Come Follow Me, Vol 1, Chapter #6

Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth

Chapter title: The luxury of God

26 October 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India

Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 1, 06

The first question

WHAT IS THE NEED FOR SECRECY IN MASTER - DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIPS AND ALSO IN ORDINARY HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS?

THE BEING HAS TWO SIDES, the without and the within. The without can be public, but the within cannot be. If you make the within public, you will lose your soul, you will lose your original face. Then you will live as if you have no inner being. Life will become drab, futile. It happens tO people who lead a public life: politicians, film actors. They become public, they lose their inner being completely, they don't know who they are except what the public says about them. They depend on others' opinion, they don't have a sense of their being.

One of the most famous actresses, Marilyn Monroe, committed suicide, and psychoanalysts have been brooding on the reason why. She was one of the beautiful women ever, one of the most successful. Even the President of America Kennedy, was in love with here, and she had thousands of lovers. One cannot think of what more you can have. She had everything.

But she was public and she knew it. Even in her love chamber when President Kennedy would be there she used to address him as Mr. President - as if one was making love not to man, but to an institution.

She was an institution. By and by she came aware that she had nothing private.

Once somebody asked here - she had just posed for a nude calendar and somebody asked, "Did you have anything on while you posed for the nude calendar?"

She said, "Yes, I had something on. The radio."

Exposed, nude, no private self. My feeling is that she committed suicide because that was the only thing left she could have done privately. Everything was public, that was the only thing left she could do on her own, alone, something absolutely intimate and secret. Public figures are always tempted towards suicide because only through suicide can they have a glimpse of who they are.

All that is beautiful is inner, and the inner means privacy. Have you watched women making love? They always close their eyes. They know something. A man goes on making love with open eyes, he remains a watcher also. He is not completely in the act, he is not totally in it. He remains a voyeur, as if somebody else is making love and he is watching, as if the love-making is going on a TV screen or in a movie. But a woman knows better because she is more delicately tuned to the inner. She always closes her eyes. Then love has a totally different fragrance.

Do one thing one day: run the bath and then switch on and off the light. When there is darkness you will hear the water falling more clearly, the sound will be sharp. When the light is on, the sound will be not so sharp. What happens in darkness?

In darkness, everything else disappears because you cannot see. Only you and the sound are there. That's why, in all good restaurants, light is avoided; sharp light is avoided. They are candle-lit. Whenever a restaurant is candle-lit, taste is deeper: you eat well and you taste more. The fragrance surrounds you. If there is very bright light the taste is no longer there. The eyes make everything public.

In the very first sentence of his METAPHYSICS, Aristotle says that sight is the highest sense of man. It is not. In fact, sight has become too domineering. It has monopolized the whole self and it has destroyed all the other senses. His master - Aristotle's master, Plato - says that there is a hierarchy in the senses: sight at the top, touch at the bottom. He is absolutely wrong. There is no hierarchy.

All senses are on the same level and there should not be any hierarchy. But you live through the eyes: eighty percent of your life is eye-oriented. This should not be so; a balance has to be restored. You should touch also, because touch has something which eyes cannot give. But try: try to touch the woman you love or the man you love in bright light and then touch in darkness. In darkness, the body reveals itself; in bright light, it hides.

Have you seen Renoir's paintings of feminine bodies? They have something miraculous in them. Many painters have painted the feminine body, but there is no comparison with Renoir. What is the difference? All other painters have painted the feminine body as it looks to the eyes. Renoir has painted it as it feels to the hands, so the painting has a warmth and a closeness, an aliveness.

When you touch, something happens very close. When you see, something is far away. In darkness, in secrecy, in privacy, something is revealed which cannot be revealed in openness, in the marketplace. Others are seeing and observing; something deep within you shrinks, it cannot flower. It is just as if you put seeds down on the open ground, for everybody to look at. They will never sprout.

They need to be thrown deep in the womb of the earth, in deep darkness where nobody can see them. There they start sprouting and a great tree is born.

Just like seeds need darkness and privacy in the earth, al} relationships which are deep and intimate remain inner. They need privacy, they need a place where only two exist. Then a moment comes when even the two dissolve and only one exists.

Two lovers deeply in tune with each other dissolve. Only one exists. They breathe together, they are together; a togetherness exists. This would not be possible if observers were there. They would never be able to let go if others were watching. The very eyes of others would become the barrier. So all that is beautiful, all that is deep, happens in darkness.

In ordinary human relationships, privacy is needed. And when you ask about the relationship of a Master and disciple, even more privacy is needed because it is a transmission of the highest energy possible to man. It is the highest peak of love, where one man pours himself into another and the other becomes a receptive womb. Even a slight disturbance - somebody watching - will be enough of a barrier.

