hears. The third type only hears himself, hears his own echoes. His vision is not clear -- he distorts everything.

The second type of listener hears what is being said. The second type of listener will take a little time, because even in hearing what has been said, courage to translate it into action it is still lacking. But if he has heard, courage will come, because it is impossible to remain for long in the false after hearing the truth. Once truth is seen, then no matter how old a habit is, it will have to be dropped.

When you find out that two plus two equal four, then no matter how old your conditioning is that two plus two equal five, it will have to drop. Once you know where the door is, it is impossible to try getting out through the wall. Now it will not be possible to go on beating your head on the wall. When the truth is understood, sooner or later enough courage will come so that one takes the jump and transforms himself.

Then there is the first type of listener. If you have both understanding and courage you will become the first type of listener. The first type of listener means that understanding and courage happen simultaneously -- understanding arises and courage is ready. There is no gap between understanding and courage. It is not that today one understands and tomorrow has courage, that one understands this lifetime and in the next life finds courage. One understands and courage is right here. One understands this very moment and this very moment there is courage. Then a spontaneous happening occurs. Then the sun suddenly rises.

Janak is the first type of listener.

One more thing related to this has to be understood. Janak is an emperor. He has everything... he has more than he needs. He has enjoyed the world. The revolution of consciousness easily happens in the life of a man who has experienced the world, because that life experience tells him, "What I have known as life is meaningless." Half the work is done by life: through experiencing life he knows that it is meaningless. Questions began arising in his mind: where is more life? Is there another life? Where is true life?

But someone who has not enjoyed the world, has only wanted to enjoy, hasn't got anything but has only wanted to get -- for him there will be tremendous difficulties. So don't be surprised if all of India's great masters, all the great seers -- whether Jaina or Buddhist or Hindu -- if they were all princes, don't be surprised. It is not accidental. It is an indication that one becomes free of the world through enjoying it.

An emperor can see that there is nothing in wealth because he has a mass of wealth but inside nothingness, emptiness. He has a harem of beautiful women and nothing inside himself. He has beautiful palaces, yet inside all is desolation, a desert. When one has all, it starts to be clear that there is nothing in any of it. When one has nothing he lives in hopes.

It is difficult to get rid of hopes because there is no way that hopes can be checked against reality. The poor man thinks he will live happily if he gets money tomorrow. The rich man already has wealth: there is no way for him to hope. Hence when a society becomes prosperous it become religious.

Don't be surprised if the winds of religion have begun to blow strongly in America. This has always happened. When India was wealthy -- as it surely was in the days of Ashtavakra; it was wealthy in the days of Buddha, it was wealthy in the days of Mahavira.... When India was at the peak of its prosperity it reached the great heights of Yoga. It took the ultimate flight into spirituality, because then people saw that there is nothing in wealth: "We have everything and still nothing has meaning." If a country is poor then it is very hard.

I am not saying that a poor man cannot become liberated. A poor man can achieve liberation, a poor man can become religious. But a poor society cannot become religious. An individual can be an exception, but he will need great intensity.

Think about it. If you have money, you can see that money is worthless -- it is very easy. If you don't have money it is difficult, very difficult, to see that money is worthless. How can you see the worthlessness of what you don't have? If you have gold in your hand then you can test if it is real gold or false. If you don't have gold in your hand, if it is only in your dream, no analysis can be made of it. Only real gold can be analysed.

The poor man's religion cannot be real religion. When a poor man goes to the temple he asks for money, he asks for power, he asks for employment. If he is sick he prays to become well. If his son does not have a job he prays that he can find work. The temple remains just an employment exchange. No fragrance of love or prayer arises even in the temple. He needed to go to the hospital, instead he has come to the temple. He needed to go to the employment office, instead he has come to the temple.

The poor man goes on begging in the temple for what he doesn't get in his life. What we lack in our lives is what we ask for.

But if you have everything, or if you are intelligent enough -- if there is such genius in you that you can awaken through understanding alone and can see that when you have everything, even that what have you got?... Others have money, what happened to them? If you don't have it yourself, then you need the intelligence to see: what has happened to those who live in palaces? Are there waves of joy in their eyes? Is there a dance in their feet? Is the fragrance of God around them? If if hasn't happened to them, how will it happen to you? But this understanding is quite difficult.

Most people cannot see that money is worthless even when they do have it -- so to think of seeing it when one doesn't have money.... It can happen, there is a possibility, but a remote possibility. It is easy for Buddha to be awakened, it is easy for Janak to be awakened, it is easy for Arjuna to be awakened too. But it is very difficult for Kabir, it is very difficult for Dadu, for Sahajo. It is very difficult for Jesus, for Mohammed... because they had nothing. And yet they woke up.

The desire for what we don't have is all around us. This desire goes on catching us. Last night I was reading a poem: "I want to live one life more -- for this: in it maybe I could meet a companion who knows how to love. Who would get up in the morning smiling at me, look at me pouring out heart and soul. Who, afternoons in the midst of her various chores would feel sad without me, would pass her day in waiting, who in the evening would give such welcome, /Ram kar le with complete affection, complete comfort /relief /raahat, releasing me from life and death, putting me permanently in her debt.

"I yearn for such a companion, who in my joy would be near with the lamp of faithful love, and in my suffering would be near with the pearls of her warm tears, who when there is no money at home, wouldn't be upset, when the journey is difficult wouldn't wrinkle her brow. Perhaps in the next life I will meet a companion who knows how to love.

"For this, I want to live one life more."

What we don't get -- someone didn't meet a lover, someone didn't find wealth, someone didn't become famous... so we want to live one more life. We have lived infinite lives, but every time something or other remains, some trivia or other remains incomplete, something or other -- and for this another life, and yet another life.

Desires have no end. Needs are very few, desires have no limit. Man goes on living with the support of these hopes and desires. Remember, money does not enslave you; the desire for money enslaves you. Position does not bind you; the desire for position binds you. Fame does not bind you; the desire for fame binds you.

Janak had everything. He had seen everything. It was as if he was just waiting for someone to give a hint and he would awaken. All hopes and dreams had become worthless. His sleep was about to be broken.

So I say, Ashtavakra was blessed with a great disciple.

Janak said, "Amazing. I am innocence, I am peace, I am awareness, I am beyond nature. I have been fooled by illusion all this time!"

The rays of light started descending. "I am innocence." How amazing!

Hearing Ashtavakra say you are innocent, nothing sticks to you -- as soon as he heard it the light reached his very depths, piercing straight like a needle.

"Amazing. I am innocence, I am peace, I am awareness, I am beyond nature." "Amazing -- what are you saying? I am innocence? I am peace? I am awareness? I am beyond nature? Amazing that I have been fooled by illusion all this time!"

Janak was shocked. What he heard he had never heard before. What he saw in Ashtavakra he had never seen before. The ears had not heard, the eyes had not seen -- something unprecedented was revealed. Ashtavakra had become luminous. In his radiance, in his circle of radiance, in his aura, Janak was wonder-struck, "Amazing, now I am becoming aware that nothing can stick to me!" He simply couldn't believe it, couldn't accept it.

Truth is so unbelievable because we have believed the false for so many long lives. Think: when a blind man's eyes suddenly open will he be able to believe that there is light, that there is color, these thousands of colors; these rainbows, these flowers, these trees, this moon and stars? Immediately when his eyes open the blind man will say, "It is amazing! I could not even think that all this is, but it is! I had never even dreamt of it!"

Forget about light, the blind man doesn't even know darkness. Ordinarily you think that a blind man lives in darkness, but you are mistaken. Eyes are needed to see darkness too. You see darkness when you close your eyes because you see light when your eyes are open. But one whose eyes have never opened doesn't know darkness either. Forget light, he is not even acquainted with darkness. There is no way a blind man can even dream of rainbows. But if he gains eyesight and sees, this whole world seems incredible; he cannot believe it.

Janak also experienced a shock. He was spellbound. He was filled with wonder and awe. He said, "Amazing. I am innocence."

We have always considered ourselves guilty, and the priests have always said that we are sinners. The pundits and priests have always preached that we should wash away our sins. No one has ever said that you are innocent, that your innocence is such that there is no way to destroy it, that a million sins cannot make you a sinner. All sins you have committed are only dreams you have seen -- just wake up and they will be gone. Neither virtue nor sin is yours, because the very doing is not yours, because you are not the doer -- you are only the observer, the witness.

"I am innocence." In wonder Janak said, "I am peace" -- because he has known only turmoil. Have you ever known peace? You will usually say yes. But if you look deeply you will find that what you call peace is only a short gap between two periods of turmoil. The English expression "cold war" is very good. Between two wars, a cold war goes on. Between two hot wars a cold war, but war goes on. The first world war was over, the second world war began. Many years passed, some twenty years, but those twenty years were of cold war. The conflict continued, war preparations continued. Yes, the conflict is not manifest now, it is internal, it is underground, kept beneath the surface.

There is cold war right now in the world, war preparations are going on. Soldiers are in training. Bombs are being made. Rifles are being polished, swords are being sharpened. This is cold war. War continues. It will become ignited any day, any day war can break out.

What you call peace is "cold turmoil." Whenever it warms up it will be "hot turmoil." Between two periods of turmoil a little time passes which you call peace. It is not peace, it is only cold turmoil. The mercury hasn't risen much, the heat is not extreme -- you can control this much. But you haven't known peace. Can peace exist between two periods of turmoil? And can peace exist between two wars?

For the one who knows peace, his turmoil is finished forever. You haven't known peace, you have heard the word. Turmoil is your experience, peace is your aspiration, peace is your hope.

Janak says, "I am peace, I am awareness" because he has known only unconsciousness. Whatever you are doing is unaware, as if done in your sleep. If someone questions you thoroughly you will not be able to answer a single thing. If someone asks you why you fell in love with this woman you will say, "I don't know, I just fell -- it happened just like that." Is this an answer? For something like love this is the answer? -- that it happened, that it just happened? Love at first sight! Love happened just seeing the other! Do you know where within you this love arose from? How it came? You know nothing about it. Still you want this love to bring happiness to you.

You do not know where this love comes from, from which unconscious layer it arises... where its seed is, where it sprouts from. Still you say your life will be made happy by this love! It doesn't give happiness; it gives unhappiness, conflict, enmity, jealousy. You suffer; then you say, "What happened? This love turned out to be all false." You were in a state of unconsciousness from the very beginning.

You are running -- money must be earned. If someone asks you why, perhaps you can give some trivial answer. You say how will one live without money? But there are people who have plenty to live on and they continue running. And you are certain that the day you have amassed that much you will be able to stop, but you won't; you will keep on running.

When Andrew Carnegie died he left behind a billion dollars, and he was still earning more at the time of his death. Two days before he died his secretary asked, "Are you satisfied? A billion dollars!"

He replied, "Satisfied? I am dying in great distress, because I had planned to earn ten billion dollars."

For one who has planned to earn ten billion, one billion... it is a deficit of nine billion dollars. Look at his deficit! You are looking at one billion. One billion is not worth two cents to him. One billion has no value anymore. You cannot eat one billion dollars, you cannot drink it -- it is useless. But once this running has started, it goes on and on.

Ask yourself why you are running. You don't have any answer. You are unconscious -- you don't know why you are running. You don't know where you are going, why you are going. If you don't go what will you do? Stop? -- but how to stop? Stop? -- stop for what? You don't know anything about stopping either.

