Come Follow Me, Vol 2 Chapter #11

Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth

Chapter title: And come, follow me

10 November 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India

Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 2, 11

ST. LUKE 18

18 AND A CERTAIN RULER ASKED HIM, SAYING, GOOD MASTER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?

19 AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, WHY CALLEST THOU ME GOOD? NONE IS GOOD, SAVE ONE, THAT IS, GOD.

20 THOU KNOWEST THE COMMANDMENTS, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT KILL, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.

21 AND HE SAID, ALL THESE THINGS HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP.

22 NOW WHEN JESUS HEARD THESE THINGS, HE SAID UNTO HIM, YET LACKEST THOU ONE THING: SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN. AND COME, FOLLOW ME.

23 AND WHEN HE HEARD THIS, HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL: FOR HE WAS VERY RICH.

24 AND WHEN JESUS SAW THAT HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL, HE SAID, HOW HARDLY SHALL THEY THAT HAVE RICHES ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

25 FOR IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH A NEEDLE'S EYE, THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

26 AND THEY THAT HEARD IT SAID, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?

27 AND HE SAID, THE THINGS WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

MAN IS A PARADOX. He is on the way: that's why he has to be a paradox. He has not yet arrived. The departure has happened, but the arrival is yet to come.

Man is a process. Man is not yet a being, man is still becoming. Hence the paradox. The world of the animals is left behind, the departure has happened, but the world of the gods has not yet been achieved.

Man is just a bridge between these two - the past and the future - and there is a constant tension. The past pulls him back, the future calls him forth. Man is always in anxiety. What to do? The anxiety is very deep: to be or not to be?

Because of this, man is bound to remain contradictory unless he transcends humanity. A part of man will remain in the past and a part of man will remain in the future, the yet unborn. These two will go on continuously fighting within the heart of man: the good and the bad, or the night and the day, life and death, or whatsoever you want to call it - the polarity.

Because of this polarity, whatsoever you do is only halfhearted. It never gives satisfaction. You cannot withdraw from it and you cannot be committed to it totally. You love, but the love is half-hearted. Nothing happens out of it; you remain the same. You meditate, but the meditation is halfhearted. Nothing happens out of it, because you have never moved in it totally. All happening is possible only in total involvement: when you are not left behind, when you have moved completely, utterly completely. There is no holding back... a jump. In that jump the past disappears, the future disappears. Just here and now, being arises.

That being is what we mean by'God'. You carry that possibility within you, but you go on fighting within the opposites. Because of this fight and turmoil you cannot see who you are, you cannot feel that which you are already, Deeply hidden within your own being is the truth. The enemy is within and the friend is also. The beloved is within and the wicked one also is within you. This has to be understood, because the very understanding will become a freedom, a liberation.

One of Jesus' very significant parables has been lost completely. Just a reference is made to it in LUKE, but the complete parable is not in any of the authorized gospels, not even in the fifth gospel of Thomas. Some hidden sources, some secret societies, have continuously been meditating on that parable. I would like to tell it to you. The parable is so significant that it may be because of its significance that it has not been included in the authorized gospels. The parable seems to be dangerous. The implications of it are of tremendous import and significance.

The parable is about someone secretly sowing weeds in a wheat field while the master and his servants slept. The servants were all for cutting them quickly out, but the master said that at harvest time one could more effectively separate the wheat from the tares.

The servants consulted together, saying, "It would be much better to pull out those weeds right now rather than wait, but we must obey the master even when he is wrong. In the meantime, let us look for the enemy who would do this evil thing to our master who is so kind to everyone and doesn't deserve this treatment."

They quietly inquired and made a search of the whole region, but they could not find anyone; they could not find the enemy.

One of the servants came privately to the chief steward at night saying, "Sir, forgive me, but I can no longer bear to conceal my secret. I know the enemy who sowed the tares. I saw him do it."

At this, the chief steward was astonished and full of anger. But before punishing him, he demanded of the servant why he had not come forward sooner.

"I dared not," cried the servant. "I scarcely dared to come and tell you this even now. I was awake the night the weeds were sown, I saw the man who did it. He walked past me, seemingly awake and yet asleep. He did not appear to recognize me, but I recognized him."

"And who was he indeed? " asked the chief steward in great excitement. "Tell me so he can be punished."

The servant hung his head. Finally, in a low voice, he replied, "It was the master himself."

And the two agreed to say nothing of this to any man.

The enemy is not outside. If it was outside, it would not have been difficult to get rid of him. You could have escaped. But you cannot escape from the enemy because it is within.

The beloved, the friend, is also not outside. Otherwise you could have searched, and once found by one man, there would have been no difficulty for others to follow. Just as it happens in science: the truth is outside.

Scientific truth IS outside. One man discovers, and the discovery becomes part of human knowledge. Then each and everybody knows about it. Einstein may have worked for twelve years to com e to the truth of the theory of relativity, but once he knew it, it became a co m m on inheritance. Even a schoolchild can learn it.

