Come Follow Me, Vol 2, Chapter #5

Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth

Chapter title: And Who Are My Brethren?

4 November 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India

Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 2, 05

ST. MATTHEW 12

46 WHILE HE YET TALKED TO THE PEOPLE, BEHOLD, HIS MOTHER AND HIS BRETHREN STOOD WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH HIM.

47 THEN ONE SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THY MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN STAND WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH THEE.

48 BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM THAT TOLD HIM, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN?

49 AND HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAID, BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN! 50 FOR WHOMSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER.

ST. LUKE I4

25 AND THERE WENT GREAT MULTITUDES WITH HIM: AND HE TURNED, AND SAID UNTO THEM,

26 IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, AND HATE NOT His FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

27 AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE

Thomas Carlyle once said about one of his friends that he was born a man and died a grocer. Everybody is born great and dies very small. Everybody is born like a god and almost always dies like a dog. What happens in between?

Why is man crippled by life? One should hope that man grows to greater dimensions, grows to greater heights, grows to greater life - what Jesus calls'life abundant' - but that rarely happens. As it happens usually, man starts shrinking.

The moment man is born he starts shrinking, becoming smaller and smaller and smaller. This has to be understood.

When a child is born he has no identity. He simply is. That'is-ness' is vast, it has magnitude, it has no limitation. The child has no name yet, the name cripples; the child has no identity, the child does not know who he is. That is his greatness, that is his vastness. He is one with existence, he is not yet separated. He has no boundary, no finitude.

A child has no character. That is his beauty, Character kills. The more character you have, the smaller you have become. Character is an armor around you, it defines you. And every definition is a death. Let me repeat: every definition is a death; only the undefined is alive.

The child has a body, but he has no form. In his consciousness no form yet exists.

Even if you put a mirror before the child he will not recognize himself. He will look at the mirror, but he will not recognize that he is reflected there because he does not know yet who he is. That is his innocence. Then things start gathering around: the name, which becomes an imprisonment; the form, the identity. The religion, the society, the color, the nation - they all become confinements. Now the child is shrinking, the vastness of the sky disappearing. Clouds are gathering and they go on suffocating your being. By the time you die, you were already dead long before.

That is the meaning of these sutras: that if one is to attain to one's real glory again, one has to become indefinable, one has to lose character.

It will be very difficult to understand me. I say that one has to lose character because character is what gives you limitations. Character is a fixity, a frozenness. Unless the character melts and you start flowing again, unless you become unknown to yourself and unpredictable.... Nobody, not even you yourself, knows what is going to happen in the next moment. You start living moment to moment. The calculation is gone. the planning disappears, you float like a white cloud in the sky: moving but without any motivation; moving but not knowing where you are going; moving but remaining in the moment, so totally herenow that past and future make no sense, only present is meaningful.

Then what will be your identity? Who will be you? You cannot say anything about it; it is unutterable. That is what Buddha calls the inner emptiness: ANATTA, no self; that's what Jesus calls the kingdom of God. Something mysterious that you are. Not that you have to become - you are already that.

It happened in the Second World War in a Japanese concentration camp. The guards of the concentration camp had come to know that the arrival of the American army was imminent. Any moment they could reach and Japan would be defeated. They became afraid for their own lives. They unlocked the doors and fled to the woods.

But those who were imprisoned in the camp never came to know that now the doors were not locked. They were still imprisoned. The guards had gone, the locks were unlocked, but the prisoners were still prisoners. They were already free, but they did not know about it. The next day when the liberators came they had only to announce to them that "You are already free. We have to do nothing."

This is what I say to you: that you are already free. The guards have never been there except in your imagination and the locks were never locked. You have seen a dream and you are imprisoned in it. This is the only good news that Jesus brings to you or I bring to you: that you are already free.

Not that you have to become free. All your imprisonment is just a mental attitude. You call yourself a Hindu or a Christian or a Mohammedan. Not that you are a Christian. How can you be a Christian and how can you be a Mohammedan? How can just a mere ideology confine you, how can just words make prisons for you? To such a vital energy, to such a vital reality, how can just mere words - Hinduism, Christianity - become imprisonments? Impossible.

