Tantra: The Supreme Understanding - 6
The Pathless Path
17 February 1975 am in Buddha Hall THE SONG CONTINUES: TO TRANSCEND DUALITY IS THE KINGLY VIEW. TO CONQUER DISTRACTIONS IS THE ROYAL PRACTICE. THE PATH OF NO-PRACTICE IS THE WAY OF ALL BUDDHAS. HE WHO TREADS THAT PATH REACHES BUDDHAHOOD. TRANSIENT IS THIS WORLD, LIKE PHANTOMS AND DREAMS, SUBSTANCE IT HAS NONE. RENOUNCE IT AND FORSAKE YOUR KIN, CUT THE STRINGS OF LUST AND HATRED, AND MEDITATE IN WOODS AND MOUNTAINS. IF WITHOUT EFFORT YOU REMAIN LOOSELY IN THE NATURAL STATE, SOON MAHAMUDRA YOU WILL WIN AND ATTAIN THE NONATTAINMENT.
There are two paths. One is the path of the warrior, the soldier; another is the path of the king, the royal path. Yoga is the first, tantra is the second. So first you will have to understand what is the path of a soldier, a warrior, only then will you be able to understand what Tilopa means by the royal path.
A soldier has to fight inch by inch; a soldier has to be aggressive, a soldier has to be violent; the enemy has to be destroyed, or conquered. Yoga tries to create a conflict within you. It gives you a clear-cut distinction between what is wrong and what is right, what is good and what is bad, what belongs to God and what belongs to the devil. And almost all the religions, except tantra, follow the path of yoga. They divide reality and they create an inner conflict; through conflict they proceed.
For example: you have hate in you; the path of the warrior is to destroy hate within. You have anger and greed and sex, and millions of things. The path of the warrior is to destroy all that is wrong, negative, and develop all that is positive and right. Hate has to be destroyed and love evolved. Anger has to be completely destroyed and compassion created. Sex has to go and give place to BRAHMACHARYA, to pure celibacy. Yoga immediately cuts you with a sword in two parts: the right and wrong; the right has to win over the wrong. What will you do? Anger is there – what does yoga suggest to do? It suggests: create the habit of compassion, create the opposite; make it so habitual that you start functioning like a robot – hence it is called the way of the soldier. All over the world, throughout history, the soldier has been trained in a robotlike existence; he has to create habits.
Habits function without consciousness, they don’t need any awareness, they can move without you. If you have habits – and everybody has habits – you can watch this. A man takes out his packet of cigarettes from the pocket, watch him – he may not be at all aware what he is doing. Just robotlike he reaches to the pocket. If there is some inner restlessness, immediately his hand goes to the pocket; he brings out the cigarette, starts smoking. He may throw the remaining part, the last part of the cigarette; he may have moved through all the gestures without even being aware of what he was doing.
A robotlike existence we teach to the soldier. The soldier has to do and follow, he has not to be aware. When he is commanded to turn to the right, he has to turn; he has not to think it, about whether to turn or not – because if he starts thinking then it is impossible, then the wars cannot continue in the world. Thinking is not needed, nor is awareness needed. He should simply be this much aware – that he can understand the order, that’s all. The minimum of awareness: here the order is given and there, immediately, like a mechanism, he starts following. It is not that he turns to the left when he is ordered to turn left – he listens and turns. HE is not turning, he has cultivated the habit. It is just like putting off or on the light: the light is not going to think about it, whether to be on or off – you push the button and the light is on. You say, ”Left turn!” and the button is pushed and the man moves left.
William James has reported that once he was sitting in a coffeehouse and an old soldier – retired, retired almost for twenty years – was passing with a bucket of eggs. Suddenly William James played a joke. He loudly called ”Attention!” and the poor old man stood to attention. The eggs fell from his hands, they were destroyed. He was very angry; he came running and said, ”What type of joke is this?”
But William James said, ”You need not follow it. Everybody is free to call ’Attention!’ You are not forced to follow it. Who told you to follow it? You should have gone on your way.” The man said, ”That is not possible – it is automatic. Of course twenty years have passed since I have been in the military, but the habit is deep-rooted.” Many years of training – a conditioned reflex is created.
This word ”conditioned reflex” is good. It is coined by a Russian psychologist, Pavlov. It says you simply reflect; somebody throws something in your eye – you don’t think to blink it or close it, the eye simply closes. A fly comes flying and you close the eye: you need not think, there is no need, it is a conditioned reflex – it simply happens. It is in your body-habit, it is in your blood, in your bones. It simply happens – nothing has to be done about it.
The soldier is trained to be in a completely robotlike way. He has to exist in conditioned reflexes. The same is done by yoga. You get angry – yoga says, ”Don’t get angry, rather cultivate the opposite: compassion.” By and by, your energy will start moving in the habit of compassion. If you persevere for a long time, anger will disappear completely, you will feel compassion. But you will be dead, not alive. You will be a robot, not a human being. You will have compassion, not because you have compassion, but only because you have cultivated a habit.
You can cultivate a bad habit, you can cultivate a good habit. Somebody can cultivate smoking, somebody can cultivate no-smoking; somebody can cultivate nonvegetarian styles of food, somebody can cultivate vegetarian style – but both are cultivating, and in the final judgment both are the same because both live through habits.
This point has to be pondered over very deeply because it is very easy to cultivate a good habit and it is very difficult to become good. And the substitute of a good habit is cheap, it can be done very easily.
Now, particularly in Russia, they are developing a therapy: conditioned reflex therapy. They say people cannot leave their habits. Somebody has been smoking for twenty years – how can you expect him to leave it? You may try to explain to him that it is bad, the doctors may say he may be even in a dangerous situation, cancer may be developing, but twenty years of long habit – now it is engrained, now it has moved into the deepest core of his body, now it is in his metabolism. Even if he wants, even if he desires, even if he desires sincerely, it is difficult – because it is not a question of sincere desire: twenty years of continuous practice – it is almost impossible. So what to do? In Russia they say there is no need to do anything, and no need to explain to him. They have developed a therapy: the man starts smoking and they give him an electric shock. The shock, the pain of it, and the smoking, become joined together, become associated. For seven days he is hospitalized and whenever he starts smoking, immediately, automatically, he gets an electric shock. After seven days the habit is broken. Even if you persuade him to smoke he will be trembling. The moment he will take the cigarette in the hand the whole body will tremble because of the idea of the shock.
They say now he will never smoke; they have broken the habit by a very sharp shock treatment. But now he cannot become a buddha just by shock treatment because he does not have an old habit. All the habits can be changed through shock treatment. Will he become a buddha, enlightened, because he has no bad habits anymore? No. He will not be even a human being now – he will be a mechanism. He will be afraid of things, he will not be able to do them because you have given him NEW habits of fear. That is the whole meaning of hell: all the religions have used it as a shock treatment. Hell is nowhere, nor is there any heaven. Both are tricks, old psychotherapeutic concepts. They have painted hell so horrible that a child can become afraid from the very childhood onwards. The mentioning of the name of hell and fear arises and he trembles. This is just a trick to prevent bad habits. And heaven is also a trick to help good habits; so, much pleasure, happiness, beauty, eternal life is promised in heaven if you follow good patterns. Whatsoever the society says is good you have to follow. Heaven is to help you towards positivity, and hell is to prevent you from going into the negative direction.
Tantra is the only religion which has not used any such conditioned reflexes – because tantra says you have to flower into a perfectly awakened being, not a robotlike mechanism. So if you understand tantra, habit is bad; there are no bad habits, there are no good habits – habit is bad. And one should be awake so there are no habits. You simply live moment to moment with full awareness, not by habits. If you can live without habits that is the royal path. Why is it royal? – because a soldier has to follow, a king need not. The king is above, he gives orders, he receives no orders from anybody. A king never goes to fight, only soldiers go. A king is not a fighter. A king lives the most relaxed of all lives. This is just a metaphor: a soldier has to follow, a king simply lives loose and natural; there is nobody above him. Tantra says there is nobody above you whom you have to follow, through whom you have to get your pattern of life, through whom you have to become imitators – there is nobody. You live a loose and natural and flowing life – the only thing is: just be aware.
Through fighting you can cultivate good habits, but they will be habits, not natural. People say a habit is a second nature; maybe – but remember the word ”second.” It is not natural; it may look almost natural, but it is not. What will be the difference between real compassion and a compassion cultivated? A real compassion is a response – the situation and the response. A real compassion is always fresh; something has happened and your heart flows towards it. A child has fallen and you run and help the child to stand back up, but this is a response. A false compassion, a cultivated compassion, is a reaction.
These two words are very very meaningful: ”response” and ”reaction.” Response is alive to the situation; reaction is just an engrained habit. Because in the past you have been training yourself to help somebody if he has fallen, you simply go and help, but there is no heart in it. Somebody is drowning in the river: you run and help the person just because you have been taught to do so. You have cultivated the habit of helping, but you are not involved. You remain out of it, your heart is not there – you have not responded. You have not responded to this man, to this man drowning in this river; you have not responded to this moment, you have followed an ideology.
To follow an ideology is good: help everybody, become a servant to people, have compassion! – you have an ideology, and through the ideology you react. It is out of the past that the action comes, it is already dead. When the situation creates the action and you respond with full awareness, only then something of beauty happens to you. If you react because of the ideology, old habit patterns, you will not gain anything out of it. At the most you can gain a little ego, which is not a gain at all. You may start bragging that you have saved a man who was drowning in the river. You may go to the market-place and shout loudly, ”Look, I have saved another human life!” You may gain a little more ego, you have done something good, but it is not a gain. You have lost a great opportunity of being spontaneous, of being spontaneous in compassion.
If you had responded to the situation, then something would have flowered in you, a blossoming; you would have felt a certain silence, a stillness, a blessing. Whenever there is a response you feel a blossoming inside. Whenever there is a reaction you remain dead: corpselike you behave, robotlike you act. Reaction is ugly, response is beautiful. Reaction is always of the part, reaction is never of the whole. Response is always of the whole; your whole totality jumps into the river. You don’t think about it, the situation simply lets it happen. If your life becomes a life of response and spontaneity, you will become some day a buddha. If your life becomes a life of reaction, dead habits, you may look like a buddha but you will not become a buddha. You will be a painted buddha; inside you will be just a corpse. Habit kills life. Habit is against life.
Every day in the morning you have made it a habit to get up early; at five you get up. In India I have seen many people – because in India, for centuries, it has been taught that the BRAHMAMUHURT, before the sun has arisen, is the most auspicious moment, the holiest. It is – but you cannot make a habit out of it, because the holy exists only in a living response. They get up at five, but you will never see on their faces the glory that comes if you get up early as a response. The whole life is awakening all around you; the whole earth is waiting for the sun, the stars are disappearing. Everything is becoming more conscious. The earth has slept, the trees have slept, the birds are ready to take wing. Everything is getting ready. A new day starts, a new celebration.
