CropA 20Cup of Tea Chapter 1


¡b¿Also called Flowers of Love. Letters 151 to 350 are published in other books: The Silent Music 30 Turning In 30 What is meditation? 45 The Gateless Gate 30 The Dimensionless Dimension 35 The Eternal Message 30 ¡/b¿ 1. I received your letter. How lovingly you insist on my writing something, and here am I, drowned in a deep silence! I speak, I work, but I am steeped in emptiness within.

There, there is no movement. Thus I seem to be living two lives at one time. What a drama! But perhaps all of life is a drama and becoming aware of this opens the door to a unique freedom. That which is inaction in action stillness in motion eternity in change ­ that is truth and that is existence. Real life lies in this eternity ­ everything else is just the stream of dreams. In truth the world is just a dream and the question is not whether to leave these dreams or not, one just has to be aware of them. With this awareness, everything changes. The centre moves. A shift takes place from body to soul. And what is THERE? It cannot be told. It has never been told

and it never will be! There is no other way but to know it for oneself. Death is known only through dying and truth is known only through diving deep within oneself. May God drown you in this truth! 2 Love. I am in bliss. I have been meaning to write for a long time but many engagements prevented me. My blessings, however, I send every day. Life is a sadhana; the more you involve yourself in it the more divine it becomes. The light is hidden in the darkness, truth is hidden, and from THIS comes the joy of searching. I remember the words of a rishi: TRUTH IS HIDDEN UNDER A GOLDEN LID. The golden lid that hides truth is nothing but our mind. The mind has smothered us; we are in it,

we identify with it, therefore the suffering comes, the bondage and the chain of rebirths. Rise above it, become aware that you are distinct from it ­ that alone brings bliss, that alone is freedom and the end of birth and death. We have to be what we truly are: this is the only sadhana. It is the frustration of living through desires that brings this sadhana. Become alert about desire and non-attachment begins to appear. This is not to be made to happen, it follows naturally from awareness of attachment. Each one of us has to become aware of his attachments, and keep being so! Nothing should be done unconsciously. If this is remembered one day a totally new kind of revolution takes place in our consciousness. God is leading you towards this revolution ­ this I know.

3 My respects to you. I was extremely pleased to get your letter. So far I have not written anything but a meditation centre has started here where some friends are experimenting. When I have some definite results there is every possibility of my writing something. About my experiments on myself, I am sure and certain, but I want to test their usefulness to others. I do not want to write anything in the manner of philosophy, my outlook is scientific. I want to say something about yoga based on certain psychological and para-psychological experiments. There are many illusory notions held about it and these have to be refuted. Therefore I am experimenting here also. It is clear to me that this work is not for promoting any group or cause. If you ever come here we can talk more about all this. 4 My respects to you. I am grateful for your affectionate letter.

You are meditating ­ that is a matter for joy. Drop all ideas of achieving in meditation, just do it naturally; what happens, happens on its own. One day, effortlessly, everything starts happening by itself. Effort does not lead to meditation, in fact it is a hindrance. In effort, practice, study, there is tension. Any expectation, even the expectation of peace, brings restlessness. The tension has to go. As soon as this happens a divine peace sets in. Stop feeling: I AM DOING IT; realize instead: I LEAVE MYSELF IN THE HANDS OF THAT-WHICH-IS. Surrender, surrender yourself completely; as soon as you do this, emptiness comes. Breathing and the body are becoming relaxed, you say. This will happen with the mind too.

When the mind goes what takes place is indescribable. I know that this is going to happen to you both. Just go on naturally and without purpose. Soon I shall be there, until then, go on quietly with what I have told you to do. My respects to all. Write whenever you feel like it. I am in complete bliss. 5 Love. It is through God's grace that you are working towards the discovery of the inner light. That light is definitely there and once it is met all darkness in life disappears. Each step taken within peels away the darkness layer by layer unfolding a world of light in which everything is new. This experience cuts away all bondage ­ and then comes the realization that it was never there!

Liberation happens to that which is eternally free! I am pleased with your progress. Your letter was received long back but as I was busy there was delay in replying, but my memory of you is always there, along with all those eager for the light. My good wishes flow for ever towards them. We have to keep going. Many times one becomes disheartened on the path but ultimately the thirsty pilgrim reaches the spring. In fact the water is there before the thirst. My kind regards to all. 6 My respects to you. I was away, but your letter followed me here. I am pleased to have it. I see life as full of bliss. Ordinarily, we do not have the eyes to see this and so are deprived of it, but this seeing can be created. Perhaps it is not correct to say it can be created; it is already there, it is only a matter of opening the eyes,

and then ­ everything changes. Meditation achieves this. Meditation means: peace; emptiness. This emptiness is there but is concealed by the flow of thoughts. As thoughts cease it comes into view. It seems difficult to become free of thoughts but it is very simple. The mind seems very restless but it can easily settle. The key to this transcendence is witnessing. One has to be a witness, an observer of the mind. One has to watch it, just watch it. The moment the witness state dawns, that very moment one becomes free of thoughts. This in turn opens the door to bliss and then this very world changes into a new world altogether. Keep meditating. Results will come slowly. You are not to worry about that, their coming is certain.

My kind regards to all. 7 Love. It is a long time since I received your letter. I am happy that you long for peace ­ but drop this idea that you are way behind. Nobody is lagging behind. It is just a matter of turning in ­ and the drop becomes the ocean. Actually the drop IS the ocean but it does not know it ­ that is the only separation. In the emptiness of meditation even this separation goes. Meditation is the centre of life's sadhana. The thought process will slow down and in its place will come peace and emptiness. When thoughts vanish the seer, the witness, becomes visible and the complex of the unconscious disappears. This complex is the cause of bondage. In the beginning it appears as hard as stone but the seeker who practises patiently finds one day that it was just a dream,

a puff of air. May the seed of your meditation blossom into the flower of SAMADHI! My kind regards to all. The rest when we meet. 8 My respects to you. Moving around for the whole of May affected my health so all programmes for June: Bombay, Calcutta, Jaipur, were cancelled. I am glad to hear you are experimenting with SAMADHI YOGA. Don't worry about results, just be with the experimenting. The return is bound to come one day ­ not gradually but all of a sudden, effortlessly, without one's knowing, it happens. Within a moment life becomes wonderfully different! I am not writing anything on Bhagwan Mahavir at the moment. There is no urge whatsoever in me to write. But if you persuade me it is a different thing! Everything else is fine. 9 Love

I read your letter on the way here. It has touched my heart. If your desire to know life's truth becomes strong then what is longing today becomes one day the attainment. Burning desire is all that is needed and nothing else. As rivers seek out the ocean so man if he wants to can find the truth. No peak, no mountain can stop him, in fact their challenge awakens his sense of adventure. Truth is within everyone. Rivers have to find the ocean but our ocean is inside us ­ it is a wonder that so many remain thirsty yet without it. Actually they cannot really want it. There is a saying of Christ's: Ask and ye shall be given. But if you don't ask, whose fault is it? There is no better bargain than the attainment of God. We have only to ask, nothing more.

As the asking grows stronger and stronger so he who asks starts vanishing. A limit is reached, a point of evaporation is reached, where the seeker utterly disappears and only the asking remains. This is the very moment of attainment. Truth is where the I is not ­ this experience alone is the divine experience. Absence of ego is presence of God. My regards to all there. 10 My respects to you. I was waiting for your letter when it came. I really want your life to be filled with light, for you to surrender yourself to God. God and light are always close by. it is only a matter of opening one's eyes and then what is ours becomes ours. The distance is just that between the eyelash and the eye ­ and perhaps not even that much; the eyes are always open only we don't know it. There is an old story:

A fish had long heard stories about the ocean. She began to fret about it so one day she asked the Queen of Fishes: What is this ocean and where is it? The Queen was surprised. She said: The ocean? Why, you are in the very ocean itself! Your very existence, your very life, is in the ocean. It is within you The ocean is your everything, but for the ocean, you are nothing. For this very reason the fish couldn't see the ocean! And for this very reason we are unable to find God. But He can be found ­ by being empty. In the state of emptiness we meet Him for God is emptiness. I am in bliss, or shall I say ­ Bliss alone is and I am not! 11 My respects to you.

I received your letter, I was waiting for it. The trip to Rajnagar was blissful. Religion robbed of the spirit of yoga has become a matter of morality only, thereby losing its soul. Morality is negative. Life cannot be based on negation, negation cannot nourish life. The emphasis has to be on attainment not on renunciation. It is not a question of renouncing ignorance but of attaining understanding, it is this that has to be central. Practise has to be positive and this sadhana can happen through yoga. In my talks with Acharya Tulsi, Muni Shri Nathamaljee and others I have stressed this point. Many letters have come from Rajnagar and Rajasthan in this connection; as you have said it seems some fruitful work has been accomplished by going there. One thing is very clear: people are eager for a spiritual life and current forms of religion do not satisfy them.

If however the right religion is given to them it can revolutionize human consciousness. I think of you. May God grant you peace. My love and regards to all. 12 My respects to you. All your letters arrived in good time but as I have been busy I could not reply sooner. I have been out most of the time and I have just returned after speaking in Jaipur, Burhanpur, Hoshangabad, Chanda and other places. How thirsty people are for spiritual life! Seeing this I am surprised that some people say man has lost all interest in religion. This can never be. No interest in religion means no interest in life, bliss, the ultimate. Consciousness is by nature God-oriented and it can only be satisfied by attaining God the state of satchitananda, the truth-awareness-bliss state of being.

Hidden within one in the form of a seed is the very source of religious birth, therefore whilst religions may come ant go religion can never die. I am glad to know that you feel patient about your progress towards the light. Patience is the most important thing of all in spiritual life. How long one must wait after sowing the seed! At first all the effort seems wasted, nothing seems to happen, and then one day the waiting ends and there is actuality ­ the seed breaks, pushes through the earth ­ into a plant! But remember that even when nothing seemed to be happening the seed was working away under the soil. It is the same with the seeker for truth ­ when nothing appears to be happening much is happening. The fact is that all growth of life-energy is unseen and unknown. Only the results can be observed not the progress. I am in bliss. I want you to come closer to God. Forget about results, just keep going on your path; let the fruits come by themselves. One day one wonders: What has happened!

What was I! What have I become! Compared to the results all the effort seems negligible. My love to all. 13 My respects to you. I have just returned from Rajnagar in Rajasthan. I was invited to a religious function there organized by Acharya Shree Tulsi. I put four hundred monks and nuns through an experiment in meditation. The results were extraordinary. In my view meditation is the essence of all religious practice. All the rest ­ such as non-violence, renunciation of wealth, celibacy etc. ­ are just its consequences. With the attainment of samadhi, the culmination of meditation, all these things come by themselves, they just happen naturally. Since we forgot this central sadhana

all our efforts have been external and superficial. True sadhana IS not just ethical, it is basically yoga practice. Ethics ALONE are negative and nothing enduring can be constructed on negation. Yoga is positive and can therefore form a base. I want to convey this positive basis to all. 14 Love. I have received your very affectionate letter. You write that my words ring in your ears; what I want is for their echo to carry you into that space where everything is silent, empty. This is the way from words to emptiness. There one meets oneself. I am in bliss. Take my love I have nothing else to offer, it is my only wealth. The marvel of it is that the more of it you give the more it becomes. Real wealth is like that ­ it grows as you give it away; and if it diminishes ­ it is not wealth at all.

