Chapter title: And the Word was Made Flesh
21 October 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India
Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 4, 01
Come Follow To You, Vol 4
Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth
Talks given from 21/12/75 am to 31/12/75 am
1991 republished as four volumes under the title "Come Follow To You".
Come Follow To You, Vol 4
Chapter title: This in remembrance of me
21 December 1975 am in Buddha Hall
1 NOW BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, WHEN JESUS KNEW THAT HIS HOUR WAS COME THAT HE SHOULD DEPART OUT OF THIS WORLD UNTO THE FATHER, HAVING LOVED HIS OWN WHICH WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM UNTO THE END.
Matthew 26 17 NOW THE FIRST DAY OF THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD THE DISCIPLES CAME TO JESUS, SAYING UNTO HIM: WHERE WILT THOU THAT WE PREPARE FOR THEE TO EAT THE PASSOVER? 18 AND HE SAID: GO INTO THE CITY TO SUCH A MAN, AND SAY UNTO HIM: THE MASTER SAITH, MY TIME IS AT HAND; I WILL KEEP THE PASSOVER AT THY HOUSE WITH MY DISCIPLES.
19 AND THE DISCIPLES DID AS JESUS HAD APPOINTED THEM; AND THEY MADE READY THE PASSOVER. 14
14 AND WHEN THE HOUR WAS COME, HE SAT DOWN, AND THE TWELVE APOSTLES WITH HIM.
15 AND HE SAID UNTO THEM: WITH DESIRE I HAVE DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER WITH YOU BEFORE I SUFFER:
16 FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, I WILL NOT ANY MORE EAT THEREOF, UNTIL IT BE FULFILLED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
17 AND HE TOOK THE CUP, AND GAVE THANKS, AND SAID: TAKE THIS, AND DIVIDE IT AMONG YOURSELVES: 18 FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, I WILL NOT DRINK OF THE FRUIT OF THE VINE, UNTIL THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHALL COME.
19 AND HE TOOK BREAD, AND GAVE THANKS, AND BRAKE IT, AND GAVE UNTO THEM, SAYING: THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.
20 LIKEWISE ALSO THE CUP AFTER SUPPER, SAYING: THIS CUP IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU.
THE great German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, was on his death-bed in much pain and suffering. One evening, just before he died, he cried loudly,'Ah, my God!'
The doctor who Was attending to him was surprised because there was no place for God in Schopenhauer's philosophy. So he said, 'Sir, is there any place for God in your philosophy?' Schopenhauer opened his eyes and said,'In suffering, philosophy without God is insufficient.' The word 'insufficient' is very significant. Let us contemplate on it a little more.
Even on his death-bed, Schopenhauer remains a philosopher. A philosopher goes on thinking about God, at the most, as a hypothesis: sufficient or insufficient? But God remains, more or less, a hypothetical thing. God is not reality. Maybe the concept is needed because it is difficult to explain many things without it, but the hypothesis is a hypothesis and can be discarded at any moment. Any moment that we can explain life without Him, We will be ready to explain life without Him.
God is not life. Rather, He is a hypothesis to explain the mystery of life. A hypothesis is a need of ignorance. When man becomes more and more knowledgeable, the darkness of ignorance is pushed away more and more. God will be thrown, God will be dethroned because then He will not be needed.
Schopenhauer says,'In suffering, a philosophy without God is insufficient.' In suffering man feels his helplessness: fear, death, pain, and there is no explanation for it. The suffering is so much, and unexplained. Then one cries out of fear, anguish, anxiety, 'Ah God, my God!' But this God is bogus. It may be a need of human frailty, human limitation; it may be a need of human weakness, human helplessness, but it is not reality. It is not that you have come to realize the truth of it. At the most, it is NEEDED. You feel too much alone, in the dark, without the concept of God. At the most, it is a make-believe. It helps, it consoles, it gives a certain comfort when comfort is needed. It is what Marx calls 'the opium'. In suffering, opium is needed - something through which you can forget the suffering - but this is not the true God. The God of the philosophers is not a true God.
Then there is another God - the true God. The true God is not a hypothesis, it is a realization. And the true God reveals more when you are celebrating than when you are in suffering.