Secrecy has its own reason to be there. Remember that, and always remember that you will behave very foolishly in life if you become completely public. It will be as if somebody has turned his pockets inside-out. That will be your shape - like pockets turned inside-out. Nothing is wrong in being outward but remember, that is only part of life. It should not become the whole.

I am not saying to move in darkness forever. Light has its own beauty and its own reason. If the seed remains in the dark forever and ever, and never comes up to receive the sun in the morning, it will be dead. It has to go into darkness to sprout, to gather strength, to become vital, to be reborn, and then it has to come out and face the world and the light and the storm and the rains. It has to accept the challenge of the outside.

But that challenge can only be accepted if you are deeply rooted within. I am not saying to become escapists, I am not saying to close your eyes, move within and never come out. I am simply saying: go in so that you can come out with energy, with love, with compassion. Go in so that when you come out you are not a beggar, but a king; go in so that when you come out you have something to share - the flowers, the leaves.

Go in so that your coming out becomes richer and is not impoverished. And always remember that whenever you feel exhausted, the source of energy is within. Close your eyes and go in.

Make outer relationships; make inner relationships also. Of course there are bound to be outer relationships - you move in the world, business relationships will be there - but they should not be all. They have their part to play, but there must be something absolutely secret and private, something that you can call your own.

That is what Marilyn Monroe lacked. She was a public woman - successful, yet completely a failure. While she was at the top of her success and fame, she committed suicide. Why she committed suicide has remained an enigma. She had everything to live for; you cannot conceive of more fame, more success, more charisma, more beauty, more health. Everything was there, nothing could be improved upon, and still something was lacking. The inside, the within, was empty. Then, suicide is the only way.

You may not be daring enough to commit suicide like Marilyn Monroe. You may be very cowardly and you may commit suicide very slowly - you may take seventy years to commit it. But still it will be a suicide. Unless you have something inside you which is not dependent on anything outside, which is just your own - a world, a space of your own where you can close your eyes and move, and you can forget that anything else exists - you will be committing suicide.

Life arises from that inner source and spreads into the sky outside. There has to be a balance - I am always for balance. So I will not say, like Mahatma Gandhi, that your life should be an open book - no. A few chapters open, okay. And a few chapters completely closed, completely a mystery. If you are just an open book you will be a prostitute, you will just be standing in the marketplace naked, with just the radio on. No, that won't do.

If the whole book is open, you will just be the day with no night, just the summer with no winter. Then where will you rest and where will you center yourself and where will you take refuge? Where will you move when the world is too much with you? Where will you go to pray and meditate? No, half and half is perfect.

Let half of your book be open - open to everybody, available to everybody - and let the other half of your book be so secret that only rare guests are allowed there.

Only rarely is somebody allowed to move within your temple. That is how it should be. If the crowd is coming in and going out, then the temple is no longer a temple. It may be a waiting room in an airport, but it cannot be a temple. Only rarely, very rarely, do you allow somebody to enter your self. That is what love is.

The 2nd question

SOMETIMES I WONDER WHAT I AM DOING HERE, SITTING BEFORE YOU.

AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU ARE TOO MUCH FOR ME, TOO MUCH LIGHT AND LOVE. YET I WANT TO LEAVE YOU. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?

Yes. The question is bound to happen to everybody some day or other.

What are you doing here? The question arises because my emphasis is not on doing; I am teaching you non-doing. The question is relevant. If I was teaching you something to do, the question wouldn't arise because you would be occupied. If you go to somebody else - there are a thousand and one ashrams in the world where they will teach you something to do. They will not leave you unoccupied at all because they think that an unoccupied mind is the devil's workshop.

My understanding is totally, diametrically, opposite. When you are absolutely empty, God fills you. When you are unoccupied, only then you are. While you are doing something, it is just on the periphery. All acts are on the periphery: good and bad, all. Be a sinner - you are on the periphery; be a saint - you are on the periphery. To do bad you have to come out of yourself; to do good you also have to come out of yourself.

Doing is outside, non-doing is inside. Non-doing is your private self, doing is your public self. I am not teaching you to become saints, otherwise it would have been very easy: don't do this, do that; just change the periphery, change your acts.

I am trying a totally different thing, a mutation - not a change from one part of the periphery to another part of the periphery, but a transmutation from the periphery to the center. The center is empty, it is absolutely void. There, you ARE. There is being, not doing.

It is bound to happen to you sometimes: sitting before me you will wonder what you are doing here. Nothing - you are not doing anything here. You are learning how to just be, not to do - how not to do anything: no action, no movement... as if everything stops, time stops. And in that non-moving moment you are in tune with the present, you are in tune with God.

Actions become part of the past. Actions can be in the future, they can be in the past, but God is always in the present. God has no past and no future. And God has not done a thing: when you think that He has created the world, you are creating His image according to yourself. You cannot remain without doing anything - you become too restless, it makes you too uneasy - so you have conceived of God also as a creator.