Man goes on living as if he is intoxicated, drugged. The various dimensions of our life are not in our hands. We are completely unconscious.

Gurdjieff used to say we are more or less sleep-walking. Our eyes are open, true, but our sleep is not broken. Our eyes are full of sleep. Something happens, we go on doing, something goes on -- why? We are afraid to ask why, because we have no answer. Raising such questions makes us uneasy.

Janak said, "Amazing. I am innocence, I am peace, I am awareness." And not only this, you are telling me, 'You are beyond nature. Beyond nature! You are not the body, you are not the mind. You are not this which is seen. You are not the observed. You are the observer, always beyond. Beyond nature, you are always transcendental.'"

Understand it. This is Ashtavakra's basic device, his basic method -- if it can be called a method -- be beyond nature!

Whatsoever I see is not me. Whatever comes as experience is not me. Because whatever I see I am beyond. I am the one who is seeing. I am not the one who is seen. Whatever becomes my experience I am beyond because I am the observer of the experience: how can I be the experience? Hence I am not the body, not the mind, not emotion; not Hindu, not Muslim, not Christian, not Brahmin, not low caste; not a child, not a youth, not an old man; not beautiful, not ugly; not intelligent, not an idiot -- I am not anyone at all. I transcend the whole of nature!

This ray of light entered in Janak's heart. He was filled with awe, he was surprised, shocked. His eyes opened for the first time.


Whatever I had built, whatever I had loved, whatever beautiful dreams I had, it was all slumbering in ignorance. They were nothing but dreams! They were just ideas arising in sleep, with no reality whatsoever.


You have shocked me! You have shaken me. All the palaces that I had built have fallen down. And this whole empire that I had created was all a projection of my ignorance.

Try to understand: if you can listen the same will happen. If you can listen, exactly the same will happen to you. Your doing and arranging will all become meaningless. Success or failure, all will become meaningless.

Mulla Nasruddin was talking in his sleep. He opened his eyes and said to his wife, "Quick! Bring my glasses!"

His wife said, "What will you do with your glasses in bed in the middle of the night?"

He said, "Don't waste time, bring my glasses quick. I am looking at a beautiful woman in my dream. I want my glasses to see her more clearly. The dream is a little hazy, blurred."

You go on trying to make your dreams true: somehow let the dream come true! You don't want anyone to say your dream is a dream: you will get angry. We haven't poisoned mystics for nothing, haven't stoned them just for nothing. They made us very angry. We were seeing dreams and they started shaking us. We were in a deep sleep and they started waking us up. Without asking us they started destroying our sleep, started ringing the alarm. Naturally, we are angry.

But if you listen you will be grateful, you will feel eternally grateful.

Remember, in Krishna's Geeta when Krishna is speaking, Arjuna goes on raising questions. In Ashtavakra's Geeta when Ashtavakra speaks, Janak doesn't raise any question. Janak only expressed his gratefulness. Janak simply received what was said. Janak only said you shocked me, you awakened me! There is nothing to ask. Janak began to experience: I AM INNOCENCE, I AM PEACE, I AM AWARENESS, I AM BEYOND NATURE.

It seems impossible to us, it happened so fast! It seems to us it should take some time. We are very surprised: it happened so quickly, with such suddenness.

There are many such accounts in the lives of Zen masters. Now books on Zen have begun to spread in the East, in the West, in every direction, and reading them people are very amazed. Because there are thousands of stories where a monk awakens in a single moment and attains enlightenment. We don't believe it. We do great practices but enlightenment doesn't happen. We make efforts but still meditation doesn't happen. We sit chanting, sit in torturous practices, but the heart remains listless. And this Janak awakened in one moment!

... sometimes it does happen. It depends on your capacity. The less your receptivity, the longer it takes. Delay is not because of enlightenment. It can happen right now, as Ashtavakra says again and again, "Be happy! Be happy right now! Be liberated! Be free right now! This very moment!"

It is happening right now, any delay is because of our receptivity. We have no capacity to receive. Whatever time it takes is to remove the stones that have come in between. The spring can flow right now, the spring is ready, the spring is bubbling. The spring is waiting for the stones to be removed so it can be off, running to the sea! But it will depend on how many rocks lie in between, how many boulders lie in between. It takes no time for the spring to come out -- its route is not closed, it is open, waiting. Sometimes the spring will burst forth, sometimes a little digging is needed somewhere. Sometimes there may be big boulders that need dynamite. But in all three cases, whether the spring bursts open now or after a while or after many lives -- the spring was always present. The obstruction was not of the spring bursting forth, the obstruction is caused by the rocks lying over it. There must have been no rocks at all on Janak's consciousness -- thankfulness arose, gratefulness was proclaimed. He began to dance! He became ecstatic.


This is trust. Arjuna has no trust. Arjuna denies. Arjuna raises question after question. Arjuna has a thousand doubts. Arjuna questions first from this angle, then from that. Janak did not ask anything. This is why I call this song the Mahageeta, the great song. Arjuna's lack of trust is destroyed in the end, ultimately he returns home. Janak has no distrust. It is as if he was standing at the door of his home and someone shook him saying, "Janak, you are standing at your home, there is no place to go."


Ashtavakra said your ultimate being -- witnessing, is not only yours, it is not only your center, it is the center of the entire creation. On the surface we are separate, on the inside we are completely one. Outwardly we are separate, when we go in we are one. Just as waves are separate on the surface of the ocean, but in the depths of the ocean all are one. On the surface one wave is small, another is big; one wave is beautiful, another is ugly; one wave is dirty, another is clean -- on the surface they are very distinct. But in the depth of the ocean, all are joined. One who remembers the center loses his individuality, he ceases to be an individual.

So Janak says, "JUST AS I ALONE ILLUMINE THIS BODY, DO I ILLUMINE THE UNIVERSE TOO? What are you saying? It is unbelievable!"

Last night a young man came to me and said, "I don't believe what happened in meditation." Right! When something happens, this is how it happens, it is not believable. We put our faith in little things, in trivia. When the vast happens how can we believe it?

When god is standing before you, you will be filled with awe, stunned and speechless.

There was a great mystic in the West, Tertullian. His words are... someone asked him, "Is there any proof of god?"

He said, "There is only one proof: god is because he is absurd. God is because he is unbelievable. God is because he is impossible."

Tertullian is saying something very unique. "God is because he is absurd! The world makes sense, god is absurd. The trivial is possible, the vast is impossible. But the impossible also happens," Tertullian says. Accept the impossible and the impossible also happens. When it happens it is completely unbelievable. All of your roots will be ripped out, how can you believe it? When it happens you will not be, so who will believe it? When it happens you will be scattered to the winds.

Until now you have existed as darkness. When the sun comes out, you will vanish.

Janak is saying, EITHER THIS WHOLE UNIVERSE IS MINE OR NOTHING AT ALL. These are the only two possibilities. Any position in between these is illusory. Either the whole universe is mine because I am a part of god, because I am god, because I am the center of the whole universe, because my witness is the witness of the whole universe. So either the whole universe is mine -- this is one possibility. Or I have nothing at all, because I don't even exist. In witnessing I no longer exist, only witnessing remains. Who will make the claim that all is mine when the claimant no longer exists?

So Janak says there are two possibilities. These are the two expressions of religion -- either fullness or emptiness. Krishna chose fullness. The Upanishads chose fullness. Everything comes out of that fullness, but that fullness remains full. Everything merges into that fullness, but that fullness neither increases nor decreases.

The Upanishads, Krishna, Hindus, and Sufis all chose fullness. Buddha chose emptiness. The statement Janak has made says that either everything is mine, I am perfect fullness, I am the absolute Brahma -- or nothing at all is mine, I am the ultimate emptiness, I am the void! The truth is both of these together.

Buddha's statement is incomplete. Krishna's statement is also incomplete. The whole truth is included in Janak's statement. Janak says both can be said. Why? Because if I am the the center of the entire universe, the entire universe is mine. But when I am the center of the entire universe then I am no longer I. My I-ness has dropped long back. It is left behind like a cloud of dust. The traveller moves ahead, the dust remains behind. Then, what can be mine? Then nothing is mine.




A wonder it is that my body is gone and with the body the whole world is gone. Let go happened! Renunciation is not to be done. Renunciation is a state of consciousness. Let go is not a doing. If someone says he has renounced, it is no renunciation. He has made let go into another worldly experience. If someone says, "I am a renunciate", he doesn't know anything about renunciation. Because as long as there is 'I' how can there be renunciation?

Let go does not mean abandoning things. Let go means waking up and seeing that nothing is mine, how can I drop it? What to drop? If I had a hold of it, I could let go. If I had it, I could let go.

When you get up in the morning you don't say, okay now I'm going to renounce my dreams. Waking up in the morning you don't say, "At night I dreamt I was an emperor, there were great gold palaces, diamond studded ornaments, my kingdom spread far and wide, I had beautiful sons and queen" -- waking up in the morning you don't say, now I renounce all these. If you say it you will look insane. If you get up in the morning and march through the village beating a drum proclaiming, "I have renounced all -- my kingdom, money, luxury, queen, princes: I leave everything" -- people will be startled.

They will say, "What kingdom? We never knew you had a kingdom?"

You will reply, "At night I dreamt..."

People will laugh and say you have gone mad. A dream kingdom need not be renounced.

So the key of realization is this: when you see that the world is nothing, what need is there to renounce?

But there are people who keep track of how much they have renounced. A friend came to see me. His wife was also with him. This friend was known for his charity. His wife said, "Perhaps you aren't acquainted with my husband, he is a very charitable, he has given one hundred thousand rupees in charity."

Immediately the husband put his hand on his wife's saying, "Not one hundred, but one hundred and ten thousand."

This is not charity, this is calculation. This is trade. Every cent is kept track of. If he should ever meet god, he will grab him by the throat saying, "I have given one hundred and ten thousand, tell me what you are giving in exchange?" He gave it because the scriptures say if you give one here, there you will receive millionfold. Who is going to pass up such a deal? Millionfold! Did you hear the interest rate? Have you seen business like this? Even gamblers are not such great gamblers! Gambling you don't get a millionfold. It is pure gambling. Give one hundred thousand in the hope that it will be returned millionfold. This is just an extension of your greed.

And calculating one hundred thousand... the value of these rupees is not yet gone. Before the rupees were kept in the safe, now in place of the safe, a record is kept of how much has been renounced. But the dream is not broken.

There is a very ancient Chinese story: an emperor had only one son. That son was on his death-bed. The physicians had given up saying we cannot do anything to save him. He will not survive. It is not possible to save him. There was no cure for the disease. It was a matter of just one or two days, he will die any moment. The father stayed awake all night sitting at his bedside. It was time to say good-by. Tears were flowing from his eyes. Sitting and sitting, at about three in the morning the father began to doze. While he slept he saw a dream of a great empire that he was lord over. He had twelve sons -- all very handsome, young, talented, intelligent, great fighters, warriors! There was no one comparable in the whole world. He had a vast horde of wealth. Unlimited. He was a world ruler -- his rule extending over the whole earth. He was seeing this dream when the son breathed his last. His wife screamed and started crying. He opened his eyes. He was completely shocked. He sat dumbfounded. Because just a moment before there was another kingdom, twelve sons, great wealth -- it was all gone. And here this son has died! He remained completely lost. His wife worried whether his mind was damaged, because he had had great affection for his son, and not a single tear was coming to his eyes. When the son was living he had cried over him, now the son has died and the father is not crying? His wife shook him and said, "Has something happened to you? Why don't you cry?"