Just try to understand this: whenever you are happy you don't need God. Who needs God when one is happy and enjoying life, full of energy and vigor? When life is a fulfillment who needs God? Then the philosophy is sufficient without God. In happiness, nobody remembers God. If you remember God when you are happy, there is more possibility to know Him than when you remember Him in suffering, because in suffering everybody remembers. It depends more on suffering than on you. It is part of a suffering mind that it feels helpless. If you can remember God while celebrating, it is not natural; it is supernatural. While you are perfectly happy and feeling fulfilled, each moment of life is being lived in delight, you are flowing, nothing seems impossible, you are succeeding, nothing seems far away, beyond your reach, you are at the peak of your life, young, alive, it is unnatural to remember God then. But if you remember Him then, there is more possibility of encountering the reality of God.
Why? - because in the first place it is almost impossible to remember. If you remember while you are happy, then you are already moving out of the unconscious. You are making a conscious effort; you are already awakening; you are no more asleep. In sleep things simply happen to you. When you become a little more awake, then you are not just a victim, then you can choose.
Remember this: the God which you remember in suffering is just a projection of your mind. The God which you remember in celebration is no more a projection of your mind, because mind is perfectly satisfied when you are happy. Mind means philosophy. When you are unhappy, then the mind is not sufficient - then you need somebody's help, then you need somebody's shoulder to lean upon; then you invoke God. The God of Schopenhauer is false.
Now let me tell you another anecdote.
It happened in Pascal's life. One evening, for no reason whatsoever, he was feeling very, very happy.
And remember this, that whenever happiness comes to you, it comes for no reason at all. Suffering has a cause, happiness none. Suffering is caused by something. It is part of cause and effect: the mechanical world. Happiness is not caused by anything. Whenever you are available, it happens, as if happiness is your nature; whenever you settle into it, it happens. Unhappiness is not your nature. It has to be caused, it has to be created.
Remember, others can cause suffering for you, but they cannot cause happiness.
Once you understand this, they cannot even cause suffering. You can cause suffering for others, you cannot cause happiness. Once you understand this, you stop causing suffering also. Suffering is part of the cause-and-effect chain.
Happiness is a spontaneous arousal of life. Where there is no cause for suffering, suddenly it is there. It has always been there, but you have been too focused on suffering.
That's why Buddha says,'Don't be worried about happiness, about bliss. Don't talk about SATCHITANAND, don't talk about ultimate bliss - there is no need.
Just know how not to cause suffering.' If suffering is not there, the very absence of suffering is bliss, because bliss is your intrinsic nature. It is not something that comes from the outside.
Watch: whenever suffering is felt, you will always feel as if it is coming from the outside, and whenever you feel happy, you simply feel that happiness is arising from within you. Happiness is a flower of your own consciousness. Suffering is a thorn which has entered into you: alien, foreign, not of you. So whenever you suffer you start thinking that somebody, somewhere, must be responsible for it; known, not known, but somebody must be responsible for it. Whenever you are happy you never think that somebody is responsible for it. Whenever you suffer, you enquire as to the cause. Whenever you are happy, you never even ask.
If somebody is happy and he asks,'Why am I happy?' it will look absurd, it will look foolish, it will look mad. You are happy - that's all. There is no 'why' to it.
But if somebody in suffering asks,'Why am I in suffering?' nobody can say that he is asking irrelevant things.'Why' with suffering is relevant, with bliss it is irrelevant.
One evening Pascal was feeling happy, suddenly, for no visible cause - because there is none. He was happy, calm and collected; quietly the inner river was flowing; there was no blocking, the flow was perfect. Floating, in a deep let-go, he fell asleep. In the middle of the night suddenly he awoke, and he was so happy that he couldn't believe it - happiness was showering from everywhere! He danced - he had never danced. He started singing and he wrote a few lines on paper. These are the lines: 'Fire - God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God of Jesus, not of the philosophers and the scientists.
Certainty, certainty, feeling, joy, peace; the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy!' The next morning he was a totally different man. People who had known him for his whole life could not recognize him. He sewed the piece of paper in his coat and carried it the whole of his, life. Sometimes, suddenly he would look, read the lines and his face would again become radiant; again he would remember. Even the remembrance of that experience would bring the experience again to him. It was a deep inner orgasm.
Let me repeat: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - God of very simple men, ordinary men: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; God of Jesus, not of the philosophers - not of Hegel, Kant and Schopenhauer; God of very ordinary people: of Kabir, of Meera - not of Radhakrishna, not of philosophers. Then, it is a fire in which you are burnt completely, in which you disappear and only God remains.