Not only as a creator - Christians say that for six days He created and on the seventh day, Sunday, He rested: a holiday. The Bible says God created man in His own image. Just the reverse seems to be the case: man has created God in his own image. Because you cannot remain unoccupied, you think: what will God do if He is not creating the world? And because you get tired by doing, you think God must also have gotten tired after six days - so on the seventh day He rested.

This is just anthropomorphic. You are thinking about God just as you would think about yourself. No, God has not created the world; the world comes out of His non-activity, the world comes out of His non-doing. The world is a flowering of God, just like a tree.

Do you think a tree is creating the flowers - making much effort, doing exercises, planning, asking the experts? The tree is not doing anything at all. The tree is just there, absolutely unoccupied. In that unoccupied state, the flower flowers by itself. And remember, if some day trees become foolish - as foolish as man is - and they start trying to bring the flowers, then flowers will stop coming. They will not come because they always come effortlessly.

Just watch a flower: can you see anything of effort in it? The very being of a flower is so effortless, it simply opens. But we cannot conceive of it. The birds singing in the morning: do you think they go to Ravi Shankar to learn? Do you think they are doing something in the morning when they start singing? No, nothing of that sort. The sun arises, and out of their emptiness the song arises.

The greatest miracle in the world is that God has created without doing a thing.

It is out of nothingness.

I was reading about the life of Wagner, a German composer and great musician.

Somebody asked Wagner, "Can you say anything about the secret of why you have created such beautiful music - and how? "

Wagner said, "Because I was unhappy." He said, "If I had been happy, I would not have written down a single note." He said, "People who are unhappy have to fill their lives with imagination because their reality is lacking something." And he is right in many ways. People who have never loved write poetry about love.

It is a substitute. If love has really happened in life, who bothers to write poetry about it? One would be a poem himself; there would be no need to write it.

Wagner said, "Poets write about love because they have missed love." And then he made a statement which is tremendously meaningful. He said, "And I think God created the world because He was unhappy." A great insight - but the insight is relevant to man, not to God.

If you ask me, God created the world - in the first place, He is not a creator but a creativity; but to use the old expression - God created the world not because He was unhappy, but because He was so happy that He overflowed; He had so much.

The tree is flowering there in the garden not because it is unhappy. The flower comes only when the tree has too much to share and does not know what to do with it. The flower is an overflowing. When the tree is not well-fed, not wellwatered, has not received the right quota of sunlight and care and love, it doesn't flower because flowering is a luxury. It happens only when you have too much, more than you need. Whenever you have too much, what will you do? It will become a heaviness, it will be a burden; it has to be released.;The tree bursts and blooms, it has come to its luxurious moment.

The world is the luxury of God: a flowering. He has so much - what to do with it? He shares, He throws it out, He starts expanding, He starts creating.

But remember always, He is not a creator like a painter who paints. The painter is separate from the painting. If the painter dies, the painting will still live. God is a creator like a dancer: the dance and the dancer are one. If the dancer stops, the dance stops.

You cannot separate the dance from the dancer, you cannot say to the dancer, "Give your dance to me, I will take it home. I am ready to purchase it." The dance cannot be purchased. It is one of the most spiritual things in the world because it cannot be purchased. You cannot carry it away, you cannot make a commodity out of it. When the dancer is dancing, it is there; when the dancer has stopped, it has disappeared as if it never existed.

God IS creativity. It is not that He created somewhere in the past and then stopped and rested. And since then what has He been doing? No, He is continuously creating. God is not an event, He is a process.

It is not that once He created and then stopped. Then the world would be dead.

He is continuously creating, just like birds are singing and trees are flowering and the clouds are moving in the sky. He is creating - and He need not take any rest because creativity is not an act; you cannot be tired. It is out of His nothingness.

This is the meaning when we have said in the East that God is emptiness. Only nothingness can be infinite; somethingness is bound to be finite. Only out of nothingness is an infinite expanse of life, existence, possible - not out of somethingness. God is not somebody: He is nobody or, more correctly, nobodiness. God is not something: He is nothing or, even more correctly, nothingness. He is a creative void - what Buddha has called SUNYA. He is a creative void.

What am I teaching to you? I am teaching you the same: to become creative voids, non-doers, delighters in just being. That is why the question is bound to come to everybody's mind sometime or other. You ask: "Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here." You wonder rightly - you are doing nothing here. Your mind may supply answers, but don't listen to them. Listen to my answer. You are not doing anything here; I am not teaching you to do something. Your mind may say that you are learning meditation: you are doing meditation, yoga, this, that or you are trying to achieve enlightenment, satori, SAMADHI - all nonsense.

This is your mind supplying because the mind is an achiever, the mind cannot remain without activity. The mind goes on creating some activity or other. Earn money; if you are finished with that, then earn meditation - but earn. Achieve something, do something.

