Come Follow Me, Vol 1 Chapter #10

Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth

Chapter title: Moving towards Christhood

30 October 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India

Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 1, 10

The first question

DO YOU EVER CRY?

YES, WHENEVER I LOOK AT YOU. You may not see my tears, you may not hear my cry, but when I look at you the cry is always there. Because of that, I go on working on you. It is not only to help you to come out of your misery; it is to help myself also. If you come out of your misery, I will come out of my misery that is created by your misery.

It is said that when Buddha reached to the door of the ultimate he stopped there; he wouldn't enter. The door was open, the devas, the gods, were ready to welcome him in, but he wouldn't enter. The DEVAS asked him, "Why are you standing there? Come in. We have been waiting for many ages. You are welcome. You have returned home."

Buddha said, "I will stay here, I will have to stay here. Until the last human being passes by me and enters the door, I cannot enter."

This is a beautiful parable. Don't take it literally....

But it is true. Once you become aware, once you become a being - once you ARE - infinite compassion arises in you. Buddha has made compassion the criterion of enlightenment. Once you have attained you don't suffer for yourself, but you suffer for others - seeing the misery all around, seeing the whole absurdity of it; seeing the possibility that you can come out of it immediately, right now, and still you go on clinging.

By one hand you push it away, by another hand you pull it close. You go on creating your own prisons and still you would like to be free. Your whole effort is just contradictory. You want to come to the east and you go towards the west.

Seeing you... yes, I always cry.

Question 2 FOR TEN YEARS I HAVE IDENTIFIED MYSELF AS A POET. BUT SINCE I TOOK SANNYAS TEN DAYS AGO IT HAS BECOME UNIMPORTANT TO ME WHETHER OR NOT I EVER WRITE ANOTHER VERSE, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE OFTEN HEARD YOU PRAISE THE POET. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

The first thing: you cannot be identified as being a poet, because poetry is something that happens only when you are not there. If you are there, it will just be rubbish. It happens only when you are absent.

That's why it is so beautiful. It comes into your emptiness: it fills you - your vacuum. You become pregnant with the unknown, with the strange.

The poet is just a mother. The mother is not going to produce the child. The child has been conceived: at the most the mother is tending it, caring for it deep within her heart, trying to give it a body - not the soul.

Poetry comes to you just like a child is conceived - in deep love. In deep receptivity you become a womb and the poetry is conceived. It is a pregnancy.

And one has to be very careful because miscarriage is always possible: you can abort; you can be too much in a hurry and you can destroy it.

Allow it to settle within your being, It will take its own time; it will grow by and by. It will grow in your unconscious. Your conscious is not needed; your conscious will be an interference. Forget about it, let it grow.

You will feel heavy - your whole being will be as if you are carrying a burden.

Nice, pleasant, but still a burden. And then one day, the child is born. In that moment, not only the child is born - the mother is also born.

When the poetry is born, then the poet is born. It is not the poet who writes the poetry. In fact, it is the birth of poetry which creates the poet. You were not a poet before it - only by its birth.

A woman becomes a mother. A mother is a totally different category from the ordinary woman. A woman is a woman - a mother is totally different. She has conceived something of the beyond; she has carried the beyond into her womb and she has given it a body.

The poet is born when the poetry is born. It is a shadow of the poetry, a consequence of the poetry. It succeeds poetry, it does not precede it. There was no poet before, there was no mother before. There was a man, there was a woman, but there was no poet, there was no mother. The mother comes into existence after the poetry has happened.

But ordinarily, whatsoever you call poetry is not poetry. It is just a mind thing.

You think it; you write it. Whatsoever you write is prose and whatsoever God writes through you is poetry. It may have the form of prose - it doesn't matter.

Whatsoever Buddha says or Jesus says is poetry. The form is prose, that is not the point. It is poetry because God writes it: the whole writes it through the part; the ocean tries to give you a message through the drop.

Whenever YOU write, it is prose - ordinary prose. Whenever God writes THROUGH you, it is poetry. It may be prose... it is still poetry.

You cannot be identified with being a poet. That will be a disturbance, that will destroy the whole music and the whole harmony. So it is good - good that the identification has dropped, good that you have forgotten about poetry, good that it doesn't seem to affect you in any way now whether you write or not. This is the right situation. Now for the first time there is a possibility that poetry may happen.