Write again, for not only do you wait for my letters, I too wait for yours. 15 Love. On returning from the meditation camp I had to leave town again. I returned only last night but I thought of you all the time. I cannot forget the thirst for God I saw in your eyes and the striving for truth in your heart. This is a blessing because no one can attain without passing through this anguish. Remember, thirst is a prerequisite for the birth of light and love. Together, light and love are God. When love has no limits its flame becomes smokeless and so divine. I have seen the seeds of this growth within you and it fills my soul with great joy. The seed is there, now it has to become a tree. It could be that the time is at hand. God-realization cannot happen without meditation so

you must turn towards this now with courage and perseverance. I have great hopes ­ will you fulfil them? My regards to other friends there. I wait for your letter. Remember what I said about the blank paper? Everything else is fine. I am in bliss. 16 Love. I received your letter. What you say has made me very happy. Words that come out of the depth and fullness of heart echo the infinite just as a tiny flower expresses infinite beauty. When love breathes life into words what is expressed is not what is said but what wants to be said. Inside each of us there is a poet, there is poetry, but because we live on the surface these are never born. Those who go deep

awaken divine love and this love fills their lives with music, beauty, peace and poetry ­ their very lives become music and on to this stage truth descends. Truth will descend where there is music so life must be turned into a melody. Only through music can one reach the truth. You too have to become music, the entire life, every little act, has to be turned into music: this happens through love. Whatever is ­ love it. Feel love for the whole world. Feeling love for all with every breath brings the inner music. Have you ever seen this happen? See this, fill yourself with love and see. Whatever breaks up the inner music ­ that alone is irreligion, that alone is sin, and whatever fills us with music ­ that is religion, that alone is religion. Love is religion

because love is beauty, love is music. Love is God because it is all that is needed to attain Him. Give my love to everybody there and feel the light of my love beside you. 17 Love. I have received your letter. You long for the peace I have within me. It is yours any time. It is the deepest possibility in everyone, it only has to be uncovered. As springs of water lie hidden under layers of earth so does bliss lie hidden within us. The possibility is there for everyone but only those who dig for it can redeem it. The excavation of these hidden treasures lies through religion. Digging with it one reaches the well of light within. I have shown you how to dig and what with, but the digging has to be done by you. I know your soil is absolutely ready, with very

little effort the infinite streams can be reached. This state of mind is attained with the greatest good fortune so don't waste it or miss this opportunity. Fill yourself with determination and leave the rest to God. Truth runs alongside will. Don't hesitate to write, I have lots of time for you. I am for those who need me ­ nothing in my life is for myself. 18 Love, so much love. I received your letter when I got back. I could feel the ardour of your heart through your words. I well know the fervour that stirs your soul and the thirst that turns into tears within you. I was once there too, I too have suffered it. I can well understand your heart because I have travelled those same paths you now have to take in the quest for God. I too have experienced the longing that one day turns into a raging fire in which one has to

consume oneself. But this burning brings the birth of a new life. The drop can only become the ocean when it ceases to exist. Continue your efforts in meditation; you have to go deeper and deeper into it ­ it is the only way. Through it and it alone call one reach life's truth. Remember: lf you become absorbed in sadhana, fully committed and surrendered, you are bound to reach the truth. This is an eternal law. No step taken towards God is ever wasted. My regards to all. 19 My respects to you. Your letters were received. I have just got back from a camp at Ranakpur. It was just for friends from Rajasthan, that's why you weren't informed. It lasted five days and about sixty people participated.

It was a wonderful success and it was obvious that much happened. Encouraged by the results the organizers are planning a camp on an all-India basis. You must come to that. I am glad to hear your meditation is progressing. You have only to be silent. To be silent is everything. Silence does not mean absence of speech, it means absence of thoughts. When the mind quietens down it becomes linked to the infinite. Don't do anything, just sit and watch the flow of thoughts, just watch. This just watching dissolves thought by itself. The awakening of witnessing brings freedom from the modifications of the mind. With thoughts finished, consciousness is. This is samadhi. Love to all friends. 20 Love Last night when lamps and lamps were lit up all over town

I thought: My Sohan too, must have lit lamps and a few among them must surely be for me! And then I began to see the lamps you had lit, and also those your love has kept lit always. I shall stay here another day. I have talked of you to everybody and they are eager to meet you. 21 Beloved! Your letter came, and your photo too. You look really simple and innocent in it! Such love and devotion! The heart when purified by love turns into a temple and I can see this clearly in your photo. May God help this simple innocence grow! Two thousand years ago someone asked Christ: Who can enter the kingdom of heaven Jesus pointed to a little child and said: Those whose hearts are as innocent as a child's. Looking at your picture today, I remembered this story. 22 Love. I have only just arrived here, the train was five

hours late. You wanted me to write as soon as I got here so I am doing so. Throughout the journey I thought of you and of the tears falling from your eyes. Nothing in the world is more sacred than tears of love and joy. Such tears, so pure, are not of this world. Though part of the body, they express something which is not. Whatever can I give you in return. 23 Love. I looked for your letter as soon as I got here yesterday. Though it was Sunday, I kept waiting for it. It came this evening ­ how much you write in so few words! When the heart is full it pours into the words and so few are needed. An ocean of love can be contained in just a jug! As for scriptures on love ­ it is enough to know the four letters of the word! Do you know how many times I read through your

letters? 24 Love. Your letter arrived this morning. The garland you have weaved from flowers of love has a fragrance that I can catch! And the love-vine you have sown spreads through my heart! The tears of your love and joy bring light and strength to my eyes! How blissful it all is! 25 Love. I am in bliss. It was good that you met me in Bombay, my heart was overjoyed to see what is happening in you. This is how a person prepares and moves along the stairway towards truth. Life is a dual journey: one journey is in time and space the other is within oneself and truth. The first ends in death

the second in deathlessness. The second is the real journey because it takes you somewhere. Those who take the first journey as it, waste their lives the real life begins the day you start the other journey. A really good beginning has taken place in your consciousness and I am filled with bliss to feel this. 26 Love. On my return home from the tour I looked for your letter. It came together with the grapes so the letter, already sweet, became still sweeter. I am in bliss. Your love enhances it yet more and the love of all makes it infinite. One body ­ so much bliss! What else can others do but envy he who feels all bodies to be his! May God make you envious of me, may everybody envy me,

this is my prayer. 27 Love. Your letter reached me as I was sitting on that very same spot on the grass! What I was thinking then I shall tell you only when we meet. What a fragrance memories leave behind! When life is filled with love it is so blissful Life's only paupers are those without love in their hearts, and how to describe the good fortune of those whose hearts hold nothing but love! In moments of such abundance one encounters God. Only love alone have I known as God. 28 Love. I received your letter. I am blissful to learn of your bliss This for me IS bliss With every breath

I pray for all to be filled with bliss. This is my understanding of religion. The religion that ends in temples, mosques, churches, is a dead religion. A religion that fails to go beyond dead words and doctrines has no significance An authentic and living religion unites one with the whole and leads one to the whole. Religion is whatever unites you with the cosmos. Whatever feelings lead you towards this marvellous meeting and merging are prayers, and all those prayers can be expressed in a single word; that word is love. What does love want? Love wants to share with all the bliss it has. Love wants to share itself with everyone! To give of oneself unconditionally ­ that is love.

To love is to dedicate one's being to the whole as the drop surrenders to the sea. I pulsate with such love. It has filled my life with nectar and light. Now I have only one wish: that what has happened to me should happen to all! Give my love to everyone there. 29 Love. I received your letter. How did you hurt your finger? It sounds as if you are not taking care of your body. And why the restless mind? In this dreamlike world there is nothing worth making the mind restless for. Peace is the greatest bliss and there is nothing worth losing it for. Meditate on it. Just being aware of the truth brings about inner change. I think you won't be coming to Udaipur to assist me and that's on your mind.

Come if you can, if you can't ­ never mind, you are helping me all the time. Isn't one's love help enough? If you don't come I will miss you because the camp at Udaipur is linked for me with being with you, so I am hoping you can come. Regards to all. 30 Love, and lots of it. I looked at once for your letter amongst the pile waiting for me on my return. I can't tell you how glad I was to get it ­ written by hand, too. You write: Now your presence is felt in your absence. love really IS presence. Where there is love space and time vanish, and where there is no love Even what is near in space and time keeps immeasurably apart. Only lovelessness separates

and love is the only nearness. Those who find total love discover everything within themselves. The whole world then is inside, not outside and the moon and stars lie in the inner sky. In this fullness of love, ego vanishes. I want God to lead you to this fullness. 31 I arrived here yesterday and have been thinking of writing ever since but it didn't happen until now. Forgive the delay though even a single day's delay is no small delay! What shall I say about the return journey? It was very blissful. I kept sleeping, and you were with me. It appeared I had left you behind but actually you were still with me. This is the being-together that is so real that it cannot be divided. Physical nearness is not nearness, there can be no union on that level, only an unbridgeable gulf, but there is another nearness which is not of the body, and its name is love.

Once gained it is never lost. Then no separation exists despite vast distances in the visible world. If you can arrive at this distancelessness with even one other it can be found with everybody. One is the door, the all, the goal. The beginning of love is through ONE, the end is ALL. The love that unites you with everything, with nothing excluded, I call religion, and the love that stops ANYWHERE I call sin. 32 I received your letter; I have been waiting for it ever since I returned. But how sweet it is to wait! Life itself is a waiting! Seeds wait to sprout, rivers to reach the ocean. What does man wait for? He too is the seed for some tree, a river for some ocean. Whoever looks deep inside finds that a longing for the endless and boundless is his very being,

and whoever recognizes this begins his journey towards God because who can be thirsty and not look for water? This has never happened and never will! Where there is longing, there is thirst for attainment. I want to make everyone aware of this thirst. I want to convert everyone's life into a waiting. The life that has turned into a waiting for God is the true life. All other ways of life are just a waste, a disaster. 33 Love. I received your letter. Its poetry filled my heart. It is said that poetry is born out of love in your letter I saw this happen. Where there is love the whole existence becomes a poem; the flowers of life bloom under the light of love. It is strange that you ask why my heart holds so much love for you. Can love ever be caused?

If it is, can it be called love? Oh, my mad friend! love is always uncaused! This is its mystery, and its purity. Love is divine and belongs to the kingdom of God because it is uncaused. As for me l am filled with love as a lamp is filled with light. To see this light one needs eyes. You have those eyes so you saw the light. The credit is yours, not mine. 34 Love. I never imagined that you would write such a loving letter! And you say that you are uneducated! There is no knowledge greater than love, and those who lack love ­ these are the true illiterates, because the heart is the real thing in life not the intellect. Bliss and light spring from the heart not from the

mind, and you have so much heart ­ that is enough! Can there be a better witness of this than me? I am surprised that you write asking me to point out any mistakes you have made. So far on earth, love has not made one mistake. All mistakes happen through lack of love, in fact this for me is the only mistake in life. Writing you you: May God make you envious of me was no mistake. I would like the bliss that has arisen in my heart to make you thirst for it more and more. Queen of Mewal! there is no reason for you to worry about it! 35 Love. It was just this time of night, two days ago that I left you at Chittor. I can see now the love and bliss filling your eyes. The secret of all prayer and worship is hidden in the overflow of those tears. They are sacred. God fills the heart of those he blesses with tears of love,

and what to say about the calamity of those whose hearts are filled instead with thorns of hate? Tears flowing in love are offerings of flowers at the feet of God and the eyes from which they flow are blessed with divine vision. Only eyes filled with love can see God. Love is the only energy that transcends the inertia of nature and takes one to the shores of ultimate awareness. I think that by the time this letter reaches you you will already have left for Kashidham. I don't know how your journey was but I hope it passed in song and laughter. Give my kind respects to everyone there. I am waiting, for your promised letters. 36 Love. I was very happy to meet you the other day. I felt the stirrings of your heart and the longing of your soul. You have not yet flowered as you were born to: the seed is ready to sprout and the soil is right you will

not have long to wait. But now you have to work with great determination. It is only a matter of starting the journey, God's gravitational pull does the rest. 37 Love. It is good that you are forgetting the past it will open up an altogether new dimension of life. To live completely in the present is freedom. The past does not exist apart from memory and nor does the future apart from castles in the air. What is, is always present, and if you start living unreservedly in the present you live in God. once you are free of past and future the mind turns empty and peaceful, its waves die down and what is left is limitless, endless. This is the ocean of truth ­ and may your river reach it! P.S. I shall probably go to Ahmedabad in January, can you come with me? It would be good if we travelled together for a few

days. 38 Love. I am glad to see such thirst for God! To have this thirst is a divine blessing; where there is thirst ­ there the way is. In fact, intense longing becomes the way. God is summoning us at every moment but because the strings of our heart are slack we don't echo His call. If our eyes are closed then even if the sun is at the door we will be in darkness; and the sun is always at the door ­ we only have to open our eyes and let it in, that's all! May God give you light, that's my wish. My love and I are always with you. Regards to the family and love to the children. 39 Love. I have your letter. The wheel of the world keeps spinning but why spin with it? See what is behind body and mind; that has never moved,

is not moving, can never move, and thou art that, tat twam asi. Waves lie on the surface of this ocean but in its depths ­ what is THERE? When the waves are taken for the ocean it is a terrible mistake. Look at the wheel of a bullock cart: the wheel turns because the axle does not; so remember your own axle, standing, sitting, asleep or awake, keep it in mind. By and by, one begins to encounter the changeless behind all change. You have asked me about the poem. I had a little piece read out by someone, then it came to me: I should hear it from you yourself! Now when you read it out to me I shall listen ­ and then I can read both you and your poem. 40 Love. I received your letter on my return. I welcome this birth of determination in you.