Whenever the real God is faced, you disappear. There is a Jewish saying: Nobody can see the living God. True, absolutely true. Nobody has ever seen the living God, because before you open your eyes, you are gone. It is fire. It burns you utterly and there is no coming back. It is the point of no return. Remember that whenever Jesus talks about God, he talks about this fire.
So, the God can be approached in two ways. In suffering, in old age, on the death-bed, you can take SANNYAS, as it has been done in India for centuries.
When you are dying, the life is slipping out of your hands and you cannot cling anymore; in that impotence you say,'I renounce.' Just look at the absurdity of it: when life is renouncing you, you go on playing the ego game; you say,'I renounce. Wait a minute more; life is renouncing you itself. You are already being carried towards the rubbish heap! It is said that one day Diogenes and Alexander went out of the town for a morning walk. They came across a cemetery and Diogenes started looking at the skulls and the bones, and there was a big heap. Alexander was disgusted and he said,'What are you doing?' He said,'I am looking for your father's skull. He was such a great emperor, your father. Come please, because I cannot recognize which one is your father's skull.
You may be able to recognize it because he was your father. And don't feel so disgusted, because sooner or later we will be on this heap also, and nobody will be able to recognize! Remember Alexander, nobody will even be able to recognize who was who.' When you are on your death-bed, just being carried toward the grave, then you start thinking of God. You have missed the opportunity. When you were young, you had something to offer to Him. Now you have nothing; you are a wasted opportunity. You are already empty, hollow. Now there is nothing to give to Him. How can you offer yourself to Him? - you have nothing to offer. The song that you could have sung, you never sang; the dance that could have been your life, you missed; the flower that could have been offered to Him, you never helped it to open. In fact, you did all that was just the contrary, just the opposite of it. And then you think of renouncing, and then you think of God, and then you think of prayer. When the heart is already dead, you think of prayer....
Remember this: while you are flowing and young, that is the moment of sannyas, that is the moment of offering yourself to God. Don't postpone it. All postponement is dangerous, because with the very idea of postponing there is no end to it. You will go on postponing.
The God of Jesus is the God of youth. He died very young. He offered himself very young; he was fresh, he was young. He was at the very peak, only thirtythree when he offered himself; and he offered himself totally. That is the meaning of crucifixion, that is the meaning of sannyas. He was a sannyasin. He offered himself totally When you offer totally, it means death.
While you still have life, offer it to God. It will look like death, but it will become a resurrection. If you give yourself totally, God will give Himself totally to you.
You will lose nothing; you will gain much. For nothing, you will gain the Whole.
There are a few lines from T. S. Eliot. You must have heard them. They are of the most beautiful poems of this century: Between the idea and the reality, between the notion and the act falls the shadow.
Between the conception and the creation, between the emotion and the response falls the shadow.
Between the desire and the spasm, between the potency and the existence, between the essence and the descent falls the shadow.
That shadow is the ego. Nothing is hindering you except your idea of'I am'. The more you feel you are, the farther you are from God. The more you dissolve your'I am-ness', the closer and closer you come to Him. Jesus crucified is nothing but a symbol of the ego crucified, the ego dissolved. Then the shadow disappears, and that shadow is hiding the reality.' Between the idea and the reality, between the notion and the act falls the shadow' - and that shadow is yours. The bigger you think you are, the bigger is the shadow. The smaller you think you are, the smaller is the shadow. And if you think that you are not, the shadow disappears. Once the shadow disappears, you know what reality is.
Now, the sutras: NOW BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, WHEN JESUS KNEW THAT HIS HOUR WAS COME THAT HE SHOULD DEPART OUT OF THIS WORLD UNTO THE FATHER, HAVING LOVED HIS OWN WHICH WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM UNTO THE END.
If the shadow disappears, suddenly you know eternity. If the shadow disappears, the division of time disappears. Then there is no past and there is no future; then there is no present also, just eternity. Then you see through and through. That's why Jesus could feel that his hour had come, the time had come, and he was to depart from this world. You cannot even see when death knocks on your door; you think that some guest has come, you think that maybe it is just the wind blowing. You cannot see death because you have not even seen life.
You cannot see into the future because you are missing even the present. The present is the door.
Remember that the present contains all past, and the present contains all future.
In fact, the moment of present is eternal: nothing comes and nothing goes. It is always there; only we come and go, only we come and pass. The reality is always there in eternity. The divisions of past present and future are the divisions of our own minds, because we cannot see the total. Our eyes are very, very small; we cannot see. Our window is too small, so we can only see the parts.