If it is a response, then you get up like a bird – humming, singing; you have a dance to your step. It is not a habit, it is not that you HAVE to get up, it is not that because it is written in the scriptures and you are a devoted Hindu so you have to get up in the early morning. If you make a habit out of it you will not hear the birds because birds are not written in the scriptures; you will not see the sun rising because that is not the point – you are following a dead discipline.
You may even be angry; you may even be against it because last night you were late going to bed and you are not feeling well enough to get up. It would have been better if you could have slept a little more. You were not ready, you were tired. Or last night was not good, and you have dreamed too much and your whole body feels lethargic; you would like to have a little more sleep. But no – the scriptures are against it and you have been taught from the very childhood....
In my childhood my grandfather was very much for the morning. He would drag me out of my sleep near about three in the morning – and since then I have not been able to get up early. He would drag me and I would curse him inside, but I couldn’t do anything and he would take me for a walk – and I was sleepy and I had to walk with him. He destroyed the whole beauty.
Whenever later I had to go for a morning walk, I could not forgive him. I will always remember him. He destroyed.... For years continuously he was dragging me – and he was doing something good, and he was thinking that he is helping to create a lifestyle. This is not the way. Sleepy... and he was dragging me, and the path was beautiful and the morning was beautiful, but he destroyed the whole beauty. He put me off. Only after many years could I regain and move into the morning without remembering him; otherwise his memory was with me. Even when he was dead he would follow me like a shadow in the morning.
If you make a habit, if you make a forced thing, then morning becomes ugly. Then it is better to go to sleep. But be spontaneous! Some days you may not be able to get up – nothing is wrong in it, you are not committing a sin. If you are feeling sleepy, sleep is beautiful – as beautiful as any morning and as beautiful as any sunrise, because sleep belongs to the divine as much as the sun. If you are feeling to rest the whole day, it is good!
This is what tantra says: the royal way – behave like a king, not like a soldier. There is nobody on top of you to force you and order you; there should not be really a style of life. That is the royal way. You should live moment to moment, enjoying moment to moment – spontaneity should be the way. And why bother about tomorrow? – this moment is enough. Live it! Live it in totality. Respond, but don’t react. ”No habits” should be the formula.
I am not saying live in a chaos, but don’t live through habits. Maybe, just living spontaneously, a way of life evolves in you – but that is not forced. If you enjoy the morning every day, and through enjoyment you get up early in the morning, not as a habit, and you get up every day... and you may get up for your whole life, but that is not a habit. You are not forcing yourself to get up – it happens. It is beautiful; you enjoy it, you love it.
If it happens out of love it is not a style, it is not a habit, not a conditioning, not a cultivated, dead thing. Less habits – you will be more alive. No habits – you will be perfectly alive. Habits surround you with a dead crust and you become enclosed in them, you become encapsulated. Like a seed a cell surrounds you, hard. Be flexible. Yoga teaches you to cultivate the opposite of all that is bad. Fight with evil and attend to good. There is violence – kill the violence within you and become nonviolent, cultivate nonviolence. Always do the opposite and force the opposite to become your pattern. This is the soldier’s way – a small teaching.
Tantra is the great teaching – the supreme. What does tantra say? Tantra says: don’t create any conflict within yourself. Accept both, and through the acceptance of both, a transcendence happens, not victory but transcendence. In yoga there are victories, in tantra there are none. In tantra... simply transcendence. Not that you become nonviolent against violence, you simply go beyond both, you simply become a THIRD phenomenon – a witness.
I was sitting once in a butcher’s shop. He was a very good man and I used to go to visit him. It was evening and he was just going to close the shop when a man came and asked for a hen. And I knew because just a few minutes before he had told me that everything was sold today – only one hen was left. So he was very happy; he went in, brought the hen out, threw it on the scale and said, ”That will be five rupees.” The man said, ”It is good, but I am going to give a party and many friends are coming and this hen seems to be too small. I would like to have a little bigger one. ”
Now I knew that he had no hen left, this was the only one. The butcher brooded a little, took the hen back inside the room, stayed there a little, came back again, threw the hen on the scale – the same one – and said, ”This will be seven rupees.” The man said, ”Tell you what, I will take both of them. ” Then the butcher was really in a fix. And tantra puts the whole existence itself in a fix. Tantra says, ”I will take both of them.” There are not two. Hate is nothing but another aspect of love. Anger is nothing but another aspect of compassion, and violence is nothing but another face of nonviolence. Tantra says, ”Tell you what, I will take both of them. I accept both.” And suddenly through this acceptance there is a transcendence, because there are not two. Violence and nonviolence are not two. Anger and compassion are not two. Love and hate are not two.
That’s why you know, you observe, but you are so unconscious that you don’t recognize the fact. Your love changes into hate within a second. How is it possible if they are two? Not even a second is needed: this moment you love, and next moment you hate the same person. In the morning you love the same person, by the afternoon you hate, in the evening you love again. This game of love and hate goes on. In fact, love and hate is not the right word: love-hate, anger-compassion – they are one phenomenon, they are not two. That’s why love can become hate, hate can become love, anger can become compassion, compassion can become anger.
Tantra says the division is brought by your mind and then you start fighting. You create the division first; you condemn one aspect and you appreciate another. You create the division first, then you create the conflict and then you are in trouble. And you WILL be in trouble. A yogi is constantly in trouble because whatsoever he will do the victory cannot be final, at the most temporary.
You can push down anger and act compassion, but you know well that you have pushed it down into the unconscious and it is there – and any moment, a little unawareness and it will bubble up, it will surface. So one has to constantly push it down. And this is such an ugly phenomenon if one has to constantly push down negative things – then the whole life is wasted. When will you enjoy the divine? You have no space, no time. You are fighting with the anger and greed and sex and jealousy and a thousand things. And those thousand enemies are there; you have to be constantly on watch, you can never relax. How can you be loose and natural? You will always be tense, strained, always ready to fight, always afraid. Yogis become afraid even of sleep, because in sleep they cannot be on watch. In sleep all that they have forced down surfaces. They may have attained to celibacy while they are awake, but in dreams it becomes impossible – beautiful women keep on floating inside, and the yogi cannot do anything. Those beautiful women are not coming from some heaven as it is written in Hindu stories, that God sent them. Why should God be interested in you? A poor yogi, not doing anybody any harm, simply sitting in the Himalayas with closed eyes, fighting with his own problems – why should God be interested in him? And why should he send APSARAS, beautiful women, to distract him from his path? Why? Nobody is there. There is no need for anybody to send anybody. The yogi is creating his own dreams.
Whatsoever you suppress surfaces in the dreams. Those dreams are the part the yogi has denied. And your waking hours are as much yours as your dreams are yours. So whether you love a woman in your waking hours, or you love a woman in dream, there is no difference – there cannot be, because it is not a question of a woman there or not, it is a question of you. Whether you love a picture, a dream picture, or you love a real woman, there is in fact no difference – there cannot be, because a real woman is also a picture inside. You never know the real woman, you only know the picture.
I am here. How do you know that I am really here? Maybe it is just a dream – you are dreaming me here. What will be the difference if you dream me here and you see me actually here? – and how will you make the difference? What is the criterion? ... Because whether I am here or not makes no difference – you see me inside your mind. In both the cases – dream or real – your eyes take the rays in and your mind interprets that somebody is there. You have never seen any actual person, you cannot see.
That’s why Hindus say this is a MAYA, this is an illusory world. Tilopa says, ”Transient, ghostlike, phantomlike, dreamlike is this world.” Why? – because in dream and actuality there is no difference. In both the cases you are confined in your mind. You only see pictures, you have never seen any reality – you cannot see, because the reality can only be seen when YOU become real. You are a ghostlike phenomenon, a shadow – how can you see the real? The shadow can see only the shadow. You can see reality only when the mind is dropped. Through the mind everything becomes unreal. The mind projects, creates, colors, interprets – everything becomes false. Hence the emphasis, continuous emphasis on how to be no-minds.
Tantra says don’t fight. If you fight you may continue your fight for many lives and nothing will happen out of it, because in the first place you have missed – where you have seen two was only one. And if the first step has been missed, you cannot reach the goal. Your whole journey is going to be continuously a missing. The first step has to be taken absolutely rightly, otherwise you will never reach the goal. And what is the absolutely right thing? Tantra says it is to see the one in two, to see the one in many. Once you can see one in duality, already the transcendence has started. This is the royal path. Now we will try to understand the sutra. TO TRANSCEND DUALITY IS THE KINGLY VIEW.
To transcend, not to win – to transcend. This word is very beautiful. What does it mean, to ”transcend”? It is just as if a small child is playing with his toys. You tell him to put them away and he becomes angry. Even when he goes to sleep he goes with his toys, and the mother has to remove them when he has fallen asleep. In the morning the first thing that he demands to know is where his toys are and who has taken them away. Even in the dream he dreams about the toys. Then suddenly one day he forgets about the toys. For a few days they remain in the corner of his room, and then they are removed or thrown away; never again does he ask for them. What has happened?
He has transcended, he has become mature. It is not a fight and a victory; it is not that he was fighting against the desire to have toys. No, suddenly one day he sees this is childish and he is no more a child; suddenly one day he realizes that toys are toys, they are not real life and he is ready for the real life. His back is turned towards the toys. Never again in dreams will they come; never again will he think about them. And if he sees some other child playing with toys, he will laugh; he will laugh knowingly... a knowing laugh, a wise laugh. He will say, ”He’s a child, still childish, playing with toys.” He has transcended.
One young man came to me and he was very much worried. He has a beautiful wife, but her nose is a little too long. So he was worried and he said, ”What to do?” Even plastic surgery was done – the nose became a little more ugly; because there was nothing wrong, and when you try to improve something where nothing is wrong, it becomes more ugly, it makes more of a mess. Now he was more troubled and he asked me what to do. I talked to him about the toys and I told him, ”One day you will have to transcend. This is just childish – why are you obsessed so much with her nose? The nose is just a tiny part, and your wife is so beautiful and such a beautiful person – and why are you making her so sad because of her nose? ” – because she has also become touchy about her nose, her nose has become as if it was the whole problem of life. And all problems are like this! Don’t think that your problem is something greater – all problems are like this. All problems are out of childishness, juvenile, they are born out of immaturity.