Such strength of will alone takes us to truth. Our deepest powers are aroused by it, the unorganized energy becomes organized and then there is music. What tremendous energy exists in this atom of self! But it can't be known without utter intensity of will. You must have seen rocks that even the strongest chisel cannot break, and yet the sprouting shrub or plant slips cracks and crevices through it so easily! When the tiniest seed is filled with determination to push through and reach the sun, even the hardest rock has to give way. So a weak seed wins over the mighty rocks! The tender seed breaks through the hardest of rocks! Why? Because no matter how strong and powerful the rock, it is dead, and because it is dead it has no will. The seed is tender,

it is weak, but alive! Remember, where there is will there is life and where there is no will there is no life. The seed's will becomes its power. and with this power its tiny roots sprout, enter the rock and spread out, until one day they break the rock. Life always wins over death. The living force within has never been defeated by the dead obstacles without ­ and never will be. 41 Love. Your letter was received with joy When the heart thirsts so much for truth, for peace, for religion, one day you come face to face with the sun which dispels all life's darkness. Thirst! Pray! Strive!

Wait! A journey of a thousand miles is covered step by small step, so don't lose heart. Vast distances can be covered one step at a time and an ocean filled drop by drop. My regards to all. I shall be coming soon now. The rest when we meet. 42 Love. Your Letter has arrived. You ask me about sex. That energy too belongs to God and through meditation it too can be transformed. No energy is bad but there can, of course, be wrong use of energy. When sex energy flows upwards it turns into brahmacharya (celibacy). It is good that you are becoming detached from it but that isn't enough. You have to go through it to transform it, rejection just leaves you arid and dry! It is true you are not alone in your sex life

but sex is not essentially of the body at all but a modification of the mind. If the mind is completely transformed it affects the other person too, and one who is related so intimately is quickly affected. Until we meet, keep in mind that: there should be no calculated ill-will towards sex ­ cultivated detachment is useless: stay aware whilst making love, be a witness in this situation; if one can stay in a state of meditation and right-mindfulness then the sex energy can be successfully transformed. We shall talk more about this when we meet. Brahmacharya is a complete science in itself and many doors to bliss open on that path. Still, the very first thing is a friendly attitude towards all one's energies. Enmity towards them does not lead to spiritual revolution but to self-destruction. Give my regards to all there.

You are not coming to Poona ­ I shall miss you. 43 Love. You have asked me about sense of humour. We can talk about it in detail when we meet but first of all: the sense of humour should be directed towards oneself ­ it is a very great thing to laugh at oneself and he who can laugh at himself gradually becomes full of concern and compassion for others. In the entire world no event, no subject, invites laughter like oneself. About the truth of dreams as well we shall have to talk in detail. Some dreams are definitely true. As the mind quietens down glimpses of truth begin to appear in dreams. Dreams are of four kinds ­ those concerned with past lives, ­ those concerned with the future, ­ those concerned with the present,

­ and those concerned with repressed desires. Contemporary psychology knows something about the fourth type only. I am glad to know that your mind moves towards being at peace. Mind is what we want it to be, peace and restlessness are both our own creations. Man binds himself with his own chains and so he is always at liberty to become free of the mind. 44 Love. What gift is greater than love? And still you ask ­ What have I given? Oh, mad one! When love is given there is nothing left to give, not even the giver, for to give love is to give oneself. You have given yourself, now where are you? Having lost yourself, now you are bound to find the one you have been longing to meet.

Now she has been born, and I am a witness to it, I have watched it happen. I can hear the music that you are going to be. The other day, when your heart was close to me. I heard it. Intellect knows of the present but for the heart the future is also the present. 45 Love. I received your letter. The time of my birth will have to be looked up. I think the day was the eleventh of December, but even this is not certain. But tell your astrologer friend not to worry; the future will simply come, there's no point in worrying about it. Whatever happens ­ ultimately it is all the same. Dust returns unto dust and life disappears like a line drawn on water. My regards to everyone. 46 Love.

It is a long time since I received your letter, you must be tired of waiting for a reply. Still, patient waiting has its own joy. On the path to God, timeless waiting is the true sadhana. Waiting and waiting and waiting. And then, just as a bud blooms, everything happens by itself. You are coming to Nargol, aren't you? My regards to all. 47 Love. I was glad to receive your letter. Truth is unknown, and to know it one has to die to the known. Once the banks of the known are left behind one enters the ocean of the unknown. Be brave and take the jump! Into emptiness, the great emptiness! Because that's where God lives. Love to all, or to the only one! For only THE ONE is.

He alone is. He is in all. He is in all and in the emptiness also. 48 Love. I have your letter and your question. Wherever I is there is a barrier; In fact, the i-attitude is the one and only barrier, so sleeping, waking, sitting, walking ­ always be aware of it; see it, recognize it and remember it wherever and whenever it comes, for recognition spells its death. It is not the truth but just a dream, and as soon as one becomes aware of dreaming the dream vanishes. Dreams cannot be renounced ­ how can you give up that which is not? To be aware of it is enough. Ego is man's dream, his sleep,

so those who try to renounce it fall into yet another illusion. Their humility, their egolessness are simply more dreams ­ like dreaming you are waking whilst still dreaming. Don't fall into this trap. Just keep in mind one thing: Wake up and see! Regards to everyone there. 49 Love. I am so happy to have got your letter. Can even a ray of love ever come without the fragrance of joy? And what is joy but the fragrance of love Yet the world is full of mad people seeking happiness their whole lives ­ but with their backs turned towards love! The doors to God only open when love turns into the prayer of our total being. But perhaps HIS doors are already open, yet eyes dosed to love will, even so, never be able to see them. And what is this you write? Momentary contact?

No! No! How can love's contact be so? Love turns even a moment into eternity. Where there is love there is nothing momentary, where there is love there is eternity. Is a drop just a drop? No! No! It is the ocean! The drop seen through eyes of love becomes the ocean! 50 Love. I have got your letter. I know well how your soul thirsts; soon it can be quenched ­ you are right at the brink of the lake; you only have to open your eyes, and I can see that the lids are about to lift. I shall be with you then, always with you, so don't worry. Be patient and wait; the seed takes its own time to break and bloom. Give my regards to all.

More when we meet. 51 Love. I received your letter. I am always with you. Don't be worried, don't be sad, and leave your sadhana in the hands of God. Let His will be done. Be like a dry leaf, let the winds take you where they will ­ isn't this what is meant by shunya (emptiness)? Do not swim, just float. Isn't this what is meant by shunya? My regards to all. 52 Love. Your letter has come. Love has not to be asked for ­ it is never obtained by asking; love comes through giving ­ it is our own echo. You feel my love pouring on you

because you have become a river of love flowing towards me, and when your love flows like this towards all you will find the whole world flowing in love towards you. To respond with unconditional love towards all, towards that which is, is the God-experience. 53 Love. Can two persons ever meet? It is just not possible on this earth, communication seems impossible ­ but at times the impossible happens. The other day it did. Being with you, I felt meeting IS possible, and also communication, and without words, too. Your tears answered me. I am deeply grateful for those tears. Such response is very rare. I have seen your madhu shala, seen it again and again. If I could sing

I would sing the same song that is there. I call that sannyas the real sannyas which accepts the world with joy. Aren't samsara and moksha really one? Duality exists in ignorance, in knowledge there is only one. Oh, can that really be religion which cannot sing and dance the songs of bliss auld love? P.S. I hear you are due to come here. Come, and come soon. Who can trust time ­ Look ­ it is morning and the sun rises; how long will it be before it sets? 54 Love. I am one with all things ­ in beauty, in ugliness, for whatsoever is ­ there I am. Not only in virtue but in sin too I am a partner, and not only heaven

but hell too is mine. Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu ­ it is easy to be their heir, but Genghis, Taimur and Hitler? They are also within me! No, not half ­ I am the whole of mankind! Whatsoever is man's is mine ­ flowers and thorns, darkness as well as light, and if nectar is mine, whose is poison? Nectar and poison ­ both are mine. Whoever experiences this I call religious, for only the anguish of such experience can revolutionize life on earth. 55 I have received your letter. I was very glad indeed to get it, more so since you have sent a blank sheet. But I have read in it all that you have not written but wanted to write. Besides, what can words say? Even after writing, what you had meant to write remains unwritten. so your silent letter is very

lovely. As it is, whenever you come to see me you are mostly silent, but your eyes tell all, and your silence too. Some deep thirst has touched you, some unknown shore has called you. Whenever God calls He calls this way ­ but how long will you go on standing on the shore? Look! The sun is out and the winds can't wait to fill the boat's sails! 56 Love. I have received your letters ­ but they are not just letters really, they are poems born out of love, out of love and prayer, for where there is love there is prayer. So it is possible to get glimpses of God through another whom one loves ­ love providing the eyes that can see God. Love is the door through which He appears. So when one loves all he can be seen in all things. Part and whole in fact are not in opposition: deep love for even one other finally spreads to all because love dissolves the self; leaving the no-self.

Love is like the sun, the individual like frozen ice. Love's sun melts the icebergs leaving a limitless ocean. So the search for love is really the search for God, because love melts, and also destroys; because love only melts and only destroys. It is both birth and death. In it the self dies and THE ALL is born. So there is certainly pain ­ in the birth as well as in the death. Love is a deep anguish of birth as well as death. But the poetry flowering in you shows that you have begun to experience the joy that lies in love's anguish. 57 Love. Your letter has filled my heart with joy. You are at the threshold of a great revolution; now, even if you want to run away I will not let you. You will certainly have to perish in it. so that you can be reborn. Gold has to pass through fire ­ only then is it purified.