But you believe in them. Then the impossible becomes possible. You think of yourself that you are this or that. That very thinking makes you this or that. But you are not. In the innermost core of your being you remain total freedom, absolute freedom.

Now, try to enter these sutras. They are very delicate and there is every possibility of misunderstanding them. Jesus has been misunderstood on many points. One of the points is covered by these sutras.

People have been finding fault with him because of these sutras. On the one hand he goes on talking about love - he even says, "God is love" - and on the other hand he goes on saying such contradictory things. How can a man of love say these things? But he has said them. So there is every possibility that they have not been understood rightly. Let us try....

WHILE HE YET TALKED TO THE PEOPLE, BEHOLD, HIS MOTHER AND HIS BRETHREN STOOD WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH HIM.

THEN ONE SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THY MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN STAND WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH THEE.

BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM THAT TOLD HIM, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN?

AND HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAID, BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN! THIS IS MY MOTHER AND THESE ARE MY BROTHERS.

Up to now, whatsoever he has said can be understood. The next sutra is really very dangerous. He says: FOR WHOMSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER.

AND THERE WENT GREAT MULTITUDES WITH HIM: AND HE TURNED, AND SAID UNTO THEM, IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, AND HATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN. AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

He says: "If any man come to me and hate not his father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, he cannot be my disciple." A man who has always been talking about love - why so suddenly does he talk about hate? The word'hate' does not fit on the lips of Jesus. The man seems to be contradictory, paradoxical, but that is only an appearance. We have to go deep. If Jesus says'hate' he must mean something. And he means....

First: man is born as part of the divine, as part of the totality, the whole. The child in the mother's womb is not in the mother's womb: the child is in the womb of the whole. Mother is nothing but part of the whole. Mother is the nearest part of the whole, but the child exists in the divine, in the totality. He does not know the mother; he simply exists. Then he is born, he is separated from the mother.

But even while separate from the mother, he has not yet got an identity. He cannot say'I am'. Still the purity of'am-ness' continues.

Then by and by, he will start loving the mother. The moment he starts loving the mother he will forget the wholeness of'am-ness', the totality. Love of the mother will become oblivion of the total. Then he starts loving the father - he forgets the total completely. Then his brothers, sisters.... Then a family is created, a small family, and he has forgotten the great family of existence.

Unless his consciousness shifts again from the mother, from the father, from the brothers and sisters, and the whole gestalt changes - again he looks at the whole and the whole becomes the family, again he lives with the stars and the trees are the rivers and the ocean and the sands - he will not'be able to follow Jesus; you will not be able to follow me. Because what is the meaning of following Jesus?

The only meaning is to shift the focus of consciousness. If you have fallen in love with a family, you have to go beyond that love. Otherwise that very love, that very attachment, will not allow you to enter into the greater whole.

When he says'hate' he simply means: don't love. When he says'hate' he uses a very strong word: to emphasize. Because love has made you part of a small family, only hate can again make you a part of the whole. But by'hate' he does not mean'hatred'. By'hate' he simply means: annihilate the love, the attachment.

In India we have been using the word ASUKTI RAG: attachment, being colored by the attachment. Be nonattached, renounce. Renounce the small so that you can find the whole. And this is the beauty: that if you renounce the part, the small family, and attain to the great family, suddenly you will realize that the small family is there in the great. Because where will it go? In the small family, the great family is not there; but in the great family, the small family is there.

When the whole earth becomes your home, your home is included in it. But when your only home is your home, the whole earth is not included in it. When the whole sky becomes yours, the small sky that you used to think is yours is there.

The greater includes the smaller, the smaller cannot include the greater. Your father, your mother, your children, your wife, will be there - not as your mother, as your father, as your wife, but as gods. In fact, you have not taken anything away from them. On the contrary, you have given something to them. Before they were ordinary human beings; now they will be divine. Your renunciation has not destroyed anything. On the contrary, it has revealed much. Lose the small so that you can gain the whole, and that small will be regained again, in greater glory.

But in the beginning it will seem that you are moving away from love, because that is the only love you know: the love of the family, the love of the country.