He said, " Who should I cry for? There were twelve, they died. There was a great empire, it has gone. Should I cry for them or should I cry for this one? I am thinking who should I cry for? Just as twelve are gone, thirteen are gone.

"Everything is finished" he said. "That was a dream and this too is a dream. When I was seeing that dream, I had completely forgotten this son. This kingdom... everything was forgotten. When that dream broke I remembered you. Tonight I will sleep and again I will forget you. So it comes and goes, now it is, now it is not: and now both dreams are gone. Now I have awakened from dreaming. Now I won't be roaming about in dreams. It is enough, the time has come. The fruit has ripened, it is time for it to fall!"

Janak says, "AMAZING, HAVING RENOUNCED THE BODY AND THE UNIVERSE..." Let go happened! He has not moved even an inch, he is where he is, in that same palace, where he had invited Ashtavakra, mounted him on the throne -- he was sitting there in front of Ashtavakra. He hadn't gone anywhere, the kingdom went on, the wealth of the court was there, the guards were at the door, the servants kept the fans moving. Everything continued just exactly as it was, the treasury was in its place. But Janak says, "Amazing, let go happened!"

A renunciation of the inner. A renunciation that is inner, a renunciation that is conscious.


And by what skill has it happened, that the leaf is hardly shaken and the transformation happens? That not a tiny incision is made and the surgery is complete! With what expertise! What is this teaching of yours? Now I am seeing the divine, the world is no longer to be seen. My whole vision is transformed!

It is a tremendously significant sutra: You stay right where you are, you remain just as you are -- the transformation can happen. There is no need to flee to the Himalayas. Sannyas is not escaping, not running away. Everything remains just as it was -- the wife, the children, house and home. No one has heard a single word about it -- and the revolution happens. It is an inner matter. You will be surprised, what is this that has happened? Now the wife will not seem to be yours, the son won't seem to be yours, the house will not seem to be yours. You will still live there, but now you will live like a guest. The home is the same but it has become a place for an overnight stay. All is the same. You will work; you go to your shop, your office; you will work -- but now no worry catches hold of you.

Once you see that that everything here is just a play, a great drama, the revolution happens.

An actor was asking me, "Tell me how I can become more skillful in acting?"

So I said, "There is only one sutra. Those people who want to be skillful in life, for them the sutra is they should take life as acting. And those who want to be skillful in acting, for them the sutra is to take acting as real life. There is no other key. If an actor takes his acting as real life, he becomes skillful. Then he takes the drama as real life.

You will be impressed by an actor whose skill has become so deep that for him the unreal is the real. If an actor is not able to see the make-believe as the real he cannot be a great actor. He will remain outside, he will not be able to get into his part. He will do his work very distantly. But you will find that his spirit has not entered it. He has not disappeared into it.

An actor completely forgets himself in his acting. When he plays Rama, he completely forgets, and he becomes Rama. When his Sita is stolen away, he doesn't think, "What has this got to do with me anyway. This whole play will be over in a little while, we'll each go home, why cry for nothing? Why ask the trees where my Sita has gone? Why scream and shout? What's the use? Do I have any Sita? And there is no Sita here, another man is playing Sita. I have nothing to do with him." If he does not lose himself in it he cannot be a great actor. Skill in acting is taking the acting as life, taking it as completely real. His very own Sita is lost. Those tears are not false. They are real. He cries as if he has lost his beloved. He fights the same way. His acting is real life.

If you want to live skillfully, take your life as acting. This too is a drama. Sooner or later the curtain will fall. Sooner or later everyone will depart. The stage may be vast, but it's still a stage no matter how vast. Don't make your home here. Stay here just as in a caravansarai. It is a waiting room. All are in a queue here. Death comes here and people go on departing. You are going to depart. There is no need to sink roots here: one who does will suffer.

The person who does not sink roots in this world is a sannyasin. One who doesn't get rooted here, whose feet don't become planted is a sannyasin. One who is always ready to move on.... One is a sannyasin if he is a nomad, a Gypsy, a khana-badosh.

This word 'khana-badosh' is very good. It means one who carries his house is on his shoulders. 'Khana' means house, 'badosh' means on the shoulders -- one whose house in on his shoulders. The 'khana-badosh' is a sannyasin. At most pitch a tent, don't make a house here. A tent can be struck at any time, without a moment's delay. A caravansarai!

It is told about the Sufi, Ibrahim.... Earlier he was the emperor of Balkh. One night while he was sleeping in his palace he heard someone walking on the roof. He asked, "What ill-mannered fool is walking on the roof in the middle of the night? Who are you?"

He answered, "I am not ill-mannered, my camel is lost. I am looking for her."

Ibrahim started to laugh. He said, "Madman! You are mad! Can a lost camel be found on the roof? Think about it, how will a camel get up on the roof?"

A voice came from above: "Before calling others ill-mannered and mad, think about yourself. Is happiness found in wealth, or luxury, or wine and song? If happiness is found in wealth, in luxury, in wine and song then camels can also be found on the roofs."

Ibrahim was startled. It was the middle of the night but he got up, ran. He sent his men running to catch hold of him: that fellow seems to know something. But by then the man had slipped away. Ibrahim sent men around the capital to find out who the fellow was. He seems to be an enlightened fakir. What did he say? For what purpose did he say it?

Ibrahim could not sleep the rest of the night. While he was holding court the next morning, he was in a melancholic mood. The words had struck hard. He must have been someone like Janak. He was hit by the truth of what had been said. If this man is mad, am I intelligent? Who has found happiness in this world? I am also searching for it. Happiness is not found in this world and if it is, a camel can also be found. Then the impossible does happen, there is no problem. But who is that fellow? How did he get up on the roof? How did he escape, where did he go?

He sat lost in thought. He was holding court. Court was open, business was being discussed, but today his mind was not there. His mind had flown away somewhere. The bird of his mind had already flown off to some other world. As if renunciation had already happened! Just a small incident -- as if Ashtavakra himself had climbed up on his roof and spoken.

Just then he noticed there was trouble at the door. A man wanted to come in and was telling the courtier he wanted to stay in this caravansarai. And the guard was saying, "You are mad, this is not a sarai, this is the palace of the emperor. There are many sarais in the city, go and stay there."

But the man was saying, "I will stay right here. I have stayed here before, it is a sarai. Tell someone else this nonsense, you can't fool me."

Suddenly, hearing his voice, Ibrahim realized that this is the same voice and this is the same man. He said, "Bring him in, don't chase him away."

He was brought in. Ibrahim asked, "What are you saying? What kind of arrogance is this? This is my palace. You call it a sarai? This is an insult."

He said, "Whether it is insult or praise, I ask one thing: I have come here before, but then, someone else was sitting on this throne. Who was he?"

Ibrahim replied, "That was my father."

And the fakir said, "And before that I had come, another man was here."

So he replied, "That was my father's father."

So he said, "This is why I call it a sarai. People sit here then depart, they come and go. How long will you sit here? When I come again, I will find someone else sitting here. Hence I call it a sarai. This is not a home. A home is a place where once you stay, you stay. Where no one can drive you away, where it is not possible to be driven out."

Ibrahim, it is said, descended from the throne and said to that fakir, "I bow down to you. This is a sarai. You stay here, I am going. What's the use of staying in a sarai?

Ibrahim left the palace. He must have been capable, ready.

Janak says, "In one moment I saw that I renounced this world of the body. I became a sannyasin. With what skill did you do this? What is this teaching you gave? What skillfulness you have! What art you have!"


-- what skill! What a master I have met.


... now I see only the divine. I don't see anything else. Now all this appears only as manifestations of the divine, just his waves.


Just as waves arise in water, bubbles form, foam appears -- and they are not separate from the water. They arise from it, they disappear back into it. In the same way there is nothing here that is separate from the divine. All are his bubbles. All are his foam. All are his waves. They arise in him, they dissolve back into him.


... we are just like this. I start to see this, lord.

Janak is saying to Ashtavakra that I am seeing it directly. This is not a statement of a philosopher. This is an experience, an expression arising from a deep experience which I am seeing.

You also take a look! It is just a matter of a small change of vision. What is called a change of gestalt in the West. The word gestalt is very meaningful. Sometime you must have seen a picture published in children's books. A single picture such that if you look carefully, sometimes you will see an old woman, sometimes you will see a young woman. As you go on watching it begins alternating, sometimes the old woman appears, sometimes the young woman appears. Both are made from the same lines. But one thing -- you will be surprised, it is something you might never have thought about -- you cannot see both of them at the same time. Even though you have seen them both. In that same picture you have seen the old woman, you have seen the young woman. You know now that both are in that picture. Still you cannot see them simultaneously. When you see the young woman, the old woman disappears. When you see the old woman, the young woman disappears. Because the same lines are being used for both. In German this is called gestalt.

The meaning of gestalt is: by looking in one way it has one appearance, by looking in another way it has another appearance. It is the same thing, but the way you look changes the whole meaning.

The world is the same. When the ignorant looks at it he sees an infinite variety of things: one gestalt, one way to see. And when a wise man looks at it the infinite variety disappears -- the myriad forms disappear. A single vast expanse is seen.

Janak says, "I SEE ONLY GOD. I see one divineness.

These green trees are his greenery. In these flowers it is he flowering in color. In the fragrance of the flowers it is he frolicking with the wind. It is he drawing together as clouds gathering in the sky. Inside you it is he who is sleeping. Inside Ashtavakra and Buddha it is he who is awake. It is he who is the denseness of the stone's deep sleep. In mankind it is he who is a little startled, a little awakening has begun: but it is he.

All forms are his form. Upside down it is he, right side up it is he. From the human viewpoint trees are upside down.

A few days ago I was reading a book on plant life. I was surprised, but it seemed to be right. This scientist had written that the heads of trees are buried in the ground. Because the trees take their food from the ground, their mouths are in the earth. They eat and drink water from the earth, so their mouths are in the earth. And their feet are in the sky -- they are doing head stands. They seem to be very ancient yogis.

The scientist is attempting to prove that we can slowly understand the whole evolution of man on this basis. Then there are earthworms, there are fish -- they are level. They are horizontal, parallel to the earth. Their tails and mouths make a straight horizontal line. They have evolved somewhat beyond trees. Then there are dogs, cats, tigers, cheetahs -- their heads are a little raised. There is a little change from the horizontal, the head is raised a little. The angle has changed. Then there are monkeys, they can sit. They more or less make a ninety degree angle with the earth, but they cannot stand. They are sitting men, trees are men doing head stands. Then there is man, he stands up straight, he makes a right angle: completely the reverse of trees. The head is above, the feet are below.

It seems a beautiful idea to me. All are the play of the one. Sometimes the one is standing upside down, sometimes standing right side up, sometimes lying down; sometimes sleeping, sometimes awake. Sometimes lost in misery, sometimes in happiness. Sometimes in turmoil, sometimes at peace -- but the waves are all of the one.


All are one inseparable whole.

See it, don't just listen! It is a question of changing the gestalt. It can be seen in one glance. It is a single glimpse. If you look deeply you will find that everything slowly merges into one and disappears. A vast ocean is putting forth waves. This experience will not last long, because for it to last your capacity needs to be developed. But if it can be seen even for a moment that this vastness is putting forth waves, and we are all his waves; that one sun is radiating, and we are all its rays; that one music is sounding here, and we are all its notes, then transformation happens. Gradually that experience of one moment will permeate your being forever.