I cannot say, "It WILL happen," because poetry cannot be predicted. If you predict it, again the mind will start functioning and waiting and trying and doing something about it. No, you completely forget about it. It may take months, it may take years, it may take your whole life, but some day - if you have really completely forgotten your identification - you will become the medium. Something will flow through you.

It will come through you, but it will be of the beyond. Then you will be a watcher, a witness to it. You won't be a poet; you will be a witness. And when it is born, a different quality of being will come in its wake.

That's what a poet is. All great poets are humble, they don't claim.

The Upanishads are not even signed - nobody knows who wrote them. The greatest poetry and the poets have not even tried to sign it, they have not left their signatures. That would have been profane. They have left the poetry, but they have not claimed. They were just vehicles.

A real poet is a vehicle, a medium. That's why I praise poetry so much - because it is very close to meditation, very close to religion - the closest neighbor. The politician works with the practical, the scientist with the possible, the poet with the probable, and the mystic with the impossible. The probable is the closest neighbor of the impossible - that's why I praise poetry.

But when I praise poetry, I am not praising your poets. Ninety-nine percent of them are just writing junk. They are doing a mind thing, an ego-trip. They manage, that's all - but poetry doesn't come through them.

You can write poetry. Technically it may even be correct, but it may be dead.

Sometimes it happens that a poem is technically not correct but it is alive. Who bothers about whether a thing is technically correct or not? The real thing is whether it is alive or not.

If you are going to become a mother, would you like a child who is technically correct but dead? A plastic child: technically, absolutely right; you cannot find a fault....

In fact, if you want technically correct human beings, then only plastic beings are possible, Only they can be absolutely correct. A real, alive child has so many defects - bound to be so, because life exists in danger and death.

Only a dead thing is out of danger. Life is always a hazard: there are a thousand and one difficulties to be crossed, riddles to be solved. The very phenomenon that life exists is a miracle, with so many imperfections....

Life is imperfect because life is a growing phenomenon. Anything that is growing will be imperfect, otherwise how will it grow? Anything that is perfect is already dead: it is good for the grave - you cannot do anything else with Ninety-nine percent of your poets are just writing junk; they give birth to dead children. Sometimes - and only sometimes, rarely - a poet is there. And whenever such a phenomenon as the poet exists, which is a miracle on this earth, just next to him is the mystic. One step more and he will become a mystic.

If the poet tries to take wing a little more, he will become a mystic. And if the mystic, in his compassion, descends a step towards you, he will become a poet.

Poetry is a communication of the mystery of life. Unless you have felt it, how can you communicate? Poetry is a relationship between you and the whole.

Something transpires between the drop and the ocean, between the leaf and the tree. Something transpires between the whole and the part, and the part starts dancing, the part is so overflowing with joy that it sings... so delighted that its movements become poetic. It no longer walks on the earth - it flies.

Prose is just walking on the earth; poetry is a flight into the sky. Prose is just walking, poetry is dancing. The movements are the same, but the quality is tremendously different.

Good - you are blessed if the identification is gone. And that's what I'm trying to do through sannyas. When your old identification is gone, you are left in a vacuum. Only in the vacuum can the hands of God descend in you and create something out of the mud that you are, create something beautiful. It will not beyours - it will come through you.

Rejoice that the identification is gone; don't try to bring it back. Forget all about it, forget all about everything that you know in relation to poetry, poetics. Forget everything - just rejoice in being yourself.

Suddenly one day you will fall in line with the whole - a turning in, a tuning in, and a song will descend like a dove. Then you will be, for the first time, a poet.

You will not claim it, but you will be it.

Those who are, don't claim. Those who are not - only they claim.

Question 3 I FEEL LIKE ON ACTOR IN A PLAY AND I DON'T ALWAYS LIKE MY ROLE IN IT. JUST WHEN I FEEL IT IS DROPPING, YOU PUSH ME BACK IN IT - DEFINING IT, DEFINING ME. IT APPEARS YOU GIVE A FORM, WHILE MY BEING IS BURSTING AT THE SEAMS. I WANT TO EXPLODE AND SPREAD.

WHY DO YOU MOLD ME SO?

The first thing: if you really feel' that you are an actor in a play then there is no question of your like or dislike. Then you cannot say, "Sometimes I don't like my role in it," because like and dislike come only when you think of yourself not as an actor but as a doer.