That is the only love you know. And it is a false love because unless the love includes the whole it can never be satisfactory. Love is vast and can only be fulfilled by the vast.

Unless you love God, you will love in vain. Your love will create frustrations, it will never give you a contentment. Love needs such a vast phenomenon to fill it that only God can do that. No father, no mother, no wife, no children, no brother, no sister, no friend can do that - unless God comes to you as a father, or your father appears to you to be a god.

Unless the wife becomes the whole, or the whole become.s the wife, you will not be fulfilled. That's why there is so much misery because of love. You love the part and you expect the whole. That's the misery. You love the small and you want the great. It cannot be fulfilled. Hence, frustration. Whenever you fall in love with a man, you expect something divine. Every lover expects it. And when it is not delivered you are hurt, and you feel you have been cheated. Then the misery of love arises.

Expectations are great and the reality is very tiny. You expect from the wrong sources: you want a small stream to become the ocean. It cannot, it is helpless.

When your eyes are open to the reality, and the dream disappears and the honeymoon is over... a small tiny stream. And you were thinking of the ocean! Now you are crestfallen, frustrated, wounded deeply in the heart.

Love wounds because you expect the whole from the part. And this is the only love that you know. This love is not exactly love. It is attachment. There is a greater love which arises only when your eyes are open to the vast, to the infinite, to God.

When Jesus says'hate' he simply says: whatsoever your love is, is worth nothing.

Move to the opposite, move to the other extreme. Drop all this nonsense that you call love. It is not love. It may be fear - fear of loneliness - but it is not a sharing of being. It is a game of the ego, and love cannot be a game of the ego. You drop all this - and by dropping all this, tremendous possibilities open.

First, if you drop all so-called love - the love of the father, the mother, the brother, the sister, the family, the wife - if you really drop it, suddenly your identity will be lost. Who will be then, who will be you then? If somebody asks you right now you say, "I am somebody's son, somebody's brother, somebody's husband, somebody's father. This is my religion. This is my country. This is the group I belong to." You have something to say about yourself.

Think: if you belong to no country, if you belong to no sect, no church, no denomination; if you have cut all bonds from your family - father, mother, wife - - and you are absolutely alone, who are you then? How will you say who you are? By cutting the attachments you have killed your ego.

That is the meaning of Jesus. He says: through your attachments, your ego exists and gets nourishment. Cut all the attachments and suddenly the ego collapses. It has nowhere to stand, nothing to be supported by. Suddenly it collapses, and in that collapse you are born for the first time. For the first time you are YOU - not somebody's son, not somebody's husband, not somebody's father. For the first time you are simply there, in your absolute nakedness, purity, innocence. You are undefined, all definitions gone. Suddenly you start throbbing with a new heart; you become part of the whole. That small family that was surrounding you and creating a boundary is no more there.

You became small because of the attachment to the family. You become vast once that attachment is transcended. That's why Jesus uses a very strong word. He says HATE because less than that won't do.

Listen: WHILE HE YET TALKED TO THE PEOPLE, BEHOLD, HIS MOTHER AND HIS BRETHREN STOOD WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH HIM.

Many more things have to be understood. Jesus knows well that his mother and his brothers don't understand him. They think, really, that he has gone a little crazy. Their own brother and he thinks of himself as the son of God! Just think about your brother. If he starts thinking that he is the son of God and always talks about God who is in heaven, naturally you will think that he has gone out of his mind. You will seek the help of a psychiatrist; you will give him electric shocks to bring him back to earth.

Jesus' relatives thought that he was beside himself; he was a little eccentric, crazy, mad. When he went to his village, people would simply laugh, they would ridicule. At the most they were amused: "Look, this son of the carpenter Joseph - and now suddenly he thinks that he is the son of God!" And they know well whose son he is. Just a few years before, he was working with his father in the workshop: carrying wood from the forest, helping his father. And now suddenly he has gone mad. "Poor Jesus!"

That was the idea of his family also. They felt pity for him. So when somebody said, "Your brothers and your mother are waiting without, desiring to speak with you," he knows what they are going to speak to him about. He knows that their whole effort is somehow to bring him back home and make him normal.