You become afraid when you are not doing anything, because then suddenly you are face to face with the creative void. That is the face of God. You are in a chaos, you are falling in an infinite abyss and you cannot see the bottom. There is none.

Sitting before me, what are you doing? Just sitting. That is the meaning of ZAZEN. In Zen they call meditation 'zazen'. Zazen means just sitting, doing nothing. If you can just sit near me that is enough, more than enough; nothing else is needed. If you can just sit without doing anything - not even doing thinking or dreaming - if you can just sit near me, that will do everything.

"Suddenly you are too.much for me," you say. Yes, if you just sit I will be too much - because if you just sit, suddenly I will be flowing within you. If you just sit, you will immediately become aware of light and love, and then you will say, "I want to leave you," because you are afraid of love and light.

You have become a denizen of darkness. You have lived in darkness so long that your eyes are afraid. No matter what you say - that you would like to live in the light - your deep-rooted habits shrink and say, "Where are you going? " You have a great investment in darkness.

All your knowledge is related to darkness. In light you will be absolutely ignorant. All your wisdom and experience is out of darkness; in light you will be naked, nude. All that you know belongs to darkness; in the light you will find yourself just like an innocent babe, a small child, not knowing anything.

You have lived in bondage and now you are afraid to be free. You go on talking about freedom and MOKSHA - absolute freedom - but if you watch yourself you will know that whenever freedom comes your way, you escape. You become afraid. Maybe you talk about freedom just to deceive yourself; maybe it is a substitute, the substitute Wagner is talking about.

You are in bondage; you have never known freedom. You talk about freedom, you sing songs of freedom and through those songs you have a vicarious satisfaction - as if you have become free. It is an as-if freedom. But with me it is not going to be as-if, it is going to be a reality. You become afraid of the reality.

You go on asking for love, but when it comes you escape because love is dangerous. One of the greatest dangers in life J is love. The mind can become settled with marriage, but not with love. The mind always wants law, not love. The mind always loves order, not the chaos that love is. The mind wants to remain in security, and love is the greatest insecurity you can come across. Whenever love comes you become afraid to the very roots, you shake and tremble, because that love, if allowed to enter in you, will destroy your mind. The mind says: "Escape! Escape immediately! " The mind is trying to save itself.

You have lived too deeply in contact with the mind and you have become too attached. You think that whatever the mind says is right; you are confident that whatever is security for mind is security for you. There is the whole misunderstanding. The death of the mind will be life for you, and the life of the mind is nothing but death for you.

The identity has to be broken. You have to become aware that you are not the mind. Only then can you be near me, only then will the effort to leave and escape dissolve. Otherwise you can find reasons to leave, but those reasons will all be phoney. The real reason will be this: that you were not able to let light come in, you were not able to let love come in and destroy your mind and destroy your ego and give you a rebirth.

The 3rd question

YOUR TEACHING SEEMS TO BE: TO BE ABSOLUTELY ONESELF. THIS IS BEYOND ME. HOW CAN ONE BE ONESELF IF ONE IS NOT ONESELF?

Let me ask you another question: how can you not be yourself? You can believe it, but you cannot be anything other than yourself. You can think that you are somebody else, you can imagine that you are somebody else, but all the time you are just yourself, nothing else.

So whether you believe you are yourself or not is irrelevant. You remain, all the time, yourself. You can go on running and chasing shadows, but one day or the other you will have to realize that you have just been doing an absurd thing.

How can you be other than yourself7 How? You ask me how one can be oneself.

I ask you how one can be other than oneself - and in my questioning is the answer. Nobody has even been other than himself; nobody can ever be other than himself. To be oneself is the only way to be, nothing can be done about it.

You can believe.... It is just like you sleep at night in Poona and you dream that you are in Philadelphia. That doesn't make any change in reality. You remain in Poona - here, somewhere in Mobo's. You remain in Poona; Philadelphia remains just a dream. In the morning you will not wake up in Philadelphia, remember.

You will wake up in Mobo's, in Poona. Howsoever miserable, but it is the case! Nothing can be done about it; at the most you can again dream of Philadelphia.

You are gods. That is your reality. You can believe... you have believed in many things. Sometimes you believed you were a tree - many trees are still believing that. Sometimes you believed you were an animal: a tiger, a lion. There are a few people who belong to Lion Clubs - Lion Bhabhutmal Sanghvi. They are not satisfied in being men - lions! Sometimes you believed that you were a lion, and then you WERE a lion: a dream. Sometimes you believed that you were a rock and you WERE a rock: a dream. You have been changing your dreams.