Have you observed that even with a small pebble, you cannot look at its totality? When you look to one side, the other side is hiding. You know the whole pebble is in your hand - it is just on your palm, but you cannot see. It is such a small pebble, but you cannot see its totality in one glimpse. First you see one side, then you turn and you see another side, and you will never be able to see both sides together. Then, just in your imagination, you join both sides and think that you know the whole pebble. If you cannot see a small pebble in its totality, how can you see the reality in its totality? You see just parts of it.
Because of this limited vision, that which has passed before your eyes becomes the past, that which has not passed yet and will be passing is the future, and that which is passing just between the two is the present.
If there is a God - I say 'if' because of you, not because of me - if there is a God, there cannot be any past because nothing will ever pass beyond His vision, and there cannot be any future because nothing can be which is not yet in His vision.
For God, only present exists. So to say'God was' is wrong; to say'God will be' is wrong. God is. In fact, to say'God is' is also repetitive, because God means isness. To say'God is' is just to repeat the same thing again and again. It is as if to say 'is-ness is'.
A man like Jesus, whose shadow has disappeared and nothing else is to be renounced, just the shadow, can see when his hour has come, that he is going to depart. But it is not death. He knows that he is going to depart from the earth, but that departure is going to become a meeting with the Father. Jesus goes on using this beautiful word'Father' again and again. Contemplate upon it. The moment you say'Father', God becomes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
When you say'God', it is already a concept in philosophy. When you say'Father', an immediate personal relationship arises. Then you are not far off. You may have gone astray, but you remain the son. Even the one who has become absolutely corrupt is still the son. Even the one who has sinned, who has gone far away and has forgotten his Father, still remains the son - because there is no way to renounce your son-ship. Once a son, forever a son. And when you say'Father', God is not a concept; it becomes a relationship. It is not a word, it throbs with life. Now it has a heart. Once you say'Father', suddenly you feel that the whole existence has a deep compassion for you, just like a father. You can sin and you can ask to be forgiven - that's the beauty of Jesus.
In India we have missed that. In India we have been very calculating and very philosophical. We say,'If you have sinned, if you have done bad KARMAS, then you have to do good karmas to cancel them.' Because the God is more or less a philosophical concept; He is just. Whatsoever you have done, in the same coins you will be repaid; whatsoever you have sown, you will have to cut and reap.
God is just, ultimate justice. But when Jesus says,'Father', God is more compassion and love than justice. Remember, if God is compassion, sometimes He can forgive. If He is simply just, He cannot forgive; you cannot ask for his mercy. And Jesus says that man is so ignorant, and man has committed so many sins, that if man has to cancel them by doing good deeds, it is almost impossible.
Unless God's grace descends, man cannot be saved. When Jesus says'Father' he means all these things.
The simple word 'father' implies much. It is a relationship, a love relationship.
You can ask to be forgiven and He will have to forgive you. In fact, he is not a stranger. You need not be shy; you can confess, you can depend, and you can trust that He loves you. And His love is greater than your sin, His compassion greater than your mistakes, than your errors. He is greater than your ignorance; His light is more than your darkness. When Jesus says'Father', he creates a possibility for prayer. If God is just a bare concept, then how can you pray to a bare concept? You cannot pray to the absolute, you cannot pray to the BRAHMAN, because prayer will be absurd. You can pray to the Father; you can ask like a small child. In fact, you can DEMAND to be forgiven and you can trust. Prayer is fruitful because the existence is related to you. Existence has invested much in you, you are nothing but its extensions. That is the meaning of 'son' and 'father'.
What is a son? - an extension of the father. The father continues in the son; it is a continuum, a continuity, a replica, a reflection. Prayer is possible with Jesus.
Prayer is not possible with Shankara; the God is absolute Brahman. You can change your life, and through your change you can achieve to Him. But Jesus says,'Pray, and the transformation will follow. The transformation is bound to follow. You pray. Don't you go on carrying the burden. You just say to Him, "Forgive us."' NOW BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, WHEN JESUS KNEW THAT HIS HOUR WAS COME THAT HE SHOULD DEPART OUT OF THIS WORLD UNTO THE FATHER, HAVING LOVED HIS OWN WHICH WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM UNTO THE END.
In fact, love is always 'unto the end'. If you love, you love forever. If you don't love, only then does love change. Love is eternal. Once you love, now there is no way to go back. Love is such a phenomenon: it absorbs you, it does not leave you outside. You cannot cancel it. You cannot say,'Now I have moved backwards.' There is no going back. Love is a total commitment. And unless it is total and whole it may be something else, a false coin, but it is not love.