This is one of the problems with humanity. People you call normal are not normal at all, but they are in the majority. A Buddha always looks abnormal. A Jesus looks abnormal. In a sense he is, because he doesn't behave like you, he doesn't follow the ordinary rules. He does not fit with the society, he is a misfit.

And to allow him, creates a suspicion in your mind: if he is right, then you are wrong. That creates a doubt and a trembling. He must be wrong, he must be proved wrong. He must have somehow gone wrong somewhere. Of course the ordinary is thought to be normal - and the normal is thought to be the norm - so the exceptional, the unique, looks abnormal.

Even psychoanalysts think that Jesus was neurotic. Many books have been written against Jesus, proving that he was neurotic, that he was not in his senses.

Look at what he was saying! Of course if suddenly someone amongst you declares that he is the son of God, you will start laughing. What does he mean?

Jesus knows well what they want to talk about. And they have not come to HIM.

They have come only to the son of Joseph, which he is no more. He was, but since John the Baptist initiated him into a different life - changed and converted him to a new plane of consciousness, initiated him, led him into a new door to existence - since then he is no longer the same.

When Buddha came back to his home after twelve years, his father could not believe that he had become enlightened. He said, "Drop all this nonsense! You can befool others, but you cannot befool me. I have given birth to you, I have known you from the very beginning. Drop this game and come back home. I am your father and because I love you my doors are yet open for you. Though you don't deserve! You are an escapist. In my old age you escaped. You are my only hope. Come back home!"

Of course the father cannot see what has happened. He is too full of his own ideas, too full of his memories, his remembrance of this boy who was born to him. And now suddenly he has become a Buddha, enlightened, attained to truth?

If he had been somebody else's son the father might have looked again, might have watched, observed, might have been more open; but this is his own son.

The eyes are full of tears, anger, attachment, memories. The eyes are clouded by the past; he cannot see the reality that is standing before him.

Buddha laughed and he said, "Just look at me. I'm not the same one who left your house. Somebody else comes to you. That man is dead! I'm totally new."

The father looked again and then said, "You cannot deceive me. You are the same. I know you well. I know you more than you can know yourself."

Jesus knows what they want to talk about. And they don't want to talk to him, the reality that he is now. They want to talk to someone who exists no more.

Jesus disappeared that day in the River Jordan when John the Baptist initiated him into a different life. The man who used to be there has disappeared. The house is old, but the resident has changed. The same person doesn't live in the same body. The body is the same, but a new consciousness has entered. A new consciousness abides there and they have come to talk to the old, who is no more.

THEN ONE SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THY MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN STAND WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH THEE.

BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM THAT TOLD HIM, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN? This new consciousness - call it'Christ' - this new consciousness says, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN?

Unless you can see two personalities - one of Jesus, which is no more; and one of Christ, which has come like a dove and has entered his soul - you will not be able to understand these sentences. These sutras become very simple once you see that this man Jesus is no more the Jesus who used to be.

It happens many times to my sannyasins. When they want to go back to their homes they become a little apprehensive. They come to me and they say, "It is going to be difficult. My father won't understand me, my mother will not be able to see what has happened. When I go back they will not be able to see the fact: what has happened to me."

I tell them, "Don't be worried. You simply go and you remain new. Don't try in any way to behave like the old." That has to be remembered because the temptation will be there. I he mother is there, the father is there, the brothers are there, the whole milieu of the old, and the temptation will be that even if you have changed why create a disturbance for them? Just act like the old.

But if you act like the old, that will be a deep disturbance for you. That will be a deception, that won't be authenticity. And in that way you are not going to help your family. That way you will be untrue to them.

Be true. Even if they misunderstand in the beginning, accept that misunderstanding. It is natural. But you remain the one that you have become.

Don't act; remain true. Sooner or later they will understand, and once they understand, your reality will start transforming them also. Reality is a great force.

This happens many times. One sannyasin from England just wrote to me that "I was afraid, notwithstanding whatsoever you had said. I was afraid and as I came nearer to England my fear was tremendous. My father is very stubborn" - as fathers are-"and I thought: he won't understand, he won't even listen. He will think that I am mad and he will try and force me to go to a psychoanalyst.'What has happened? Why are you wearing orange?'