He was concerned so much with the nose that he would not even look at his wife’s face, because whenever he saw the nose he was troubled – but you cannot escape things so easily. If you are NOT looking at the face because of the nose, still you are reminded of the nose. Even if you are trying to evade the issue, the issue is there. You are obsessed. So I told him to meditate on the wife’s nose. He said, ”What? I cannot even look.” I told him, ”This is going to help – you simply meditate on the nose. People used in the ancient days, to meditate on the tip of their own nose, so what is wrong in meditating on the tip of your wife’s nose? Beautiful! You try.” He said, ”But what will happen out of it?”
”You just try,” I told him, ”and after a few months you tell me what happens. Every day, let her sit before you and you meditate on her nose.” One day he came running to me and he said, ”What nonsense I have been doing! Suddenly, I have transcended. The whole foolishness of it has become apparent – now it is no more a problem.” He has not become victorious because, in fact, there is no enemy there so that you can win, there is no enemy to you – this is what tantra says. The whole life is in deep love with you. There is nobody who is to be destroyed, nobody who is to be won, nobody who is an enemy, a foe to you. The whole life loves you. From everywhere the love is flowing.
And within you also, there are no enemies – they have been created by priests. They have made a battleground, they have made you a battleground. They say, ”Fight this – this is bad! Fight that – that is bad!” They have created so many enemies that you are surrounded by enemies and you have lost contact with the whole beauty of life. I say to you: anger is not your enemy, greed is not your enemy; neither is compassion your friend, nor is nonviolence your friend – because friend or foe, you remain with the duality.
Just look at the whole of your being and you will find they are one. When the foe becomes the friend and the friend becomes the foe, all duality is lost. Suddenly there is a transcendence, suddenly an awakening. And I tell you, it is sudden, because when you fight you have to fight inch by inch. This is not a fight at all. This is the way of the kings – the royal path.
Says Tilopa, TO TRANSCEND DUALITY IS THE KINGLY VIEW. Transcend duality! Just watch and you will see there is no duality. Bodhidharma, one of the rarest jewels ever born, went to China. The king came to see him, and the king said, ”Sometimes I am very much disturbed. Sometimes there is much tension and anguish within me.”
Bodhidharma looked at him and said, ”You come early tomorrow morning at four o’clock, and bring all your anguish, anxieties, disturbances with you. Remember, don’t come alone – bring all of them!” The king looked at this Bodhidharma – he was a very weird-looking fellow; he could have scared anybody to death – and the king said, ”What are you saying? What do you mean?” Bodhidharma said, ”If you don’t bring those things, then how can I set you right? Bring all of them and I will set everything right.” The king thought, ”It is better not to go. Four o’clock in the morning – it will be dark, and this man looks a little mad. With a big staff in his hand, he can even hit. And what does he mean that he will put everything right?”
He couldn’t sleep the whole night because Bodhidharma haunted him. By the morning he felt that it would be good to go, ”because who knows? – maybe he can do something.” So he came, grudgingly, hesitatingly, but he reached. And the first thing Bodhidharma asked – he was sitting there before the temple with his staff, was looking even more dangerous in the dark, and he said, ”So you have come! Where are the other fellows that you were talking about?” The king said, ”You talk in puzzles, because they are not things that I can bring – they are inside.” Bodhidharma said, ”Okay. Inside, outside, things are things. You sit down, close your eyes and try to find them inside. Catch hold of them and immediately tell me and look at my staff. I am going to set them right!”
The king closed his eyes – there was nothing else to do – he closed his eyes, afraid a little, looked inside here and there, watched, and suddenly he became aware the more he looked in, that there was nothing – no anxiety, no anguish, no disturbance. He fell into a deep meditation. Hours passed, the sun started rising, and on his face there was tremendous silence. Then Bodhidharma told him, ”Now open your eyes. Enough is enough! Where are those fellows? Could you get hold of them?” The king laughed, bowed down, touched the feet of Bodhidharma, and he said, ”Really, you have set them right, because I could not find them – and now I know what is the matter. They are not there in the first place. They were there because I never entered within myself and looked for them. They were there because I was not present inside. Now I know – you have done the miracle.”
And this is what happened. This is transcendence: not solving a problem, but seeing whether really there is a problem in the first place. First you create the problem and then you start asking for the solution. First you create the question and then you roam around the world asking for the answer. This has been my experience also, that if you watch the question, the question will disappear; there is no need for any answer. If you watch the question, the question disappears – and this is transcendence. It is not a solution because there was no question at all to solve. You don’t have a disease. Just watch inside and you will not find the disease; then what is the need of a solution? Every man is as he should be. Every man is a born king. Nothing is lacking, you need not be improved upon. And people who try to improve you, they destroy you, they are the real mischiefmakers. And there are many who are just watching like cats for mice: you come near them and they pounce upon you and they start improving you immediately. There are many improvers – that’s why the world is in such a chaos – there are too many people trying to improve on you. Don’t allow anybody to improve upon you. You are already the last word. You are not only the alpha, you are the omega also. You are complete, perfect.
Even if you feel imperfection, tantra says that imperfection is perfect. You need not worry about it. It will look very strange to say that your imperfection is also perfect, nothing is lacking in it. In fact, you appear imperfect not because you are imperfect but because you are a growing perfection. This looks absurd, illogical, because we think perfection cannot grow, because we mean by perfection that which has come to its last growth – but that perfection will be dead. If it cannot grow then that perfection will be dead. God goes on growing. God is not perfect in that way, that he has no growth. He is perfect because he lacks nothing, but he goes from one perfection to another, the growth continues. God is evolution; not from imperfection to perfection but from perfection to more perfection, to still more perfection.
When perfection is without any future, it is dead. When perfection has a future to it, still an opening, a growth, still a movement, then it looks like imperfection. And I would like to tell you: be imperfect and growing, because that is what life is. And don’t try to be perfect, otherwise you will stop growing. Then you will be like a Buddha statue, stone, but dead. Because of this phenomenon – that perfection goes on growing – you feel it is imperfect. Let it be as it is. Allow it to be as it is. This is the royal way.
TO TRANSCEND DUALITY IS THE KINGLY VIEW. TO CONQUER DISTRACTIONS IS THE ROYAL PRACTICE. Distractions are there, when you will lose your consciousness again and again. You meditate, you sit for meditation, a thought comes – and immediately you have forgotten yourself; you follow the thought, you have got involved in it. Tantra says only one thing has to be conquered, and that is distractions.
What will you do? Only one thing: when a thought comes, remain a witness. Look at it, observe it, allow it to pass your being, but don’t get attached to it in any way, for or against. It may be a bad thought, a thought to kill somebody – don’t push it, don’t say, ”This is a bad thought.” The moment you say something about the thought, you have become attached, you are distracted. Now this thought will lead you to many things, from one thought to another. A good thought comes, a compassionate thought: don’t say, ”Aha, so beautiful! I am a great saint. Such beautiful thoughts are coming to me that I would like to give salvation to the whole world. I would like to liberate everybody.” Don’t say that. Good or bad, you remain a witness.
Still, in the beginning, many times you will be distracted. Then what to do? If you are distracted, be distracted. Don’t be worried too much about it, otherwise that worry will become an obsession. Be distracted! For a few minutes you will be distracted, then suddenly you will remember, ”I am distracted.” Then it is okay, come back. Don’t feel depressed. Don’t say, ”It was bad that I was distracted” – again you are creating a dualism: bad and good. Distracted, okay – accept it, come back. Even with distraction you don’t create a conflict.
That’s what Krishnamurti goes on saying. He uses a very paradoxical concept for it. He says if you are inattentive, be attentively inattentive. That’s okay! Suddenly you find you have been inattentive, give attention to it and come back home. Krishnamurti has not been understood and the reason is that he follows the royal path. If he had been a yogi he would have been understood very easily. That’s why he goes on saying there is no method – on the royal path there is no method. He goes on saying that there is no technique – on the royal path there is none. He goes on saying no scripture will help you – on the royal path there is no scripture.
Distracted? – the moment you remember, the moment this attention comes to you that ”I have been distracted,” come back. That’s all! Don’t create any conflict. Don’t say, ”This was bad”; don’t feel depressed, frustrated that you have been again distracted. Nothing is wrong in distraction – enjoy it also.
If you can enjoy the distraction, less and less it will happen to you. And a day comes when there is no distraction – but this is not a victory. You have not pushed the distracting trends of your mind deep into the unconscious. No. You allowed it also. It too is good. This is the mind of tantra, that everything is good and holy. Even if there is distraction, somehow it is needed. You may not be aware why it is needed; somehow it is needed. If you can feel good about everything that happens, then only are you following the royal path. If you start fighting with ANYTHING whatsoever, you have fallen from the royal path and you have become an ordinary soldier, a warrior.
TO TRANSCEND DUALITY IS THE KINGLY VIEW. TO CONQUER DISTRACTIONS IS THE ROYAL PRACTICE. THE PATH OF NO-PRACTICE IS THE WAY OF ALL BUDDHAS. Nothing is to be practiced because practice creates habits. One has to become more aware, not more practiced. The beautiful happens through the spontaneous, not through the practiced. You can practice love, you can go through some training. In America they are thinking to create a few training courses for love, because people have even forgotten that, how to love. It is really strange! Even birds, animals, trees, they don’t ask anybody, they don’t go to any college – and they love. And many people come to me....
Just a few days ago one young man wrote a letter to me, and he said, ”I understand – but how to love? How to proceed? How to approach a woman?” It seems ridiculous but we have lost the natural, loose way completely. Not even love is possible without training. And if you are trained you will become absolutely ugly, because then everything you do will be part of the training. It will not be real, it will be acting. It will not be real life, it will be like just actors. They create love, they act in a loving way, but have you noticed that actors are the greatest failures as far as love is concerned? Their love-life is almost always a failure. This should not be so, because twenty-four hours a day they are practicing love; with so many women, with so many stories, in different ways they are practicing love. They are professional lovers, they should be perfect when they fall in love – but when they fall in love they are always failures.
The life of actors and actresses, their Iove-life, is always a failure. What is the matter? Practice is the matter, they have practiced it too much – now the heart cannot function. They simply go on making impotent gestures: they kiss, but the kiss is not there, only lips meet. Only lips meet. The inner energy, the transfer of inner energy is not there; their lips are closed, cold. And if lips are cold, closed, and energy is not being released through them, the kiss is an ugly thing, unhygienic. It is just a transfer of millions of cells, germs, diseases – that’s all. A kiss is ugly if the inner energy is not present.
You can embrace a woman or a man – only bones meet, bodies clash, but there is no jump of the inner energy. The energy is not there. You are just moving through an impotent gesture. You can even make love; you can move through all the gestures of love, but that will be more like gymnastics and less like love. Remember: practice kills life. Life is more alive when unpracticed. When it flows in all directions without any pattern, without any forced discipline, then it has its own order and discipline.