You can catch hold of it if you want, or you can miss. Janak caught hold of it.

I awoke at night. Behind the reed mat of darkness I felt I suddenly heard the whispering of the eternal silence -- low, secret-sweet, in finest lyric. And the song it recited to me: "Irrepressible! You still haven't waken up? And all this a free flowing stream, splendor flowing in all directions. Luckless! How many times has your cup filled? Unseen, its overflow spilled out."

This is not the first time you hear these words. You have already heard them many times. You are very ancient. It could well be that you have heard them from Ashtavakra. There are certainly some among you who have heard him. Some have heard Buddha, some Krishna, some Jesus, some Mohammed, some Lao-Tzu, some Zarathustra. On this earth there have continuously been such men, you have passed near all of them and gathered here. So many lamps have been lit, it is impossible that the light of some lamp has not come to your eyes. Your cup has been filled many times.

"Luckless! How many times has your cup filled? Unseen, its overflow spilled out."

Your cup goes on being filled but still it remains empty. You are unable to contain it.

And the song it recited to me: "Irrepressible! You still haven't waken up? And all this a free flowing stream, splendor flowing in all directions."

... and morning is approaching. Many times morning has come and many suns have come out, but you go on sitting holding tight to your darkness. If you let go of this accursed darkness it will be gone.

Janak says, I see only one. I have been dissolved into that one. That one has dissolved in me.

The Vedas say the one who renounces -- a sannyasin -- is greater than the Vedas. His brilliance outshines the world. He resides in the lord of the universe, the lord of the universe resides in him.

The Vedas say the one who renounces -- a sannyasin -- is greater than the Vedas. -- higher even than the Vedas, because

He resides in the lord of the universe, the lord of the universe resides in him.

In that moment Janak's consciousness was not separate, it became one. He himself was startled.


Looking wakefully, discriminately, looking consciously... if you look carefully at cloth what will you find? You'll find only woven threads. One thread going this way, one thread going that way -- cloth is made by weaving them like this again and again. Cloth is a mesh of threads. But the strange thing is although you can't wear threads, you can wear cloth. If you collect a heap of thread you can't put it on. Although cloth is a collection of thread, it is only a difference of arrangement. Weaving threads across each other cloth is made. Then you can cover yourself with cloth. But what is the difference? It is still thread. What difference does it make how you arrange them?

Janak is saying that existence sometimes becomes green in a tree, sometimes becomes red in a rose flower, sometimes it is water, sometimes is hills and mountains, sometimes moon and stars. These are all different manifestations of consciousness. Cloth is woven from thread, and you can weave many kinds of cloth from it. Fine thin cloth to wear in hot weather, thick to wear in the cold. You can weave all kinds of cloth from it: beautiful and ugly, for the rich and for the poor. You can create thousands of types of cloth from it.

Scientists say that the whole universe is made of one energy. Their name for energy is electricity. What difference does the name make? But one thing scientists agree with is that the whole universe is made of one thing. It is the myriad forms of that one thing. Just as various gold ornaments, are all made of gold -- if they are melted down only gold will be left. The forms are various, but what the form is made of is identical.

JUST AS CLOTH WHEN ANALYZED IS NOTHING BUT THREAD, THIS WORLD WHEN ANALYZED IS NOTHING BUT ATMA. Just as cloth is only thread, exactly the same, this existence is woven from being.

And certainly it is better to say being than to say electricity. Because electricity is inert. And there is no possibility that consciousness can come from electricity. And if it is possible for consciousness to come from electricity then it is meaningless to call electricity electricity. Because what can come from it, must be hidden in it. Consciousness is visible. Consciousness has become manifest. And what is manifest must also be hidden in the roots, otherwise how did it appear? You planted a mango seed, a mango tree appeared. Mangoes grew on it. You planted a neem seed, and a neem tree appeared. Tiny neem pods started growing on it.

That which appears, that which bears fruit was already in the seed. Consciousness is visible in the world, consciousness does appear, various forms of consciousness appear -- so consciousness must be hidden in the basic constituent of existence. Hence to say electricity is not right, it is more appropriate to say being. Say being-electricity, but consciousness must be included in it. Whatever we see all around us must be hidden in the root.



Just as when you extract sugar from sugarcane, the sugarcane juice permeates the sugar, in the same way the divine permeates all consciousness, the divine permeates me, the divine permeates you, and you permeate the divine.


Try to understand this. It is very significant. FROM IGNORANCE OF THE ATMA THE WORLD APPEARS, FROM KNOWING ATMA IT DOES NOT APPEAR. The gestalt changes, the way of seeing changes.


In the darkness of night you see a rope and get scared thinking it is a snake. You run away. You bring sticks and start to beat it. Then someone brings a lamp and the sticks fall from your hands, the fear vanishes. In the light you see it is not a snake, it is a rope. The snake existed only because you could not see the rope as a rope. There was no snake -- it was only a projection.

The world exists only because being is not seen as being. When one knows himself, his world disappears. This does not mean that doors and walls, mountains and rocks disappear. No these will be there but they will all be merged into the one. These will all be various waves, foam, bubbles of the one.

The world is finished for the one who knows himself. The world cannot be finished for the one who does not know himself. You will not be able to know yourself by dropping the world. But by knowing yourself the world drops.

There are two approaches to renunciation. One approach says that by renouncing the world you can know yourself. The other approach says know yourself and the world has already dropped. The first approach is wrong. By abandoning the world you cannot know yourself. Because abandoning the world also goes on creating the illusion of the world.

Try to understand a little. A rope is lying on the ground but you see a snake. If someone meets you and says, "Just drop the idea of a snake and you will see the rope."

You will say, "How can the idea of a snake be dropped? I see a snake, I don't see a rope." If you take courage by chanting Ram-Ram and somehow stand erectly, saying, "Okay, it is not a snake, it is a rope, it is a rope, it is a rope." Still you will know inside yourself, "It is a snake, who is fooling who? Don't go near it, to avoid any trouble." You will escape. You will say, "It is a rope. I believe it is a rope, but why go close to it?"

The one who escapes from the world -- he says the world is maya, but still he escapes -- question him a little, "If it is maya, then why are you escaping? If it doesn't exist then why are you escaping? What is it you drop and leave behind?

He says money is just dirt. Then why is he so afraid of money? Then why be frightened? If money is dirt and he is not afraid of dirt then why is he afraid of money? It is dirt, if he only sees dirt, it is okay. If money is lying there, okay; if not, okay. Sometimes dirt is needed, so man uses dirt too. If money is needed, use money. But now it is all dreamlike, like play money.

The second approach is deeper and nearer to the truth, that if you light a lamp and see the rope as a rope then the world is gone, the snake is gone.


It is as if you are sitting in a room and you see nothing but darkness. Then you bring light to look more closely at the darkness, so you can see it more clearly in the light, then you won't see anything. When you bring light darkness is not visible. If you want to see darkness then don't make the mistake of bringing light. If you don't want to see darkness then bring light. Because darkness and light cannot be seen simultaneously. Why can't they be seen simultaneously? Because darkness is the absence of light. When light is present, how can its absence also be there?

This world is the absence of knowing your being. When the dawn of knowing your being comes, the world disappears. Everything stays just as it is and still nothing remains as it is. Everything just as it is -- and everything is transformed.

People ask me, "You give sannyas but you don't tell people to leave the home, leave the wife, leave the children."

I answer, "I don't tell them to leave anything, I tell them to be centered, be centered in their being, so that they can see what is. What is cannot be dropped. What is not need not be dropped."

We see what we want to see. A case was being heard in court. The judge asked Mulla Nasruddin, "How did you recognize your own buffalo from among these hundreds of identical looking water buffalos?"

Nasruddin replied, "What great difficulty is in this, master? In your court hundreds of lawyers in black coats are standing around, but still I can recognize my own lawyer can't I?"

He is saying that we can recognize what we want to recognize. A man also recognizes his own buffalo although buffalos look alike -- just like lawyers.

What we want to know, we come to know. What we want to recognize, we come to recognize. Our intention becomes the reality of our life.

If you want to awaken from this world, don't wrestle with it. If you want to awaken from this world, just make efforts within to wake up.

Mulla Nasruddin and his wife took their jubilant babe in arms along with them to see a dance program. The doorman warned them saying, "Nasruddin, if the child cries during the program, you will have to leave the hall. If you want we can return the cost of your tickets, but you will not be allowed to sit again, so be aware."

About halfway through the program Nasruddin asked his wife, "How do you like the dance?"

"It's absolutely lousy!" his misses answered.

So he said, "Then what are you waiting for, give the baby a good pinch."

When you know the world is absolutely useless then don't wait. Give yourself a good pinch. Shake yourself inside, awaken yourself. Your awakening is all that is needed. Awakening is the great mantra -- the only mantra.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

Chapter No. 8 - No Title
18 September 1976 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

The first question

Question 1


Yoga Chinmaya has asked.

... what is happening is good. It is happening just as it should. Don't be frightened by it. Let it happen. Help it in every way. A unique process has begun, whose final crescendo is liberation.

We are certainly imprisoned in the body -- a lion locked up in a cage. Confined for such a long time that the lion has forgotten his own roar. Confined for such a long time that the lion has started thinking the cage is his home. No only this, he has started thinking, "I am the cage. I am the body!"

A hit is needed. That's why you are with me, so I can hit -- and you wake up.

These words that I say to you are not mere words. Think of them as arrows. They will pierce you. Sometimes you will be angry with me too. Because everything was moving along peacefully, comfortably and suddenly there is confusion. But there is no other way to wake you up, you will have to pass through pain.

When energy rises within, the body will not be able to bear it. The body has not been made to endure it. The capacity of the body is very small. The energy is vast. As if one wants to enclose the whole sky in a small courtyard... so when the energy awakens many disturbances will arise in the body. The head will be splitting with pain.

And sometimes it happens that even after enlightenment disturbances continue in the body. It is completely natural before enlightenment, because the body is not ready. It is as if you put one thousand candles of electricity into an electric line that has the capacity to carry one hundred candles -- it will rattle and catch fire! It is just the same when the energy which had been sound asleep within you awakens -- it manifests and your body is not ready for it. Your body is ready to accept your being a beggar, it cannot accept your being an emperor. The body has limits, you have no limits. ... it will be jolted, storms will arise. Before enlightenment happens, before samadhi, these shocks are completely natural. And sometimes it happens that samadhi happens and the shocks continue coming, the storms continue, because the body was not able to get ready.

This is what happened in Krishnamurti's case. The process continued forty years after attaining the ultimate. The body could not absorb the shock. Krishnamurti will wake up in the middle of the night shouting and screaming. He starts to growl -- really growling. And for forty years he has had a headache that doesn't go away, it comes and goes but it never totally leaves him. Sometimes the pain is so strong that it feels his head will burst.

From the standpoint of the body, these last forty years have been years of great difficulty for Krishnamurti. Sometimes it happens this way. But usually the body becomes ready as samadhi happens. But with Krishnamurti the body could not adjust because samadhi had been forced. The thinkers that brought Krishnamurti up, those Theosophists worked hard, made untiring efforts to bring on samadhi. Their aspiration was to give birth to a world teacher. The world needs it -- if a Buddha can be incarnated....