"He is an old Christian, orthodox. It will be almost a shock."

But he had to go back so he went. Now he has written: "They were shocked. They couldn't believe it. But as you had said, I tried not to be tempted to act. I remained true. And for the first time, after three or four days, they relaxed. Now for the first time something has transpired between me and my parents, something which I can call love - which has never been there before. Fear was there, but not love. And they are asking me questions: what has happened to me?

And they have even tried to meditate! " - which he thinks is a miracle. He thinks that I must be doing something from here.

I'm not doing anything from here. Your truth, your authenticity, has a great power in it. Truth transforms not only you. Wherever you move, with whomsoever you relate, if you are true you become a great force. Jesus knows that they have not come for him. They are not yet ready. They don't understand that a discontinuity has happened in the life of Jesus. The old is gone and the new has come, and they are not in any way related.

That is the problem: when the new comes, the new is absolutely new. It is not a modified form of the old. When the old goes, it goes totally. There comes a gap, a silence, an emptiness.

The old goes and the new comes - the body remains the same. Nobody will be able to see what has happened, but everybody will FEEL something has happened. Even you yourself will become aware, by and by, that you are no longer the old.

Recognition takes time. Sometimes months, sometimes years. Recognition takes time, but by and by you become aware that "I am no longer the same person I used to be." When this realization surrounds you, you flower. A different grace becomes available to you. The old man lives under the law; the new man lives under love. The old man lives in the society; the new man becomes a peak of absolute aloneness. The old man lives in the past, in the future; the new man lives only in the present. The new man has a presence, a different quality of being. A magnetism, a charisma.

HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM THAT TOLD HIM, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN?

AND HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAID, BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN! He has created a new community.

Buddha called his community SANGHA. Buddha says to his disciples to seek three refuges. When anybody comes to surrender he has to surrender to three things. He says: "I surrender to Buddha, I surrender to sangha, I surrender to DHAMMA." Buddha is the alive, the presence herenow. But he will not be there always. Sooner or later he will disappear, just as a lamp disappears and then you cannot find where the flame has gone. Buddha will disappear - this body cannot contain him for long, because the body is mortal and he is immortal. The vehicle is weak, the vehicle cannot persist for long. Sooner or later the body will fall and the flame will disappear. Then to whom will you surrender? So Buddha says, "I am creating a community: the sangha."

Sangha is a community of those who live with the same attitude, who live a life in common, who commune with each other. It is a community, a community of seekers on the same path, a community of those who have been in love with the same Buddha, whose love joins them together.

The community is a group. When the buddha is there you can look at him - he can be helpful, he can guide you, he can take you out of your misery and darkness - but when he is gone, then there is only one possibility: you should join together to help each other. A few will be a little ahead, a few will not be so. A few may be lagging behind, a few may be marching forcibly, a few may just be fast asleep; but if there is a community, then those who are lagging behind can also be helped. The community can take care of them: the community can think about them, can love them, can help them, can guide them. When a Buddha is alive there is no need, but when the Buddha is gone a community is the only refuge.

Jesus was creating a community. This community is not the church, remember; this community is not a sect, remember. This community is a family of fellow seekers, not of fellow believers. When you believe, the community becomes a sect. When you seek, then it is a community. A community is an alive phenomenon of those who are all seeking together and helping each other.

There is a parable in India that once it happened that a great fire broke out in a forest. Two men were helpless there in the forest, they couldn't get out of it, because one was blind and another was crippled in the legs. The crippled one could not run: he could see, but he could not run. The blind one could run fast, but he couldn't see. So they formed a community. They talked to each other and they said, "We can help each other." So the blind man took the crippled man on his shoulders. They became one man. The blind could walk, the crippled could see. They helped each other. They came out of the fire; they were saved. Separate they would have died; together they found the way out.

A community is a community of blind people and crippled people. When a Buddha is there, there is no need. But when Buddha is gone, the master is gone, then the source of life disappears. The whole forest is on fire and everywhere there is darkness. Somebody is crippled and somebody is blind - everybody lacks something. But everybody also has something. Then the community can arise.