THE PATH OF NO-PRACTICE IS THE WAY OF ALL BUDDHAS. HE WHO TREADS THAT PATH REACHES BUDDHAHOOD. Then what to do? If no-practice is the path, then what to do? Then just live spontaneously. What is the fear? Why are you so afraid to live spontaneously? Of course there may be dangers, hazards are there – but that is good! Life is not like a railway track, the trains moving on the same track again and again, shunting. Life is like a river: it creates its own path. It is not a channel. A channel is not good – a channel means a life of habits. Danger is there, but danger is life, it is involved in life. Only dead persons are beyond danger. That’s why people become dead.
Your houses are more like graves. You are concerned too much with security, and too much concern for security kills, because life IS insecure. It is so; nothing can be done about it, nobody can make it secure. All securities are false, all securities are imagined. A woman loves you today – tomorrow who knows? How can you be secure about tomorrow? You may go to the court and register, and make a legal bond that she will remain your wife tomorrow also. She MAY remain your wife because of the legal bonds, but love can disappear. Love knows no legality. And when love disappears and the wife remains the wife and the husband remains the husband, then there is a deadness between them. Because of security we create marriage. Because of security we create society. Because of security we always move on the channelized path.
Life is wild. Love is wild. And God is absolutely wild. He will never come into your gardens, they are too human. He will not come to your houses, they are too small. He will never be met on your channelized paths. He is wild. Remember, tantra says life is wild. One has to live it through all the dangers, hazards – and it is beautiful because then there is adventure. Don’t try to make a fixed pattern of your life. Allow it to have its own course. Accept everything; transcend duality through acceptance and allow the life to have its own course – and you will reach, you will certainly reach. This ”certainly” I say, not to make you secure – this is a fact, that’s why I say it. This is not your certainty of security. Those who are wild always reach. TRANSIENT IS THIS WORLD, LIKE PHANTOMS AND DREAMS, SUBSTANCE IT HAS NONE.
RENOUNCE IT AND FORSAKE YOUR KIN, CUT THE STRINGS OF LUST AND HATRED, AND MEDITATE IN WOODS AND MOUNTAINS. IF WITHOUT EFFORT YOU REMAIN LOOSELY IN THE NATURAL STATE, SOON MAHAMUDRA YOU WILL WIN AND ATTAIN THE NONATTAINMENT. ... the nonattainable.
This sutra has to be understood very deeply, because misunderstanding is possible. There has been much misunderstanding about Tilopa – about THIS sutra. And all those who have commented before me, they have missed the point. There is reason. This sutra says: TRANSIENT IS THIS WORLD – this world is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. In dreams and in this world there is no difference. Waking or asleep you live in a dream-world of your own. Remember there is not one world – there are as many worlds as there are per sons; everybody lives in his own world. Sometimes our worlds meet and clash, sometimes merge, but we remain enclosed in our own worlds.
TRANSIENT IS THIS WORLD, mind-created, LIKE PHANTOMS AND DREAMS, SUBSTANCE IT HAS NONE. This is what physicists say also: substance it has none. Matter has disappeared completely from the vocabulary of the physicist just within thirty, forty years. Seventy years ago, seventy-five years ago, Nietzsche declared, ”God is dead.” And he said it to emphasize that only matter exists – and the century is not even complete. Just twenty-five years after Nietzsche died – Nietzsche died in 1900 – in 1925 physicists came to understand that we don’t know anything about God, but one thing is certain: matter is dead. There is no material thing around you, everything is just vibrations; crisscrossing vibrations create the illusion of matter.
It is the same as you see in a movie: there is nothing on the screen – only crisscrossing electric lights, and they create the whole illusion. And now there are three-dimensional films; they create the complete illusion of three-dimensionality. Exactly like the movie film on the screen is the whole world, because it is all electric phenomenon – only YOU are real, only the witness is real and everything is a dream. And buddhahood means when you transcend all these dreams and nothing is left to be seen – only the seer sits silently; there is nothing, no object to be seen, only the seer is left – then you have attained to buddhahood, to reality.
TRANSIENT IS THIS WORLD, LIKE PHANTOMS AND DREAMS, SUBSTANCE IT HAS NONE. RENOUNCE IT AND FORSAKE YOUR KIN.... These words, RENOUNCE IT AND FORSAKE YOUR KIN, have been misunderstood. There is a reason why – because they are all renouncers, and they thought that Tilopa is saying what they believe. Tilopa cannot say it because it is against his whole trend. If they are like dreams, what is the meaning of renouncing them? You can renounce reality, you cannot renounce dreams – it will be too foolish. You can renounce a substantial world, you cannot renounce a phantom world. In the morning do you say, declare, go to the housetop and call everybody around and say, ”I have renounced dreams! Last night there were many dreams and I have renounced them!” They will laugh, they will think you have gone crazy – nobody renounces dreams. One simply awakes; nobody renounces dreams. One Zen master one morning woke up and he asked one of his disciples, ”I had a dream last night. Would you interpret it for me, what it means?”
The disciple said, ”Wait! Let me bring a cup of tea for you.” The master took the cup of tea and then asked, ”Now what about the dream?” The disciple said, ”Forget about it, because a dream is a dream and needs no interpretation. A cup of tea is enough interpretation – awake!”
The master said, ”Right, absolutely right! If you had interpreted my dream I would have thrown you out of my monastery, because only fools interpret dreams. You did well; otherwise you would have been thrown out completely, and I would not have looked at your face again.” When there is a dream you need a cup of tea and be finished with it. Freud and Jung and Adler would have been much worried had they known this story, because they wasted their whole lives interpreting others’ dreams. A dream has to be transcended. Simply by knowing it is a dream you transcend – THIS is the renunciation.
Tilopa has been misunderstood because there are so many renouncers in the world, condemners. They thought he was saying renounce the world. He was not saying that. He was saying, ”Know that it is transient and this is renunciation.” ”Renounce it,” he says; he means, know that it is a dream. FORSAKE YOUR KIN – it has been thought that he is saying, ”Leave your family, your relations, your mother, your father, your children.” No, he is not saying that; he cannot say that. It is impossible for Tilopa to say that. He is saying renounce the inner relationship with people. You should not think somebody is your wife – that ”yourness” is a phantom, it is a dream. You should not say, ”This child is my son” – that ”myness,” that ”mine” is a dream. Nobody is yours, nobody can be yours. Renounce these attitudes that somebody is yours – husband, wife, friend, enemy; renounce all these attitudes. Don’t bridge: ”mine,” ”thine” – these words, drop them.
Suddenly, if you drop these words, you have renounced your kin – nobody is yours. That doesn’t mean that you escape, you run away from your wife, because the running away will show that you think she is substantial. Running away will show that you still think she is yours, otherwise why are you running? It happened: One Hindu sannyasin, Swami Ramateertha, came back from America. He was staying in the Himalayas; his wife came to see him – he became a little disturbed. His disciple, a very penetrating mind, Sardar Poorn Singh, was sitting beside him. He watched, he felt that Ramateertha was disturbed. When the wife went, suddenly Ramateertha threw off his orange robes. Poorn Singh asked, ”What is the matter? I was watching, you were a little disturbed. It felt that you were not yourself.”
He said, ”That’s why I’m throwing off these robes. I have met so many women, and I was never disturbed. Nothing is special about this woman – except that she was my wife. That ’my’ is still there. I am not worthy to wear these robes. I have not renounced the ’mine,’ I have renounced only the wife. And the wife is not the problem; NO other woman has ever disturbed me. I have walked all over the earth, but my wife comes – she is as ordinary a woman as any – and suddenly I am disturbed. The bridge is still there.” He died in ordinary clothes, he never again used the orange. He said, ”I am not worthy.” Tilopa cannot say renounce your wife and children and your kin. No. He is saying renounce the bridges, drop them – that is your affair; it is not concerned with the wife. If she continues to think about you as her husband, that is her problem, not yours. If the son continues to think of you as his father, that is his problem; he is a child, he needs maturity.
I say to you: Tilopa means renouncing the inner dreams and bridges, the inner worlds. ... AND MEDITATE IN WOODS AND MOUNTAINS. And that too – he is not saying to run away to the mountains and the woods. It has been interpreted like that, and many have escaped from their wives and children and gone to the mountains – that is absolutely wrong. What Tilopa is saying is deeper; it is not so superficial, because you can go to the mountains and remain in the market. Your mind is the question. You may sit in the Himalayas and think of the market and your wife and your children and what is happening to them.
It happened: a man renounced his wife, children, family and came to Tilopa to be initiated as his disciple. Tilopa was staying in a temple outside the town. The man came. When he reached inside he was alone and Tilopa was alone. Tilopa looked around him and said, ”You have come, that’s okay – but why this crowd?” He also looked behind him, because there was no one. Tilopa said, ”Don’t look back! Look in! – the crowd is there.” The man closed his eyes and the crowd was there: the wife was still there crying, the children were weeping and sad; they were standing there. They had come to leave him at the boundary of the town – friends, family, others, they were all there. And Tilopa said, ”Go out, leave the crowd! I initiate persons, not crowds.”
No, Tilopa cannot mean that you renounce the world and go to the mountains. He is not so foolish. He cannot mean that – he is an awakened man. What he means is this: he says if you renounce the dreams, the bridges, the relationships – not the relations – if you renounce your mind, suddenly you are in the woods and in the mountains. You may be sitting in the market – the market has disappeared. You may be sitting in your house – the house has disappeared. Suddenly you are in the woods and in the mountains. Suddenly you are alone. Only you are there, nobody else.
You can be in the crowd and alone, and you can be alone and in the crowd. You can be in the world and not of the world. You can be in the world, but you belong to the mountains and the woods. This is an inner phenomenon. There are inner mountains and inner woods, and Tilopa cannot say anything about the outer mountains and woods, because they are also dreams. A Himalaya is as much a dream as the market-place in Poona, because a Himalaya is as outer a phenomenon as the market-place is. The woods are also a dream. You have to come to the inner – the reality is there. You have to move more and more deeper, in the depths of your being, then you will come to the real Himalayas, then you will come to the real woods of your being, peaks and valleys of your being, heights and depths of your being. Tilopa means that.
IF WITHOUT EFFORT YOU REMAIN LOOSELY IN THE NATURAL STATE.... And he has to mean that because he is for a loose and natural state. To escape from the wife and the children is not natural, and it is not loose at all. A man who leaves his wife and children and friends and the world becomes tense, he cannot be loose. In the very effort of renouncing a tension comes in. To be natural means to be there where you are. To be natural means: wherever you found yourself, be there. If you are a husband, good; if you are a wife, beautiful; if you are a mother, right – it has to be so. Accept wherever you are and whatsoever you are and whatsoever is happening to you, only then you can be loose and natural, otherwise you cannot be loose and natural. Your socalled monks, SADHUS, people who have escaped from the world, in fact, cowards sitting in their monasteries, canNOT be loose and natural – they have to be uptight. They have done something unnatural, they have gone against the natural flow.