Now the time has arrived. Wake up! I'm not giving you another dream, remember. You hanker for it, you would like me to give you another dream, but I am not going to give you another dream. That's why to be with me is difficult and arduous - because I am insisting that you wake up. Enough is enough. You have dreamed a lot; since eternity you have been dreaming. You have just been changing dreams. When you get fed up with one dream, you start changing it; you dream another dream. My whole effort is to shake you, to shock you - to wake you.

It is not a question of achieving any new thing. It is already your being. Just opening the eyes, just dropping the dreams, just dropping the clouds and the vision. It is a question of clarity and understanding, that's all. Between you and Jesus, between you and me, between you and Buddha, there is no difference of being - nothing. You are exactly the same. The difference, at the most, is that you are asleep and Jesus is not asleep, that's all.

So don't ask me how to be oneself; you cannot be otherwise. Just ask me how to be awake. You are yourself ALL THE TIME! Just become a little more alert, just bring a new quality of waking consciousness - just watch. Don't try to be anything because that will again be a dream. Just watch: whosoever you are, wheresoever you are, just watch and be... and allow it. Then the happening, the sudden happening, can come any moment. The heavens can open and the spirit of God, like a dove, can enter in you.

In fact, this is just a way of saying something that cannot be said. It can be said in just the opposite terms also. Let me say it: that when John the Baptist initiated, baptized, Jesus - Jesus opened and the spirit of God, like a dove, was released from him and flew into the infinite sky. That is also exactly the same truth. It is just a way of saying it from two polarities.

You are gods and you have never been anything else. That's why I am not worried if you want to sleep a little longer. Nothing is wrong; the choice is up to you. You can have a little more sleep - turn over and have a little more sleep; snore a little longer - nothing is wrong. But don't try to improve, don't try to achieve anything. Don't try to become anything because you are already that which you can become! The being is your only becoming, you carry your destiny within yourself. Relax... and be.

The 4th question

ARE YOU STILL LEARNING TOO?

Yes, because if learning stops, you are dead. Learning is life. You can ask me, "Are you still alive? " - that will be the same question.

The ego is a perfectionist and the ego thinks that when you have attained, when you have become enlightened, then there is no learning; then you know all. But if you know all, that 'all' will be finite. Just by being known it has become finite.

You cannot know the infinite. The infinite simply means that you can go on learning and learning and learning and the end never comes, it is an eternal journey. It begins, but it never ends.

But then the ego thinks: then what is the difference when we are also learning?

The difference is that you are learning while fast asleep, unconscious, and a man who is enlightened learns consciously. Your learning is not knowing; your learning is knowledge, dead information. A man who is awakened - his learning is not like knowledge; his learning is simply knowing.

He is like a mirror. The mirror goes on mirroring. A bird flies before a mirror and the mirror mirrors it. Is there a point where you can say, "Now the mirror is perfect. It mirrors nothing"? When the mirror is perfect it will mirror perfectly, that's all.

When you are awakened, you learn perfectly. Not that you stop learning, not that you have become perfect and now there is nothing more to know - just the contrary. The more you know, the more there is to know; the more you open your eyes, the more the infinite surrounds you. It is an infinite journey.

I am still learning. And I am happy, I would not like it to be otherwise. I would not like to come to a point where I could say, "I have known all," because that would be death. Then what? - then the river is frozen, then it no longer flows.

No, a perfect river goes on flowing; it is never frozen. I will go on learning, Buddha and Jesus are still learning. It has to be so.

Mahavir is still learning, notwithstanding what Jains say. They say that he has known all, he has become all-knowing, because their ego is involved. Their Master: how can he still be learning? That means he is still not perfect. So Jains say Mahavir has known all, he has become a SARVAGYA - all-knowing, omniscient. This is their ego, not Mahavir.

If you say to Christians that Jesus is still learning, they will be very angry. The son of God, the only begotten son of God - how can he be still learning? He knows all! But I tell you, he is still learning because he is still alive, alive with the infinity - learning infinitely, but of course learning perfectly.

This is very difficult to understand because your ego always seeks goals and if learning continues forever and ever, then there is no goal. But I tell you, that's how life is. Life has no goal, it is an ever-flowing river: always reaching, but never reaching; always arriving - but every arrival becomes a new departure.

Go to the Himalayas. You trek, you move, you go high to the peak. All the time you were trekking up, there was no peak beyond it. Then you reach the peak and many more peaks are revealed. You go on and on and on; it is an ongoing Process.

God is the process. Even God is learning. It has to be so, otherwise He will be stupid. He is not stupid, He is learning. He is evolving - and that's beautiful.

Nothing is static, everything is dynamic. That's what I mean when I say: don't say 'God is', always say 'God is happening'. Don't use a static term; don't use a noun for Him - use a verb. Say, "He is happening"; say, "He is learning"; say, "He is evolving"; say, "He is a process, He is a river," and you will have struck truth.

Yes, I am continuously learning. Every moment life is so tremendously beautiful and so tremendously vast, so tremendously infinite and so tremendously mysterious. To say that one has known all will be sacrilegious.