If Krishnamurti had worked only by his own efforts, perhaps he would have needed one or two more births. But then this problem would not have arisen. The worked was forced: what needed two lifetimes to happen, happened instantly. It happened but the body could not get ready. It happened suddenly when the body was not ready. So there have been forty years of physical suffering. Even now Krishnamurti growls at night and wakes up again and again from his sleep. The energy won't let him sleep. He screams!

It seems amazing that a person who has achieved the ultimate should scream at night. But the cause is clear. An enlightenment that should have taken two lifetimes to happen, was forced too quickly. Because of this the body was not ready and the process continues. It has happened but this process continues. He has reached home but the body remains behind, still being dragged along. The being has reached home, the body has not reached. The pain and suffering of this dragging continues.

Don't be frightened by what's happening. These are the first indications of samadhi, the first steps of samadhi. Take them as auspicious, accept them happily. If you are ready to accept them as blessings, then very soon they will slowly become quiet. And as soon as the body begins to accept, begins to cooperate, the readiness and capacity of the body increase.

You have called out to the infinite, so you will have to become infinite. You have challenged the vastness, so you will have to become vast.

There is a very unique story in the Old Testament -- the story of Jacob. Jacob was seeking god. He distributed all his wealth. He sent all his beloved friends, his wife, his children, his servants -- he sent them all far away. He was waiting for god on the deserted bank of a river. God arrived.

But it was very strange -- Jacob started wrestling with god. Does anyone wrestle with god? But Jacob started struggling with god. It is said that they fought the whole night. As morning approached, as dawn was about to come Jacob was defeated. When god was about to leave him, Jacob fell at god's feet and said, "Please give me your blessing."

God said, "What is your name?"

Jacob told him his name.

God said, "Today you have become Israel" -- the name that the Jews are known by -- "From today on you are Israel. Now you are no longer Jacob, Jacob has died." -- just as I change your name when I give you sannyas initiation. The old is gone.

God told Jacob: "Jacob has died, from now on you are Israel."

This story is from the Old Testament. There is no other story of someone fighting with god. But there is a great truth in this story. When that ultimate energy descends, what happens is almost like a fight. And when the ultimate experience happens and you are defeated by the divine and the body is vanquished and you accept defeat -- then your final initiation happens. In that moment divine blessings shower on you. Then you are new. That is when you taste the nectar of the eternal for the first time.

Yoga Chinmaya is almost there where Jacob must have been. It is difficult to say how long the night may be. It is hard to say how long the struggle will last. No prediction can be made. But this struggle is auspicious.

Cooperate with this energy. This lion inside that wants freedom -- it is you. This energy that wants to rise towards the head, that wants to go from the sex center to the crown chakra, that wants to create a path -- it is you. For many lives it has been subdued and lying coiled up, now it is starting to raise its hood. You are fortunate, you are lucky. With this you are approaching the final blessing. Your real transformation will happen.

Krishnamurti has written in his notebook, whenever my head is splitting, when at night I cannot sleep and the screaming and shouting come and something inside me growls -- after all this is over a unique experience comes. After this a great peace descends. Blessings shower in every direction. Everywhere lotuses and more lotuses are blooming.

Exactly this is starting to happen to Chinmaya. It is good.


When the energy arises after it has had its struggle, and the body becomes a little ready, then a new ecstasy will come: there is growth. You have come up a little. You have transcended a little. You have come out of the prison a little, you have found open sky. You will be fulfilled. You will dance, you will dance for joy.


The lion wants to dance. There isn't room enough to dance in the body. More space is needed for dancing -- what space is available in the body? Dance can only happen outside of the body. This is why if you dance totally you will find you no longer remain a body. In the ultimate grace of dance, at the ultimate height, you are out of the body. The body goes on turning, goes on moving rhythmically but you are outside, you are no longer inside.

This is why I have invariably included dance in my methods of meditation, because there is nothing more miraculous for meditation than dancing. If you dance fully, it you dance totally, then in that dance your being comes out of the body. The body will go on moving in rhythm but you will experience that you are out of the body. And then your real dance begins: below, the body will go on dancing; above, you will dance. The body on the earth, you in the sky! The body in the earthly, you in the celestial. The body will dance the dance of matter, you will dance the dance of consciousness. You will become nataraj, the king of the dance.


The unprecedented is happening, the wondrous is happening, the rare is happening! What is happening is not to be explained, it is to be experienced. Whatever I say will not help you understand this experience, at the most it can help you become capable of accepting it more easily. Accept it with joy. Do not repress it.

Naturally the idea will come to suppress it thinking, "What madness is this, I am growling like a lion? What is this roaring? People will think I am mad!"

So naturally the idea will come to suppress it, to hide it -- don't let anyone know. What will they say?

Don't worry. Don't bother about what anyone says. If people say you are mad, then go mad! Has anyone become enlightened without going mad? Give your attention to your interiority. If bliss is coming from this, if ecstasy is coming, if wine is raining then don't worry. This world has nothing so valuable as this to give to you. So don't make any compromise with the world. Don't sell an inch of your being, even if in exchange you will get the whole universe as your kingdom.

Jesus has said, what use is it if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? If you save your soul, even if you lose the whole world you have everything.

Have courage, be daring. Let your trust, your faith in yourself grow. Soon your body will start gradually accepting it. Then the roaring will disappear. Then only dance will remain. Then the lion will not suffer, because the lion will have found a path: when he wants to go out he can go out, when he wants to come in he can come in. Then this body is no longer a jail, then this body becomes a place to relax. When you want to come in, come inside; when you want to go out, go outside.

When you can go out and in as easily as you come and go from your house... it is cool, you feel cold, you go outside and sit in the sunshine. Then the sunshine increases, the sun climbs high, it starts getting hot, you start sweating -- you get up and come in. Just as you come and go from your house, then the house is not a prison -- if you are sitting in prison you don't have the possibility to come out or go in whenever your heart feels like it. In jail you are a prisoner, at home you are a master. When your lion can dance outside, can fly in the sky, can play with the moon and stars -- then there is no problem. Then there is no fight with the body. Then the body is a place for relaxation. When you get tired you can return inside and rest. Then there is no enmity with the body either. Then the body is a temple.

The second question:

Question 2


It has happened many times that I have given initiation to people who have no idea about sannyas. I have given sannyas to those who have not come to take sannyas. I have initiated those who have never thought of sannyas even in their wildest dreams. Because I don't look only at your mind, I look at the many things repressed in your unconscious.

Last night a young woman came. I didn't even ask her. I said to her, "Close your eyes and take sannyas." I didn't even ask if she wants to take sannyas. She closed her eyes and accepted initiation. Ordinarily one would be surprised if asked to take sannyas and want to think it over. Some people think of taking sannyas for months, for years. Some have kept on thinking about it and died before taking it. She graciously received it. On a conscious level she doesn't know anything about it.

But we are not new here -- we are very ancient! This girl has been seeking for many lives. She carries treasures of meditation. Just seeing this treasure I said, "Close your eyes and go inside." I told her, "I am not going to ask you whether you want to take sannyas or not. There is no need to ask."

I gave Dayal sannyas in the same way. This question is from Dayal. I didn't ask Dayal, Dayal also didn't know.

What do you know about yourself! You don't know where you came from. You don't know about the treasures you have gathered. You don't know what you have been doing these many many lives. You don't know what you have found in your search and what remains incomplete. Every time death has come and rubbed out everything that you have done. There are many among you who have taken sannyas many times -- every time death came and erased everything. And you don't have the ability to recall it.

Understand it like this, you had been creating something... you had been painting a picture, when death came and it remained incomplete. Death came and you forgot. You were born again. Then even if you get a message about that incomplete painting -- even if that incomplete painting is put in front of you, you won't remember. Because in this life you had never even thought of yourself as a painter And if I tell you, "Finish the painting, it has been left incomplete, you had made it with great hopes, you had created it with a very deep thirst -- now just go ahead and finish it. Death had come in between and it was left incomplete."

You will say, "I don't know anything, you can have me take up the brush but I don't even know how to hold it. You can put the colors in front of me and I will paint but I don't know anything about how to paint." Still, I tell you to start, and just by starting the memory will come. Just take the brush in your hand and perhaps you will be reminded.

It happened in the Second World War, a soldier was wounded and fell. He lost his memory. He had received a blow to the head. His memory cells got messed up. He forgot. He forgot -- even his own name. He forgot who he was. And he was unconscious when he was taken from the battlefield. His identification had fallen off somewhere, his number too had fallen. It was a great problem. When he came to his senses he didn't know his number, he didn't know his name, he didn't know his rank. The psychologists worked hard. They tried in every way to remind him but couldn't find out anything. The man had gone completely blank. As if all connection with his memory had suddenly broken off. Someone suggested that now there was only one way: have him taken all around England. He was a soldier in the British army. If he was taken around England, perhaps when he came near his own village he would remember.

So he was taken around England on the trains. Two men took him around. The train stopped at every station and they brought him down. He stood and stared. They got tired. England is a small country, so it wasn't very difficult to take him everywhere. In the end at a very small station where the train didn't usually stop, but for some reason it did this time, the man got off, read the sign on the station and said, "This is my village!" He began to run. He forgot that there were two men with him. The two men began running after him. He ran out of the station and into the village. ... he remembered everything. He remembered the lanes and paths. He didn't even ask anyone. Passing through the lanes and bypaths he arrived in front of his house. He said, "Oh! This is my house, this is my name. This is my name plate hanging here." He remembered everything. Just one hit and his whole memory came back again. Forgetfulness disappeared, the memory cells came back together again.

So sometimes I give sannyas as I gave it to Dayal in the hope that if I send you around in orange clothes, perhaps you will remember that you have previously moved in orange clothes too. If I say: "Dance!" Perhaps while you are dancing, one day you will arrive at that psychological space, where you will remember your dancing of past lives. I say, "Meditate." While you are meditating perhaps some door in the unconscious will open and a flood of memories will come.

This is why I go on speaking -- sometimes on the Geeta, sometimes on Ashtavakra, sometimes on Zarathustra, sometimes on Buddha, sometimes on Jesus, sometimes on Krishna -- who knows which words will stir your heart. Who knows which words will become a key to your inner depths. Who knows which words will awaken you from your slumber. I go on trying everything. My effort is simply to create a continuity, a harmony, a connectivity with what deaths have broken and scattered. With this continuity your destiny will start unfolding in front of you. Many times you have made the house, it was abandoned again and again.

Hence Dayal is right, I DO NOT REMEMBER ANY MOMENT WHEN I TOOK SANNYAS... He didn't take it, I gave it.


You will come near me, when you reach yourself. There is no other way to come near me. Reach yourself and you have reached me. Know yourself and you have known me. You don't need to make any outer pilgrimage towards me -- descend deeper and deeper within.


... it will happen, soon you will know. I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ... THEN, NOR DO I KNOW ANYTHING NOW. -- this is true. But this attitude is good where you think, where you know, that you don't know. Unfortunate are they who don't know but think they know. You are in the right state. This is the attitude of the innocent mind, "I don't know." You are empty, you can be filled. There are some who don't know anything -- and their number is vast -- but they think they know. Through this wrong idea, they miss even what they could have known.

Knowledge prevents -- prevents you from real knowing. If you know that you are ignorant, then you are moving in the right direction. The ultimate happens only in such innocence of mind. To know that I don't know, is the first step towards knowing.