Whosoever is ready now, need not waste time. Within minutes and hours it can be learned. It is always there.

The truth of science is outside, but the truth of religion is within. Jesus m ay have discovered it, but his discovery will remain personal. It cannot be transferred to anybody else. Buddha may have discovered it, but the discovery will disappear w hen Buddha disappears. Each and every seeker will have to find the truth again and again, individually.

Religious truth is personal. Religious truth cannot be borrowed; it has to be sought. Every seeker has to work it out on his own. You cannot stand on anybody else's shoulders, you cannot inherit it. It has to be earned.

Both are within: the animal and the god. That creates the problem. Sometimes you get identified with the divine in you. Then everything flows beautifully.

Then you feel a warmth all around you, all over you. Then you feel a calm, a deep tranquility. Then you feel ecstatic. Everything seems to be a blessing.

Everything fits together with the whole, everything falls in line. A deep contentment surrounds you, descends in you. You are at home.

Whenever you get identified with the divine, you feel happy. Whenever you get identified with the wicked one, you become unhappy; you become miserable. All your misery and all your happiness is just an identification: either with the divine part or with the devil part. Both are within you. The religious m an has to go beyond both. It is not only that he has to dis-identify himself fro m the devil.

That has to be done, but he should also dis-identify himself from even the god.

Identification, in itself, is the trouble. With the wicked one, you will be miserable. That is the myth of hell: one who has gone so deeply into an identification with the dark, with the devil, that his whole life has become a hell - just a long misery, with no end in view.

You have to get dis-identified with the dark part, but everybody wants to do that. The real problem arises when teachers like Jesus and Buddha say to get disidentified with the good also, because, deep down, identification itself is the problem, not the object of identification. Then happiness also disappears, just as misery disappears.

Whatsoever is left behind - that'x' quality - is bliss. It is neither misery nor happiness. It is totally different from both. It is indefinable, it is elusive. You cannot catch hold of it. The more you try, the more it will escape you. But you can live it. That'x' quality can be lived.

The identification has to go. Don't get identified with anything. Remain a watcher, remain a witness. Whatsoever happens, happens to you, but you are not it. Remember that. Remind yourself continuously.

Sadness has come. It has happened to you; it is not you. The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness. It does not affect you anymore. When you lose awareness, it affects you; when you gain awareness, there is a distance. The more awareness rises to a higher peak, the more the distance becomes greater and greater. A moment comes when you are so far away from your sadness that it is as if it is no longer there.

The same has to be done with happiness also. It will be difficult, because one wants to cling to happiness. But if you want to cling to happiness, you are sowing the seeds of unhappiness.

That's how this parable is of tremendous significance. The master himself - in his sleep, in his unawareness - came to the field, the wheat field, and sowed the seeds of weeds. In his deep sleep..He must have been a somnambulist; a person who walks in his sleep and does things. In the morning he started asking, "Who has done this?"

You have been doing things to yourself. In the morning when you become awake you ask, "Who has done this? " and you start searching for the enemy. The enemy is within, the enemy is just your unconsciousness.

There is a Sufi parable that is just like this parable: A man was very worried because every night somebody would enter his garden and destroy the garden. He did everything that could be done to protect it.

Guards were posted all around the boundary, but never was anybody seen to go into the garden in the night. Everything was done, but nothing helped. The garden was being destroyed every day.

He went to a Sufi master, thinking that the master must have the quality of seeing faraway things. The master closed his eyes and said, "You do one thing.

Fix the alarm on your alarm clock for two o'clock in the night."

The man said, "How is this going to help? My guards are continuously watching and patrolling around the house."

The master said, "There is no need to argue. You simply do what I say. You fix the alarm for two o'clock. Then come the next day. Whatsoever happens you relate to me."

The man was suspicious, but he tried it. Two o'clock, when the alarm went off, he became awake. He was standing in his garden, destroying his plants.

He was a somnambulist. We all are. You have been sowing seeds and in your deep darkness - in your night, in your sleep, in your unawareness, unconsciousness - you have been throwing the seeds and destroying your own field.

You love somebody, and then you start possessing him. Now tares are entering.

You love, and then you become jealous. Now weeds are growing. You love, and for trivial things you get angry. You love: for nothing at all - meaningless, petty things - hate arises. Now the wheat is getting mixed with tares.

When you love you feel happy. Every love starts with a deep happiness, a celebration, and every love ends in deep sadness.

The other day I was reading a poem by T. S. Eliot. The poem ends with these lines: THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS NOT WITH A BANG BUT WITH A WHIMPER.

This is how everything ends. Your love, your meditation, your virtue. Not even with a bang but with a whimper.

Continuously you are contradicting yourself. Whatsoever you do, you undo it.