That is the family of Jesus. He says: AND HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAID, BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN! "And then," Buddha says, "a time comes when the community will also become dead. It will become a sect." The family of Christ will become Christianity; the family of Buddha, the sangha of Buddha, will become Buddhists. Dead: fellow believers, not fellow seekers. Nobody is going anywhere; they simply believe.

The community is not a community at all now. They talk, they discuss, but nobody is ready to risk anything, to search, to inquire.

Then, DHAMMA. Then you have to take refuge, you have to surrender and take refuge, only in the pure principle of dharma. The pure principle, the basic law: what Lao Tzu calls tao, what Buddha calls DHAMMA, what Jesus calls the kingdom of God. Then you have to surrender to the unknown.

It will be difficult because Buddha is visible; you can touch him. The community is also visible. Not so enlightened as Buddha, but some fragments of life, some fragments of light, are carried by the community. You can put them together, a certain light can be created. But when the community has become a sect, a dead religion, an organization and not a brotherhood....

Remember, a brotherhood is not an organization. A brotherhood may be organized, but it is not an organization. It is fluid. A brotherhood is organized because of love: organization is a by-product, a consequence. But an organization is simply organization. It is forced, rigid. It exists not because of love but because of law.

Then one has to look to God, whom you cannot see anywhere, whose address is not known, whose whereabouts are absolutely unknown.

Jesus says: BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN! "This is my family, my community in which I am spreading my being, with whom I am sharing my new life, with whom I am sharing my new vision and my new eyes."

FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER.

"Whosoever is ready to follow the path of God - he is my mother, he is my brother, he is my sister." Jesus is saying, "Only those who are related to God are related to me. Now, no other relationship is possible."

Even if Jesus' mother wants to be related to him again, she cannot be related just because of the old relationship. She will have to seek a new relationship, and that new relation ship is possible only if she becomes attuned to God. Only through God, via God, can you be related to Jesus.

There is no other way.

If you come to me and you are really a seeker of truth, you immediately become related to me. Otherwise there is no relationship. Only via God - you cannot be related to me directly. All direct relationship is impossible now. Unless you seek that which I have found, there is no possibility. There is no possibility at all.

It happens: many times people ask me - just a few days before, Vivek was asking me - "Why do we never see any of your college friends, your school friends, coming to you? Why don't they come?"

In the first place, I never had many friends because from the very beginning only if somebody was a seeker was there a possibility of any friendship. There was no other way to relate to me. So - very few friends. But even those are lost, because unless they now relate to my new reality there is no possibility. Either I have to come down to relate to them, which is not possible, or they have to come up - which is difficult. By and by, they have disappeared. They continue to think about me as of old, but that man is no more there; that man is dead. They would like to relate to me as of old, but that man is dead. How can you relate to a dead man?

So it becomes embarrassing for them. If they come, it becomes embarrassing.

They don't know what to talk about, what to say. If they say something of the past and then they look at me, the whole thing looks absurd. It carries no meaning. At the most I can listen, but I cannot say a single word. Then they feel awkward.

They used to come; by and by they dropped. But my family has not dropped me.

They have tried hard to cope with me. And they have tried hard to feel my new reality. That's a rare phenomenon. Jesus was not so fortunate as I am.

FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER.

AND THERE WENT GREAT MULTITUDES WITH HIM: AND HE TURNED, AND SAID UNTO THEM, IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, AND HATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

Unless you deny your worldly family, you cannot be part of a spiritual family.

Unless you deny the ordinary ties of the body, you cannot move into the world of the spirit. You have to leave behind the world of matter, the world of the body, to move into the world of the spirit.

AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

And until you die, you cannot follow. You have to die so that the new can be born in you. It can be born only when you are gone. It is not a question of transforming you, it is not a question of improving you, it is not a question of making something better of you. Howsoever better you are made, improved, modified, you will remain the same.

Your ego can be more polished. It can even be taught to be humble. You can be taught to be simple: you can live naked, with no clothes. You can be taught to be nonpossessive: you can leave the whole world. But if you remain the same, your non-possessiveness will not help much; your nakedness will not help much.