To the actor, all roles are the same. What difference does it make whether you become Jesus or Judas in a drama? If you really know that this is a drama, and Judas and Jesus are all the same behind the curtain, behind the stage - it is just an act - then what is wrong in being a Judas? How can you dislike it? And what is good in being Jesus? How can you like it?

Like and dislike exist only when you think you are the doer. Then good' and bad come in then judgement, evaluation; then condemnation, appreciation. Then the duality enters. The duality enters only with the doer. If you are an actor it is all the same whether you are a Judas or a Jesus.

Once you understand the point that life is just a great drama, you are finished with likes and dislikes. Then whatsoever the whole bids, you do it. You are not the doer: you fulfill the desire of the whole.

That is one of the greatest teachings of all religions: to become an actor in life.

Then like/dislike disappears. When like/dislike disappears, choice disappears - and when you are choiceless, you are free. MOKSHA, nirvana, is attained.

Become an actor. Play the role, play it beautifully... because when one has to play;t, why not play it beautifully? You are a Judas - perfectly okay. Be a Judas.

Enjoy the role and let the audience also enjoy the role. Behind the stage, Judas and Jesus are meeting and having tea. They are friends there. They have to be.

In fact without Judas, Jesus cannot be. Something in the story will be missing, something very essential will be missing. Just think of Jesus without Judas.

Christianity will not be possible.

There might not have been any record of Jesus without Judas. Because he betrayed, Jesus was crucified; and because Jesus was crucified, the event stuck hard in the heart of humanity.

Christianity is born not because of Christ but because of the cross. So I would prefer that Christianity be called "Crossianity'. It should not be connected with Christ but with the cross.

If you look at the Church, you will see the cross raised higher than Jesus. The bishops and the popes wear the cross:the Church is born out of the cross. But if you think about it like this, then who is the author of this crucifixion? Judas - not Jesus.

At the last moment on the cross, just before he died, Jesus hesitated. The part hesitated to dissolve into the whole, the river hesitated to fall into the ocean. It's natural, it's human: Jesus is son of man AND son of God.

Every river must be tremendously apprehensive and afraid when it comes to the ocean. It was coming there all the time - it may have journeyed thousands of miles to meet the ocean - but whenever the river falls into the ocean, a deep turmoil is bound to be in the heart. The river is going to disappear. The ocean is so vast - where will she be?

She will be lost, her identity gone: the name, the form, the dreams, the desires - all gone. The ocean is so vast, she will simply disappear. Falling into the ocean is a death. It is the cross. When the river falls into the ocean, the cross is there.

At the last moment Jesus looked at the sky and said, "God, have you forsaken me? Why is this happening to me? " - deep cry of anguish. 'Why have you forsaken me?' shows the humanity of Jesus. That is where Jesus is tremendously beautiful, incomparably beautiful.

Buddha is more inhuman. You may call it 'superhuman', but he is inhuman. If he was going to die on the cross, he would not have cried toward the sky: "Why have you forsaken me? " He knows that there is nobody to cry to, he knows no God exists, that that is all human foolishness. He knows that all that is born is going to die; he has understood it totally. He will not cry, he will simply dissolve.

The river of Buddha will not hesitate, it will not hesitate for a single moment.

There will not be a cross.

Buddha is inhuman, very far away from the human heart. Mahavir is even more inhuman. They are not of this world at all; they are very abstract, as if they are not concrete human beings. They look more like disembodied ideas. They look fictitious, they look mythological - but not real.

Jesus is very real. He's as real as you are. And this cry.... Buddha would have laughed. If he had been there he would have laughed at how foolish this man was: "What are you crying about? To whom are you crying?"

In Lewis Carroll's beautiful book, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, there is a small dialogue: Tweedledum says to Alice. "Why are you crying? You are unreal - just a dream of the king."

Alice looks at him and says, "But I AM real."

Tweedledum laughs and says, "You are foolish. If he (the king) stops dreaming, where will you be?"

Alice says, "I will be here of course."

Tweedledum laughs again. He says, "You fool! If he stops dreaming, you will simply disappear. You are a figment of his dream. Don't cry. How can you cry? - you are unreal."

Alice goes on crying. She says, "If I am unreal, then who is crying? If I am unreal, then what about these tears?"

Tweedledum says, "You fool, do you think these tears are real or your crying is real? "

Buddha would have laughed at Jesus, Shankara would have laughed: "What are you doing? This whole world is MAYA: the dream of the king. You are just part, a figment of it; you are not real, you are unreal. Just disappear. Why are you saying, 'You have forsaken me?' Who is there to forsake you?"