Yes, for a few people it can be natural. So I am not saying FORCE yourself to be in the marketplace, because then you will commit the other extreme, and you will do again the same foolishness. To a few people it may be absolutely natural to be in a monastery; then they have to be in the monastery. To a few people it may be absolutely natural to move in the mountains; they have to be in the mountains. The thing to be remembered as a criterion is being loose and natural. If you are natural in the market, beautiful – the market is also divine. If you feel loose and natural in the Himalayas, beautiful – nothing is wrong in it. Remember only one thing: Be loose and natural. Don’t strain, and don’t try to create a tension within your being. Relaxed... ... SOON MAHAMUDRA YOU WILL WIN... Remaining loose and natural, soon you will come to the orgasmic peak with the existence. ... AND ATTAIN THE NONATTAINMENT.
And you will attain that which cannot be attained. Why? Why say it cannot be attained? – because it cannot be made a goal. It cannot be attained by a goal-oriented mind. It cannot be attained by an achieving mind. Many people here are of the same trend of the achieving mind. They are uptight because they have made a goal of that which cannot be made a goal. It HAPPENS to you. You can only be passive, loose and natural, and wait for the right time, because everything has its own season. It will happen in its own season. What is the hurry? If you are in a hurry then you will become uptight, then you will be constantly expecting. That’s why Tilopa says: ”... AND ATTAIN THE NONATTAINMENT.” It is not a goal. You cannot make a target of it: ”I am going to attain it.” You cannot reach it like an arrow, no. The mind which is arrowed towards a goal is a tense mind. Suddenly it comes, when you are ready – not even the footsteps are heard. Suddenly it comes. You do not even become aware that it is coming. It has bloomed. Suddenly you see the blooming – you are filled with the fragrance.
Cut the Root
18 February 1975 am in Buddha Hall THE SONG CONTINUES: CUT THE ROOT OF A TREE AND THE LEAVES WILL WITHER; CUT THE ROOT OF YOUR MIND AND SAMSARA FALLS. THE LIGHT OF ANY LAMP DISPELS IN A MOMENT THE DARKNESS OF LONG KALPAS; THE STRONG LIGHT OF THE MIND IN BUT A FLASH WILL BURN THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE. WHOEVER CLINGS TO MIND SEES NOT THE TRUTH OF WHAT’S BEYOND THE MIND. WHOEVER STRIVES TO PRACTICE DHARMA FINDS NOT THE TRUTH OF BEYOND- PRACTICE. TO KNOW WHAT IS BEYOND BOTH MIND AND PRACTICE ONE SHOULD CUT CLEANLY THROUGH THE ROOT OF MIND AND STARE NAKED. ONE SHOULD THUS BREAK AWAY FROM ALL DISTINCTIONS AND REMAIN AT EASE.
Choice is bondage, choicelessness freedom. The moment you choose something, you have fallen in the trap of the world. If you can resist the temptation to choose, if you can remain choicelessly aware, the trap disappears on its own accord, because when you don’t choose you don’t help the trap to be there – the trap is also created by your choice. So this word ”choice” has to be understood very deeply, because only through that understanding can choicelessness flower in you. Why can’t you remain without choosing? Why does it happen the moment you see a person or a thing, immediately a subtle wave of choice has entered in you, even if you are not aware that you have chosen? A woman passes by and you say she is beautiful. You are not saying anything about your choice, but the choice has entered, for to say of a person that she is beautiful means: ”I would like to choose her.” In fact, deep down you have chosen; you are already in the trap. The seed has fallen to the soil; soon there will be sprouts, there will be a plant and a tree. The moment you say, ”This car is beautiful,” choice has entered. You may not be aware at all that you have chosen, that you would like to possess this car, but in the mind a fantasy has entered, a desire has arisen. When you say something is beautiful, you mean that you would like to have it. When you say something is ugly, you mean that you would not like to have it.
Choice is subtle and one has to be very minutely aware about it. Whenever you say something remember this: that saying is not only saying, not a mere saying – something has happened in the unconscious. Don’t make the distinction: this is beautiful and that is ugly, this is good and that is bad. Don’t make the distinctions. Remain aloof! Things are neither bad nor good. The quality of goodness and badness is introduced by you. Things are neither beautiful nor ugly; they are simply there as they are – the quality of being beautiful and ugly is introduced by you, it is your interpretation.
What do you mean when you say something is beautiful? Is there any criterion of beauty? Can you prove it that it is beautiful? Just standing by your side, somebody may think, ”This is ugly!” – so it is nothing objective; nobody can prove anything beautiful. Thousands and thousands of books have been written on aesthetics, and it has been a long, arduous journey for intellectuals, thinkers and philosophers to define what beauty is – they have not yet been able. They have written great books, great treatises, they go round about and round about, but nobody has ever been able to pinpoint what beauty is. No, it seems impossible – because there exists nothing like beauty or ugliness, it is your interpretation.
First you make a thing beautiful. This is why I say that first you create the trap and then you fall into it. First you think this face is beautiful – this is YOUR creation, this is just your imagination, this is just your mind interpreting; this is not existential, this is just psychological – and then you yourself fall into the trap. You dig the hole and then you fall into it and then you cry for help, and then you cry for people to come to your salvation.
Nothing is needed says tantra. You simply see the whole trick – it is your own creation. What do you mean that something is ugly? If man is not on the earth will there be ugliness and beauty? Trees will be there, of course, and they will bloom; of course, rains will come, and summer and seasons will follow one another – but there will be nothing like beautiful and ugly, it will disappear with man and his mind. The sun will rise and in the night the sky will be filled with stars – but nothing will be beautiful and nothing will be ugly. It was just man creating noise. Now he is no more there the interpretations have disappeared; what will be good and what will be bad? In nature nothing is good and nothing is bad. And remember, tantra is the loose and the natural way. It wants to bring you to the deepest, most natural phenomena of life. It wants to help you drop from the mind – and mind creates distinctions, and mind says this is to be chosen and that has to be avoided. To this you cling, and that you avoid and escape from. Look at the whole phenomenon. Just a look is needed, nothing else; no practice is needed – just a look at the whole situation.
The moon is beautiful; why? – because for centuries you have been indoctrinated that the moon is beautiful. For centuries poets have been singing about the moon, for centuries people have believed – now it has become engrained. Of course there are a few things which happen with the moon: it is very soothing, you feel calmed down, and the light of the moon gives a mysterious aroma to the whole nature; it gives a sort of hypnosis, you feel a little sleepy and awake and things look more beautiful; it gives a dreamlike quality to the world – that’s why we call madmen, lunatics. The word ”lunatic” comes from the word ”luna,” the moon. They have gone mad, moonstruck. The moon creates a sort of lunacy, a sort of madness, a neurosis. It may be concerned with the water in your body – just like the sea is affected by the moon and tides come. Your body is ninety percent sea water. If you ask the physiologists they will say that something must be happening in the body because of the moon, because your body remains a part of the sea. Man has come from the sea to the earth; basically life was born in the sea. When the whole sea is affected, of course all sea animals are affected by the moon, they are part of the sea, and man has also come from the sea. Very very long he has traveled, but it makes no difference; the body still reacts in the same way. Ninety percent of your body is water, and not only water, sea water, with the same chemicals, same saltiness.
In the womb the child swims for nine months, floats in sea water; the mother’s womb is filled with sea water. That’s why when women are pregnant they start using, eating more salt. More salt is needed for their womb, to keep the same balance of saltiness. And the child passes through all the phases humanity has passed through. In the beginning he is just like a fish, he moves into the ocean of the mother’s womb, floats. By and by, in nine months he passes millions of years. Physiologists have come to realize that he passes through all the stages of life in nine months.
That may be, that the moon affects you, but there is nothing like beauty – it is a chemical phenomenon. Certain eyes you feel are very beautiful. What is happening? Those eyes must have a quality, a chemical quality, an electric quality in them, they must be releasing some energy – you become affected by them. You say some eyes are hypnotic, like Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Just the moment he sees you something happens in you. You say eyes are very beautiful. What do you mean by beauty? You are affected. In fact, when you say something is beautiful you are not saying that something is beautiful, you are saying that you are affected in a nice way, that’s all. When you say something is ugly, you are saying that you are affected in an antagonistic way. You are repelled or you are attracted. When you are attracted it is beauty, when you are repelled it is ugly. But it is YOU, not the object, because the same object can attract somebody else. It happens every day; people are always amazed about other people. They say, ”That man has fallen in love with that woman – amazing!” Nobody can believe that this can happen; that woman is ugly. But to that man, that woman is the very incarnation of beauty. What to do? There can be no objective criterion, there is none.
Tantra says: remember, whenever you choose something, whenever you decide for this or against this, it is your mind playing tricks. Don’t say the thing is beautiful; just simply say, ”I am affected in a nice way” – but the base remains ”I.” If once you transfer the whole phenomenon on the object, then it can never be solved because from the first step you missed, you missed the root. The root is you, so if you are affected it means your mind is affected in a certain way. And then that affection, that being affected, creates the trap and you start moving. First you create a beautiful man and then you start chasing him, then you run after him. And after a few days living with a beautiful man or woman, all fantasies fall to the ground. Suddenly you become aware, as if you have been deceived, that this woman looks ordinary. And you were thinking she was a Laila or a Juliet, or you were thinking he is a Majnu or a Romeo, and suddenly, after a few days, the dreams have evaporated and the woman has become ordinary, or the man has become ordinary; then you feel disgusted, as if the other has deceived you.
Nobody has deceived and nothing has fallen from the man or woman; it is your own fantasy that has fallen – because fantasies cannot be maintained. You can dream about them but you cannot maintain them for a long time. Fantasies are fantasies! So if you really want to continue in your fantasy, then when you see a beautiful woman, immediately escape from her as far as you can. Then you will always remember her as the most beautiful woman in the world. Then the fantasy will never come in contact with reality. Then there will be no shattering. You can always sigh and sing and weep and cry for the beautiful woman – but never go near her!
The nearer you come, the more reality, the more objective reality, reveals itself. And when there is a clash between objective reality and your fantasy, of course you know who is going to be defeated – your fantasy. Objective reality cannot be defeated. This is the situation. And tantra says become aware: nobody is deceiving you except yourself. The woman was not trying to be very beautiful, she was not creating the fantasy around her, YOU created it around her; you believed it, and now you are at a loss what to do, because the fantasy cannot be continued against reality. A dream has to break – and that is the criterion.