... HAVING LOVED HIM OWN WHO WERE IN THE WORLD...
Who are these 'his own'? - the disciples, those who opened their hearts to his light, those who opened their beings to his being, those who loved him, and loved him so tremendously that they trusted him.
Trust is the greatest thing in the world that can happen to a man, because it is the most impossible thing. To trust somebody else is almost impossible, because doubt continues. Howsoever you trust, the other is the other. Who knows? How can you penetrate the other? You can at the most know something ABOUT him.
You can know his biography, but the biography is always less than the man, and the man is still there, alive. The book is not yet closed; much more is still going to be added. Who knows? And man is freedom. The man may have been good up to now, but what about the next moment? The next moment he can change, he can suddenly change. He can throw all his past and move in a new direction. Who knows? How can you trust the other? It is the most absurd and impossible thing in the world. But impossibles also happen, and once they happen they give you a totally new being.
I will tell you one story where a painter has described the way he recognized his calling. Somebody asked him,'How did you become a painter?' The man had not been a painter up until his fiftieth year. He had lived as a broker, and you cannot imagine a broker becoming a painter. The callings are so different. The broker lives in the world of calculation, mathematics, logic - he lives in a very worldly world - and the painter is very unworldly. He lives in some unknown dimension. He looks like a fool. He has no logic, he lives an illogical life: uneconomical, unworldly. Somebody asked,'What has happened?' The painter described his calling in a parable:'The Parable of the Ducks' he called it. He said,'In this parable is the whole story of how I was transformed.' He was living in a certain part of France. It was autumn, when the ducks and the wild geese fly south.
'At the time of the migrations a strange trait is seen in the regions where duck and geese are in great numbers. The domestic birds are, as it were, magnetized by the wild birds' great triangular formations, and they themselves attempt an awkward flight but fall within a few feet. When the wild birds come, the domestic birds are magnetized by their triangular formations in the sky, by their flight, by their freedom. The domestic birds are magnetized and they also attempt, of course, an awkward flight. The call of the wild has been aroused in the strongest way possible. There is some strange vestige in the domestic birds.
Something has happened: something in their unconscious is suddenly aroused, something deep in their hearts is touched by the wild birds. For a moment, the farm ducks are changed into migratory birds. In that little hard head of theirs where small images of tides, worms and ants whirl about, there appear continental distances; the thirst for the sea winds and the vast expanse of the oceans, and the duck staggers from left to right in his fenced-in enclosure, caught by this sudden passion, not knowing where it is taking him, and by his vast love of an object which is unknown to him.
'Likewise man, gripped by evidence of something he is uncertain of, discovers this sudden truth of freedom. Just like the domestic duck, he is also unaware that his tiny head is large enough to contain oceans.' Whenever a Jesus walks by, you may be a domestic duck, but there comes a wild bird. Suddenly something in you is touched. Suddenly you are no more the domestic bird, no more in bondage, no more a GRASTHA, no more a householder. For a moment you have also become a sannyasin. Just the presence of a Jesus or a Buddha, and something which has always been asleep in you is awakened. He has touched your being - and the deep desire for freedom, and a deep desire to move into the sky, to go in search of the unknown. This is trust.
You cannot be certain of what has happened. You cannot be certain of what has touched your heart. You are uncertain, but this much is certain: that something was touched, and something which is so significant that you are ready to risk your whole life.
This is trust: the courage to risk your secure life for an unknown end. Nobody knows whether you will be able to reach or not. Nobody knows whether anybody has ever reached or not. But now, nothing matters. Now you are no more a calculator; now you take the jump. Now only this adventure has meaning, and nothing else; and you are ready to sacrifice everything for it. This is what Jesus means when he says that he has loved his own in this world.
You are my own. If I have touched your heart and released the desire, the utterly impossible desire to be free, if I have been a wild bird to you and I have broken the bondage of your domestic habits, and you are ready, even in an awkward way ready to fly, ready to try, then you are my own. Jesus says again and again,'Who is my family? - those who have understood me. Those who have recognized me, they are my brothers and sisters, they are my family.' He loved them unto the end, and only a Jesus CAN love.
Kahlil Gibran has written a parable. It is not reported in the Gospels. It may not have happened, but it seems absolutely true. If it has not happened, then it should have happened. But it IS true.
One day Jesus was walking, moving from one town to another. He came across a big garden, and under a tree he rested. The garden belonged to Mary Magdalene.