But not Jesus. He cries - tears may have flowed through his eyes. He is human, as human as you are - rooted in the earth as you are. He is very earthly... but not just earthly, not merely earthly. He is more.

He cried. For a moment he even became angry and annoyed. He said, "What are you doing to me? Have you forsaken me? " And then he understood. The river hesitated, then understood and moved into the ocean.

Then he said, "I understand. Thy will should be done. not mine." The part was ready to fall into the whole.

He's earthly and he's heavenly - both. He is a great bridge. At the last moment he understood the whole thing as just a role to be played.

"Thy will should be done, not mine" - -then it becomes acting. If it is your will, then it becomes doing. This is the difference.

You say to me, "I feel like an actor in a play." You must be just THINKING of yourself as an actor in a play because the next part of the sentence denies it: "...

and I don't always like my role in it." If it's just a play, then why bother? Be a Judas or be a Jesus - it's all the same. From where does the evaluation of like and dislike come?

The ego exists in your likes and dislikes. In choice, the ego exists; when you don't choose, the ego disappears. That is what I'm doing to you.

"When I feel it is dropping, you push me back into it." I will go on pushing you until the choice disappears completely. Don't resist me because if you resist then you will not be able to understand for long. Don't get annoyed and don't say, "What are you doing to me?"

"It appears you give me a form, while my being is bursting at the seams. I want to explode and spread...." That 'I want' is the barrier to exploding and spreading.

The 'I' cannot explode and cannot spread. It can only think, it can dream.

My whole effort is so that you can drop the 'I' and just be. Then you will spread; then there will be no barrier for you, then you can become infinite. You ARE infinite: the ego won't allow you to see it, the ego won't allow you to see the truth.

"Why do you mold me so? " I will go on molding you from one form to another, and again from one form to another, so that you can understand that you are formless.

Only the formless can be molded into form. If you have a form, then you cannot be molded into another form; you are already fixed.

If you want to mold steel it will be difficult, but you can mold mud easily. Why?

Why not steel? Steel has a more fixed form. You can say it in this way: steel believes in a more fixed form, the steel is deceived by a more fixed form. The mud is not so deceived.

Then there is water: formless, fluid. You put it in a jar; it takes that form. You move it into another jar: never for a single moment does it resist - it takes another form. It is fluid.

Allow me to mold you in many forms because only in changing from one form to another - somewhere in between - will you become aware of the formless.

There is no other way to become aware of the formless. Moving from one form to another - just in the middle somewhere, when the old form has gone and the new has not arisen - in that interval, some day you will become aware.

That's what God himself is doing. He goes on changing your forms. Sometimes you were a plant... then you were a bird... then you became an animal.... Then you became a man: sometimes a woman, sometimes a man; sometimes black, sometimes white; sometimes stupid, sometimes intelligent. He goes on changing your form because that is the only opportunity....

By changing the form, one day, somewhere in the middle, you will become aware. Then the whole thing is just acting; then you will be able to say: "Thy will should be done, not mine."

That moment you are freed. When you can say with your whole heart, "Thy will should be done, not mine," you have disappeared. The river has fallen.

Question 4 I FEEL THAT I HAVE BEEN DISHONEST AND INSINCERE IN ALL MY RELATIONS THROUGHOUT MY LIFE. YES, SIR, I HAVE NOT DONE JUSTICE TO MY PARENTS, MY WIFE, NOR MY CHILDREN, NOR MY FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, AND SO ON. AND NOW I FEEL I AM NOT JUST AND SINCERE TO MY MASTER AND MY SANNYAS ALSO. THIS IS THE CAUSE OF GREAT AGONY TO ME, TO MY MIND. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you start thinking in terms of doing, you will again be insincere because in whatsoever you have done, you have been insincere. Your doing has become corrupted.

So the first thing is: resist doing! Just remain alert, alert to your insincerity. Don't be in a haste to do anything because that will be done again by you; your whole past will be involved in your doing.

Resist! Just remain with this feeling that you have been insincere, that's enough.

It is purifying, it has a tremendous capacity to purify and cleanse you.

Just remain with the feeling that "I have been insincere': that "I am insincere" - and don't try to do anything about it. That is again trying to create a good image of yourself: that you are not insincere, that you are a sincere man. Your ego is hurting because you have been insincere.