Hindus in the East have made a criterion of truth: they say truth is that which lasts forever, forever, forever; and untruth is that which lasts only for a moment. No other distinction is there. The momentary is the untrue and the everlasting is the truth. And life is everlasting; existence is everlasting. Mind is momentary – so whatsoever mind gives to life remains momentary; it is a color that the mind gives to the life, it is an interpretation. By the time the interpretation is complete, the mind has changed. You cannot maintain the interpretation because mind cannot be maintained for two consecutive moments in the same situation in the same state. Mind goes on changing, mind is a flux. It has already changed – by the time you realize that this man is beautiful, the mind has already changed. Now you will be falling in love with something which is there no more, even in your mind.
Tantra says: understand the mechanism of the mind and cut the root. Don’t choose, because when you choose you get identified. Whatsoever you choose you become, in a certain way, one with it. If you love a car, you become one with that car in a certain way. You come closer and closer, and if the car is stolen, something of your being is stolen. If something goes wrong with the car, something goes wrong with you. If you fall in love with a house you become one with the house. Love means identification; coming so close, as if you put two wax candles closer, closer, closer, and put them very close – they become one. The heat, the burning of the flame... by and by they become one. This is identification. Two flames coming closer and closer and closer, they become one. And when you are identified with something you have lost your soul. This is the meaning of losing your soul in the world: you have become identified with millions of things, and with everything a part of you has become a thing. Choice brings identification. Identification brings a hypnotic state of sleep.
Gurdjieff has only one thing to teach to his disciples and that is not to be identified. His whole school, all his techniques, methods, situations, are based on one single base, and that base is: not to be identified. You are crying; when you are crying, you have become one with the crying. There is nobody to watch it, there is nobody to see it; be alert and aware of it – you are lost in crying. You have become the tears and the red, swollen eyes and your heart is in a crisis. Teachers like Gurdjieff, when they say not to be identified, they say, ”Cry, nothing is wrong in it, but stand by the side and look at it – don’t be identified.” And it is a wonderful experience if you can stand by the side. Cry, let the body cry, let the tears flow, don’t suppress it because suppression helps nobody, but stand by the side and watch.
This can be done – because your inner being is a witness, it is never a doer. Whenever you think it is a doer there is an identification. It is never a doer. You can walk the whole earth – your inner being never walks a single step. You can dream millions of dreams – your inner being never dreams a single dream. All movements are on the surface. Deep in the depth of your being there is no movement. All movements are on the periphery, just like a wheel moves, but at the center nothing moves. At that center everything remains as it is, and on the center the wheel moves. Remember the center! Watch your behavior, your actions, your identifications, and a distance is created; by and by a distance comes into existence – the watcher and the doer become two. You can see yourself laughing, you can see yourself crying, you can see yourself walking, eating, making love; you can act many things, whatsoever is going on around – and you remain the seer. You don’t jump and become one with whatsoever you are seeing.
This is the trouble. Whatsoever happens you start saying: you are hungry, you say, ”I am hungry” – you have become identified with the hunger. But just look inside; are you hunger, or is hunger happening to you? Are you hunger or are you simply aware of the hunger happening in the body? You cannot be hunger; otherwise, when the hunger has disappeared, where will you be? When you have eaten well and the belly is full and you are satiated, where will you be if you are hunger? Evaporated? No, then immediately you become the satiety. Before the hunger disappears a new identification has to be created; you become the satiety. You were a child and you thought you were a child; now where are you because you are no more a child? You have become a young man or you have become old – who are you now? Again you are identified with youth or old age. The innermost being is just like a mirror. Whatsoever comes before it, it mirrors, it simply becomes a witness. Disease comes or health, hunger or satiety, summer or winter, childhood or old age, birth or death – whatsoever happens, happens before the mirror, it never happens TO the mirror.
This is nonidentification, this is cutting the root, the very root – to become a mirror. And to me this is sannyas: to become like a mirror. Don’t become like a very sensitive photoplate – that is identification. Whatsoever comes before the lens of the camera, the photoplate immediately takes it in, becomes one with it. Become like a mirror. Things come and pass and the mirror remains vacant, empty, void. This is the no-self of Tilopa. The mirror has no self to be identified with. It simply reflects. It does not react, it simply responds. It doesn’t say, ”This is beautiful, that is ugly.” An ugly woman stands before it, the mirror is as happy as when a beautiful woman stands before it. It makes no difference. It reflects whatsoever is the case but it doesn’t interpret. It doesn’t say, ”Go away, you disturb me very much,” or ”Come a little closer, you are so beautiful.” The mirror says nothing. The mirror simply watches without any distinction, friend or foe. The mirror has no distinctions to make.
And when somebody passes, goes away from the mirror, the mirror doesn’t cling to it. The mirror has no past. It is not that you have passed and the mirror will cling a little to your phantom. It is not that the mirror will cling to your shadow a little while. It is not that the mirror will try to retain the reflection that has happened in it. No. You have passed, the reflection has gone; not even for a single second the mirror retains it. This is the mind of a buddha. You come before it, he is filled with you; you go away, you have gone. Not even a memory flashes. A mirror has no past, neither has a buddha. A mirror has no future, neither has a buddha. The mirror doesn’t wait: ”Now who is coming before me; now who am I going to reflect? I would like this person to come and not like that person.” The mirror has no choice, he remains choiceless.
Try to understand this metaphor of the mirror because this is the real situation of the inner consciousness. Don’t get identified by things that are happening around you. You remain centered... remain centered and rooted in your being. Things are happening and they will continue to happen, but if YOU can be centered in your mirror-like consciousness, nothing will be the same – the whole has changed. You remain virgin, innocent, pure. Nothing can become an impurity to you, absolutely nothing because nothing is retained. You reflect, for a moment somebody is there and then everything is gone. Your emptiness is untouched. Even while a mirror is reflecting somebody, there is nothing happening to the mirror. The mirror is not changing in any way; the mirror remains the same. This is cutting the very root.
There are two types of people. One, who go on fighting with the symptoms, who go on fighting, not with the root cause, but just with the symptoms of the disease. For example, you have a fever, a one-hundred-and-five degrees fever. You can do one thing: you can go and take a good shower, a cold shower; that will cool down the body, that will bring the fever low – but you are fighting with the symptom because the temperature is not the disease. A temperature is simply an indication that something has gone wrong in the body. The body is in a turmoil, that’s why the temperature has gone high. The body is in a crisis. Inside the body something like a war is going on. Some germs are fighting with other germs, that’s why the temperature has gone high. You are feeling hot – this heat is not the problem, this heat is just a symptom. This heat is very very friendly to you, this heat simply shows you: Do something, inside there is a crisis – and if you treat the symptom you will kill the patient. Putting ice on his head won’t do. Giving him a cold shower won’t help. It is destructive, because it will give a false coolness on the surface. But how, just by giving a cold shower, can you hope that the inner turmoil and the inner fight in the germs will stop? – they will continue and they will kill you. The fool is always treating the symptoms. The wise man looks to the root, to the very cause. He doesn’t try to cool down the body, he tries to change the root cause of why the body is becoming hot. And when that root is changed, the cause is changed, the cause is treated, the temperature comes down by itself. Temperature is not the problem. But in life there are more fools than wise men. In medicine we have become wiser but in life, still not.
In life we go on doing foolish things. If you are angry you start fighting with the anger. Anger is nothing but a temperature; it is exactly a temperature, it is a fever. If you are really angry your body becomes hot, but that only shows that in your bloodstream some chemicals are being released. But that too is not the root either. Those chemicals are released for a certain reason – because you have created a situation in which either you will have to fight or take flight.
When an animal is in a situation of danger he has two choices: one choice is to fight, another choice is to escape. For both these choices certain poisons are needed in the blood, because when you fight you will need more energy than ordinarily. When you fight you will need more blood circulating than ordinarily. When you fight you will need emergency sources of energy to work, to function – the body has emergency sources. It collects poisons, hormones, many things in the glands; when the time comes and the need is there it releases them into the bloodstream. That’s why when you are angry you become almost three times more powerful than you are ordinarily. If your anger can be created, you can do many things you can never do ordinarily: you can throw a big rock – ordinarily you cannot even move it. In fight it will be needed – nature provides. Or if you have to escape and run away, then too energy will be needed because the enemy will chase you, follow you. Everything has changed – man has created a civilization, a society, a culture, where animal situations no longer exist – but deep inside the mechanism remains the same. Whenever you are in a situation when you feel somebody is going to be aggressive to you, somebody is going to hit you, insult you, do some harm, immediately the body comes into the situation: it releases poisons in the bloodstream, your temperature rises high, your eyes become red, your face is more filled with blood – you are ready to fight or take flight.
This too is not the deepest thing because this too is just a help from the body. Anger on the face, anger in the body, are not real things; they follow your mind, they follow your interpretation. It can be that there was nothing. In a lonely street on a dark night, you pass, you see a lamp-post, you think it is a ghost – immediately the body has released something in the bloodstream, the body is preparing to fight the ghost or escape. Your mind interpreted the lamp-post as a ghost – immediately the body follows. You think somebody is your enemy, the body follows. You think somebody is a friend, the body follows.
So the root cause is in the mind, it is in your interpretation. Buddha says, ”Think that the whole earth is your friend.” Why? Jesus says, ”Even forgive your enemies”; not only that, ”even love your enemies.” Why? Buddha and Jesus are trying to change your interpretations, but Tilopa goes still higher. He says: Even if you think that all are your friends, you continue to think in terms of friendship and enmity. Even if you love the enemy you think that he is the enemy. You love because Jesus has said. Of course, you will be in a better situation than an ordinary man who hates the enemy, less anger will happen to you. But Tilopa says to THINK that someone is an enemy, to think that someone is a friend, is to divide – you have already fallen into the trap. Nobody is a friend and nobody is an enemy. This is the highest teaching. Sometimes Tilopa surpasses even Buddha and Jesus. Maybe the reason is that Buddha was talking to the masses and Tilopa is talking to Naropa. When you talk to a very developed disciple, you can bring the highest down. When you talk to the masses you have to make compromises. I was talking to the masses for fifteen years continuously, then by and by I felt I have to drop it. I was talking to thousands of people. But when you talk to twenty thousand people you have to compromise, you have to come down; otherwise it will be impossible for them to understand. Seeing this I dropped it. Now I like to talk only to Naropas. And you may not be aware, even if a single new person comes here and I am not aware that a new person is there, he changes the whole atmosphere. He brings you down and suddenly I feel that I have to make a compromise.