This feeling arises in a worthy person's heart, "What worthiness do I have?" The unworthy think, "Who is as worthy as I am?"

This feeling of humility itself is worthiness, that what do I deserve, what surrender, what trust do I have? This is the indication of trust. The seed is present, one just needs to wait: at the appropriate time, in the appropriate season, it will sprout, the transformation will happen.

And this journey is a rare journey. This journey is a journey of the unknown, of the unknowable.

This hiding behind the veils of continuing silence. It is in vain that now I have become one who knows the secret.

In the madness of you I lost my peace. In your pain I have become a flame filled with joy.

In the hands of time I have been so bent that I who was once an arrow, have now become a bow.

No companion, no guide for this journey. What path is this I have set out on?

I have found great joy in self-oblivion. Being lost, I have become the very beacon of the goal.

This goal is such that it is reached by losing yourself. As long as you exist, you will not arrive, when you disappear you reach.

I have found great joy in self-oblivion.

... when you are not, when your ego has gone, when self-forgetfulness comes...

I have found great joy in self-oblivion. Being lost, I have become the very beacon of the goal.

As I have disappeared, I have arrived.

This path is the path of obliteration.

So if you feel, 'Where is my worthiness to surrender,' you have started to be effaced, self-oblivion is arising. If you feel that WHAT TRUST... HAVE I GOT? then self-effacement starts coming, you start being obliterated.

Sannyas means to be obliterated, so existence can be.

No companion, no guide for this journey.

This is a journey of great aloneness.

No companion, no guide for this journey.

There isn't any companion, no one to guide the path. Finally, the master too has to be dropped, because there is no space. Kabir says, "The path of love is very narrow, there two can never pass!" Where is space enough that three can exist? Not even two can exist. The disciple, the master, the divine; they are three! There, not even two can exist. There, the master is dropped, you also are dropped. There, only the divine remains.

No companion, no guide for this journey. What is this path I have set out on?

Sannyas is a very unknown journey. A journey of great courage, of great daring! Those who are ready to accept the risk of going into the unknown -- it is for them. It is not for the clever, those who calculate everything. It is not mathematics, it is a leap of love.

The third question:

Question 3


If you ask 'how' you have missed. You didn't get it. This is Ashtavakra's whole message: practicing... 'How' means practicing. 'How' means by what method, by which rites and rituals. If you ask 'how' you have missed. Then you cannot understand Ashtavakra. Then you should go knock on Patanjali's door: he will tell you 'how.' If you are insistent upon this 'how,' then Patanjali will be your path. He will tell you to do outer discipline, inner discipline, control, breath control, turning inwards, concentration, meditation, samadhi. He will make it so extensive that even you will say: "O Maharaj, make it a little less. Tell me some easy method. This is too long, it will take many lives."

Most yogis are only practicing outer discipline. They never reach even to inner discipline. Most yogis die still trying to master asanas -- yoga postures. Where is concentration, where is meditation? There are so many yoga postures it seems impossible to ever complete the training in them. At the very most those who seek deeply reach to concentration. And the real happening can occur only in samadhi. And even samadhi Patanjali divides in two: samadhi with distinctions and samadhi without differentiation. He goes on dividing, he goes on making more and more steps. He makes steps all the way from the earth to the sky.

If 'how', if practicing, appeals to you, then ask Patanjali. Even though in the end Patanjali also says drop everything, enough of this 'doing'. But there are some people that cannot stop doing, so they will have to do.

Think of it like this: there is a child in the house making noise and causing mischief. You tell him, "Sit quietly," but even if he sits, he will be bubbling over. His hands and feet will wriggle, his head will shake -- he wants to do something, he is bursting with energy. This is no way to get him to sit still. It is dangerous. There can be an explosion. This way he is going to do something or other. It is better you tell him, "Go and run around the house seven times." Then he will come back huffing and puffing and sit quietly on his own. You won't even have to say be quiet. He will sit quietly on the very chair that he could not sit quietly on before.

Patanjali is for those who cannot become quiet directly. He says, "Run seven rounds. Run long and hard. Distort and twist your body, stand on your head, do this, do that."

Doing these practices finally you will ask one day, "O Maharaj, I am tired of this doing!"

He will say, "You should have said so in the very beginning, then both of us would have been saved from all this botheration. Now go and sit quietly!"

Man wants to do. Because without doing -- it just doesn't fit your logic that anything can happen without doing. Ashtavakra is beyond your logic. Ashtavakra says you are liberated! But you still misunderstand. You say, ..."YOU ARE LIBERATED HERE AND NOW, THIS VERY MOMENT." BUT HOW CAN I GET FREE OF THIS "I"?

Ashtavakra says that 'how' exists when one thinks he is unfree. First you have accepted that you are bound: "Now how can I get free?" Ashtavakra says there are no chains -- only the illusion of chains. But you will still say, "How can I get free of this illusion?" You still don't get it. Illusion means that which is not: free of what? Just watching, just being wakeful -- you are free.

If you get involved in methods, you will be in great difficulty.

Every method proves false, and finally life itself proves too short.

If you get stuck in methods you will find that not just this life but many lives are not enough. Methods are many. Life after life you have gone on practicing them. You put faith in doing because doing inflates your ego.

Ashtavakra is saying don't do anything. The whole is the only doer. What is happening is happening, just become one with it. Don't even ask: "How to get free of this I?" If this 'I' is happening let it happen, who are you to try to get free of it? You can also accept it: good, if this is happening, then this is what is happening. You didn't create it. Do you remember having created it? You didn't cast its mould. You didn't bring it. How will you drop what you didn't bring? How will you destroy what you didn't cast? You ask, "What can we do?" You have two eyes and a nose, you also have an ego. You have received all of these. Nothing is in your hands.

Whatever exists is good. If 'I' exists, that too is good. Don't complain even a little about it. In this attitude of no complaint, in this total acceptance, you will suddenly find the 'I' is gone! Because the 'I' is created from doing. When you do something the 'I' is created.

Now you are asking something new, "How can I destroy this 'I'?" The one who destroys will become the 'I'. You will not be able to escape. This is why a humble man also has an ego -- and sometimes it is bigger than in an egoist.

Have you seen the ego of the humble? He says. "I am just the dust at your feet." But look into his eyes -- what is it he is saying? If you say, "You are absolutely right, I knew already that you are just the dust at my feet," then he will start fighting. He is not saying it for you to agree with it. He is saying it so you will say, "You are such a humble man... you are very kind to give us your darshan." He is saying it so you will refute it saying, "You and dust at my feet? No, you are pure gold. You are the very spire of the temple." The more you say high, he will say no, just the dust. But when he says he is the dust, if you agree, "You are absolutely right, everyone thinks that you are just the dust at their feet," then he will never even look at you again. It was not humility -- it was ego in a new color, ego dressed in new clothes, ego dressed in humility.

So if you try to drop the 'I', the one who is dropping it will create a new 'I'. Man goes on changing costumes. The clothes change but you remain the same.

Try to understand what Ashtavakra is saying. Don't be too quick to ask what to do, how to get rid of this ego. Don't be in a hurry to do. Relax and take a little time to understand. Ashtavakra is saying, "Understand how this 'I' is created -- it is created by doing, it is created from striving and effort, it is created from success. So wherever you make efforts, it will be created. Then one thing becomes clear that if you want to be free of ego, then don't make efforts, don't try. Accept whatever is, just like it is. In this acceptance you will find the ego has disappeared as if it had never existed, because the element that was giving it energy has slipped out, the foundation has fallen down so the house cannot stand long.

And if the feeling of being the doer falls away, then all of life's diseases fall away. Otherwise there are many traps in life. Running after money is also the running of the doer. Running after power is also the running of the doer. Running after fame is also the running of the doer. You want to show something to the world.

Many people come to me saying, "Tell us a way to show something to this world." What is it you want to show? They say, "No, it's just we want to make a name for ourselves. We will be going but our name should remain behind!" What's the use of your name remaining? No one else is interested in your name. When you yourself are gone who is going to bother? When you couldn't be saved from death, will your name be saved from dying? You cannot be kept alive, how can this name which is only an indication be saved? Who bothers about your name? And so what if your name does remain? It will be hidden away in some old books, it will be grieving there. Alexander's name, Napoleon's name -- so what?

But no, we have been taught these diseases since childhood. Since childhood we have been told, "Do something before you die. Don't die without doing anything. If you can, do something good, if not, do something bad, but make a name for yourself." People say, "So what if you get a bad name, at least your name is known. If you don't find the right way, then do something crazy, but make a name for yourself!"

People are so crazy that they go to the mountains and inscribe their names in stone. They go visit an ancient castle and scribble their name on the walls. And the man writing his name doesn't see that he is rubbing out another name to write his: someone else will come and rub his out and write over it. You have erased someone else's, you are writing over the top of others writing -- and in big letters. If someone else comes they will write in even bigger letters. What madness have you fallen into?

Many are the frivolous longings woven by snares of dream, many are the trampled down passions arisen with a brilliance.

The joy of beauty, love's drunkenness, the greatness of name, the pride of wealth, for man on this earth many are the spread out snares of illusion.

Each to his own destiny and each to his own nature, many are those trampled by happiness, many are those made rich by sorrow.

Many are the famines that have passed, but when have such hard times come?.

Treasure of the heart is found little, though treasure is found aplenty. Many are the wealthy I saw whose hearts were paupers.

How many scenes are latent in the depths of unconsciousness? The world of consciousness is one, the nether worlds of unconsciousness are many.

"How many scenes are latent in the depths of unconsciousness?" This is our unconscious, in it so many scenes are hidden -- scene after scene, curtains behind curtains, stories within stories! This is our unconscious, there are so many hells hidden in it -- of wealth, of power, of fame, of dreams -- the snares are set!

How many scenes are latent in the depths of unconsciousness? The world of consciousness is one, the nether worlds of unconsciousness are many.

But one who becomes aware, his world is one, his nature is one, his being is one, his flavor is one!

Buddha has said, "Wherever you taste the ocean it is salty -- likewise if you taste me I am everywhere fully conscious. I have only one flavor: consciousness."

This same is the flavor of Ashtavakra. Not the doer, not the one who enjoys and suffers -- the witness.

So don't ask 'how'? Because with how the doer comes in, the enjoyer comes in -- then you miss, you miss Ashtavakra's message. Ashtavakra is saying, "Whatever is, observe it. Be a witness. Just watch. If there is ego then watch ego. What else to do? Only watch -- and by watching the transformation happens."

Do you understand? It is a little subtle, but not so subtle that you can't understand it. It is straight forward also. Ashtavakra is saying just observe and when you observe the doer disappears, only the witness remains. With the doer gone everything that got energy from the doer, got strength from it will fall away. Without the doer how can one run after money, run after power? Without the doer where is the ego? These will all fall away by themselves.

Master just one thing -- the witness. There is nothing else to be done. Everything else happens by itself. Everything else goes on and on, always. Why should you uselessly get in the way?

I have heard, an elephant was crossing over a bridge. The bridge started shaking under his weight. A fly was sitting on his trunk. When they both got to the other side, the fly said, "Son! We really shook that bridge."

The elephant said, "Sweetie, until you spoke I didn't even know you existed."

You think you are shaking the bridge but it is not you who is shaking the bridge, it is life energy. You are like a fly that sits on top of life energy and says, "Son! Look how I have shaken it!"