Your nakedness will become a new clothing for the ego.

Now the ego will be satisfied that "I have renounced all. I don't possess anything.

I have left my family" - but the'I' will continue. And the'I' has to drop. Unless the'I' disappears, you will not be empty enough for the divine to enter. You will not have enough space for Him. That is the meaning of Jesus when he says: AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. To be a disciple is to die in the master and to relive in the master. It is to drop totally dead in the master so that his life flame can give you a new light and a new life.

Until you die, nothing is possible. And that is the great fear. You would like to be improved, you would like to become better. Then don't come to a man like Jesus.

He is not interested in bettering you, he is not interested in renovating the old house. He says, "We will demolish and we will make a new one," because if you renovate an old house it remains the old. It may deceive others, but it cannot deceive you. You know it is the old. The foundations remain the old, the structure remains the old. You polish it, you color it, you whitewash it - a few patches here and there - and then you think everything is new. It is not.

In life, never try to renovate, because something is fundamentally wrong. The base is wrong, the whole foundation is wrong. And on that foundation, you will remain wrong.

So I'm not interested in you becoming more religious, no. I'm not interested in you becoming more moral, no. I am not interested in you attaining a beautiful character, not at all. I am interested in you dying, so that a newness rushes in you. Only on your death is resurrection possible. And that which will resurrect will be the divine. That will be the divine! Once you are ready to die, moral/immoral, sinner or saint, are all irrelevant.

Once you are ready to die, you have become capable. You open the door. You say to God, "Come in! "

But remember, God comes from the same door from where death comes in. If you are afraid of death you will remain afraid of God. God and death are two names of one phenomenon. If you are afraid, you interpret God as death. If you accept, you interpret death as God. Death itself becomes the beloved.

You wait. You wait as you would wait for your beloved. And death comes dancing! There is nothing like it. No longer can you conceive of anything which can transcend the beauty of it. Death becomes the beloved. Then death's garb is no more there. God is revealed! This has to be done every moment, because every moment death knocks at your door. Every moment when you exhale, death knocks. Exhalation is death, inhalation is life. The first thing a child has to do is to inhale and the last thing the old man dying will do will be to exhale. With exhalation, death; with inhalation, life.

And this is happening every moment. Whenever you inhale, you are becoming alive again; whenever you exhale, again death. Death, life, death, life: that's how you move. They are two wings or two legs, two aspects of you. If you really die with each exhalation - you relax and you surrender - then with each inhalation you will revive. And you will feel such freshness that even the dew in the morning will be jealous! You will feel freshness such as the stars in the night feel. That is eternal life. One who has learned the secret of how to die moment to moment has learned the secret of how to live eternally. Now death is impossible.

Death is possible only if you resist it. It is in your resistance that death exists.

Resistance is ego, death exists because of the ego. If you surrender, death disappears. Surrender is the key.

Jesus says: AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

Not only does the father have to be denied, and the mother, and the sister and the brothers, but you have to deny your life also. Your life has to be denied so that God can live within you and through you. Both cannot live together within you, remember. Either you or God. You would like to also give Him a small room somewhere in your house, a small temple in a far corner of the house. You would like Him to live there, but that is not His way. He wants the whole house or nothing. This trick don't do.

I was staying with a friend. In the morning I saw him going to the garage. I asked him, "Where are you going?"

He said, "We have made a temple in the garage." They live in a palace and their God lives in the garage! Whom do you think you are befooling? And he was very happy. He thinks he is a very religious man.

The God lives in the garage, He's not even a welcomed guest. Even with a guest you behave well, even with a poor relative you behave well. Even a poor relative will feel offended if you put him in the garage. The God lives in the garage! He was very happy and he said, "We have made a very beautiful temple there. You come and see."

I said, "God cannot be there so I'm not coming. You go and do whatsoever you want to do, but this is not prayer."

God comes to you only when you completely give in, when you are completely empty and you say, "I am no more. Now you can come in." When you have vacated the throne, then only is He enthroned.

Enough for today


bhagwan-shree-rajneesh.net • © 2019 by Michael MaardtContact