The higher you go, the higher your energy, the higher teaching can be delivered to you. And a moment comes when Naropa becomes perfect – Tilopa becomes silent. Then there is no need to say anything, because even saying is a compromise. Then silence suffices, then silence is enough; then just sitting together is enough. Then the master sits with the disciple, they don’t do anything, they just remain together – and then only the highest glimpse happens.
So it depends on the disciples. It will depend on you, how much you can allow me to bring to you. It is not only for your own understanding – of course, that is there – but it will depend on you how much I can bring to the earth because it is going to come through you. Jesus has very ordinary disciples in that way, very ordinary, because he is starting a thing and he has to make compromises – with foolish things. Jesus is going to be caught in the night and the disciples are asking, ”Master, tell us: in the Kingdom of God you will, of course, be sitting to the right of God, on the right side of the throne – but we twelve, what will be our hierarchical situation? How will we be sitting? Who will be sitting by the side of you? and who next?” Jesus is going to die and these foolish disciples are asking something absurd. And they are worried in the Kingdom of God what will be the hierarchy, who will be next to Jesus. Of course, Jesus... they can see that much, that Jesus will be next to God, but then who will be next to Jesus? Foolish egos. And Jesus has to compromise with these people. That’s why Jesus’ teachings could not go to that height where Buddha can go easily because he is not talking to such foolish people; never in his life has a single person asked such a foolish thing. But nothing to compare with Tilopa....
He never talked to the masses. He searched for a single man, a single developed soul, Naropa, and said, ”Because of you, Naropa... I will tell you things which cannot be told; because of you and your trust, I have to.” That’s why the teaching has gone, taken a flight to the very farthest corner of the sky.
Now try to understand the sutra: CUT THE ROOT OF A TREE AND THE LEAVES WILL WITHER; CUT THE ROOT OF YOUR MIND AND SAMSARA – the world – FALLS. THE LIGHT OF ANY LAMP DISPELS IN A MOMENT THE DARKNESS OF LONG KALPAS – long ages, millennia – THE STRONG LIGHT OF THE MIND IN BUT A FLASH WILL BURN THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE.
”CUT THE ROOTS OF A TREE AND THE LEAVES WILL WITHER.” But people ordinarily try to cut off the leaves. That is not the way; the root cannot wither that way. On the contrary, if you cut off the leaves, more leaves will come into the tree; you cut off one leaf, three will come, because by your cutting off the leaves, the roots become more active to protect. So every gardener knows how to make a tree dense and thick – you just go on pruning. It will become thicker and thicker and thicker, because you give a challenge to the roots: you cut off one leaf, the roots will send three to protect the body of the tree, because leaves are the body surface of the tree.
Leaves are not just there for your enjoyment, to see and for you to sit under the shade; no, leaves are the tree’s body surface. Through leaves the tree absorbs sunrays, through leaves the tree releases vapors, through leaves the tree is in contact with the cosmos. The leaves are the skin of the tree. You cut off one leaf and the roots take the challenge: they send three instead; they become more alert, they cannot remain sleepy. Somebody is trying to destroy them and they have to protect – and the same happens in life also, because life is also a tree. Roots and leaves are there. If you cut anger, three leaves will come instead; you will be thrice angry. If you cut sex, you will become abnormally obsessed with sex. Cut anything and watch and you will see that thrice is happening to you. And then the mind will say, ”Cut more, this is not enough!” Then you cut more and then more comes of it – then you are in a vicious circle. The mind will go on, ”Cut more, it is still not enough.” That’s why so many leaves are coming. You can cut all the branches, it will make no difference because the tree exists in the root, not in the leaves.
Identification is the root and everything else is nothing but leaves. Being identified with greed, being identified with anger, being identified with sex, is the root. And remember, it is the same whether you are identified with greed, or sex, or even meditation. Love, MOKSHA, God – it makes no difference, it is the same identification. Being identified is the root, and all else is just like leaves. Don’t cut the leaves, leave them, nothing is wrong in them.
That’s why tantra does not believe in improving your character. It may give you a good shape – if you prune a tree you can make any shape out of it – but the tree remains the same. Character is just an outer shape – but you remain the same, no transmutation happens. Tantra goes deeper and says, ”Cut the root!” That’s why tantra was misunderstood too much, because tantra says, ”If you are greedy, be greedy; don’t bother about greed. If you are sexual, be sexual; don’t bother about it at all.” The society cannot tolerate such a teaching: ”What are these people saying? They will create chaos. They will destroy the whole order.” But they have not understood that only tantra changes the society, the man, the mind, nothing else; and only tantra brings a real order, a natural order, a natural flowering of the inner discipline, nothing else. But it is a very deep process – you have to cut the root.
Watch greed, watch sex, watch anger, possessiveness, jealousy. One thing has to be remembered: you don’t get identified, you simply watch; you simply look, you become a spectator. By and by, the quality of witnessing grows; you become able to see all the nuances of greed. It is very subtle. You become capable of seeing how subtly the ego functions, how subtle are its ways. It is not a gross thing; it is very subtle and delicate and deep-hidden. The more you watch, the more your eyes become capable of seeing, become more perceptive, the more you see and deeper you can move, and the more distance is created between you and whatsoever you do. Distance helps because without distance there can be no perception. How can you see a thing which is too close? If you are standing too close to a mirror, you cannot see your reflection. If your eyes are touching the mirror, how can you see? A distance is needed – and nothing can give you a distance except witnessing. You try it and see.
Move into sex; nothing is wrong in it, but remain a watcher. Watch all the movements of the body; watch the energy flowing in and out, watch how the energy is falling downwards; watch the orgasm, what is happening – how two bodies move in a rhythm. Watch the heartbeat – faster and faster it goes, a moment comes when it is almost mad. Watch the warmth of the body; the blood circulates more. Watch the breathing; it is going mad and chaotic. Watch the moment when a limit comes to your voluntariness and everything becomes involuntary. Watch the moment from where you could have come back, but beyond that there is no return. The body becomes so automatic all control is lost. Just a moment before the ejaculation you lose all control, the body takes over.
Watch it: the voluntary processes, the nonvoluntary process. The moment when you were in control and you could have gone back, the return was possible, and the moment when you cannot come back, the return has become impossible – now the body has taken over completely, you are no more in control. Watch everything – and millions of things are there. Everything is so complex and nothing is as complex as sex, because the whole bodymind is involved – only the witness is not involved, only one thing remains always outside.
The witness is an outsider. By its very nature the witness can never become an insider. Find out this witness and then you are standing on a top of the hill, and everything goes in the valley and you are not concerned. You simply see; what is your concern? It is as if it is happening to somebody else. And it is the same with greed and it is the same with anger; everything is very complex. And you will enjoy it if you can watch – negative, positive, all the emotions. You simply remember one thing, that you have to be a watcher; then the identification is broken, then the root is cut. And once the root is cut, once you think you are not the doer, everything suddenly changes. And the change is sudden, there is no gradualness to it.
CUT THE ROOT OF THE TREE AND THE LEAVES WILL WITHER, CUT THE ROOT OF YOUR MIND AND SAMSARA FALLS. The moment you cut the root of the mind, the identification with it, the samsara falls; the whole world falls like a house of cards. Just a small wind of awareness and the whole house falls. Suddenly you are here, but no more in the world – you have transcended. You can live just the old way, doing the old things – but nothing is old, because you are no longer the old. You are a perfectly new being – this is rebirth. Hindus call it DWIJ, twice-born. A man who has attained to this is twice-born, this is a second birth – and this is the birth of the soul. This is what Jesus means by resurrection. Resurrection is not the rebirth of the body; it is a new birth of consciousness. CUT THE ROOT OF YOUR MIND AND SAMSARA FALLS. THE LIGHT OF ANY LAMP DISPELS IN A MOMENT THE DARKNESS OF LONG LONG KALPAS... long long ages. So don’t be worried about how a sudden light will dispel the darkness of many, many millions of lives. It dispels it because darkness has no density to it, darkness has no substance to it. Whether one moment old or many thousands of years old, it is the same. Absence cannot grow more or less, absence remains the same. Light is substantial, it is something – darkness is just an absence. The light is there and darkness is there no more.
It is not that the darkness is dispelled really, because there was nothing to be dispelled. It is not that when you burn the light, the darkness goes out – there was nothing to go out. In fact there was nothing, just the absence of light. Light comes and darkness is not.
THE STRONG LIGHT OF THE MIND IN BUT A FLASH WILL BURN THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE. Buddhists use ”mind” in two senses: mind with a small ”m” and Mind with a capital ”M.” When they use Mind with a capital ”M,” they mean the witness, consciousness. When they use mind with a small ”m” they mean the witnessed. And both are mind – that’s why they use the same word for both – with just a small difference, with a capital ”M.” With a capital ”M” you are the witness and with a small ”m” you are the witnessed – thoughts, emotions, anger, greed, everything.
Why use the same word? Why create confusion? There is a reason for it – because when the Mind with a capital ”M” arises, the mind with the small ”m” is simply absorbed in it. As rivers fall into the ocean, the millions of minds around the great Mind all fall into it, the energy is reabsorbed. Greed, anger, jealousy – they were energies moving outwards, centrifugally. Suddenly when the Mind with capital ”M” arises, the witness sits there silently watching and all the rivers change their course. They were going centrifugally towards the periphery; suddenly they turn back, they become centrifugal; they start falling into the great Mind – everything is absorbed. That’s why the same word is used. THE STRONG LIGHT OF THE MIND IN BUT A FLASH WILL BURN THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE.
Just in a single moment all ignorance is burned – this is sudden enlightenment. WHOEVER CLINGS TO MIND SEES NOT THE TRUTH OF WHAT’S BEYOND THE MIND. If you cling to the mind, thoughts, emotions, then you will not be able to see that which is beyond the mind – the great Mind – because if you cling, how can you see it? If you cling, your eyes are closed by your clinging. And if you cling to the object, how can you see the subject? This ”clinging-ness” has to be dropped. WHOEVER CLINGS TO MIND is identified, and SEES NOT THE TRUTH OF WHAT’S BEYOND THE MIND. WHOEVER STRIVES TO PRACTICE DHARMA FINDS NOT THE TRUTH OF BEYOND-PRACTICE.
All practice is of the mind. Whatsoever you do is of the mind. Only witnessing is not of the mind, remember this. So, even while you are doing meditation, remain a witness, continuously see what is happening. You are whirling in a dervish meditation? – whirl, whirl as fast as you can, but remain a witness inside and go on seeing that the body is whirling. The body goes on, faster and faster and faster, and the faster the body goes, the deeper you feel that your center is not moving. You are standing still, the body moves like a wheel, you stand still just in the middle of it. The faster the body goes, the deeper you realize the fact that you are not moving, and the distance is created. Whatsoever you are doing, even meditation – I make no exception – don’t cling to meditation either, because a day has to come when even that clinging has to be dropped. Meditation becomes perfect when it too is dropped. When there is perfect meditation, you need not meditate.