That's how for the first time Magdalene became aware of this man Jesus. She looked from her window. She was a famous prostitute, rich, and many rich men used to knock at her door. To attain to her love was very difficult; there was much competition. And she was one of the most beautiful women ever.
Suddenly she looked at Jesus and she forgot who she was. She came out of the house as if magnetized - the wild bird had brought the domestic bird out of its bondage. She went running; she forgot who she was. And this was just a wanderer, a vagabond. He must have looked like a hippy; he was poor and lived moment to moment. She awoke him and told him,'Young man, why are you resting here? Come into my house.' She became attracted to him. She fell in love.
Jesus said,'Next time when I am passing through this road, I will come into your house, but now I am rested and I have still far to go, a long distance. Thank you.
Next time if I pass, I will come.' She felt offended. She said,'You don't know who I am? Have you ever heard the name of Mary Magdalene?' Jesus said,'I know you, I have heard your name, I have looked at you, I recognize you. Thank you, but next time whenever I come, I will come into your house.' Mary Magdalene must have gone mad. She said,'I offer you my house, I offer you my heart and love. Can't you be a little polite, a little loving, a little compassionate?' And Jesus said,'Only I can love you, nobody else.' Here ends Kahlil Gibran's parable.
Jesus says,'Only I can love you, nobody else.' And that's true, because to love one has to BE love. How can you love when you have not become love yourself, when you have not attained to the state of love? How can you give it when you don't have it? You are like two beggars standing before each other, begging. Both are beggars, and both are hoping that the other is going to give! That's the misery of all lovers: two beggars asking for love. And when they don't get it they feel frustrated, they feel cheated, they feel the other is holding. Become a little more alert - the other has not got, as you have not got. Jesus is right when he says,'Only I can love you, and ONLY I can love you.' To love, one has to become love. To give, one has to have it in the first place.'He loved them unto the end' - and love knows only the beginning; it knows no end. In spite of everything it goes on loving. It is unconditional - it is its very nature to be unconditional. A conditional love is a form of hatred. A conditional love is a form of exploitation.
A conditional love is nothing but an infatuation, sexuality. Unconditional is the only way love can be. Wherever a condition comes in, love disappears. It cannot live in bondage, and a condition gives it an imprisonment. Love can only live like the vast sky. Love knows no boundaries.
NOW THE FIRST DAY OF THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD THE DISCIPLES CAME TO JESUS, SAYING UNTO HIM: WHERE WILT THOU THAT WE PREPARE FOR THEE TO EAT THE PASSOVER? - he had nowhere to go.
Jesus says to his disciples,'Even foxes have holes to take shelter, birds have their nests, but I have none.' That is the meaning of a sannyasin: a wanderer, homeless, not of this world, knowing well that it is only a journey. At the moment you can find some caravanserais here, but you cannot find the home here. In India we have two words: the world is called GRASTH - the word 'grasth' means home-obsessed, he who thinks that the world is the home; and SANNYASTH - one who has come to understand that the very existence here is homelessness. You may live in a home or not; that is not the point. But you understand that you are a stranger here, an overnight stay, and in the morning you go.
He had no home and the feast of the passover had come. The disciples asked,'Where should we go to celebrate this?' AND HE SAID: GO INTO THE CITY TO SUCH A MAN AND SAY UNTO HIM: THE MASTER SAITH, MY TIME IS AT HAND; I WILL KEEP THE PASSOVER AT THY HOUSE WITH MY DISCIPLES.
'The Master saith....' Only a Master can say that his time has come, because only a Master can see the future. Only for a Master is the future no more future; it is already here and now. You may take a little time to discover it, but it is already here and now, it has already arrived. The future is present. The more intense your consciousness, the more the future becomes present. If the intensity is total, the future disappears, the past disappears; there is only present.
AND THE DISCIPLES DID AS JESUS HAD APPOINTED THEM; AND THEY MADE READY THE PASSOVER. AND WHEN THE HOUR WAS COME, HE SAT DOWN, AND THE TWELVE APOSTLES WITH HIM. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM: WITH DESIRE I HAVE DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER WITH YOU BEFORE I SUFFER: Tremendously beautiful words, tremendously poetic! That's where Jesus is very unique. Even a Buddha will hesitate to use these words. Buddha will hesitate to use the word 'desire', and Jesus says,'With desire, I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.' Jesus is a unique synthesis of desire and desirelessness. An ordinary man is simply desire. An extraordinary man who has renounced the world becomes desirelessness. Jesus is both; he is a bridge. He lives in desire but lives in desirelessness also. He moves through the world but the world doesn't move through him. He never renounced the world, he never renounced any enjoyment that this world can give. On the contrary, he has made every delight of this world a celebration of God. Wherever he can find any enjoyment, he can always find a deep thankfulness towards God.