The 5th question

WHY DID JESUS CONSTANTLY TALK IN OBSCURE PARABLES WHICH BAFFLED EVEN HIS DISCIPLES MOST OF THE TIME? WAS THIS A DELIBERATE TECHNIQUE? WHY COULDN'T HE BE MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD LIKE YOU?

Whoever told you that I am straightforward? While listening to me you may get that impression. Think and meditate on it later on: you will find me more baffling than Jesus. At least he is consistent! And never ask such questions because these questions show that you are sitting as a judge. Why did Jesus do this or that? If you cannot leave even Jesus out of your judgement, how will you be able to leave out anybody else? Why can't you accept things as they are? " Why is this flower white and not red?" - is it not a foolish question? This flower is red, that flower is white - why?

A small child was walking with D. H. Lawrence in a garden and the child asked, "Why are the trees green?"

D. H. Lawrence looked at the child and said, "They are green because they are green!"

Jesus is Jesus, I am me. Jesus is not there to follow me, nor am I there to follow him. And it is good that everybody is unique, otherwise life would be a boredom, a monotony. But people are foolish - they go on co *ming to me and asking me: "Why did Buddha say this, why did Mahavir never say this?" But Mahavir is Mahavir, Buddha is Buddha. The Ganges flows towards the east and the Narmada goes on flowing towards the west - what to do? If all the rivers were flowing towards the east, do you think the world would be better? Just think of a world with four thousand million Buddhas - can you think of anything m ore boring? They would start committing suicide: wherever you went you would meet your replica, wherever you would look it would be as if you were always looking in the mirror - only people exactly alike.

No, it is good that everybody is unique. Why do you hanker after such things?

Jesus is-beautiful in his parables; without parables he would not be beautiful, without parables something would be missing. He is one of the most beautiful storytellers.

And of course the beauty of a parable is that it baffles the reason. But you are childish: you think that a story is perfect when the story gives you the conclusion, the motto. You are just like schoolchildren who can't be satisfied unless the story comes to a conclusion, and unless there is an exact mathematical conclusion to it. Then they are satisfied, but then the story is dead. A perfectly concluded story is dead.

A parable tries to show something, not to say it. It indicates very indirectly; the conclusion has to be supplied by you. It leaves a gap, it gives you some space to find out the conclusion. A parable is creative. When a story is totally complete (like two plus two equals four) then it gives no scope for your imagination, no scope for your meditation. Then it is simply mathematical. It is no longer poetic, it is dead.

You would like for somebody to say absolutely, exactly, what he means, but that which is the ultimate meaning cannot be shown to you. The ultimate meaning is always going to be indirect, indicated - said and yet not said. You feel a vague something, but it is never concrete. If it becomes concrete, it is of this world. If it remains vague, and you follow it and you try to find out the clue, in the very effort to find the clue you rise above it - you have already entered into another world.

A parable is not an ordinary story: it is symbolic, it is creative. If you listen to it, if you try to understand it, your understanding will become greater than it was before you heard it. An ordinary story remains below your understanding; you can understand it perfectly because it has nothing beyond it. Parables are of the beyond: one step within your mind, one step without - another step beyond. It is a persuasion.

Jesus constantly talks in parables. He really wants to baffle you because he is talking about something which is ineffable, elusive - mysterium. He is talking about the mysterious. Gaps have to be left for you to fill. Parables should be like puzzles which challenge you, and through the challenge, you grow.

And never compare: Why is Jesus like this? The trees are green because they are green. Jesus is just Jesus-like, and he is not like anybody else.

That is what I have been continuously insisting for you to be also: just be yourself, never be anybody else. Never be a Christian, never be a Hindu, never be a Jain, because then you are following a pattern and you will miss your soul.

The soul is yours - individual, unique - and the pattern is public, collective, social. Never try to be somebody else. Just try to find out who you are and allow it, accept it, welcome it, delight in it, relish it, so that it is nourished, so that it grows. Through you, God is trying to become somebody He has never tried before.

God is not repetitive; His creativity is infinite. He never drives the same model again - He is not a Henry Ford. He is absolutely inventive; every day He goes on trying the new, the fresh. He never bothers to repeat a model again, He always goes on improving. He is a great innovator. That's what creativity is. So don't try to become a Jesus - because then God won't receive you.

One Hassid was dying. His name was Josiah. Somebody asked him, "Have you prayed to God, have you made your peace with God? Are you certain that Moses will be a witness to you? "

Josiah looked at the questioner and said, "I am not worried about Moses because when I am facing God I know perfectly well that He will not ask me, 'Josiah, why were you not a Moses?' He will ask me. 'Josiah, why were you not a Josiah?' So I am worried about myself. Stop talking nonsense! Moses - what am I to do with Moses? My whole life has been wasted in it. Now I am dying and I am facing the real question that He will ask me: 'Were you a Josiah or not? I made you to be somebody special, somebody unique. Did you achieve that peak or not? Have you missed the opportunity?'"