So keep it constantly in your awareness that meditation is just a bridge; it has to be passed over. A bridge is not a place to make your house. You have to pass it and go beyond it. Meditation is a bridge; you have to be watchful about it also, otherwise you may stop being identified with anger, greed, and you may start being identified with meditation, compassion. Then you are in the same trap again; through another door you have entered the same house.
It happened once: Mulla Nasruddin came to the town bar and he was already too drunk, so the barkeeper told him, ”You go away! You are already drunk and I cannot give you any more. You just go back to your house.” But he was insisting, so the barkeeper had to throw him out. He walked a long distance in search of another bar. Then he came to the same bar from another door, entered, looked at the man with a little suspicion because he looked familiar. The barman said, ”I have told you once and forever that tonight I am not going to give you anything. You get away from here!” Mulla was insisting again, he was thrown out again.
He walked a long distance in search of another bar, but in that town there was only one bar. Again, from the third door, he entered, looked at the man, who looked so familiar. Mulla said, ”What is the matter? Do you own all the bars in the town?”
This happens. You are thrown out from one door; you enter from another door. You were identified with your anger, your lust; now you become identified with your meditation. You were identified with your sexual pleasure; now you become identified with the ecstasy that meditation gives. Nothing is different – the town has only one bar. Don’t try to enter the same bar again and again. And from WHEREVER you enter you will find the same owner – that is the witness. Be mindful of it, otherwise much energy is unnecessarily wasted. Long distances you travel to enter into the same thing again.
WHOEVER CLINGS TO MIND SEES NOT THE TRUTH OF WHAT’S BEYOND THE MIND. What is beyond the mind? You. What is beyond the mind? Consciousness. What is beyond the mind? SAT-CHIT-ANAND – truth, consciousness, bliss. WHOEVER STRIVES TO PRACTICE DHARMA FINDS NOT THE TRUTH OF BEYOND- PRACTICE.
And whatsoever you practice, remember, practice cannot lead you to the natural, the loose and the natural, because practice means practicing something which is not there. Practicing means always practicing something artificial. Nature has not to be practiced; there is no need, it is already there. You learn something which is not there. How can you learn something which is already there? How can you learn nature, tao? It is already there! You are born in it. There is no need to find any teacher so that you can be taught – and that is the difference between a teacher and a master. A teacher is one who teaches you something, a master is one who helps you to unlearn all that you have already learned. A master is to help you unlearn. A master is to give you the taste of the nonpracticed. It is already there; through your learning you have lost it. Through your unlearning you will regain it.
Truth is not a discovery, it is a rediscovery. It was already there in the first place. When you came into this world it was with you, when you were born into this life it was with you, because you ARE it. It cannot be otherwise. It is not something external, it is intrinsic in you, it is your very being. So if you practice, says Tilopa, you will not know that which is beyond practice. Remind yourself again and again, that whatsoever you practice will be a part of the mind, the small mind, the outer periphery, and you have to go beyond it. How to go beyond it? Practice, nothing is wrong in it, but be alert; meditate, but be alert – because in the final meaning of the term, meditation IS witnessing.
All techniques can be helpful but they are not exactly meditation, they are just a groping in the dark. Suddenly one day, doing something, you will become a witness. Doing a meditation like the dynamic, or KUNDALINI or whirling, suddenly one day the meditation will go on but you will not be identified. You will sit silently behind, you will watch it – that day meditation has happened; that day technique is no more a hindrance, no more a help. You can enjoy it if you like, like an exercise, it gives a certain vitality, but there is no need now – the real meditation has happened. Meditation is witnessing. To meditate means to become a witness. Meditation is not a technique at all. This will be very confusing to you because I go on giving you techniques. In the ultimate sense meditation is not a technique; meditation is an understanding, awareness. But you need techniques because that final understanding is very far away from you; deep hidden in you, but still very far away from you. Right this moment you can attain it, but you will not attain it, because your moment goes on, your mind goes on. THIS very moment it is possible and yet impossible. Techniques will bridge the gap, they are just to bridge the gap.
So in the beginning techniques are meditations; in the end you will laugh, techniques are not meditation. Meditation is a totally different quality of being, it has nothing to do with anything. But it will happen only in the end; don’t think it has happened in the beginning, otherwise the gap will not be bridged. This is the problem with Krishnamurti, and this is the problem with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – they are the two opposite poles. Mahesh Yogi thinks that technique is meditation, so once you are attuned to a technique – Transcendental Meditation or any other – the meditation has happened. This is right and wrong. Right, because in the beginning a beginner has to attune himself to some technique, because his understanding is not ripe enough to understand the ultimate. So approximately... a technique is approximately a meditation.
It is just like a small child learning the alphabet – so we tell the child that ”m” is the same letter as when you use ”monkey,” the monkey represents ”m.” With the ”m” the monkey is there, the child starts learning. There is no relationship between monkey and ”m.” ”M” can be represented by millions of things, and still it is different from everything. But a child has to be shown something. Monkey is nearer the child; he can understand the monkey, not ”m.” Through the monkey he will be able to understand ”m” – but this is just a beginning, not the end.
Mahesh Yogi is right in the beginning, to push you on the path, but if you are stuck with him you are lost. He has to be left, he is a primary school; good as far as it goes, but one need not always remain in the primary school. The primary school is not the university, and the primary school is not the universe; one has to pass from there. It is a primary understanding that meditation is a technique.
Then there is Krishnamurti at the other pole. He says there are no techniques, no meditations, but choiceless awareness. Perfectly right! – but he is trying to help you enter into the university without the primary school. He can be dangerous because he is talking about the ultimate. You cannot understand it; right now in your understanding it is not possible – you will go mad. Once you listen to Krishnamurti you will be lost, because you will always intellectually understand he is right, and in your being you will know that nothing is happening.
Many Krishnamurti followers have come to me. They say intellectually they understand: ”Of course it is right, there is no technique and meditation is awareness – but what to do?” And I tell them, ”The moment you ask what to do, it means you need a technique. ’What to do?’ You ask HOW to do it, you are asking for a technique. Krishnamurti will not help you. Rather, go to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – that will be better.” But people are stuck with Krishnamurti and there are people who are stuck with Mahesh Yogi.
I am neither – or I am both; and then I am very confusing. They are both clear, their standpoints are simple; there is no complexity in understanding Mahesh Yogi or Krishnamurti. If you understand language, you can understand them, there is no problem. The problem will arise with me because I will always talk about the beginning and will never allow you to forget the end. I will always talk about the end and always help you to start from the beginning. You will be confused because you will say, ”What do you mean? If meditation is simply awareness then why go through so many exercises?”
You have to go through them; only then will that meditation help you... that will happen to you which is simple understanding. Or you say, ”If techniques are all, then why do you go on saying again and again that techniques have to be left, dropped?” ... Because then you feel: ”Something learned so deeply, with so much effort and arduous labor has to be left again?” You would like to cling to the beginning. I will not allow you. Once you are on the path I will go on pushing you to the very end.
This is a problem; with me this problem has to be faced, encountered and understood. I will look contradictory. I am; I am a paradox – because I am trying to give you both the beginning and the end, the first step and the last. Tilopa is talking of the ultimate. He is saying:
WHOEVER STRIVES TO PRACTICE DHARMA FINDS NOT THE TRUTH OF BEYOND- PRACTICE. TO KNOW WHAT IS BEYOND BOTH MIND AND PRACTICE, one should not cling, ONE SHOULD CUT CLEANLY THROUGH THE ROOT OF THE MIND AND STARE NAKED. That’s what I am calling witnessing: stare naked. Just staring naked will do, the root is cut. This staring naked becomes like a sharp sword.
ONE SHOULD THUS BREAK AWAY FROM ALL DISTINCTIONS AND REMAIN AT EASE.
Loose, natural, staring naked within yourself – that is the final word. But go slowly, because mind is a very delicate mechanism. If you are in too much of a hurry and you take too big a dose of a Tilopa, you may not be able to absorb and digest it. Go slowly; take proportions only which you can digest and absorb.
Just the other day a sannyasin came, a sincere seeker, but puzzled because I talked about yoga and tantra, and said that tantra is the higher teaching and yoga is a lower teaching, and he has been practicing hatha yoga for two years and feeling good. He became puzzled what to do. Don’t get so easily puzzled. If you are feeling good with yoga, follow your own natural inclination. Don’t allow me to confuse you. I can be confusing to you; you simply follow your natural inclination – loose, natural. If it is good, it is good for you. Why bother whether it is higher or lower? Let it be lower. The ego comes in; the ego says, ”If it is a lower thing, then why follow?” That will not help. Follow it; it is right for you. Even if it is lower what is wrong in it? A moment will come when through the lower you will reach to the higher.
The staircase has two ends: on one end it is the lowest, on another end it is the highest. So tantra and yoga are not opposites – complementary. Yoga is the primary, the basic, from where you have to start. But then one should not cling. A moment comes when one has to transcend yoga and move into tantra; and finally you have to leave the whole staircase – yoga and tantra both. Alone in yourself, deep in rest, one forgets everything.
Look at me: I am neither a yogi nor a tantric. I do nothing – no practice, no nonpractice. I cling to neither method nor to no-method. I am simply here resting, not doing anything. The staircase doesn’t exist for me now, the path has disappeared; there is no movement, it is absolute rest. When one comes home there is nothing to do; one simply forgets everything and rests – God is ultimate rest. Remember this, because sometimes I will be talking of tantra because there are many who will be helped through it; and sometimes I will be talking about yoga, and there are many who will be helped by it. You just think of your own inclination, your own feeling – follow it. I am here to help you to be yourself, not to distract you. But I have to talk about many things because I have to help many. So what will you do? You just go on listening to me. Whatsoever you find nourishing, you digest it; chew it well, digest it; let it become your blood and bones, the very marrow of your bones – but follow your inclination.
And when I talk about tantra I am so absorbed with it, because that’s how I am; I cannot be partial, I am total whatsoever I do. If I am talking about tantra, I am totally in it; then nothing matters, only tantra matters. That may give you a false impression. I am not talking comparatively – nothing matters to me. Tantra is the highest, ultimate flower. This is because if I look totally at it, it is. When I am talking about yoga the same will happen again, because I am total. This has nothing to do with tantra or yoga – it is my totality that I bring to anything. When I bring it to yoga and Patanjali's, I will be again saying that this is the last. So don’t be distracted; always remember this is MY totality and my quality that I bring to it. If you can remember that, you will be helped. Even through my paradoxical being you will not be confused.