With one hand you build the house; with another you destroy it. Watch, be alert, and the more alert you are, the more you will see that there is nobody else working against you. There is no devil working against you; the devil is within you. And there is no God helping you. That God is also within you. If you go beyond both, the good and the bad, you yourself become that God.

These sutras of Jesus have to be understood with deep sympathy. You can listen to them without sympathy. Then you will hear them, but they will not become part of your heart. Only in deep sympathy you become open. These sutras are seeds. They have much in them which can grow if the right soil in the heart allows them to grow, if you help them to grow. They are just indications, gestures. If you allow them to grow, they can become your very life-style. AND A CERTAIN RULER ASKED HIM, SAYING, GOOD MASTER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?

To inherit? Exactly there, the man went wrong. In that word'inherit' he lost contact with Jesus. The eternal life cannot be inherited. It is not like a fortune or a worldly kingdom. You have to earn it; everybody has to earn it and seek it. You cannot inherit it. The father cannot give it to the son, the master cannot give it to the disciple, the lover cannot give it to the beloved, no. There is no way of inheriting it.

Worldly things can be inherited because when a man dies, he has to leave all his worldly possessions here. He cannot take them with him. But when a man of spirituality dies, he leaves nothing here. His treasure goes with him; it cannot be inherited.

A CERTAIN RULER ASKED - he was a ruler, a very rich man - SAYING, GOOD MASTER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE? The first thing to remember is that you cannot get it from somebody else. You have to earn it.

There is a story in Mahavir's life. A great king came to visit him. The king was a great conqueror, he had almost become the ruler of the whole country. He knew only one language: the language of war, the language of conquering. He had conquered everything that was worth conquering; he had become the richest man in the country. Now somebody said that all these worldly possessions are of no use unless you conquer the inner kingdom. "Unless you attain DHYANA, SAMADHI, unless you attain inner ecstasy, these are useless."

So he said, "From where can I get it? You just show me the place; I will conquer it." He knew only one language: of conquering.

Ecstasy cannot be conquered. On the contrary, you have to allow it to conquer you. You cannot conquer it; you have to surrender to it. It conquers you. You cannot possess it, you have to allow it to possess you. That is the only way. But that was a language he had never known.

Somebody said, "Mahavir is right nearby, staying in the forest. You go to him. He has attained." So the king went there with a great army - the man knew only one language.

He surrounded the forest. Then he approached Mahavir. He thought, "If he surrenders without a fight, it is okay." So he went to Mahavir and he said, "I have come to conquer the kingdom you have attained, the kingdom of inner ecstasy."

Mahavir laughed. He said, "Good, your desire is good. But you seem to be absolutely unaware of what you are asking. It cannot be conquered by you. I HAVE got it here, but I cannot give it to you and you cannot conquer it."

The king said, "You don't be worried about it. You just show me where it is. You cannot give it? What do you mean? That you don't want to give it to me? I can force you to give it. I have not come across anything which cannot be conquered.

You simply show me where it is."

Mahavir must have felt a deep compassion in his heart for this man. Foolish, stupid, but that's how humanity is. He said, "You do one thing. There is no need to come to me. In your own capital there is a very poor man and he may want to bargain with you. He has also attained. You go to him."

The king had never heard the name of that poor man, but he said, "I will go." He went to that poor man. He was really a beggar, but with the same light in his eyes as Mahavir, with the same fragrance around him, with the same innocence.

He was sitting under a tree. The king said, "You are part of my kingdom and whatsoever you have attained - give it to me! Whatsoever you want in return, I am ready to give. Even if you want my whole kingdom, I will give it to you. But bring out, give me, your SAMADHI."

The man laughed. He said, "I can give you my life, it is in your hands, but I cannot give you SAMADHI. Not that I don't want to give it, but the very nature of it is such that it cannot be given. You will have to earn it."

The king said, "But I have never earned anything. I am a conqueror. Whatsoever I need, I simply conquer it. I'm not a businessman; I never earn anything. I am a KSHATRIYA, a warrior."

The beggar said, "But here, your swords won't do, nor your army. Here you will have to go alone, because it is a going inward. You have to go to your own center. And it cannot be given because you already have it. It has only to be known, discovered."

Our ignorance is the only reason that we don't have it. Not that we don't have it - - it has been always there - but we have forgotten it. We have become oblivious to it, our eyes have become clouded. The vision has lost the crystal clarity that is needed to rediscover it.

Have you watched? Sometimes you are trying to remember somebody's name.

You know it, and still it is not coming. You feel very puzzled. You say it is just on the tip of the tongue. You say, "I KNOW it," but if somebody insists, "If you know it, then why don't you tell it?" you say, "But it is not coming."

Have you watched this emptiness? You know the name, you know that you know it, but there is a gap. But that gap is not empty, that gap is not passive.

That gap is very active, intensely active. That gap is searching, that gap itself is in search for the forgotten name.