Try to be aware of the fact; don't try to do anything about it. Anything that you do will be immature. It is too early. Just remain with the idea; live with it.

Live with the idea that you are insincere. If you can live with it, the very idea, the very awareness, will kill your ego completely. The ego cannot remain alive if you think you are insincere. The ego needs a good image: that you are a sincere man - - very honest. That's what the ego is saying: "Do something so you can repaint the image, renovate the image."

You have been insincere. This has been revealed to you through meditation.

Now the ego is in danger of death. The ego says: do something. Through doing, it will try to again reclaim the fallen image, resettle with the old, so you can feel again that "lam good, I am beautiful. I am sincere, I am moral, I am this and that."

The first thing - very difficult, arduous, but this has to be done: just remain alert to the insincerity. Look at the idea of it and don't be bothered to change it.

It will change of its own accord because once you understand that you are insincere, you cannot remain insincere. It is impossible; it has never happened. It cannot happen; the very thing is impossible. If you know that you are insincere, it will drop. So if you want it to stay, then do something to create the feeling that you are sincere.

If you know that you are a liar, the Lying will stop of its own accord. If you feel you are immoral, don't try to do anything: don't repent, don't feel guilty - those are tricks. Remain with the idea: the naked fact of who you are. Don't move, don't get occupied in doing something. Remain naked, with the naked idea, the naked reality, and you will see a change is happening. Not by your doing....

And when a change comes to you not by your doing, it comes from God. Only God can make you moral, sincere; only God can make you religious; only God can make you pure. It is PRASAD, it is His gift; you cannot do it.

All your doing will be an undoing. Please, remind yourself again and again that you are not to do anything.

You say, "This is the cause of great agony to my mind.'! Yes, it is a great cause of agony to your mind and to the ego - which is the same: mind or ego - because the ego feels hurt. YOU - and insincere? You had always believed that you were a very sincere man, you had always believed that you were a pinnacle of a man: a crescendo of humanity, the purest gold. You had always believed that.

Now meditation has broken a window into the falseness. You have been able to look into yourself: the reality. You have come across a mirror. Now don't try to escape from it, remain with the fact. Whosoever you are - that is your reality.

Remain with the fact. If you can remain with the fact, you will change. But that change will not be your doing, it will happen.

When a transformation comes to you, it has a totally different grace. Whatsoever you do will always be tiny, mediocre and finally useless. Whatsoever God does to you is infinite. Only that can be infinite which comes from the infinite.

Don't try to do anything. Accept the fact, remain with it, relax, and suddenly there will come a transformation.

I teach sudden transformation, and I teach transformation by God, not by you.

You are just to allow Him. That is all you have to do on your part. Open the door, wait. Just open the door - that much you have to do.

Allow... so that when He knocks at the door you can welcome Him, when He comes you can recognize Him, when He comes you can call Him in. Just don't sit with closed doors, that's all. Meditation is nothing but that: opening the door.

Meditation will not give you enlightenment, remember. No technique can ever give you enlightenment; enlightenment is not technical. Meditation can only prepare the ground. meditation can only open the door. Meditation can only do something negatively; the positive will come. Once you are ready, it always comes.

Please don't try to do anything. Just be.

Question 5 YOU SAID THAT THE FAMILY IS THE FIRST THING TO RENOUNCE. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE WERE SERVED PRASAD ON THE DAY OF YOUR FATHER'S INITIATION.

The family has to be renounced, that's true. I have renounced my family. But my family is rare: they have not renounced me. And it is rare, I say, because it has not happened before.

Jesus' father never came to Jesus to be initiated. John the Baptist initiated many, but his own father never came to be initiated. Krishna's father was not a disciple of his.

My father is rare - not because he's my father: he s simply rare. There was every possibility....

As human nature goes, there is every possibility that a father cannot come and bow down to his own son. It is almost humanly impossible. He has done that.

You will not find a parallel in the whole history of man. And it may not happen again.

But you are blind and you cannot see the fact, so even the PRASAD became a problem to you. Just think of bowing down to your own son, coming to the feet of your own son. being initiated. A tremendous humbleness, a tremendous innocence, is needed.

That is one of the most difficult things in human relationships. It is not accidental that Jesus' father never came to him. It is simple: to believe in the son to whom you have given birth, whom you have seen from the very first day, from his first cry how can you believe that he has become enlightened? Your own son? - impossible. Your own blood and bone? - impossible. How can you think that he has become something, someone, from whom you have to learn?