'With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you. Soon I am going to suffer.' And this is his humanness - the son of man. He is not only the son of God, he is also the son of man. Jesus is more human than Buddha, Mahavir - they are superhuman, almost inhumanly superhuman. They are more like statues of marble.
Jesus says,'I am going to suffer.' This is his beauty. He knows the deathless, but he also knows that which is going to suffer. He knows that his innermost being is immortal, but he also knows that his body is mortal. On the cross he cries, prays, almost shouts at God,'What are you doing to me? Have you forsaken me? Why this much suffering for me?' And immediately he says,'But let thy will be done, not mine.' These are the two opposites in him. On one point he is as human as any human being: fragile, weak, helpless. On another point he is as superhuman as any Buddha. That's why Jesus has a tremendous appeal. You can worship Buddha but you cannot become a fellow traveller with him. With Jesus it is different: you can take hold of his hand; you can become a fellow traveller with him. Jesus can be your friend, Buddha can only be your Master. Buddha has said that his next incarnation, sometime in the future, is going to be called'Maitreya' - the friend.
Jesus came after Buddha, five hundred years after. Maybe Buddha's indication was towards Jesus; MAITREYA, the friend. Jesus has a different quality: you can be friendly with him; you can sleep in the same room with him; you can eat on the same table with him; you can drink from the same pot. He is the friend, not only a guide. He is a friendly guide. He is almost like you, and these sentences, these sutras will show you.
'With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer, because soon I will be gone. This is going to be our last celebration together. And with desire I have desired to celebrate this passover, this feast.' With Mahavir, with Buddha, the word 'feast' will not suit;'fast', but not 'feast'. With Jesus it is 'feast', not 'fast'. It is always celebration, and celebrating SMALL things, celebrating small things. He does not create unnecessary problems. He does not force you to have a stony life, dry. He would like you to be green and flowering and alive, living an ordinary life. It is what Zen people call 'to be extraordinary in ordinariness'.
WITH DESIRE I HAVE DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER WITH YOU BEFORE I SUFFER.
Each suffering should be started in celebration. Then you change the quality of suffering itself. Each suffering should be welcomed through celebration; then the suffering is no more suffering.
FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, I WILL NOT ANY MORE EAT THEREOF, UNTIL IT BE FULFILLED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD - 'This is going to be my last food, this is going to be my last feast upon this earth.' AND HE TOOK THE CUP, AND GAVE THANKS, AND SAID: TAKE THIS, AND DIVIDE IT AMONG YOURSELVES: FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, I WILL NOT DRINK OF THE FRUIT OF THE VINE, UNTIL THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHALL COME.
You cannot think of Buddha drinking wine - impossible! But you can think of Jesus doing it. Jesus is superbly human. He accepts all that this life gives, and plus. Jesus' God is a plus; Buddha's God is a minus. Buddha says'God minus the world'; Jesus says'God plus the world.' Buddha's renunciation is negative; Jesus' renunciation is positive. And if you have to choose, choose Jesus, because THERE is more life. Unless you feel attuned to Buddha, unless you feel that your type fits with fasting rather than feasting; then of course Buddha is for you.
Otherwise don't force, otherwise don't try to cripple your life. Rather than crippling your life, enjoy it in the name of God. Make every enjoyment a deep gratitude, a deep thankfulness.
AND HE TOOK BREAD, AND GAVE THANKS, AND BRAKE IT, AND GAVE UNTO THEM, SAYING: THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.
He says,'This is my body'. The body is earth, the body is bread, the body is food; the body is nothing else. You eat and it is transformed into body. Then you die and the body settles into the earth. It becomes earth, then again it rises into fruit, into trees, into wheat, into a thousand-and-one things, and again it will be eaten.
The body is food. Jesus makes it a beautiful symbolic message, his last message.'Take this bread; this is my body which is given for you, and I give it to you.' Symbolically he is saying,'Soon I am going to give my body for you so that you can realize that which is beyond body. Soon the body will be crucified, but remember that I am beyond it. And whatsoever I have said to you and whatsoever I have lived with you, let it be like a food: deeply digested, transformed into your own blood, in your own bones, in your own marrow.