This ego is just sitting on top of you. Everything is happening from your limitless energy. It is the energy of existence, you don't have anything to do with it. This same breathes in you, awakens in you, sleeps in you. You stand proudly in between. This much is certain, it doesn't take objection to your pride. At least the elephant objected. The elephant said, "Sweetie, I didn't even know you were sitting on top of me." At least the elephant said this much. Existence doesn't even say this much. Existence is silent. If you stand proudly, it lets you. If you lay claim to its work, it lets you. If you say you are doing what you have not done, then too it doesn't intrude and say, "No, I am doing it." It has no I, how can it tell you I am doing it? So illusion goes on and on.

But look closely, open your eyes a little and see: you are not doing anything. Everything is happening by itself!

This is the incomparable concept of destiny, the unparalleled concept of fate: everything is happening by itself. Wrong people have given it incorrect meanings. Otherwise fate means merely... If you understand the idea of fate rightly, you will remain a witness and there will be nothing else to do. But people don't become a witness of fate, they become lazy. They don't become non-doers, they become idlers.

There is a difference between non-doing and idleness. Idleness is lazy, indolent, dead. Non-doing is full of energy -- one doesn't think I am doing: "... existence is doing! I am only watching. This play is going on, I am observing."

Man is very tricky. He uses even the most beautiful truths in the ugliest way. Fate is a very beautiful truth. It means that everything goes on by itself, you are not doing anything. All is destined. What will be, will be. What is to be, is. What was to happen, has happened. You can sit quietly on the bank and watch the play. There is no need for you to jump into the middle of it. Your running back and forth doesn't make any difference. What is to happen is happening. What will be, will be. Then you become a witness.

The idea of fate was devised to take you towards witnessing. People have not gone towards witnessing. People sit idling. They say, "When what is to be is happening, then good, why should we do anything? Fate means we have no power to do, why should we do?" Before they said they will show the world, now they say, there is nothing in doing! But the feeling of the doer hasn't gone, it remains standing in the same place.

If you understand Ashtavakra, then there is no method, there is no practice: Ashtavakra says practice is bondage, methods are bondage, doing itself is bondage.

The fourth question:

Question 4


The first thing: be a witness of sex too. Don't be the controller of it. Don't try to forcibly bring it under control, remain a witness of it too. Just as you are a witness of everything else, remain a witness of sex too.

It is difficult, because you have been taught for centuries that sex is sin. That concept of sin has been fixed in your mind.

Sin does not exist in this universe -- there is only godliness. Drop that idea. In this universe there is only one -- it pervades all -- it is godliness. It is in the tiniest of the tiny, in the most vast of the vast. It is in the lowest, in the highest. It is in sex, it is in samadhi too. There is no sin here.

This does not mean that I am suggesting that you remain stuck in sex. I am only saying: understand it too as a form of godliness. There are other forms. Perhaps the first level of his forms is sex. And there is a small taste of samadhi reflected in sexual experience, hence so much attraction. When greater samadhis start to happen, the attraction will disappear by itself.

The friend has asked that getting absorbed in meditation, I... BECOME ONE WITH THE FLOW WITHIN. BUT WHEN SEX OVERTAKES ME, I WANT TO DROWN IN THAT JUST AS MUCH... Drown! There is no need to stop. Just remain a witness as you go on drowning. Go on observing that you are going under. Go on observing that sex has encircled you. In fact the word sex brings condemnation into the mind. Think of it this way: a kind of godliness has encircled, this divine energy has encircled, this divine nature has encircled, the divine maya has encircled. But don't use the word sex -- the old associations connected with the word are wrong -- they make it appear like sin. Then it will be difficult to remain a witness -- either you will become unconscious or you will control. To be a witness is neither to go unconscious nor to control -- it is to stand firm between these two. On this side you fall in a ditch, on the other you fall in the well -- remain in between, master this, then samadhi.

Both are easy: it is perfectly easy to go unconscious in sex, to completely forget what is going on, to get intoxicated is easy. To control sex, to force it to stop, to prevent yourself is also easy. But in both you miss. The one who indulges misses, the celibate misses too. The real brahmacharya happens when you stand in the middle between these two, then you are only watching. Then you will find that sex arises in the body and reverberates in the body; in the mind a shadow briefly falls and departs. You remain standing far away. How can sexual desire be in you? How can any desire be in you? You are nothing but the observer.

And it usually happens that when meditation starts going well, sexual desire becomes stronger. Understand this because it happens to most people. When meditation is going well, when you start relaxing into the rhythm of your life, tension is less, then the suppression you have been forcing on sex for many lives will be gone. Then the repressed desire will arise like a volcano. Hence if sexual desire increases with meditation, don't worry, it is a good sign, indicating that meditation is progressing well. Meditation is doing good work. Meditation is getting rid of your tensions, removing your control, getting rid of your repressions. Meditation is taking you towards your naturalness.

First meditation will make you natural and then it will bring you to godliness. Because it is impossible to bring what is not yet natural, to its deeper nature. What is not yet natural, cannot reach the divine. So meditation first brings you to nature, then brings you to the divine. Nature is god's outer covering. If you are not in tune with it, how can you be in tune with the innermost godliness? Nature is the steps of the temple. If you don't climb the steps, then how will you enter into the inner sanctum of the temple?

If you can understand what I am saying then don't suppress any more. Now quietly accept it. What this existence shows to you will be good. Existence is presenting it, so it must be good. Neither control, nor become the one who decides, nor stand back saying this is good and that is bad -- I want to do this and don't want to do that. You simply observe.

A life is descending like the sun, the candle of desires too is melting down, slowly slowly the fire is burning itself out. Longings are settling down, the floods are ebbing to a stop, passion is ebbing to a stop, the reign of silence is deepening, the fire is burning itself out.

It is going well. But before the fire goes out it will flare up one last time. You can ask the physicians -- before dying a man becomes completely healthy for a little while. All symptoms disappear. One who was lying on the bed like a corpse sits up, opens his eyes and looks fresh. A little before dying all symptoms disappear because life is making its last leap, life energy comes up once again.

You have seen how an earthen lamp when it is going out flares up one last time. As the last oil burns out, it drinks the last drop of oil and flares up. It is its last burst of flame. Before the dawn you have seen how dark the night is. It is the last burst of darkness.

It is the same when you go deep in meditation, you will find when the fire is about to go out, then the last burst of flame.... Sex energy arises.

A life is descending like the sun, the candle of desires too is melting down...

... the lamp of desires is melting, life is going out.

... slowly slowly the fire is burning itself out. Longings are cooling down, the floods are ebbing to a stop... -- the flow of life is stopping.

... passion is ebbing to a stop, the reign of silence is deepening... -- the juiciness of meditation is increasing. -- the juiciness of silence is deepening.

the reign of silence is deepening, the fire is burning itself out.

In this state a burst of flame will flare up at any moment. Such a blaze is flaring up in you. Observe it. Do not suppress it, otherwise it will move into you again. You are very close to getting free of it, don't suppress it, otherwise the bondage will start again. What has been suppressed will flare up again and again. Whatever you have forced down will come again and again. Let it go, let it come out, let it flow out.

However high it flares up, you go on watching peacefully.

It will not interfere with your meditation.

You continue witnessing.

The fifth question

Question 5


If you have understood, then don't ask. If you ask then you have not understood. If you have understood not to get into any bondage and to be at peace and happy, then just by understanding you will become happy and at peace. Then where did this question come from? Do serene and happy people ask questions? All questions arise from discomfort, from suffering, from misery. If you are still asking questions, then you are not yet at peace, you will need sannyas initiation. If you become serene then what need is there of sannyas? You have become a sannyasin! But don't deceive yourself. If you don't have the courage to take sannyas, don't use Ashtavakra as an excuse. Yes, if you have attained peace there is no need for sannyas. It is in search of peace that one takes sannyas.

If you have become happy, if you think you have become happy, if you have become as worthy as Janak, then the matter is finished. But then this question would not have arisen. Janak did not ask questions, Janak said, "Amazing, master! Then I am liberated! It is surprising how I had fallen under the spell of maya until right now!" If you are ready like Janak you would say, "I am blessed! Then I am liberated! How had I fallen under the spell of maya until right now!" You wouldn't be asking this question.

The truth is, you have the desire to take sannyas in your mind, but not the courage. Listening to Ashtavakra you thought, it is good to know that sannyas is bondage, now there is no need to get into it. Will you drop your other bondages or only the bondage of sannyas? And you are not yet a sannyasi -- there is no way to drop what you don't even have. What other enslavements will you drop? Will you leave your wife? Your home? Your money? Your power? Your mind? The doer? Will you drop your ego? What else will you drop from what you actually have? Certainly it is possible for you to drop what you have. Let sannyasins ask this question, those that have become sannyasins. You have not yet taken sannyas. It would be understandable if a sannyasin asked if now he should drop sannyas. He has sannyas, you don't have sannyas. How will you drop what you don't have? Ask about what you do have. Ask whether you should renounce your house and home.

Hearing everything that Ashtavakra is saying, is this all you could understand, that sannyas initiation is bondage? Is nothing else is bondage?

Man is cunning. The mind is deceptive. The mind is very calculative. It says, "If I can extract the meaning I want it is very good, then I can avoid trouble. I was very hesitant about taking it, it is good I have met Ashtavakra on the way. He has explained well, he has put me right, now there is no need to make the mistake of taking sannyas."

Will you learn anything else from Ashtavakra?

People come to me saying, "Shall we drop meditation now? -- because Ashtavakra says there is bondage in meditation." Will you drop wealth, will you drop power? Or only meditation...! And meditation hasn't happened yet, but you will drop it? If meditation has happened and you ask, shall I drop it, I will say drop it. But one who is meditating will never ask about dropping, he is beyond dropping and holding onto. He will understand Ashtavakra, he will be blissful, filled with joy. He will say, "Great, it is absolutely true. In meditation meditation itself is dropping away. In sannyas bondages are dropping by themselves. Sannyas is no bondage. It is only a device for dropping all bondage. In the end it too will drop."

Understand it like this. You get a thorn in your foot, then you use another thorn as a needle to take the first one out. The second thorn is also a thorn, but it is useful in removing the first thorn. Then you throw both of them away. You don't keep the second thorn thinking it has done a great kindness in removing the first thorn. Or thinking how very loving it is, you don't put the second thorn back into the same place where the first thorn was stuck!

Sannyas is a needle. The thorn of the world is stuck in you, this is a way to take it out. If you can pull it out without a needle, that's even better. What could be more auspicious than your understanding Ashtavakra? Then there would be no need for sannyas. But make sure you aren't deceiving yourself! If it is deception, then be courageous and jump into sannyas. And that moment will also come, when you will be worthy of dropping sannyas too.

But what is there to drop? When you understand, then there is nothing to drop -- everything has fallen away. This is what Janak has said, "O Lord, this body has also dropped." Janak is still in the body, the body hasn't fallen away, but Janak says, "This body has also dropped! This whole world has dropped! Everything has dropped! I am completely unattached, beyond emotions! What great skill in your teaching! What an art! Nothing has happened, I have not left the palace, not left the world, not left the body -- and I have left everything!"

The day you understand it, there is nothing to drop -- not the world and not sannyas. The very idea of dropping comes only to the man who thinks there is something to hold onto.