A son remains a son..;. and to a father he remains a child always, because the distance is always the same. If my father was twenty when I was born, that twenty years' distance has remained the same; it will always remain the same. If I am forty-five, he will be sixty-five. I cannot come closer to him in age: he will always be twenty years more experienced than I am.

And to come to me and to surrender... you cannot realize the significance of it! That is why you ask such foolish questions. It is one of the rarest moments.

I again repeat: my father is rare - not because he is my father. He's simply rare.

Question 6 DID JESUS BECOME THE CHRIST ON THE CROSS, OR WHEN HE CAME OUT OF THE JORDAN RIVER? ARE THERE STAGES OF CHRISTHOOD ALSO?

There are no stages. Enlightenment - or Christhood or Buddhahood - happens in a single split second, there are not gradual stages. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, the journey started - not Christhood.

The seed started moving towards being a tree, the seed was broken in the soil.

Now the tree and its coming is only a question of time. You cannot say that when the seed has broken in the soil the tree is there - you cannot say it because the tree is NOT there.

You cannot say that the tree is. You cannot say it because where can you see the tree? You cannot rest under the tree, you cannot pluck the fruits, you cannot have the fragrance of the flowers. The tree is non-existential.

Yes, in one way you cannot say the tree is. But in another way the tree is, because the seed is broken. The tree is on the way; it is coming. Now it is only a question of time. It has come, in a way, because it has started.

The day John the Baptist initiated Jesus, the seed was broken. The heavens opened and the spirit of God, like a dove, descended. This was the beginning - not of Christhood, the beginning TOWARDS Christhood; the seed moving towards the tree.

Jesus became Christ on the cross, when he said, "Thy will be done. not mine."

That day he became a tree, he became a big, vast tree. Thousands could take shelter under him now. The tree bloomed, it filled the whole earth with fragrance.

So in a way you can say that when he was initiated in the River Jordan, the first glimpse was achieved. On the cross, the last. It depends how you want to express it. But I think I have conveyed the meaning to you: he started on the journey towards being a Christ on that day.

You can also call him Christ on that day; it is just a question of how to express it, But my emphasis is that he moved towards Christhood. He became Christ on the cross.

Christhood or Buddhahood or nirvana, MOKSHA, enlightenment - they happen in a split second, they have no gradualness about them. They are sudden transformations.

Question 7 THE RETURN IS ENTIRELY A PERSONAL AFFAIR. EVEN A VERY NEAR ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND. IT IS ACTUALLY EASILY POSSIBLE ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED. BUT, LORD, YOU ARE CALLING ALL.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO HEAR YOU CALL YOUR CALL OF LOVE?

That is not the point. Whether they hear it or not is not the point: I should go on calling. They may be deaf, but I am not dumb. If they don't listen I will have to call more loudly, that's all.

And when you call a thousand, only a hundred will listen. One can never know who the hundred will be. You call a thousand - a hundred will listen. The very nature of the call is such that only those who are just near awakening can listen to it. Only those whose sleep is almost complete, who are nearing the morning and are getting ready to wake - only they can listen. But you cannot see who those will be.

Call a thousand: a hundred will listen and only ten will start moving. Ninety will listen and still will not move. They will listen but they will not understand or they will understand something else - or they will misunderstand. Ten will start moving. And when ten move, only one reaches; nine will be lost on the way. Call a thousand and you have called only one. But this is how things are, so one has to go on calling.

So I don't bother a bit whether you listen or not - I go on calling. One is bound to come and that's enough. If you call a thousand and one comes, if you call ten thousand and ten come, that's enough. One should not ask for more; that is already too much.

You are right that only those who have suffered will be able to understand me.

Pain purifies, suffering gives understanding. Suffering gives a certain crystallization: unless you suffer you don't know what life is, unless you suffer you don't know how difficult it is to get out of life.

I was reading the life of a great Japanese poet, Issa. He suffered. He must have been a very, very sensitive man: he was a great poet, he's one of the greatest haiku poets.

When he was only thirty he had already lost his five children; five children had died by the time he was thirty - almost every year a child died. Then his wife died and he was almost completely mad - in anguish, in suffering.

I{e went to a Zen Master. The Zen Master asked, "What is the problem?" The Zen Master must have been almost like a Buddha, not like Jesus. One who has attained but one who has completely forgotten human misery.