And another thing if you watch: somebody suggests some name and you say, "No, it is not that." This is beautiful. You don't know what is true, but you know what is false. You say, "That is not it." Somebody suggests some other name. You say, "No, even that is not it. I know what it is!" The gap is not just a dead gap; it is dynamic. It knows what is false, it knows what is not true, but it has forgotten the truth.

So if somebody is teaching you a false god, you will immediately understand.

There is no problem about it. If somebody is giving you a false thing, you will immediately understand it. You don't know what is true, you don't know what is truth, but you can immediately feel what is untrue, because the truth is hidden within you. You may have forgotten it, but you have not forgotten that it is there.

That's why, whenever you hear truth, suddenly something in you immediately perceives it. It is not a question of time. Others who cannot perceive it will think that you have been hypnotized. Argue, reason, think about it, brood then believe.

But whenever you hear truth, the very quality of it is such that immediately it fills your gap, because your own truth has been called.

Whenever you hear a truth, it is not coming from the outside. The outside is just an opportunity for the inside to open. Immediately, you know that this is true.

Not that you can argue about it, not that you can prove it, not that you are convinced by it, no. You are transformed by it, not convinced. It is a conversion, not a conviction.

AND A CERTAIN RULER ASKED HIM, SAYING, GOOD MASTER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?

Inherit? It cannot be inherited.

AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, WHY CALLEST THOU ME GOOD?

The man has said GOOD MASTER. You cannot deceive a man like Jesus. He was trying to flatter him: GOOD MASTER. In fact, to call him a master is enough because goodness is intrinsic to a master. To call him a good master is a repetition. A master, by being a master, is good. It is just flattery.

The man is a man of the world. He knows his manners. If you want something from somebody, you have to flatter and buttress him. The man was trying the ordinary diplomatic ways. The man may have been a disciple of Dale Carnegie: GOOD MASTER. When you are after somebody and you want something, you have to behave in such a way that he can be persuaded.

But you cannot deceive a man like Jesus, because he sees through and through you. He knows that you don't even know that he is a master, you don't believe that he is a master. But you call him GOOD MASTER.

AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, WHY CALLEST THOU ME GOOD? NONE IS GOOD, SAVE ONE, THAT IS, GOD.

How can man be good when man is by nature divided? Man is both good and bad, man is a polarity: a paradox, a contradiction. This has to be understood.

Even the greatest saint has within him the sinner. And the reverse is also true: the greatest sinner has a saint within him. Emphasis differs, but a saint is a sinner also and a sinner is a saint also. Maybe the saint was a sinner in the past, maybe the sinner will be a saint in the future. The only emphasis is in time, otherwise there is no difference. Only the emphasis differs. Real saints know it; only false, pseudo-saints don't know it. A pseudo-saint believes that he is simply saintly; there is no sinner in him. He is wrong, because where will the sinner go? Maybe the sinner has become inactive, non-functioning, but it is there. It can function any moment, it can uncoil any moment.

Go and behave with a saint the way he has not been expecting you to behave, and immediately you will see a different face arising. Immediately you will see that the man is annoyed, angry. He's no more that saintly man he was.

Something has changed. You worship him, touch his feet, and he is smiling. He has a different face.

Try the same thing sometimes with a sinner, a criminal. Go and touch his feet and just look at him. His face becomes saintly. When somebody touches your feet, you have to be a saint. What else can you do? And when somebody insults you, you have to be a sinner. What else can you do? Maybe ninety-nine percent a saint is a saint, but one percent the sinner is there. All great saints are aware of it.

Jesus says: WHY CALLEST THOU ME GOOD? NONE IS GOOD, SAVE ONE, THAT IS, GOD.

But there comes a point of transcendence. And those who transcend both the sinner and the saint - them we have been calling sages.

A saint is a very ordinary phenomenon. A sage is extraordinary. The sage is the transcendental. He's neither saint nor sinner. Remember, if you are trying to become a saint and trying to drop your sinner, the dropped sinner will remain hanging in your unconscious. A hangover will be there. If you are trying to become a sinner, then deep down, somewhere in the unconscious, the saint will wait to be realized sometime in future.

This happens: that saints go on dreaming about sins that they have forced themselves not to do. The dreams of saints are ugly because they are substitutions, and the dreams of sinners are very beautiful. Sinners always dream that they have become saints. A sinner can dream that he has become a Buddha, sitting under the Bodhi tree. But saints, so-called saints, are afraid of sleep. In sleep, their dreams reveal their inner reality. They have eloped with somebody's wife - because the dream is that part which you have been denying in your life.

A sage does not dream, because he has no polarity. He's just a witness. When you become a witness in your life, life becomes absolutely simple. I'm not talking about the simplicity that you can discipline yourself into. I'm talking about the simplicity that comes by being alert and aware, that comes automatically, spontaneously. And when you are aware, dreams drop. A moment comes when sleep becomes dreamless. When sleep is dreamless, the day becomes thoughtless. They go together. Then a man is just like a small child, a newborn babe. Jesus says that is the quality which is needed if you want to enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus said: THOU KNOWEST THE COMMANDMENTS, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT KILL, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.