Love is fire for you and I pray to God that your ego burns in it. Then if love comes, prayer can come too; without love. prayer is not possible. Remember that body and soul are not two. The part of the person that can be seen is the body, the part that cannot be seen is the soul. The same holds true for God and matter: God made visible is matter and what cannot be seen is God. Take life easily and naturally, just as it comes. Welcome it in its endless forms with an attitude of complete acceptance. And do not impose yourself on life; life has its own discipline, its own wisdom, and those who are ready to live totally have no need for any other discipline or wisdom. But you have always been afraid of life and therefore you are afraid of love. Now life has begun penetrating you, breaking your walls of security. So, God's infinite grace showers on you! Don't run from it now, accept it gratefully and my good wishes are always with you. 58

Love. Be aware in the waking state, don't try to become aware in sleep or dreams. If you become aware in the waking state awareness in dreams and sleep comes easily ­ but you don't have to do anything for it, doing only creates difficulties. Sleep reflects the waking state: what we are when awake we are in sleep. If we are asleep in the waking state only then is sleep really SLEEP; the stream of thoughts during the waking state becomes the web of dreams in sleep. Being aware in the waking state will begin to reflect itself in sleep too, and if there are no thoughts in the waking state dreams disappear altogether in sleep. Everything else is fine. My regards to everyone there. 59 Love. I was overjoyed to receive your letter ­ as pure and innocent as your heart. You want to write that which cannot be written so you send an unwritten letter. This is good, for it is better to remain silent

about that which cannot be expressed, but beware! silence also speaks, it speaks and speaks so much! Silence can speak even where words fail. The void envelops even that which lines cannot contain, in fact what can resist the embrace of the great void? Nothing is left unsaid by silence. Where words fail, silence is full of meaning. Where form ends, the formless begins. Where knowledge (VEDA) ends, transcendental knowledge (VEDANTA) begins. When knowledge dies, the beyond begins. Freedom from the word is truth. 60 Love. How can I describe how happy I am to have received your letter? Whenever I saw you, only one question arose in my mind ­ How long are you going to keep away from me? I knew you had to come closer to me, it was only a matter of time, so I kept waiting and praying for you. To me, prayerful waiting is love. I also knew you were going through the pangs of a

new birth and that rebirth is very near ­ for only this can give soul to your songs. Words are the form and form has its own beauty, its own melody, its own music, but this is not enough, and he who considers this enough remains discontented for ever. The soul of poetry lies in silence. To me, prayerful waiting is love, and the void is the door to the divine temple. You have come to me and I want to take you to the Lord for how can you come close to me without first coming closer to Him? In fact without coming close to Him you cannot come close even to yourself. Then as so on as you come near Him you attain that life for which you have gone through so many lives. To come close to oneself is to be reborn ­ the principle of being twice born is just this. And remember, not even the pebbles lying on the road are just pebbles; they too await a new birth, for that second birth turns them into diamonds. P.S. To run after desires is to run after a mirage. It is a journey from one death to another. In the illusion that is life man dies this way time

and time again. But those willing to die to their desires discover that death itself dies for them. 61 Love. Where is truth? Do not search for it for when has truth ever been found through seeking? for in seeking, the seeker is present. So don't seek but lose yourself. He who loses himself finds truth. I don't say: seek and you will find. I say: he who loses himself, finds. 62 Love. I was happy to receive your letter. The drop doesn't have to become the ocean. it already is the ocean. it just has to know it. What IS, however it is, to know it as it is, is truth. And truth liberates.

63 Love. Life is an infinite mystery, therefore those who are filled with knowledge are deprived of life. Life becomes known only to the innocent, to those whose intuition is not covered with the dust of knowledge. 64 Love. Do not seek nirvana as something opposed to life, rather, turn life itself into nirvana. Those who know, do this. Dogen has these beautiful words to say: Do not strive after moksha (liberation); rather, allow all your actions to become liberating. This happens. I can tell you this from my own experience; and the day it happens life becomes as beautiful as a flower in full bloom and brims with fragrance. 65 Love. I received your letter on my return.

Just as the seed within the soil waits for the rains so you wait for God. Prayerful wholehearted surrender is the door leading to Him. Let yourself go completely just like a boat floating on the river; you do not have to row the boat, just let it go loose; you are not to swim, just to float, then the river itself takes you to the ocean. The ocean is very near ­ but only for those who float but do not swim. Do not be afraid of drowning because that fear makes you swim ­ and the truth is that he who drowns himself in God is saved for ever; and do not have a goal, for he who has a goal begins to swim. Remember always ­ wherever one reaches, that is a the destination, therefore he who makes God his goal goes astray. Wherever the mind is free from all goals ­ there alone is God. 66 Love. I say: Die, so that you can live! When the seed destroys itself, it becomes the tree; when the drop loses itself, it becomes the ocean.

But man ­ man refuses to lose himself. How then can God manifest in him? Man IS the seed, God is the tree. Man is the drop, God is the ocean. 67 Love. Leave the old track ­ only the dead walk on trodden paths; life is the continuous quest for the new. Only he who has the flair to be new every moment truly lives. Die to the old every moment so that you are for ever new ­ this is the crux of the transformation of life. 68 Love. Truth is like the sky: eternal, everlasting, boundless. Is there a door to enter the sky? Then how can there be one to enter into truth? If our eyes are closed, the sky exists not. The same holds good for truth. Opening the eyes is the door to truth; closing the eyes is to close that door to truth.

69 Love. Where to find truth? Well, it has to be sought within one's own self, within one's own self within one's own self within one's own self It is definitely there. One who seeks it elsewhere loses it. 70 Love. I am extremely grateful for your loving letter. I take life as a whole and I am incapable of viewing it in bits and pieces; it is already the whole but because it has been viewed in fragments for so long it has become perverted. There is no politics, no morality, no religion; there is LIFE, there is God, whole and unfragmented. It has to be sought, recognized and lived in all its forms, therefore I shall continue to speak on all its forms. And this is only the beginning. Answering journalists is just preparing the ground. All paths lead to one end ­ certain friends might

take some time to understand this truth. As things are, this delay in understanding the truth is unavoidable, but seekers of truth won't be afraid ­ courage is the first condition in the search for truth. Remember, as long as spirituality does not become a philosophy of the whole life it proves impotent, and only escapists will take shelter behind it. Spirituality has to be turned into a force, spirituality has to be turned into a revolution, only then can spirituality be saved. My regards to all. 71 Love. Man becomes a slave because he is afraid to be alone, so he needs a crowd, a society, an organization. Fear is the basis of all institutions, and how can a frightened mind know the truth? Truth requires fearlessness and fearlessness comes from sadhana, not from societies, that is why all religions, institutions and organization, bar the path of truth. 72 Love.

Don't be in a hurry. So often, hurrying causes delay. As you thirst, wait patiently ­ the deeper the waiting the sooner it comes. You have sown the seed, now sit in the shade and watch what happens. The seed will break, it will blossom, but you cannot speed the process. Doesn't everything need time? Work you must, but leave the results to God. Nothing in life is ever wasted, especially steps taken towards truth. But at times impatience comes, impatience comes with thirst, but this is an obstacle. Keep the thirst and throw the impatience. Do not confuse impatience with thirst. With thirst there is yearning but no struggle with impatience there is struggle but no yearning. With longing there is waiting but no demanding with impatience there is demanding but no waiting. With thirst there are silent tears with impatience there is restless struggle. Truth cannot be raided, it is attained through

surrender not through struggle. It is conquered through total surrender. 73 Love. Your letter has been received. Why seek at all for a purpose? If you seek this you will never find it because it is eternally hidden in the seeker. Life is without purpose ­ life is its own purpose, therefore he who lives without purpose truly lives. Live! Isn't living itself enough? The desire to have more than just life is a result of not properly living ­ and that is why the fear of death grips the human mind, for what is death to one who is really alive! Where living is intense and total there is no time to fear death ­ and there is no time for death, either. Do not think in the language of purpose ­ that language is diseased in itself. The sky exists without purpose. God is without purpose flowers bloom without purpose and stars shine without purpose ­

what has happened to poor man that he cannot live without purpose! Because man can think he gets into trouble. A little thinking always leads to trouble. If you must think, think completely, utterly! Then the mind whirls so fast with thoughts that freedom from thoughts is attained. Then you begin to live. 74 Love. Rest is the supreme goal, work is the medium. Total relaxation, with complete freedom from effort, is the supreme goal. Then life is a play, and then even effort becomes play. Poetry, philosophy, religion are the fruits of repose. This has not been available to everyone but technology and science will make it so in the near future. That is why I am in favour of technology. Those who attribute intrinsic value to labour oppose the use of machines ­ they have to. For me, labour has no such intrinsic value: on the

contrary, I see it as a burden. As long as work is a prerequisite for rest it cannot be blissful. When work flows out of a state of rest voluntarily then it is blissful. So I cannot call rest a sin. Nor do I support sacrifice. I do not want anyone to live for anybody else, or one generation to sacrifice itself for another. Such sacrifices turn out to be very costly ­ those who make them expect an inhuman return. This is why fathers expect the impossible from their sons. If each father lives for his son who will live for himself? For every son is a potential father. No, I want everyone to live for himself ­ for his own happiness, his own state of rest. When a father is happy he does much more for his son ­ and easily, because it comes out of his happiness. Then there is neither sacrifice nor renunciation; what he does comes naturally out of his being a father ­

and a happy father at that. Then he has no inhuman expectations of his son and where there is no pressure from expectations, expectations are fulfilled ­ out of the son being a son. In short, I teach each person to be selfish. Altruistic teachings have taught man nothing but suicide. and a suicidal man is always homicidal; the unhappy sow their sorrow amongst others. I am also against the sacrifice of the present for the future, because what is is always present; if you live in it totally the future will be born out of it ­ and when it comes it too will be the present. For he who has the habit of sacrificing the present for the future the future never comes because whatever comes is again always sacrificed for that which has not yet come. Finally, you ask why i too work for others and for the future. First of all, I do not work. Whatever I do flows out of my state of rest. I do not swim, I just float. No one can ever do anything for another but if something happens to others out of what I

am, that is something else, and there too I am not the doer. As for the future ­ for me, the present is everything. And the past too is also a present ­ that has passed away; and the future too ­ that is a present that is yet to come. Life is always here and now so I do not bother about past and future. And it is amazing that ever since I stopped worrying about them they have begun to worry about me! My regards to all there. 75 There is a music which has no sound; the soul is restless for such silent music. There is a love in which the body is not; the soul longs for such unembodied love. There is a truth which has no form; the soul longs for this formless truth. Therefore melodies do not satisfy, bodies do not satisfy and forms cannot fulfil the soul.

But this lack of fulfillment, this dissatisfaction has to be understood properly, for such understanding ultimately brings about transcendence. Then sound becomes the door to the soundless, the body becomes the path to the unembodied, and form becomes the formless. 76 Love. God is our only wealth. Do not depend on any other wealth, riches of any other kind bring only disaster. St. Theresa wanted to set up a large orphanage but at the time she had only three shillings. She wanted to start this enormous project with just this small amount. Friends and admirers advised her: Get the funds together first. What can you do with just three shillings? Theresa laughed and said: Naturally Theresa can do nothing with three shillings, but with three shillings PLUS GOD ­ nothing is impossible! 77 Love.

Samsara is nirvana. sound is mantra, and all living beings are God. It depends on how you look. The world is nothing but how one sees it. See! Open your eyes and see! Where is darkness? ­ there is only light. Where is death? ­ there is only deathlessness. 78 Love. I have received your letter. As the earth thirsts for the rains after a hot summer so you are thirsting for God. This thirst becomes an invitation to the divine clouds ­ and the invitation has arrived. Just keep drowning yourself in meditation and His grace will definitely pour on you. If you are ready here ­ He is always ready there. Look! Can't you see His clouds hovering in the sky?