Don't allow me to remain just in your mind. Let me move deeply down into your body, so that I can become part of you.' This has to be understood. I say something to you - it can have two types of possibilities within you. One is that it may remain in the mind: you may become more knowledgeable, you may become a rabbi, a pundit, a scholar. That was not meant to be; you have misunderstood. Let it move deep down into the valley of your body. Let it become your blood, let it circulate, let it become your bones, let it become your breathing, let it become your very marrow so that you can live it.
It becomes your life. Not that it adds to your information; it adds to your BEING.
Let me be part of your being, not part of your knowledge. Eat me, drink me, absorb me, digest me.
And Jesus says,'THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME' - and continue to do it in remembrance of me.
Continue to absorb me deep in your being.
LIKEWISE ALSO THE CUP AFTER SUPPER, SAYING: THIS CUP IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU. And the same he did with the wine, the red wine. He said,'THIS CUP IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD...' You have heard about testaments, verbal testaments, but in blood? You have heard about testaments written in ink, but in blood? What does Jesus mean? He means: Unless I become your life, like your blood, futile was my being with you, futile was your being with me, fruitless. It was a wastage. Let me become your life. Let me come deep in you so that I am no more separate, so that I become your very heart and I can beat within you.
Unless a Master becomes your very heart, you are not yet a disciple. You may be a student, but not a disciple. You may be learning through him but you are not gaining being.
That last night, Jesus did not say much, but whatsoever he said had tremendous meaning in it. Much more must have happened in silence. Just his presence, and the very closeness of death and crucifixion - much must have happened, much must have been communicated through silence.
Let me tell you a story. Saint Louis, King of France, had been told of the high repute in which one mystic was held by many people. The mystic's name was Brother Igidio. The King heard so much about him that he travelled to the mountains where that mystic lived. The King went to visit the saint clad like a poor pilgrim, because when you go to a mystic you don't go like a king. When you go to a mystic you go like a beggar. You go with your heart like a begging bowl. If you go like a king you will miss, because the very ego, the shadow, will fall between you and the mystic.
Like a poor pilgrim he reached, knocked at the door and begged to see him. The door-keeper went to the mystic and told him that a stranger had come to see him.
Drunk with joy, he hastened to the door from his cell and there the two fell into each other's arms, greeting each other with a holy kiss. They fell down before each other as if they were old friends, and gave each other signs of devoted love, but neither of them said a word. They stayed like this, in total silence, until they bade each other farewell.
But when the other brothers came to know that the stranger was no one but the King of France himself, they were indignant and said to Igidio,'How could you be so stupid as to say nothing to so great a King who has come to see you and to hear you speak?' 'My dear brothers,' he replied,'do not be astonished that neither he nor I had anything to say to one another, for as soon as we embraced, his heart was open to me and mine to him, and we saw everything in the mirror of eternity. Silence said everything that can be said, and also that which cannot be said.' On that last meeting with the disciples this is all that was said, but there was much which was said without saying; the VERY presence was communicated. In fact, the last day with the disciples was the greatest day. That day, seeing that death was coming, they could not postpone, they could not say,'Tomorrow.' There was no tomorrow now; the Master would be gone. Now there is no future to postpone until. They had to be there with Jesus that night, all together. They didn't ask anything, because when death is coming nearer, how can you ask? That will be profane, sacrilegious. They were silent. In silence they must have eaten and drunk. The bread became Jesus, the wine became his blood.
That night Jesus transferred himself to them. The same that happened to Mahakashyap and Buddha with the flower, happened with Jesus and the disciples with the bread and wine. And remember, a flower is something not of this world. Buddha gave the flower; a flower is almost other-worldly. Jesus gave bread and wine; he is very earthly, earth-based. Bread and wine is something to eat. A flower you cannot eat, you can appreciate. A flower you cannot drink. It remains far away; there is a distance.
But bread will become your body; and wine? - the drunkenness that is the basic teaching of Jesus: Be drunk with God. Bread and wine, such small, ordinary, everyday things; he made them sacred on that night. He transformed the very earth into paradise.'In remembrance,' says Jesus,'do it.' And since that day, wherever a real Christian has existed - Christians are many, almost half of the earth, but I am not talking about those, but wherever a REAL Christian has existed - every day, whenever he has eaten or drunk, it is Jesus that he is eating, it is Jesus that he is drinking. Every small, ordinary thing has become a sacrament.
Enough for today
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