Jesus said to that man, "You know the commandments. Follow them. If you want to enter into the kingdom of God, the eternal life, you know the commandments.

Every child knows them: DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT KILL, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER."

AND HE SAID, ALL THESE HAVE L KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP.

This is very meaningful. Jesus gave him the law because the man was too worldly. He was even trying to flatter Jesus: GOOD MASTER. And the man was too worldly because he was thinking to INHERIT eternal life. He knows only one language: of this world. The other world - he has not even heard about it.

Jesus told him to follow the law, the commandments of Moses. AND THE MAN SAID, ALL THESE HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP. What is the meaning of it?

The meaning is that you can follow all the commandments and still you will be missing the kingdom of God. Commandments are a lower-grade phenomenon.

The law is for those who are unaware; love is for those who are aware. Love is the higher law; law is the lower love. Law is followed by moralists; love is followed by people who are religious. Religion is not law, it is love.

Law has a discipline to it; it is a forced thing. It makes you robot-like. You move like a train moves on the track. Law moves in a fixed, routine way. It is mechanical.

Love has no outer discipline to it. Love is freedom. You move like a river, not like a railway train. You move like a river. By your own movement, you create the path. The path is not fixed. Anytime, the river can change it. Love is like a river, a freedom.

Love is a great responsibility because you are free and there is no outer discipline to keep you under control. There is only an inner feeling. Only that inner feeling gives you a discipline.

With law, you are always following a dead routine. It becomes part of your mechanical mind. You need not be responsible. You need not even bother about it; it becomes automatic. It is just like when you learn typing. You have to worry about it in the beginning, but then by and by it becomes a robot-like phenomenon. Then you can go on talking and typing, you can go on singing and typing. Your mind can think a thousand and one thoughts, and you can go on typing.

It is just like driving. When you start driving you have to be very alert because there is danger everywhere. But once you know how to drive, you can even have a few moments of sleep. That happens. Drivers who have been driving the whole night start sleeping for a few seconds between two and four o'clock. They are not even aware of it. Even when their eyes close they go on seeing the road because their eyes are so focused on the road that the road has become a part of them.

They can close their eyes and they go on seeing the road. They think that since they are seeing the road, they must be alert. Fifty percent of all accidents happen between two and four. Sometimes this too happens: that a driver becomes so attuned to driving that he can sleep with open eyes. Then it is even more dangerous. His eyes are open and he is fast asleep. And still he goes on driving.

Law has to be practiced. Love has to be lived not practiced. Love is as if you are moving in a wilderness. By your walking you create the path; the path is not already there waiting for you. It is a tremendous responsibility.

Jesus talked about the law. He must have seen the man, that he is a worldly man, a man of this world. He can follow the law.

But the man said: "All these I have been following and yet nothing has happened." But by just following the law, nothing happens. You can become perfectly moral but you will not become religious. Religion has nothing to do with law; it has something to do with grace and love. Religion has nothing to do with the rules that we have invented.

Those rules are social things. They are needed. They are just like rules of traffic:'keep to the left'. It has no ultimacy about it. If you keep to the right you are not committing a sin, but you will create trouble for yourself and others, because others are keeping to the left. If the whole country decides'keep to the right' then there is no problem: you keep to the right. In America, they keep to the right. In India, you keep to the left. When an American drives on an Indian road, it is dangerous because his mind is fixed: keep to the right. Both are good, nothing is wrong in it. Both are utilitarian; they are not ultimate. Love is ultimate. It has no utility about it.

Jesus talked about the law. "Follow the law!" The man might be able to understand that.

But the man said, "I have been doing all these things and nothing has happened."

Through law, nothing happens. Through law you live a comfortable life, convenient, but no revolution is possible through law.

If you don't follow the law you may be in trouble. If you follow the law you will not be in trouble, but no transformation will happen; you will not become a luminous soul. That has nothing to do with the law. NOW WHEN JESUS HEARD THESE THINGS, HE SAID UNTO HIM, YET LACKEST THOU ONE THING: SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE IT UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME, FOLLOW ME.

Jesus said, "If you have done all these things then only one thing is left that you have not done. That is, love." Love means sharing. Love means giving, without any thought of return, of reward. Whatsoever you have, give to those who don't have it. Share your being, distribute yourself.

YET LACKEST THOU ONE THING: SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE IT UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME, FOLLOW ME.

If you have fulfilled the law and nothing has happened, then try to fulfill the higher commandment of love. Jesus says, "Moses gave you the law, I give you love. Moses brought you the law, and I bring you a higher law of grace."