God will certainly ask you. "Were you able to become yourself?" No other question can be asked.

Don't ask such questions: "Why did Jesus constantly talk in obscure parables?"

He loves it that way! And a parable has to be obscure, dim, candle-lit. Too bright a light kills a parable; too much analysis kills. It is poetry.

"Was this a deliberate technique?" You can never go beyond the technique, you are too obsessed with the technique. Everything becomes a technique to you.

This is the way Jesus is, it is not a question of technique. He is not following a certain technique - he is not a follower of Dale Carnegie, he has never read the book HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. He is not following a technique, he was not an American.

In America, everything has become a technique. Even if you want to make love you go and learn the technique. Can you imagine a more unfortunate day for humanity? Even animals don't ask. They know perfectly well how to make love, they don't go to a school to learn the technique. But in America, everything has become a technique. How to be friendly - even that has to be learned. Is man so completely lost that even friendship has to be learned?

People come to me and I go on saying to them, "Laugh!" They ask me how to laugh. How to laugh? - learn from Swami Sardar Gurudayal, he is a perfect master! But I have come across the rumor that people don't allow him to laugh.

They say, "Our meditation is disturbed." Because of laughter your meditation is disturbed? Then it is not worth anything.

You have to learn everything. I think sooner or later you will have to learn how to breathe. It is possible because you follow many other things in the same way.

You have to ask how to sleep, how to relax. They were natural one day, just like breathing. Go and ask a primitive: he will simply laugh if you ask, "How do you go so deeply into sleep?"

He will say, "What a foolish question! I simply put my head down and go to sleep. There is no HOW to it."

But you will say, "Still, there must be a trick because I try hard and nothing happens. You must be knowing a secret which you are hiding."

He is not hiding anything; that's how it happens. He simply puts down his head and goes to sleep. There is no gap between these two states.

One day or another, man is going to ask how to breathe and then, if you say, 'You just breathe; there is no HOW to it," he will not believe you. How to love, how to live, how to laugh, how to be happy - these are all simple things, no HOW is needed. These are natural things, they are not techniques.

This is how Jesus is. He loves the way he says his parables. He loves it! He knows he has an intrinsic knack of telling parables.

A parable is not arithmetic. It should not be too clear, otherwise the point is lost.

It should be a persuasion, it should not be an advertisement. It should not argue because then the point is lost - then why not argue, why say a parable? It should not give proofs, it should only supply hints; and that, too, not completely. Just a few hints so that your being is challenged, you become alert.

I have heard about Chuang Tzu that he was talking to his disciples and many of them were fast asleep, as disciples are. It must have been late at night and they were tired, and Chuang Tzu was saying difficult things that were beyond them.

When something is beyond you, it seems better to rest and sleep than to bother with it.

Suddenly Chuang Tzu became aware that many of the disciples were fast asleep and it was useless. They were even snoring and disturbing him. So he told a parable. He said: "Once it happened that a man had a donkey and he was travelling on a pilgrimage towards some holy place. But he was very poor, and it came to pass that he was hungry. No money was left, so he sold the donkey, on which he was riding, to another traveller who was rich. But the next afternoon, when the sun was very hot, the first owner rested in the shadow by the side of the donkey.

"The second owner said, 'This is not good. You have sold the donkey.' "The first owner said, 'I have sold the donkey, but not the shadow.' "

Everybody became alert - nobody was asleep, nobody was snoring. When you talk about donkeys, donkeys hear it immediately! Chuang Tzu said, "I am finished with the story. Now I come to my point."

But they all said, "Wait! Please finish the story."

Chuang Tzu said, "It was a parable, not a story. You are more interested in donkeys than you are in me".

Now everybody was throbbing with excitement: "What happened? Then what happened?" - but Chuang Tzu left it there, he never completed it. It was not meant to be completed, it was just an indication that the human mind is more interested in stupidities than in higher values and higher things, more interested in foolish things.

But I loved it. It was beautiful of him. He brought all the stupid minds to a certain point - to an indication, to a hint.

Jesus talks in parables for many reasons. But those reasons are not techniques.

You can think about them, but they are not techniques. It simply happened naturally to him, he was a good storyteller.

But you can think about the reasons he talked in parables. The first: great things can be said if you create a drama around them. If you say them without the drama they fall flat. That's why stories have a tendency to live, to live forever and ever. The Vedas may disappear, but RAMAYANA, the story of Ram, will not disappear. It is a story; it will be preserved. The Upanishads may disappear, but the parables of Jesus will remain. They hang around you, they become a climate.