79 Love. Do not fight with yourself; you are as you are, do not strive to change. Do not swim in life, just float, like a leaf on the stream. Keep away from sadhanas, mere sadhanas, this is the only sadhana. Where is there to go? What is there to become? What is there to find? What is, is here and now ­ Please, stop and see! What are the animal instincts? What is low? and high? Whatever is, is ­ there is no high, no low. What is animal? What is divine? So do not condemn, do not praise, nor condemn nor praise yourself:

all differences are of the mind. In truth no differences exist; there, God and animal are one and the same; heaven and hell are just two sides of one coin; SAMSARA and nirvana are two expressions of one unknown. And do not think about what I have said; if you think you will miss. See. Just see. 80 Love. On the road to God the only sustenance is infinite hope ­ hope shining like the north star in darkness, hope keeping you company like a shadow in loneliness. Dark and lonely life's path certainly is ­ but only for those without hope. The famous geographical explorer Donald Macmillan was preparing for his journey to the north pole when he received a letter. On it was written: To be opened only when there is no hope of survival. Fifty years passed; the envelope remained with Macmillan as it was ­ sealed. Someone asked him the reason for this and he

replied: For one thing I want to keep faith with the unknown sender, and for another, I have never given up hope. What priceless words! ­ Ihave never given up hope 81 Love. I am delighted you have taken sannyas. A life without the flower of sannyas is like a barren tree. Sannyas is the supreme music of life. It is not renunciation, on the contrary, it is life's highest enjoyment. Someone who finds diamonds and pearls is not going to bother about pebbles and stones. But note ­ he does not renounce them, interest simply drops away. 82 Love. Thought is man's strength but blind belief has robbed him of it, that is why he has become weak and impotent. Think fully, think tirelessly, for amazingly enough the state of no-thought

is achieved only at the peak of thought, it is the culmination of thought, and at this point all thought becomes useless. In this emptiness, truth lies. 83 Love. All crutches bar the way. Shun all support and then you will receive His. He is the only help for the helpless. There is no other guide but Him ­ all other guides are obstacles on the path. If you want to reach the Master avoid all teachers. Don't be afraid to make yourself empty for that alone is the door, that alone is the path ­ and that alone is the destination. The courage to be empty is all that is needed to become one with the all. Those who are full stay empty, and those who are empty become filled ­ such are His mathematics. Do not consider doing anything ­ through doing you can never reach Him, nor through chanting,

nor through austerity, for He is already here! Stop and see! To do is to run, not to do is to halt. Yes! If He were far away we could run to meet Him, but He is the nearest of the near! If we had lost Him we could search for and find Him, hut to us He has never been lost! 84 Love. I am glad to have received your letter. The I is not to be given up because ­ how can you drop that which is not? The I has to be looked into, understood. It is like taking a lamp to search for darkness ­ the darkness vanishes! Darkness cannot be stamped out because it doesn't exist. You just have to bring a light and darkness is unmasked. It is the same with your thoughts ­ do not fight with them; the effort to be free of thought comes

itself from a thought. Know your thoughts, watch them, be aware of them, then they quieten down without difficulty. Witnessing finally leads to emptiness and where there is emptiness ­ there is the ALL. 85 Love. Why does man suffer so much? Because in his life there is pandemonium but no soundless music, Because in his life there is a babble of thoughts but no emptiness, because in his life there is a turmoil of feeling but no equanimity, because in his life there is a mad rushing around but no stillness which knows no directions, and finally because in his life there is much of himself but of God, nothing at all. 86 Love. The time is ripe. The hour draws nearer every day. Innumerable souls are restless.

A path has to be created for them. So hurry! Work hard! Surrender totally! Forget yourself! Plunge into God's work like a madman; here, only madness will do ­ and there is no greater wisdom than such madness for God. 87 Love. Non-attachment is not concerned with things but with thoughts. Non-attachment is not related to the outside but to the within. Non-attachment is not to do with the world but with oneself. One day a beggar went to see a Sufi fakir and found him seated on a velvet cushion inside a beautiful tent with its ropes tied to golden pegs. Seeing all this the beggar cried: What is this! Honourable Fakir, I have heard much about your spirituality and non-attachment, but I am completely disillusioned by all this ostentation around you.

The fakir laughed, replying :I am ready to leave all this behind and come with you. So saying, he immediately got up and walked off with the beggar not even waiting to put his sandals on! After a short while the beggar became distressed. I left my begging bowl in your tent, he said. What shall I do without it! Please wait here while I go and fetch it. The Sufi laughed. My friend, he said, the gold pegs of my tent were stuck in the earth not in my heart, but your begging bowl is still chasing after you! To be in the world is not attachment. The presence of the world in the mind is the attachment, and when the world disappears from the mind ­ this is non-attachment. 88 Love. Once the ego is surrendered there is no suffering, no sorrow, for the ego is basically the cause of all suffering and the moment it is seen that everything is God there is no more cause for complaint. Where complaining has ended, there is prayer. It is a feeling of gratitude, it is trust in God.

In this trust in God, benediction pours. Trust and know. It is very difficult to trust but there is no austerity greater than accepting life as it is. 89 Love. Do not look for results in meditation ­ this is an obstruction. Do not seek to repeat any meditative experience, for this too is a hindrance. When meditating, just meditate, the rest then happens by itself. The way to God does not lie in our hands so leave yourself in His. Surrender, surrender, surrender! Remember always ­ surrender! Sleeping or waking ­ remember! Surrender is the only door to God. Emptiness is the only boat that sails to Him. 90 Love. How much longer will you go on letting your energy sleep? How much longer are you going to stay oblivious

of the immensity of your self. Don't waste time in conflict, lose no time in doubt ­ time can never be recovered and if you miss an opportunity, it may take many lives before another comes your way again. 91 Love. I received your letter. Do not fall into the whirl of calming the mind; this in itself is the restlessness. The mind is what it is, accept it as such. This acceptance brings peace. Rejection is restlessness, acceptance is peace ­ and he who reaches total acceptance attains to God. There is no other way than this. Understand this well because this understanding brings acceptance. Acceptance cannot come from an act of will ­ the action of will is itself non-accepting; I DO conceals non-acceptance because will is always of the ego. Ego cannot live unless fed by rejection.

Acceptance can never be brought about by action, only understanding life can bring it about. Look, look at life. What is IS, it is as it is. Things are such ­ do not ask for them to be otherwise because they cannot be even if you so desire. Desire is altogether impotent. Ah, how can there he restlessness without desire? 92 Love. Search, search and search ­ so much that finally the seeker vanishes. There you meet Him. Where the I is lost, there He is. There is not, and never has been, any wall between ­ except for the I. 93 Love. When the moon lifts into the sky watch it, be absorbed by it ­ forget everything else, including yourself! Only then will you come to know the music that has no sound

When the morning sun rises bow town to the earth ant lose yourself in homage to it. Only then will you know of the music that is not made by man. When the trees burst into flowers, like a flower, dance with them in the breeze. Only then will you hear the music that lives in one's innermost self. He who knows this music knows life too ­ its song is another word for God. 94 Love. Don't float with the current of thoughts, just be aware of them. Know that you are separate from them, distinct, distant, just an observer. Just watch the flow of thoughts like traffic, watch than as you watch the dry leaves flying everywhere in the fall. Don't be the one who makes them happy, don't be the one to whom they happen. Then the rest takes place by itself. This rest is what I call meditation. 95

Love. This is a good beginning to the struggle and I am glad to have pushed you into it Sannyas is a challenge to the world, a fundamental declaration of freedom. To live in freedom every moment is sannyas. Now, insecurity will be with you always, but that is a fact of life. The only certainty is death and life IS insecurity, and that is its joy and its beauty. To be locked in security is suicide, a living death effected by one's own hand. Such living-dead are everywhere, they have turned the world into a graveyard, and they number amongst them many celebrated corpses. They all have to be awakened. though for their part they are trying to put back to sleep even those who are awake. Now the struggle will go on and on In it your total resolution will be born. Far off I see your destination the other shore. 96 Love. I was travelling, then on my return, there was your

letter. You can meet friends of Jeevan Jagruti Kendra and begin working for Yuvak Kranti Dal (Revolutionary Youth Force). There are no rules about it ­ there can never be rules in revolution. There needs to be an awakening of understanding among youth with scientific studies replacing blind faith ­ this is all I wish for. Do meet me this time when I come to Indore Everything is fine. My regards to everyone there. 97 Love. My work is only God's work; apart from this there is neither me nor mine. No other work exists apart from His. You just live in God, that's all, and the rest happens by itself. Jesus sail: First seek ye the Kingdom of God, then all else will be added unto you. I say the same. But the mind of man seeks all else first, so what is bound to happen, happens ­

nothing else is gained. and he even loses whatever he had. 98 Love. The fragrance of SANNYAS has to be spread around the world. Religions like goals have imprisoned the flower of sannyas too within their great walls. Hence the SANNYASIN has to say now: I belong to no religion ­ all religions are mine. It was an awful mistake to tear sannyas away from the world. It has become bloodless. And the world without sannyas has lost its life. A new bridge has to be built between the two. Sannyas has to be given back its blood and the world, its soul. Sannyas has to be returned to samsara, fearless and unattached, in the world yet not of it, in the crowds, yet alone! And the world has to be fetched to sannyas too, fearless and unattached.

Then sannyas will be a real sannyas and not an escape from the world. It will be sannyas and in the world, only then can that bridge of gold be built joining the seen with the unseen, the form with the formless. Commit yourself to this great work, join in the building of this great bridge! 99 Love. Even the impossible is not impossible if resolution is there, and even the possible becomes impossible if one lacks will. The world we live in is our own creation. The time gap between sowing and reaping creates confusion. Because cause and effect are so separated the mind fails to understand what would otherwise be obvious. Nothing is fragmented or disconnected. The missing links are always there if you look deeply. Understanding the life process opens the door to peace. The light lies close by, waiting for the seeker.

100 Love. I am glad to receive your letter. You have the strength within but you don't know about it. To find it you need a catalyst. The day you realize all this you will laugh, but until then I am prepared to be your catalyst. I am already laughing and just waiting for the day you can join in this cosmic laughter. See! Krishna is laughing! Buddha is laughing! Listen! The earth and heaven are laughing! But man is weeping for he doesn't know what he is. What a joke! What a lark! Emperors go on begging and fish are thirsty in the ocean! 101 Love. Existence is a play of sun and shade of hope and despair of happiness and sorrow of life and death. So existence is duality

a tension of opposite poles a music of contrary notes. To know it to recognize it to experience it as such is to go beyond it. This transcendence is the real sadhana, the real achievement. The key to this transcendence is the witness state. Bid goodbye to the doer, live in the witness state. Watch the drama, don't drown in it, rather be drowned in observing ­ then happiness and sorrow birth and death remain just a play, they do not affect you they cannot affect you. All error, all ignorance, comes from identification. 102 Love.

I received your letter. It is good to know that your mother's death has made you consider your own. One has to go through the very awareness of death to reach deathlessness. The thrust of death goes deep but cunningly the mind goes on evading it. Don't evade it, don't console yourself ­ any kind of consolation is a suicide. Let yourself completely feel the wound of death: wake up and live with it! This will be hard but revolution always is. Death is, it is there always, but we forget about it. Every day death is there, every moment. 103 Love. I received your letter. So many questions! To answer them I would have to write a book

bigger than the MAHABHARATA! But even then you would not get your answers because some questions others can never answer ­ your answers lie deep within your own life. And some questions have no answers because they are wrong questions for which no answers can be found. As the search continues these questions always gradually drop away. Then there are some questions which are right questions but have no answers at all. They have to be experienced deep within oneself. 104 Love. Do not desire bliss because that desire gets in the way. Live life unchained to desire and without an eye on a goal. Live free! Live from moment to moment! And don't be afraid, be free of fear because there is nothing to lose ­ and nothing to gain

­ and the moment you realize this the totality of life is attained. But never approach the gates of life as a beggar, never go begging, for those gates never open to beggars! 105 Love. It brings me happiness to bear witness to your new birth. You have worked for it over many lives and now the boat flows rightly, I can rest assured about you. Once I made you a promise and this is now fulfilled. It is your turn to fulfil your part of the promise; make sure you don't miss the chance, time is short and I may not be able to be with you again. Muster your whole will, take the oars in your hands and begin the journey that is infinite. You have wasted much time sitting on the banks; now the winds are favourable ­ this I know,

and that's why I am pushing you off the banks so earnestly. God's grace is showering, be open to it and let it in. Dance it and drink it in! With such nectar at hand will you still stay thirsty? 106 Love. What is sought totally is always attained. Thoughts, when concentrated, become things. As the river finds the ocean, thirsty souls find the temple of God. But the thirst must be intense and the work tireless and the waiting without end and the calling with the whole heart, and all this thirst, work, waiting, calling ­ are contained in one small word and that word is prayer. But praying cannot be performed, it is not an act, you can only be in it.