AND WHEN HE HEARD THIS, HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL: FOR HE WAS VERY RICH.

When a poor man hears this - "Go and distribute all that you have" - he may not feel sorrowful because he has nothing to give. He can say, "Yes, I am already poor and I have nothing to give." But a rich man who has much.... The more you have, the more miserly you become. The more you have, the more you cling to it and protect it. The more you have, the more afraid; the more you have, the less willing to share it. A poor man can share easily. The problem arises with a rich man.

Ordinarily we would think it should be otherwise, just the reverse: a rich man has so much that he can share. But he cannot share, because he has so much and he is afraid. If he shares he will be losing. A poor man has nothing to lose. That's why poor people are more loving than rich people. They can afford love because they have nothing to lose.

If you go into the villages of India, people are very poor but very loving. They don't have much - in fact they don't have anything - but they will always be ready to share. They will invite you to eat with them. They may not have enough for two, but they will always be willing to share it.

A rich man is bound to become sorrowful. He has so much. How can he just go and sell everything and distribute it? His whole identity is with riches: he is somebody because of all that he has. Remember, having becomes a substitute for being. If you have much, you think you are much. And once having is thought to be like your being it becomes difficult to share, because the less you have, the less will become your being. One clings because riches give you a feeling that you are full. If riches are gone, you will be empty.

Only in deep emptiness does God descend. Only in emptiness the door opens.

You are so full of worldly things that there is no space for the divine to enter in you. Jesus is simply saying, "Create a space. Create love."

Love and space always go together. Whenever you have too many things around you, love is suffocated and dies. It is very rare to find a man who is rich AND loving - very rare.

People know it well. If you are a son of a rich man you know, if you are a wife of a rich man you know, if you are a husband of a rich woman you know that rich people are not loving. They are always afraid. Love seems dangerous because when you love you have to share. That is the fear.

AND WHEN HE HEARD THIS, HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL: BECAUSE HE WAS VERY RICH.

AND WHEN JESUS SAW THAT HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL, HE SAID, HOW HARDLY SHALL THEY THAT HAVE RICHES ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD! FOR IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH A NEEDLE'S EYE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

ONE OF THE MOST PREGNANT SUTRAS OF JESUS: FOR IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH A NEEDLE'S EYE - which is impossible, but Jesus says even that is easier - THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Why is it so difficult? Because the more you possess, the less you can love. And love is the door. Or, the less you can love, the more you start possessing things.

Things become a substitute.

Let us try to understand it. A child is born. If the mother loves him, psychoanalysts have been studying, much research has been done - if the mother loves him, the child never drinks too much milk, never, because he knows, it is a tacit understanding, that the mother is always available and she's always ready to share. So what is the fear? If the mother loves the child, the child will drink only as much milk as is needed. If the child is loved, you will never see a big belly in the child. The child will be proportionate. In fact the mother will be constantly worried that the child is not eating or drinking or taking as much food as needed. But the child has understood that whenever the need arises, the mother is there. He can rely on love.

But if the mother does not love the child, then he is afraid for the future. Love is not there, the tacit understanding is not there, so whenever he gets the opportunity he will eat as much as he can, he will drink as much milk as he can.

Now he is already becoming a miser; he has already started accumulating things - in the body. He's afraid. Who knows about tomorrow? This mother is not reliable; he has to accumulate for emergencies. So he will accumulate fat, eat more.

People who have not been loved in their childhood continue to eat more. No dieting can help unless love arises. They will eat; eating has become a substitute for love. If somebody loves them, they will immediately see that their overeating has stopped.

Love and food both come from the mother's breast. The first experience of love is from the mother's breast and the first experience of food is also from the mother's breast. So love and food become associated. If there is less love, it has to be substituted for by more food, If love is enough, you can afford not to eat much. There is no need. Have you watched it? Whenever you fall in deep love, hunger disappears. You don't feel hungry. Love fulfills so deeply that you feel full. Then one starts eating less and less.

One woman was talking to me. She was very puzzled. Her husband had died and she told me, "One thing I have been keeping a secret. I have not told it to anybody because nobody will understand. But you may understand, so I'm telling you. And I will be unburdened whether you understand or not. But please don't tell this to anybody."

I said, "What has happened?"

She said, "When my husband died, at night I felt so hungry. The corpse was Lying in the house.'What will people think if I go to eat?' The whole family was awake, relatives had come and many friends were there together. And I felt such a deep hunger, such as I have never felt."

So she had to go in her own kitchen like a thief. In darkness, she ate. And now, since then, she has been feeling guilty. "My husband had died. Was that the time to feel hungry? His corpse was Lying there. I was like a thief, eating in darkness in my kitchen." She asked me, "What happened?"

I said, "It is a simple fact. The person you loved died. Immediately, you felt empty. Now that emptiness had to be filled by something."