You never forget a beautiful story. It is just like - if you sing a beautiful song, you will remember it better than if it was prose. If it is poetry, it is remembered well. Somehow it fits with the deepest quality of your mind. If it is a parable, if there is a drama in it, it has a tendency to cling to you. It will come again and again and again; it will become an inner climate.

Bare principles are soon forgotten. And in the days of jesus, books were not written. All that Jesus was saying was recorded many, many years afterwards.

For those many, many years it was just in the memory of the people who had heard him.

A parable can be remembered well. You will forget what I say, but you will never forget the parables, the anecdotes, the jokes. You may forget Mahavir and Moses, but you will not forget Mulla Nasrudin. Mahavir is too far away; Mulla is your neighbor. Mahavir may be somewhere in MOKSHA, Mulla is just within you. He is you; you can recognize yourself in him.

So there may be reasons, but don't be bothered about them. It is Jesus' way, and it is good that he never tried anybody else's way.

In Judaism there were Prophets, great prophets: Jeremiah, Ezekiel.... They had their own way. Even John the Baptist never used any parable.

This has to be understood. Prophets are something special to Judaism. They don't exist anywhere else. Mystics are everywhere: Buddha is a mystic, not a prophet; Mahavir is a mystic, not a prophet. A mystic is one who has attained to God; a prophet is one to whom God has come. It exists only in Judaism - the concept of prophets - because only in Judaism does God seek man. In all other religions, man seeks God.

When man seeks God and finds Him, he is a mystic. When God seeks man and finds him, he is a prophet. When man comes to God he is a mystic; when God comes to man he is a prophet. When the drop drops into the ocean he is a mystic.

When the ocean drops into the drop then he is a prophet.

A prophet is a very mad and fiery man. Of course, he has to be: the ocean has come to him. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist - they are prophets, mad people, mad people of God. They speak fire, they don't talk in parables. Their sentences are acidic; they will burn you.

They cannot soothe you. Buddha is very soothing, Krishna is just like a lullaby that surrounds you, soothes you, consoles you, heals you. A prophet simply burns you with an unknown desire, makes you mad.

Jesus is both a prophet and a mystic, one who has come to God and one to whom God has also come. Sometimes he talks like John the Baptist and sometimes he talks like Krishna. Sometimes he soothes and sometimes he wounds. He is a very deep balancing phenomenon: a prophet and a mystic both. That's why you will find in him a synthesis. You will find in him all that is in Judaism - all that is beautiful and great - and you will find in him all that is beautiful in Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir; Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism.

Jesus is a culmination point, as if all the religions of the world meet in him and reach to a crescendo. He talks sometimes as a prophet: he invokes, provokes - he calls you. But that is not his only quality. He soothes; he says parables; he consoles; he gives you a lullaby. He wakes you, and he helps you to sleep. But that is the way he is. All explanations are explanations after the fact, remember.

The basic thing is that this is the way he is, and no other way is possible for him.

Socrates was poisoned. The court decided that he should be murdered, but the people loved him very much - even in the court almost half of them were in favor of him. So they gave him an opportunity. They told him, "If you stop talking about the truth, if you keep quiet, you can be pardoned and your death can be avoided."

Socrates said, "That will be impossible. That will be more deathly than death, because to talk about truth is the only way I know to be. It will be worse than death. So please kill me, because if you leave me and you say I have to keep quiet, it will be impossible. That's not the way I am.

"To talk about truth is the only business I know - the ONLY business I know. It is the only way I am. I cannot promise that I will stop talking truth because even if I stop, even in my silence only truth will be spoken. So I cannot promise that.

You better kill me" - and he was killed.

This is very meaningful. A Socrates is a Socrates. A Socrates is a Socrates, and there is no other way. All explanations are explanations AFTER. But don't be bothered about them. Love if you can - and if you cannot love Jesus, forget about him and find somebody else you can love. Don't be bothered about explanations and reasonings and proofs.

Only love will help you to understand, nothing else. When you love a person - whosoever he is: Jesus or Krishna - when you love a person, you immediately understand that that's the way he is. Then you don't want him to be otherwise.

Love never wants to change anybody. Love accepts, understands.

The 6th question

IS THERE ANY MYSTERY BEHIND YOUR ANSWER WHEN YOU ALSO TELL THE NAME OF THE QUESTIONER? PLEASE EXPLAIN IT - BUT PLEASE DON'T TELL MY NAME BECAUSE SOMETIMES IT IS TOO HEAVY.

This is from a sannyasin.... I will not tell you the name, because deep down she wants her name to be told. This is not the first time she has asked the question; I have been avoiding this question many times.

Deep down she wants her name to be told so that it becomes a part of history, part of the record. This is her last effort now. She is trying to play a trick by saying, "Please don't tell my name," so that I can be provoked.

But you cannot provoke me....

Enough for today


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