Issa said, "My five children are dead and now my wife is dead. Why is there so much suffering? I can't see the reason for it. What is the explanation? I have not done anything wrong to anybody, I have lived as innocently as possible. In fact I have lived very much aloof. I'm not very related to people - I'm a poet, I live in my own world. I have not done anything wrong to anybody.

"I have lived a very poor life, but I was happy. Now suddenly my five children are gone, my wife is also gone - why is there so much suffering, and for no reason? I here must be an explanation."

The Zen Master said, "Life is just like a dew-drop in the morning. It is the nature of life that death happens. I here is no explanation; it is the nature of life. There is no need for any special reason to be given. Life's nature is like a dew-drop: it hangs. for a while on a leaf of grass; a small breeze and it is gone; the sun rises and it evaporates. That is the nature of life. Remember that."

Issa was a man of deep intelligence. He understood it. He came back and he wrote a haiku. The haiku means: Life, a dew-drop? Yes, I understand. Life is a dew-drop. Yet... and yet....

In that 'yet... and yet...' he's saying something superbly human. "Life is a dewdrop - I understand. And yet...." The wife is gone, the children are gone and the eyes are full of tears:'and yet... and yet....' "Yes, life is a dew-drop, but...." And that 'but' is great. Only those who have suffered can understand that life is a dew-drop, but even then - 'yet, and yet' remains. Even when you understand, understanding is difficult.

And those who have not suffered, what to say of them? They live a superficial life. Happiness is always superficial; it has no depth to it. Only sadness has depth. Life is superficial; only death has depth.

Life is very ordinary: eating, earning, loving - very ordinary. Suffering has a depth; it awakens you, it shocks you out of your sleep.

Yes, only those who have suffered will understand what I'm saying. 'And yet, and yet' - even they may not understand. But this is so, this is how life is. If one becomes despondent because of this and thinks not to call, not to say anything....

It happened: when Buddha became enlightened, he remained silent for seven days. He thought, "Who will listen?" He thought, "What am I going to say? Who will understand? " He thought, "The things that have happened to me - if somebody had told them to me when they had not happened to me, even I would not have understood. So who will understand? Why bother? "

For seven days he sat and sat and sat under the Bodhi Tree. Tradition says that the DEVAS in heaven became very disturbed. "Why is he keeping quiet? Only after thousands of years does one become enlightened. Why is he not calling people?"

They came - a beautiful story. They bowed down to Buddha and said, "You should say something. You have attained; you should give the call. The word should spread to people - why are you keeping quiet? We waited and waited.

Seven days looked like seven centuries. What are you doing? - don't waste time.

You will only be for a little while more and then you will disappear forever and ever. Before you disappear, give a call."

Buddha said, "Who will listen? Who will understand? "

But those DEVAS were very cunning. And it is good That they were cunning.

They argued, they persuaded. They said, "Yes, you are right. Rare - rare is the possibility of someone's listening, and rarest is the possibility of someone understanding. But it is there. Call a thousand: a hundred will listen, ninety will not understand; ten will walk, nine will be lost on the way. Somewhere or other they will think that they have achieved; they will sit by the side and they will think they have come home. Only one will arrive - but one is more than enough."

Buddha understood. He started preaching.

I know it is a very hopeless effort. Knowing well that you will not understand, I go on talking to you. It is as if one is talking to a wall.

When Bodhidharma became enlightened he was sitting near a wall, his back to the wall. Immediately he turned and faced the wall. For nine years he would not sit in any other way. Whenever he would sit, he would face the wall. If somebody was there - an inquirer, a seeker - he would have to ask his questions from the back.

People asked, "What foolish posture have you chosen? There have been many Buddhas in the world but nobody has sat facing the wall. Why are you sitting this way? Why are you so crazy? "

Bodhidharma said, "As far as I know, all the Buddhas have been facing walls" - because wherever you look, there is a wall. That's not the point.

Bodhidharma would say, "They all have faced walls but they were a little more polite." He would say, "I'm not so polite, that's all. I don't bother a bit what you think of me. I will turn my face towards you only when I see that someone is there who can understand me."

For nine years he faced the wall. Then one man came. The man said, "Turn towards me or I will kill myself" - he had a sword in his hand. Still Bodhidharma wouldn't turn. He cut off his hand and said, "Look, the hand is gone. The second thing will be the head."

Then Bodhidharma turned. He said, "Wait! So you have come" - because only those who are ready to behead themselves can understand.

Enough for today


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