It is a feeling, it is the soul, it is a surrender of oneself without words or demands. Leave yourself to the unknown and accept whatever comes. Whatever God makes of you ­ accept it, and if He breaks you accept that too. just for dancing's sake; sing for singing's sake; then the whole life becomes divine and only then becomes prayer. To live so is to be free. 107 Love. My blessings on your new birth ­ sannyas is a new birth, in oneself, by oneself, of oneself. It is also a death, not an ordinary death but the great death. It is the death of all that you were up until yesterday, and what you are now ­ that too must keep dying every moment

so that the new can be born and born and born again. Now you will not remain you even for a moment, you have to die and be reborn every moment ­ this is the only sadhana. Live like a river, not like a pond. The pond is a householder, the river, a sannyasin. 108 Love. The temple of God is open only to a dancing, singing, happy heart. A sad heart cannot enter there so avoid sadness; fill your heart with colour as vivid as a peacock ­ and for no reason. He who has reason to be happy is not really happy. Dance and sing ­ not for others, not for a reason, just for dancing's sake; sing for singing's sake; then the whole life becomes divine

and only then becomes prayer. To live so is to be free. 109 Love. I am glad to get your letter. The moment of the inward revolution is near but first you have to go through the birth pangs. Nothing hurts more than this giving birth to oneself but what comes after it is life's greatest bliss. So, longing, waiting, prayer ­ take these for your sadhana. Everything else is fine. My regards to all. 110 Love. As the birds sing each morning at sunrise, the heart fills with song at the dawn of meditation. As flowers bloom in spring, the soul is drenched in fragrance as meditation is born. As everything glistens green beneath the rain, the consciousness shines with many colours as

meditation showers ­ all this and much more takes place, and this is only the beginning ­ ultimately everything goes; fragrance, colour, light, music ­ everything disappears, and an inner space, like the sky, appears ­ empty, formless, without quality. Wait for that. Long for that. The signs are good, so do not waste even a moment. Go on! I am always with you. 111 Love. Thirst is good longing is good an aching heart is good because He comes through the vale of tears. Weep so much that only the tears remain, not you. If the tears alone remain and he who weeps vanishes then God comes by Himself. That is why I let you go, not stopping you. I knew you would regret it ­ but this regret is good;

I knew you would weep but these tears have their usefulness ­ can there be a profounder prayer than tears? 112 Love. What is truth? This much at least can be said: It cannot be defined, so forget about all definitions, drop all evaluations and interpretations ­ these are all mind games, all creatures of thought. What is, is beyond the mind. Thoughts are as unaware of reality as the waves are of the peace of the lake. With waves the lake loses its tranquility; when the lake is calm then the waves cannot exist. One has to know that-which-is Its interpretation is very different from knowing it. Interpretations take one astray, they are as illusory as scarecrows. The seeker of truth has to be wary of words.

Words are not the truth, truth cannot be words. Truth is an experience, truth is reality, and the path to it is NETI, NETI ­ neither this nor that. Drop explanations, drop definitions, drop scriptures and doctrines, remember neti, neti not this, not that! Then drop I and thou. and say neti, neti. What is left manifest in the emptiness ­ that is truth, and that alone is. All else is dream. 113 Love. The decision to take sannyas is propitious ­ and sadhana follows decision like a shadow. Seeds have to be sown in the mind as well, there too ­ as we sow we reap, THE WAY has to be carved out of the mind too. The temple of God is close

but the mind is like a dense forest we have to hack our way through to reach it. The first steps have to be taken from where you are, even for a long journey the first steps have to be taken just close by, and in every journey, not only that towards truth, the beginning is not different from the end ­ they are two ends of the same span, two poles of the same entity. Yet often you cannot guess from the first step where you will end up; those first steps may seem quite unrelated to the last! Charles Catering recollects this interesting incident: Once I bet a friend that if I bought him a birdcage to hang in his sitting-room he would have to buy a bird. The friend laughed and said he could keep a cage without a bird ­ there was nothing to it!

He accepted the bet and I bought him a beautiful cage from Switzerland which he hung in his sitting-room. Naturally, the inevitable happened ­ life has its own logic. Whosoever saw the cage immediately sympathized with him, asking: When did your bird die? He would answer: I never had a bird. Then they would say: So why the empty cage? Finally he got sick and tired of explaining and went and bought a bird. When I asked him about it he said: It was easier to buy the bird and lose the bet than to explain things to each and every one from morn till night. And also, seeing this empty cage hanging there day in and day out, my mind kept repeating: The bird! The bird! The bird! So, if you hang commitment like a cage in the mind it won't be long before the bird of sadhana comes! 114 Love. Man lives not in reality but in dreams.

Each mind creates a world of its own which exists nowhere. During the day as well as the night the mind is swamped in dreams. When the dreams become too much, too intense, insanity comes. To be clear and healthy is to be without dreams. Once, the president of a country went to inspect the nation's largest lunatic asylum. The director took him to a room and told him: In this room, the inmates suffer from car-phobia. The president, curious, looked through the window. But there is nobody there, he said. They are all there, sir ­ under the beds repairing cars, the director replied. Everyone is lying under their dreams in the same way. If this president had looked within, what would he have found? Is not every capital a great madhouse? But one cannot see one's own madness ­ this is a sure trait of madness. When someone starts doubting himself, seeing his madness, know well that the time has come for his unsanity to go.

Awareness of madness marks the end of madness. Awareness of ignorance heralds its end. Awareness of dreaming brings dreams to an end. What is left is truth. 115 Love. I am very glad to have received your letter. Anxieties in life exist but there is no need to worry about them. Worrying stems not from the anxieties but from our attitude towards them. To be anxious or not is always our open choice. It is not that a non-anxious mind is free of anxieties ­ anxieties are there, they are an unavoidable part of life ­ but it does not burden itself with them. Such a person always sees beyond them; dark nights surround him too but his eyes look to the rising sun and therefore his soul is never drowned in darkness ­ and this alone is enough ­ that the soul be not drowned in darkness. The body is bound to drown in it ­ in fact it already has.

Those who are condemned to die live their lives in darkness; only the deathless have their lives rooted in the light. Blessings to the children and regards to all. 116 Love. There is no greater power than trusting oneself ­ its fragrance is not of this world; peace, bliss and truth flow from this fragrance. He who trusts himself is in heaven and he who mistrusts himself holds the keys of hell in his hands. The Scottish philosopher David Hume was an atheist, but every Sunday he made it a point to attend the sermon of John Brown, a confirmed theist. When people pointed out that going to church was against his own principles he laughed ­ and replied: I have no faith whatever in what John Brown says, but John Brown has total faith in what John Brown says. So once a week I make a point of hearing a man who has total faith in himself!

Love is also fire, but a cool fire. Yet we have to burn in it because it also purifies; it burns only to purify. The dross burns leaving pure gold. In the same way my love will bring suffering because I wish to destroy you in order to recreate you. The seed must be broken ­ how else can the tree be born? The river must end ­ how else is it to merge with the ocean? So let go of yourself and die ­ how else will you find the SELF? 117 Note: Is missing... 118 Love. Truth is discovered not through swimming but through drowning. Swimming is a surface happening, drowning takes you to the depths without end. 119

Love. The search for meaning is disastrous; it has brought nothing but meaninglessness. To see that there is no meaning is to have the real meaning where meaninglessness cannot be, where meaning doesn't matter and so its disasters are avoided. What remains just is and what is, is and what is not, is not and that's all. You ask for a clear statement about motivelessness. Your attempt to understand cannot succeed because it is motivated! Why bother about understanding? Look, isn't the thing clear there before you? All things are open! All things are clear! But man is so busy understanding no one is left to see what is clear, what is obvious, what is there! Confusion is the effort to understand. Ignorance is the effort to know. If you don't try to understand or know nothing can hide itself from you! Truth is always in front of you, naked, clear.

120 Love. You say you feel broken. It would be better if you broke down completely and disappeared. That which is will always be the case and that which has become is bound to vanish. Becoming always leads to dissolution so do not try to save yourself. One who loses himself goes beyond life and death, and he who saves himself is lost. You are busy saving yourself and that is why you are afraid of breaking down. But what is there to save? And that which is worth saving is already saved. 121 Love. You long for the sun and you will get it for sure, but you have to have the courage to burn! You can't reach the light without dying, for ego is darkness, and besides, the sun isn't anywhere outside but is born within when everything else there

burns. When the self is alight ­ that is the light. The fear of dying is darkness, the jump into death is the light. Die, and know this! Disappear, and you will find it. That is why I say love is prayer ­ it is the first lesson in death. Regards to all. 122 Love. Do not look for a purpose in life but live, and live totally. Do not be serious and grave but turn life into a dance. Dance ­ like the waves on the sea! Blossom ­ like the flowers in spring! Sing ­ as the birds do continuously! All without purpose, for no reason; then purpose is there, and all mystery is solved. The famous physician Rocky Tonsky once asked a student: What is the purpose of life? What is its meaning? The student hesitated and stammered, as if trying

to remember, then said: Yesterday I knew, but right now I seem to have forgotten. Rocky Tonsky looked up at the sky and cried: God in heaven! The only man who ever knew and now he has forgotten! Love to all the family. 123 Love. You ask for my ten commandments. This is very difficult because I am against any sort of commandment. Yet just for the fun of it I set down what follows: 1. Obey no orders except those from within. 2. The only God is life itself. 3. Truth is within, do not look for it elsewhere. 4. Love is prayer. 5. Emptiness is the door to truth, it is the means, the end and the achievement. 6. Life is here and now. 7. Live fully awake. 8. Do not swim, float. 9. Die each moment so that you are renewed each moment. 10.Stop seeking. That which is, is: STOP AND SEE. 124 Love.

The news of the commune delights me. The tree's seed is sprouting, soon innumerable souls will shelter under its branches. Soon the people for whom I have come will gather ­ and you are going to be their hostess! So prepare yourself; that is, empty yourself completely because only emptiness can be the host. You are already on your way singing, dancing, blissful like a river flowing to the sea. I am delighted, and I am always with you. The ocean is close ­ just run, run, run! 125 Love. Everything changes except change, only change is eternal. But the human mind lives in the past ­ and that is the confusion of all confusions. One day the sky was filled with the clouds of

war ­ plane upon plane loaded with death. Beasts, birds, worms and beetles ­ all that could flee, fled. Horses, donkeys, rats, sheep, dogs and cats, wolves ­ all ran for their lives and the paths and tracks were full of them. As they fled, this multitude saw two vultures sitting on a wall by the road. Brothers! they cried to them. Flee! At once! Man is on the warpath again. The vultures just smiled. They knew! One said: Since time immemorial man's wars have been good news for vultures. Our ancestors have said so, and so too our scriptures. It is also our own experience. In fact it is for the benefit of vultures that God sends man to war! ­ God has made man and war just for vultures! This said, the two vultures flew off towards the battle ­ and in the next moment were blown to pieces by falling bombs. If they had only known how things can change over

thousands of years But does even man himself realize this? 126 Love. I received your letter. Don't be afraid of sexual desire because fear is the beginning of defeat. Accept it, it is and it has to be. Of course, you must know it and recognize it, be aware of it, bring it out of the unconscious into the conscious mind. You cannot do this if you condemn it because condemnation leads to repression and it is repression that pushes desires and emotions into the unconscious. Really, it is because of repression that the mind is divided into conscious and unconscious, and this division is at the root of all conflict, and it is this division that prevents man from being total ­ and without integration there is no way to peace,

bliss and freedom. So meditate on sexual desire. Whenever the desire arises, watch it mindfully. Do not resist it, do not escape from it, encountering it leads you to unique experiences. And whatever you have learned or heard about celibacy ­ throw it once and for all into the dustbin, for there is no other way than this of reaching to brahmacharya. My regards to all there. 127 Love. Be like steel ­ clay will no longer do. To be a sannyasin is to be a soldier of God. Serve your parents ­ even more than before, give them the joy of a sannyasin son, but don't relent, keep your resolution firm, it will bring glory to your family. The son who compromises with a thing like SANNYAS shames his family. I have complete trust in you,

that's why I have been a witness to your SANNYAS. Laugh and go through everything. Listen to everything and laugh. This is your sadhana. Let the storms come and go. 128 Love. In sannyas, samsara is just a drama; to know the world as a play is sannyas; then no one is small, no one great, no Ram and no enemy, Ravan, and everything is a ram-leela, God's play. Whichever part you are given play it well; the part is not you and as long as we identify with our part in the play self-knowledge is impossible, and from the day that this identification is broken ignorance becomes impossible. Play your part but know well it isn't you. 129 Love.