Since then I have been talking to many people and I have come to the conclusion that whenever you are sad, you eat more. Whenever you are in a deep sorrow, you feel more hungry. Whenever you are happy, flowing, cheerful and loving, and love is showering on you, who bothers to eat much? Even a small amount of food is enough nourishment then, because love is giving so much nourishment.

People who can't love will always become misers: possessive, accumulators of things. People who accumulate things can't love, and those who can't love - how can they enter into the kingdom of God? Yes, Jesus is right: FOR IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH A NEEDLE'S EYE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Not that Jesus is condemning riches. He is condemning possessiveness. If this man, hearing that Jesus said to go and distribute all, would have said, "Wait! I am going, and I will distribute all. Then I am coming to follow you," there is every possibility Jesus would have said there is no need. If the man was ready to share, he may have remained a rich man AND entered the kingdom of God. The question is not of riches; the question is of possessiveness. Riches are not blocking the way. Possessiveness is blocking the way.

AND THEY THAT HEARD IT SAID, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?

People must have become very much apprehensive about themselves. Jesus says, "It is impossible for a rich man to enter." The people ask: WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED? - because everybody is a little rich, more or less. Everybody has something, everybody has accumulated something. Nobody is so poor that he has nothing. And nobody is so rich that he has everything.

Even the poorest has his own clinging, and the richest yet has his own ambitions.

Even a beggar is rich because he has something which he clings to. It may be just a begging-bowl, but it doesn't matter whether it's a kingdom or a begging bowl.

The question is not of the objects you possess; the question is whether you are possessive. You can have a kingdom non-possessively, and you can be a beggar and very possessive.

So when Jesus says that a rich man cannot enter into the kingdom of God, he's talking about the man who is possessive, who is miserly, the man who is closed and cannot share, the man who cannot participate in life - who remains afraid and becomes an island unto himself, who separates himself from the whole and becomes a closed thing, who remains in a cocoon. This man is what Jesus means by a rich man.

And they heard and asked: WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?

AND HE SAID, THE THINGS WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITH MAN ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

That's what Jesus brings to the world: the law of grace.

He said, "That is not the point. Who can be saved is not the point." If it depends on humanity, then nobody is capable of being saved. If it depends on you, then again and again you will find something within you which will be a hindrance.

But once you understand your helplessness - and once you cry, and once you raise your eyes towards the sky and ask for His help - then that which is impossible with man becomes possible with God.

Jesus says: "Ask, and it shall be given. Knock, and the doors shall be opened unto you." But because of your ego, you have not even knocked. Because of the ego, you have not even asked. That's why things are impossible.

If you are helpless and a prayer arises in your helplessness, immediately the impossible becomes possible. But the ego has to be dropped. Only then, grace functions. Grace functions only when the ego is not there. When you are empty, suddenly you are no more a part of the world of gravitation. You have become part of the world of grace.

I was reading Emerson. He says a very beautiful thing. He says sin is not just breaking the law. "Sin is not just breaking the law, but failing to discover the adventure at the very heart of living." It is not just a question of breaking the law that makes you become a sinner. You become a sinner if you are not adventurous, if you are not continuously in search of your innermost being. If you are not continuously in search of a higher and higher bliss, if your life is not an adventure in living, if you have become a dead fossil - you drag on - then it becomes a sin.

One of the great Christian thinkers, Fosdick, was asked once, "What is sin?"

In a very humorous way he said, "Sin is three things: the three letters of the word sin.'S' stands for stinking stupidity, stubbornness, skepticism;'N' for nagging negativity, nervousness, neurosis, narcissism, nihilism; and between the stinking'S' and the nagging'N' is'I' - the ego."

Once you drop that'I', sin disappears. Then there is no sin. But that'I' is very stubborn. It is stupid... but very reluctant to go.

Just the other night I was reading a poem by Howard Nimrov: "You have lost your religion," the rabbi said.

"It was not much to keep," said I.

"You should affirm the spirits," said he, "and the communal solidarity."

"I don't feel so solid." I said.

"We are the people of the Book," the rabbi said.

"Not of the phone book," said I.

"Ours is a great tradition," said he, "and a wonderful history."

"But history is over," I said.

"We Jews are creative people," the rabbi said.

"Make something then," said I.

"In science and in art," said he, "violinists and physicists have we."

"Fiddle and physic, indeed," I said.

"Stubborn and stiff-necked," the rabbi cried.

"The pain you give me," said I.

"Instead of bowing down," said he, "you go on in your obstinacy."

"We Jews are that way," I replied.

But not only Jews are that way. Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, Jains - everybody is that way. Obstinate, reluctant, resistant, stubborn. One goes on fighting, fighting for the ego which is killing you. One goes on saving the ego which is a poison in your system. One goes on seeking ways and means of how to rationalize that you are not an egoist: how to protect the ego, how to compete with it, for it, how to struggle for it.