Renunciation is just a shadow of indulgence. The renunciate is a worldly person standing on his head. When the world goes, renunciation also goes. These two live together and leave together. This is why you see the worldly at the feet of the renunciates! They are together. The renunciate does half the job, the worldly does the other half -- they are joined together. The worldly cannot live without the renunciate, the renunciate cannot live without the worldly. Have you seen this conspiracy!

A man came to me, saying I want to learn to meditate. He was a sannyasi -- an old fashioned sannyasi. So I said, "Good, come to the morning meditation."

He said, "That is a little difficult."

I said, "Why, what's difficult in that?"

He said, "The difficulty is, I cannot come without this man who has come with me, because he keeps the money, I don't touch money. He has to go somewhere else in the morning, so I won't be able to come tomorrow morning."

This is just hilarious! If you need money, what difference does it make whether it is in your pocket or in someone else's? And this becomes another bondage -- the one who keeps the money in his pocket is better off than you, at least he can go wherever he wants. It is a peculiar situation: unless this man comes along, you cannot come because you need to have money for the taxi -- but you don't touch money! So you are having this man sin for you? Commit your own sins. This is great fun -- you will ride in the taxi and he will go to hell for it! Have a little compassion on him. This is the great connection of the worldly and the yogi!

All your renunciates live bound to worldly people. And your worldly people also live bound to renunciates, because they touch the feet of the renunciates thinking, "Today I am not a renunciate, but at least I touch the feet of one. I get some satisfaction of having done something! If not today, then tomorrow I too will become a renunciate. But right now I worship him."

If you ask Jainas where they are going they say they are going to serve the sadhu. Serving him they think, it is gain -- earning some merit. There the sadhu sits, looking down the road to see when the worldly is coming. Here the worldly are looking, when will the sadhu come to town. Worldly and sadhus, two sides of the same coin.

Think a little. If the worldly quit going to the sadhus, how many sadhus will there be? They will all start running away. Who will organize, who will make arrangements? They will all go. But the worldly go on taking care of the sadhus, the sadhus go on taking care of the worldly. It is mutual.

The real wise man can be neither a renunciate nor indulgent. He knows only that I am the witness. Now what difference does it make whether the money is in his pocket or in someone else's pocket? He is the witness. ... if it is, he is a witness; if it is not, he is a witness. Poor, he is a witness; rich he is a witness. In witnessing what difference is there between poverty and wealth? Do you think that if a beggar becomes a witness, that his witnessing will be a little less, and an emperor becomes a witness, his witnessing will be a little more? Can witnessing ever be less or more? Poor or rich, healthy or unhealthy, well-read or illiterate, beautiful or ugly, famous or infamous -- it makes no difference. Witnessing is a treasure that is equal inside everyone, there is no less or more to it.

We can be a witness of every circumstance -- success, failure; respect, disrespect.

Be a witness, this is all Ashtavakra is saying. But if you find it is difficult to be a witness and you want to use some method, then use a method, don't be afraid. Continuing to use the method will help you become capable of becoming the witness of the method too. This is why I say, meditate, and don't worry about it. Because I know, not meditating you will never come to witnessing, not meditating you will only continue thinking. So the choice is not between meditation and witnessing, the choice is between thinking and meditation.

Do you understand what I am saying? If you don't meditate -- you have heard Ashtavakra -- Ashtavakra said that meditation and methods are bondage (and he is absolutely right, one hundred percent correct!) so you quit meditating. What will you do? Will you become a witness now? You will go on repeating the same old rotten thoughts. It is so hilarious: because of Ashtavakra you have fallen deeper into the world. This ladder is for you to climb up. You have started using it to descend. The same steps!

I tell you to meditate. Because the alternatives before you are meditation and thinking: right now witnessing is not an alternative for you. Yes, if you continue to meditate your thoughts will be finished, a new choice will present itself. Now you can choose: witnessing or meditation? Then you can choose witnessing, and meditation can be dropped.

But if you decide not to take sannyas now you will remain indulgent. The choice is between sannyas and the world now. I say take sannyas now. And one day the moment will come when the choice is no longer between the world and sannyas. The world is gone, sannyas remains. Then the choice is between ultimate sannyas and sannyas. Then I will tell you, forget about sannyas, now merge yourself into ultimate sannyas. Yes, if you can go immediately, like Janak, then I am not going to object! Be joyous! Be happy! If you can't then no one else can decide. If you are not able to be happy, you will have to decide what you need to do.

You can turn truth into untruth, and you can even turn flowers into thorns -- it all depends on you.

Don't run eyes closed in the sunlight, my naive heart! The routes are all unknown. On the way you meet thorns and rocks. Just smelling a delicate fragrance, don't believe there are only flowers.

Remember, take your steps carefully. The step you take shouldn't be chosen just by the sweetness of a delicate fragrance.

On the way you meet thorns and rocks. Just smelling a delicate fragrance, don't believe there are only flowers.

When a delicate fragrance comes to you, be careful that it is not just your projection. That it is not just your greed. That it is not just your fear. That it is not just your weakness that your are projecting. And don't be led astray by that sweet soft smell.

It appears very easy -- not to do anything. It seems easy when you hear it, but when you come to doing 'not doing anything', then there is nothing harder. Hearing about witnessing it seems so simple, that there is nothing to do, you only have to watch. When you come to do it you will find, "Oh! This is tremendously hard!"

Try this: sit down with your watch in front of you. The second hand makes its round in one minute. Look at the second hand, witness it's movement and try to go on witnessing it. You will find it moves two to four seconds -- and the witness is gone! Some other thought has come. You forgot. You will be shocked that the second hand has slipped on ahead. Then you will be a witness for two to four seconds, and forget again. In completing one minute you will lose it two, four or ten times. You cannot remain a witness for even one minute, so there is no question now of the witness. Now you can choose thinking or meditation. Then eventually choosing between meditation and witnessing will become possible.

You ask about sannyas, sannyas is only feeling that you want to be with me. It is not a commitment. You are not bound to me. I do not give you any discipline. I give no rules of conduct. I don't tell you when to get up, what to eat, what to drink; what to do, what not to do. I only tell you to be a witness. I only tell you my hand is available, take my hand in yours. Perhaps taking a few steps with me, you will also catch my disease. This disease is contagious. Move a little distance with Buddha and you will be dyed a little by his color. You won't be able to prevent it. A little of his fragrance will begin to emanate from you too. If you pass through a garden, the fragrance of the flowers gets into your clothes -- even if you didn't touch the flowers!

Sannyas is showing a little courage to move with me, having a feeling to be with me. It is falling in love with me. The whole idea behind this love is that I am making arrangements for you to be free. Move with me, I want to give you the fragrance of liberation.

I am a puppet of breath. I am tied to old age. And to death I am given over. But there is this thing called love, you know! By him, I have been liberated. The club of time eternal, a weight impossible to bear, is balanced by one fun-filled childlike moment.

What are you?

I am a puppet of breath. I am tied to old age. And to death I am given over.

Birth and death, this is all that you are. Breath comes in and goes out and in between there is a brief tale, a short drama. If there is anything here that can take you beyond death and birth --

But there is this thing called love, you know! By him, I have been liberated.

If love happens between life and death...

Sannyas means to fall in love with me, nothing more than this. This is enough, this is the definition. If you are in love with me and are ready to move with me a little way, then moving that little way will take you a great distance.

And everything else is superficial: changing the color of your clothes, wearing the mala. These are only to awaken courage and to help you remember your being. These are only outer beginnings, then much happens inside. Those you see dyed in these orange clothes, don't look only at their clothes, take a look into their hearts too -- there you will find a new stream of love beginning to arise.

But there is this thing called love, you know! By him, I have been liberated.

Let me rain over you. Even if you are stone right now, don't worry, this stream of water will cut through your rock.

When the ray of light showered on me, I said, "I am as hard as diamond, a stone eternal."

The ray said, "Is it so? You are the very one I have been searching for. I will create a temple out of you. From your interiority I will carve a statue of light." Dumbfounded. The ray cuddled me in her deep love.

When the ray of light showered on me, I said, "I am as hard as diamond, a stone eternal."

You also say this to me, "No, you cannot change us, we are stone, very ancient, we have taken a vow not to be transformed."

But I say unto you:

The ray said, "Is it so? You are the very one I have been searching for. I will create a temple out of you. From your interiority I will carve a statue of light." Dumbfounded. The ray cuddled me in her deep love.

These orange clothes are only an indication of my love -- of your love towards me, of my love towards you. This is a love tie.

The last question:

Question 6


Jaya has asked.

Jaya has been close to me for many years. She has a heart exactly like that of Meera. In her heart a song just like Meera's is waiting. In her heart a dance just like Meera's is hidden. When it appears, she will manifest her greatness, then another Meera will appear: an awaiting for the right moment, any time the ray of light will descend and chase away the darkness. And she is courageous -- this is why a prediction can be made that it will happen.

But is it not this very mist the ongoing gift in which your cloudlike compassion is showering day and night. Once in a while a shadow glanced. The ultimate language. Possible name. Abode of compassion. This seed mantra, this basic thread, this the only measure of depth, this our grateful bowing down. How deep is thy mist covered cistern -- how tiny are our hands.

Facing the divine our hands always appear small! The cup of our palms is so small.

How deep is thy mist covered cistern -- how tiny are our hands.

Whoever has love in their heart, always feels how small his hands are.

Jaya has asked:

Question 7


This is a filling such that one becomes more and more empty. This is a filling of emptiness. This is filling up with emptiness. My effort is to make you blank. If you have become blank then I have succeeded. If you remain full then I have failed. When you become absolutely blank and nothing more remains inside of you -- no trace, no word, no rubbish -- in this emptiness the divine manifests.

I want to say to Jaya:

Go, o soul go, virgin girl, become a bride, His companion. Now that great void is thy only path and destination. Protector of grains and water, lord of light and religion. He alone will make you joyous, thrilled. O, soul! You are chosen. O united one. O wedded one thy wedding with the great void is celebrated.

"... thy wedding with the great void is celebrated." This being empty, this being blank -- is to celebrate your wedding with the great silence. Dancing, letting that ecstasy manifest, singing, ecstatic -- you have to lose yourself!

There is only one way of being -- disappearing. The moment you become totally empty, immediately the divine descends in its totality. You are the only barrier. So don't be afraid! When you become blank, you have achieved all.

A story from Maharashtra: once Eknath wrote a letter to Nivrittinath. He sent blank paper, nothing written on it. Nivrittinath read it very thoroughly -- a blank sheet of paper with nothing to read on it. He really got into it, reading it again, and again, and again! Muktibai was sitting nearby, he gave it to her and she read it. Her tears started flowing! She was completely gone! Other people were present, they started saying, "This is sheer madness! First, Eknath is mad sending a blank sheet of paper. A letter means to write something! Then this Nivrittinath is mad that he is reading it, not just once but time and again. Then strangest of all, this Muktibai, she is completely gone and her tears start flowing!"

All scriptures are blank paper! And if you learn how to read blank paper, then you know how to read all scriptures -- Vedas, Koran, Guru Granth, Gita, Upanishads, Bible, Dhammapada. One who can read blank paper achieves everything.

My whole effort here, is that you become like blank sheets. I am trying to obliterate you, because you are the only barrier.

O beloved soul, young girl naive and virgin thy wedding with the great void is celebrated.

Hari Om Tat Sat.

Chapter No. 9 and 10 - No Title