I have received your letter. There is a great difference between love and pity. There is pity in love but there is no love in pity; therefore it is important to know things as they are: love as love, pity as pity. To take one for the other is to create unnecessary worry. Ordinarily, love has become impossible because as he is man cannot be loving: to be in love the mind must be completely empty and we love only with our minds, so that when our love is at its lowest it is sex and at its highest it is compassion, but love is a transcendence of both sex and compassion. Therefore understand what is and do not strive for what should be ­ what should be flows out of the acceptance and understanding of what is. 130 Love. I received your letter.

Now never worry about me ­ not even mistakenly! For two reasons ­ first: the day I surrendered myself for God I transcended all anxiety because trying to look after oneself is the only anxiety! Ego is anxiety. Beyond it: what anxiety? whose? and for whom? Secondly: men like me are born to be crucified; The cross is our throne and our mission is fulfilled only when stones are showered, not flowers. But on the divine path even stones turn into flowers, and on the contrary path even flowers turn out to be stones. Therefore when the stones start raining on me, be happy and thank God! Truth is always received like this. If you don't agree ask Socrates ask Jesus ask Buddha ask Kabir

ask Meera. My regards to all. 131 Love. What does the seed know of its own potential? It is the same with man, he doesn't know what he is nor what he can be! The seed, perhaps, cannot look within but man can. This looking in is called meditation. To know one's truth as it is here and now is meditation. Dive into it, deeper and deeper; there, in the depths, all that is possible can be clearly seen, and once seen it begins to happen ­ the awareness of what is possible turns it into a reality, like a seed stirred by a vision of its potential beginning to sprout. Time, effort, energy ­ pour it all into meditation because meditation is the gateless gate through which the self becomes aware of itself. 132

Love. Nothing in life is sure ­ except death, otherwise life is another name for insecurity. When this is realized the desire for security simply vanishes; to accept insecurity is to become free of it. Uncertainty will stay in the mind because that is its nature; don't worry about it because that will add fuel to it, just let the mind be, where it is, and you go into meditation. You are not the mind so where is the problem of the mind? Leave the darkness where it is and just light your lamp. Are you going to think carefully and then surrender? O mad one! Surrender is a leap outside thought. Either jump or don't jump but for God's sake don't ponder about it! 133 Theism is another name for infinite hope. It is patience,

it is waiting, it is trust in leela, in the play of life, and therefore with theism complaining cannot be. Theism is acceptance, it is surrender ­ acceptance of what is beyond the self and surrender to the source of the self. In 1914 a fire broke out in Thomas Edison's laboratory. Machinery worth millions and all the papers pertaining to his lifelong research were burnt to ashes. Hearing of this tragedy his son Charles came looking for him and he found him standing by the side enjoying the sight of the leaping flames. On seeing Charles, Edison said to him: Where is your mother? Go and find her and bring her here quickly; such a sight she will never see again! The next day, walking amidst the ashes of his hopes and dreams,

the 67 year-old inventor said: What benefit there is in destruction! All our mistakes have been burnt to ashes, thank God! Now we can begin afresh all over again! God's grace is endless. We just require the eyes to see it. 134 Love. Wittgenstein has said somewhere: Of that which one cannot speak, one should remain silent. Oh, if only this advice was heeded there would be no useless arguments about truth! THAT-WHICH-IS cannot be spoken of. Whatever is said in words is not, cannot be, THAT-WHICH-IS. Truth is beyond words, only silence is related to truth. But silence is very difficult; the mind wants to speak even of that which is beyond words. Really, the mind is the only barrier to silence. Silence belongs to the state of no-mind.

A preacher came to address some small children. Before beginning he put a question to them: If you were asked to address a gathering of such intelligent boys and girls who expect a good lecture from you, and if you had nothing to speak on, what would you say? A small child replied: I would keep quiet. I would keep quiet. This child-like simplicity is needed to experiment with silence. 135 Love. SANNYAS is a pilgrimage to Mt. Everest, naturally there are difficulties on the way. But the fruits of determination are sweet too, so bear everything calmly and joyously but don't give up your commitment. Serve your mother even more than before ­ sannyas is not a running away from responsibility. Your family is not to be given up, rather do you have to make the whole world your family. Encourage your mother to take SANNYAS too, tell her: You have seen enough of the world,

now raise your eyes towards God. But make sure she is caused no trouble on your account. This doesn't mean giving in or compromising ­ sannyas knows no compromise. Strong, bold and resolute is the soul of SANNYAS. 136 Love. Love does not discriminate even in dreams, and in that love which is prayer too, there are no distinctions at all. Now I am no more. The word I is simply a convenience and as such causes many difficulties. When the clouds of the I disappear nothing remains but love ­ love without cause, unconditional love. Here I stand in the marketplace, who is ready to come and take it from me? KABIR STANDS IN THE MARKETPLACE, TORCH IN HAND. IF YOU ARE READY TO BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN, COME WITH ME. 137

Love. Ah, if the veena were outside you could hear its music, but it is inside and we do not hear it. But we can become one with it. And how much is music worth that ends with listening? Finally the musician, the veena, the music, the listener are not separate. Look inside, go within, and see who is waiting there for you. 138 Love. The springs of meditation are close at hand but the layers of suppressed sex work like rocks. The repression of sex has choked your life with anger, its smoke pervades your whole personality. When you were meditating in front of me the other day I saw all this very clearly, but I could also see that your will is very strong too, your thirst for God is also strong

and you are working mightily, so there is no need to be disheartened. Difficulties are there, blocks are there, but they will break up because the breaker is not yet broken. Meditate totally and soon the springs will be reached But you have to put your whole being at stake ­ nothing less will do; hold back a bit and you will miss. Time is short so gather all your strength; whilst the opportunity is here your effort must be total. It is difficult to say whether you will have such an opportunity in another life, so everything must be finished in this one. If the gates don't open this time you will have to start from the very beginning next time ­ and then it is far from sure that I will be with you. In your last life you worked for it but the work was not completed; and it was the same in the life before that.

For three lives you have repeated the same cycle again and again ­ it is time now to break it. It is already late, any further delay would be foolish. My regards to all. 139 Love. The meaning of sadhana is to enter into one's own nature, to live in it, to be it. one must therefore know what is not one's nature so as to be aware of what one wants to be free of. Recognizing it becomes freedom from it. A disciple of Bankei asked him: I become overwhelmed by anger. I want to be rid of it but I cannot be. What shall I do? Bankei did not say a word, just stared deep into the disciple's eyes, who began to sweat in those few heavy minutes of silence. He wanted to break the silence but couldn't gather

the courage. Then Bankei laughed ant said: It's strange! I searched and searched but could find no anger within you. Still, show me a little of it, here and now. The disciple said: It is not always here. It comes all of a sudden, how can I produce it now? Bankei laughed again and said: Then it is not your true nature. That remains with you always and if your anger had been part of it you could have shown it to me. When you were born it was not with you, when you die it will not be with you. No, this anger is not you. There is a mistake somewhere. Go away and think again, search again, meditate again. 140 Love. God purifies in every way. It is not only gold that has to pass through fire to be purified but man too.

For man this fire is the anguish of love. It is a blessing when this fire enters a person's life, it is the fruit of infinite prayers, infinite births. It is the intensity of thirst that turns finally into love, but unfortunately few are able to welcome it because few can recognize love in the form of anguish. Love is not a throne, it is a cross; but those who gladly offer. themselves to it attain the very highest throne. The cross can be seen, the throne cannot ­ it is always hidden behind the cross. And even Jesus hesitated for a moment; even his heart cried out: FATHER, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? But the next moment he remembered and said: THY WILL BE DONE. That was enough: the cross became a throne and death a new life. In the moment of revolution between one statement and the next

Christ descended into Jesus. Your suffering is intense and a new birth is at hand; be happy, be grateful, don't be afraid of death, be thankful, it is the tidings of a new birth and the old must die to give birth to the new; the seed must break to blossom into the flower. 141 Love. What is suppressed becomes attractive, what is negated, invites! Only alertness to the mind's games brings freedom. Negation does not really negate, on the contrary, it invites. The mind plays around the forbidden like the tongue around the gap of an extracted tooth. A small shopkeeper in London once caused a sensation. He hung in his show window a black curtain with a small hole at the centre; under the hole was written in large letters: PEEPING STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.

Naturally, it brought the traffic to a standstill! Crowds gathered around the shop jostling one another for a peep through the curtain. There they saw nothing but a few towels ­ it was just a small towel shop and the shopkeeper had devised this sure-fire method of increasing his sales. It worked like magic. Man's mind works the same way and he becomes trapped by it. Therefore ­ always be wary of negation, opposition, suppression . 142 Love and blessings. Live the truth, for there is no other way to find it. Become the truth, for there is no other way to know it. You cannot know truth through words, not through the scriptures, nor through learning, study, contemplation. Truth is within, in the emptiness within. In the state of no-mind,

in the mind free of desires where only awareness is, there truth manifests itself. Truth simply is, it has not to be found, simply uncovered. The lid of gold covering it is the ego. Ego is darkness; die, and become light! Where the darkness of the ego is no more there, in that emptiness, truth is; and that is truth, and that is bliss, and that is immortality. Do not seek it, just die and it is there. 143 Love. I am glad to receive your letter. Yes, this much suffering has to be gone through ­ it is the birth pangs of our own rebirth. And going back is not possible for where is the past to which to return? Time demolishes the steps we climb to reach the present.

There is no going back ­ only going forward is possible ­ forward and forward ­ and the journey is endless! There is no goal, no destination, only resting places ­ where the tents are dismantled as soon as they are pitched. But why this fear of anarchy? All systems are false ­ life is anarchic, insecure; he who seeks security dies before his death. Why this hurry to die? Death itself will take care of that for us so is it not proper that we learn to live? And the miracle is that death does not call on the one who learns how to live ­ and this alone is needed: doesn't the gardener silently wait after sowing the seed? Whenever you need me you will find me beside you. Regards to all there. 144

Love. Atheism is the first step towards theism, and a must. If you haven't been through the fire of atheism you'll never know the light of theism. If you haven't the true strength to say No your Yes will always be impotent, sol am glad you are an atheist ­ something that can be said only by a theist. So I say: Go deeper into atheism. Superficiality won't do, so don't just think atheism, live it ­ and it will ultimately lead you to God. Atheism isnt IT. it is just a doubting. Doubt is good but it isn't IT. Actually, doubt is a search for trust. So go on, take your journey for the path to truth starts with this doubt. Doubt is sadhana because doubt eventually exposes the incontestable truth. Inside the seed of doubt is the tree of trust so if you plant the seed of questioning

and work on it you are bound to harvest trust. And beware all religions! Only religions obstruct the true path of RELIGION. 145 Love. Dreams too are true because what we call truth is only a dream ­ it is just the difference between open and closed eyes. Understand this fully and then one can go beyond both, and the way lies beyond both. Both are the seen and beyond both is the seer. 146 Love. Not only is a seed a seed man is also a seed. Not only seeds bloom man also blooms. Not only seeds blossom into flowers 147 How can the search begin unless there is doubt? How will the heart stir to know the truth unless there is doubt?