There are only two types of people in the world. One, those who go on protecting their ego. They are protecting their own death, they are protecting all that is foolish and stupid, they are protecting their ignorance. Then they go on being miserable and they ask how to be happy. Then there is the other type, very rare people, who see the whole thing, the whole stupidity of it: that'I' is the only problem.

Not that God is not there, not that bliss is not possible. Things which are impossible for man are possible for God, but then you have to disappear completely. You have to give way; you have to bow down, surrender.

In that surrender, what Jesus calls poverty - the inner poverty of the spirit - arises. What Buddha calls emptiness. In that emptiness, you are open. The breeze of God can flow through you, and birds of God can sing within you, and the rivers of God can dance within you. But then you not there.

You are the only problem. There is no other problem. All other problems are byproducts of the basic problem. The basic problem is the ego. 'Jesus on the cross' is a symbol that the ego has to be crucified. The third day after Jesus died on the cross, he was resurrected. A totally different being. Luminous. Not made of matter, but made of spirit; not born out of the earth, but out of heaven. A totally different type of being. But that happened only when'Jesus' died. Before that, he was son of man. After that, he was son of God.

And everybody has to pass that cross. Jesus goes on saying, "Come, follow me.

But every day you will have to carry your cross... until you die."

Right he is. That truth is a universal truth. It has nothing to do with Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Zarathustra. Even when they were not in the world, this truth was there. And it will always be so. When people have completely forgotten about Jesus and Krishna, the truth will remain the same. Jesus, Krishna or Buddha - they don't bring the truth to the world; they simply rediscover it. They simply reveal it again, they uncover it. Then again, because of our egos and ignorance, the curtain falls on it.

Everybody has to pass through the death which brings resurrection. A rich man, one who possesses much, is afraid to lose what he possesses, because if he loses it, the ego will be lost. The'I' will disappear. Then comes fear; one starts trembling. If the'I' disappears, then what is the point? Then who will enter the kingdom of God?

One day I was talking to a man - a very intelligent man, a professor in a certain university - and he said, "I can understand. But if I disappear, then what is the point? Then who will enter in the kingdom of God? Then it is better to be here."

I told him George Bernard Shaw's last words. Just a few minutes before he died, he opened his eyes and he said, "I would like to go to heaven. But if I am not the first there, then it is better: I will choose hell. But I want to be first at any cost. Even hell is good if I am first there! And if I am number two, even heaven is not worth it."

The'I' always wants to be the first. If you can enter heaven without the'I', it seems pointless. With the'I', even hell seems to be meaningful.

What is this'I'? Have you ever watched, have you ever brooded, meditated, have you ever closed your eyes and observed where it is? You will not find it anywhere. It is just a thought, a concept. It is not there anywhere, it is not a reality. It is an illusion.

If you can see the illusion: that it is not there, you have simply believed in it.... It was needed. It has a social function. It was needed just like you need a name. The name is not real; it has been given to you. When you came into the world, you came without a name. You were perfect. Nothing was lacking. But the name was needed, because otherwise how could others call you, how could others address you? A name was needed. The name has a function.

The same is true with the'I'. When a person is born, he has no ego. The name is for others to call one and the'I' is to call oneself. If you are talking about yourself, how will you talk? You have to use something. That'I' is just a linguistic device.'I' is to use for yourself; your name is to be used by others. Both are linguistic devices.

Language is society. Silence is God. In deep silence, all names disappear, all words disappear. Language itself disappears. And this is the paradox: then, for the first time, you are - in your reality, in your intrinsic reality, in your authentic reality. When you are not, only then you are. When you are, you simply appear to be. You are not.

Jesus said to that man: YET THOU LACKEST ONE THING: SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME, FOLLOW ME.

That is the only way to follow Jesus or Buddha. You cannot follow unless you love so deeply that you are ready to share everything and all. Not only things.

You are ready to share your being.

The courage to love is the greatest courage. That is the only way to follow Jesus, that is the only way to become a Christian. By going to church every Sunday you don't become a Christian, by reading the Bible every day you don't become a Christian, but by sharing your love you become a Christian. But that Christianity has nothing to do with Christianity. That Christianity is the essential religion.

That is essential Hinduism also, that is essential Judaism also. That is the essential religion itself.

Love is the essential religion. Law is to live with man; love is to live with God.

Follow the law because you are part of the society. Follow love, because you are even more a part of God.

Society is temporary. God is eternal. Society is just made by man; it is just a human creation. Be part of it: follow the law. That is necessary, but not enough.

Needed, but it can't be a fulfillment. Follow the law, but live love. That is the only way to follow Jesus.

His invitation is open: COME, FOLLOW ME. But if you are egoistic, you will not hear the invitation. If you are too possessive, miserly, afraid, you will not be able to step into the world of love. But I tell you, unless you step into the world, you have not lived at all. There is no life except love, and there is no God except love.

Love is the SUMMUM BONUM.

Enough for today


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