Remember ­ belief and faith bind man, doubt liberates him. 148 Love. I was glad to receive your letter. Make love your prayer now. Love alone is worship, is God. Let there be love with every breath this is your only sadhana. Sitting, rising, sleeping, waking just remember: LOVE. Then you will see that His temple is not far off. 149 Love. God is testing you every moment. Laugh and take the test ­ it is beautiful that he considers you worth testing! But don't be in a hurry for the more you hurry the more some goals recede, and without doubt the temple of God is a goal like that He who travels with patience travels fastest on this journey. The mind will roam again and again ­ that is its way;

the day its roaming stops it will be dead. Sometimes it sleeps ­ do not mistake this for death: sometimes it gets tired ­ don't mistake this for death either: some rest and sleep and it is strong and alive again. So stop bothering about it altogether for even this worry gives it strength. Surrender even this to God. Say to Him: Whatever it's like, good or bad, take care of it ­ and then just be a witness, simply watch the whole play. Watch the play of the mind with detachment and then suddenly ­ there is the consciousness which is no-mind. 150 Love. God is far off because we don't know how to see Him close by. Actually there is nothing closer than Him. more than that ­ He is the here and now. The name God is just for those who can't find the here and now.

Words, names, doctrines, scriptures, religion, philosophy ­ all these are created for those who can see Him only at a distance. Hence they have no connection with God but only with those who are blind to the near. That's why I say,: Drop the distant. Drop paradises in the sky. Drop salvations in the future. and see the near in time and in space. Be here and now and see! See the instant in time. see the atom in space. In the time moment time ceases to exist. In the space atom space ceases to exist. I here is no space, no time, here and now. What is left is truth, is God, is that. You too are that. TAT TWAM ASI ­ that art thou. 151 Love. The word is not the thing.

the word God is not God, but the mind goes on accumulating words and words and words, and then the words become the barrier. See this as a fact with you: can you see anything without the word can you feel anything without the word. can you live even for a single moment without the word? Do not think but see. and then you will be in meditation. To exist wordlessly is to be in meditation. 152 Love. Always see WHAT IS. The facts. THAT WHICH IS. Do not project anything, do not interpret, do not impose any meaning that is, do not allow your mind to interfere ­ and you will begin to encounter reality. Otherwise everyone lives in his own world of dreaming. And meditation is coming out of these worlds,

these dreaming patterns. A philosopher stopped Mulla Nasrudin on the street. In order to test whether the Mulla was sensitive to philosophical knowledge he made a sign, pointing at the sky. The philosopher meant: There is only one truth, which covers all. Nasrudin's companion, an ordinary man, thought: The philosopher is mad. I wonder what precautions Nasrudin will take. Nasrudin looked in his knapsack and took out a coil of rope. This he handed to his companion. Excellent, thought the companion. We will bind him up if he becomes violent. The philosopher saw that Nasrudin meant: Ordinary humanity tries to find truth by methods as unsuitable as attempting to climb into the sky with a rope. Now can you remain content with the fact of Mulla Nasrudin giving the rope to his companion without any interpretation whatsoever? Remain with the fact, and you will be in meditation.

153 The ego is necessary for both the sensation of pain and the feeling of pleasure: and vice versa also ­ the sensation of pain and the feeling of pleasure are necessary for the existence of the ego. In fact these are two sides of the same coin. The name of the coin is ignorance. Understand this and do not fight with the ego or with pain and pleasure because unless ignorance is gone they will not go, they cannot go, and you cannot fight with ignorance because ignorance is just absence of something ­ absence of yourself. So be present to your ignorance, be aware of it, and then you will be and there will be no ignorance because you and ignorance cannot exist simultaneously, as with light and darkness. 154

Love. A small boy with a penny clutched tightly in his hot little hand entered the toyshop and drove the proprietor to distraction asking him to show this and that and everything without ever making up his mind. Look here, my boy, said the storekeeper finally. What do you want to buy for a penny ­ the whole world with a fence around it? The boy thought for a moment and then replied: Let us see it. And I say to you that ordinarily no one is different from that small boy in this world. But unless one is different, one is not mature. And maturity does not come with age alone, maturity comes through understanding the distinction between that which is possible and that which is not possible. 155 Love.

Things go on changing without. You must mirror them, you must reflect them, but remember always that the mirror remains the same. Mirroring does not change the mirror. Do not be identified with mirroring. Remember yourself as the mirror ­ that is what is meant by witnessing. And witnessing is meditation. Lieh-Tzu exhibited his skill in archery to Po-Hun Wu-Jen. When the bow was drawn to its full length a cup of water was placed on his elbow and he began to shoot. As soon as the first arrow was let fly a second one was already on the string and a third followed. In the meantime he stood unmoved like a statue. Po-Hun Wu-Jen said: The technique of your shooting is fine, but it is still a technique. You look only like a statue from without. Now let us go up to a high mountain and stand on a rock projecting over a precipice and then you try to shoot.

They climbed up a mountain. Standing on a rock projecting over a precipice ten thousand feet high Po-Hun Wu-Jen stepped backward until one third of his feet were hanging over the rock. He then motioned to Lieh-Tzu to come forward. Lieh-Tzu fell to the ground with perspiration flowing down to his heels. Po-Hun Wu-Jen said: The perfect man soars up above the blue sky or dives down to the yellow springs, or wanders about all over the eight limits of the world, yet shows no signs of change in his spirit. But you betray a sign of trepidation and your eyes are dazed. HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO HIT THE TARGET? 156 Love. Do you want to ask questions? Or do you want to get answers? Because if you want to ask questions then you will not get answers, and if you want to get answers

then you cannot be allowed to ask questions ­ because the answer is in that consciousness where the questions have not yet been raised, or have been uprooted and thrown out. 157 Love. I hope you will be moving in deep meditation. Breathe in it sleep in it live in it ­ let meditation be your very existence. Only then is the happening. Don't do it, but be it ­ And my blessings are always with you. If you need any help from me just ask when you are thoughtLESS, and it will be given to yon. 158 Love. A madman entered the bazaar and declaimed: The moon is more useful than the sun. But why? asked someone. We need the light more during the night than during the day, he said.

And I say to you that all our metaphysical theories and explanations are not of more worth than the explanation of that madman. 159 Love. Ask for nothing and you will never be frustrated. Anticipate darkness with light and sorrow with happiness because such is the nature of things. Then you will never be frustrated. Say to life: What can you do to me? I want nothing! And say to death: What can you do to me? I have already died! Then you will be truly free because unless one is free of life one can never be free of death. And when one is free of both one knows that life which is eternity itself. 160 Love. Man is an everlack, because he desires without knowing himself, because he desires to become something without knowing his being,

and this is absurd. First one must know his being otherwise there will be anguish. Becoming is anguish because it is a constant tension between that which is and that which should be ­ and it is an impossible longing also because only that can be which is. So know yourself as you are without any ideals, without any judgement and without any condemnation. Go deep within yourself without any desires to become because only then can you know yourself. Discover yourself, not according to anybody else, but as you are. Discover the fact, discover the real in its total nakedness. In this total authenticity just be a witness, and then there is an altogether different quality to life, the quality of let go.

Then one is relaxed totally. And all flowering is in relaxation, and all benediction. 161 Love. Fear cripples consciousness, and fear is the source of unconsciousness, that is why without transcending fear no one can attain to full consciousness. But what is fear? Fear is awareness of death without knowing what death is. Fear exists in the gap between you and your death, and if there is no gap, no space, then there is no fear. Do not think of death as something outside you because it is not. And do not think of death as something in the future because it is not. Death is within you, because death is the other side of life. Life cannot exist without death; they both belong to the same energy as positive and

negative poles. So do not identify yourself with life ­ because you are both. The identification with life creates the gap. And death has nothing to do with the future ­ it is always here and now. Every moment, it is. And when one ceases to regard it as something outside oneself and, so to speak, draws it into his consciousness and assimilates the idea of it, one is completely changed. He is in all truth born again. And then there is no fear because then there is no gap. 162 Thinking is necessary but not enough, one must know living also, otherwise one becomes like the philosopher mentioned by Soren Kierkegaard who builds a fine palace but is doomed not to live in it ­ he has a shed for himself next door to what he has constructed for others,

including himself, to look at! Meditation is not thinking, but living Live it daily, moment to moment; that is, live in it or let it live in you. It is not something other-worldly either, because all such distinctions are from the mind: they are speculative and not existential, and meditation is existential. It is no more than one's everyday life lived totally. When Mencius says: The truth is near and people seek it far away, he means this. When Tokusan is asked about it he replies: When you are hungry you eat, when you are thirsty you drink, and when you meet a friend you greet him. He means this. Sings Ho Koji: How wondrous this, how mysterious! I carry fuel, I draw water. He also means this. And when you are near me whatsoever I may say I always mean this. Or I may not say anything ­

but then too I always mean this. 163 Love. Religion is so much an experience that it cannot be handed over by one to another. But there are traditions of religious experience ­ which are bound to be false because of the very nature of the religious experience. One has to travel the path alone with no footprints of other travellers even to guide. Hasan of Basra was asked: What is Islam and who are the Muslims? He is reported to have said: Islam is in the books and Muslims? Muslims are in the tombs. 164 Love. The world itself is a punishment enough, so really there is no need for hell at all. Once a man who had married three wives was brought before the king of the country for punishment.

The king called in his counsellors and asked them to devise the worst possible punishment for the offender, even death itself. But they did not order his execution, ruling instead that it would be still worse for him to live with all three wives at the same time. Two weeks later the man committed suicide. 165 Love. I have no special doctrine or philosophy, no set of concepts or intellectual formulas, but only certain irrational devices through which I can push you into the unknown. I do not believe in any theories or any systems of thought, but I have faith in certain existential situations through which I can throw you into the unknown. Intellectual understanding is not understanding at all but only a deception. Understanding is always of the total, of the whole being. Intellect is only a part, and that too a minor one, but it plays as the whole

and thereby creates all sorts of stupidities. Do not be identified with your intellect. Dissolve it into the whole of your being, and then you will know what understanding is ­ and the bliss and the ecstasy that follow it inevitably. 166 Love. Meditation is a mirror ­ and the most faithful one. Whoever goes into meditation risks a confrontation with himself: The mirror of meditation never lies, and it does not flatter. It is impartial and innocent and it never projects anything. It only faithfully shows your real original face, the face we never show to the world, the face that we ourselves have forgotten. So it is possible that you yourself may not be able to recognize it the first time! But do not escape from it. Face it and you will come to know it and recognize it.

This confrontation is the first test of courage on the inner way. So when it comes to happen ­ rejoice and feel blessed. 167 Love. Yes, there is tension. To be consciously conscious is to be tense, but it is not because of consciousness but because of partial consciousness. The unconscious is always behind the so called consciousness ­ this situation creates tension because this creates a dichotomy, a duality; hence the tension, because the being is divided ­ which cannot be divided. Hence the tension, The unnaturality of the situation is the root cause of this tension, and for that matter of all tensions, because then one is not individual, that is, indivisible;

therefore there is tension, and one cannot really relax unless one is ONE. Either be totally unconscious as in deep and dreamless sleep ­ and then there is no tension, or be totally conscious ­ and then you are in the state of no-tension because the total can never be tense. That is why the whole is the holy. But falling into deep sleeplike trance is just escaping the problem, and that too only for the time being, because you will be back soon ­ and worse, because by such escapes the gap between the conscious and the unconscious is not bridged but, on the contrary, widened even more. One becomes split and schizophrenic. So always be aware of the mind because it tries to find solace in unconscious states in so many ways ­ through chemical drugs, through auto-hypnotic means,

and otherwise. Begin to be aware of anything which ordinarily happens unconsciously, for example ­ anger, jealousy, pride ­ and your consciousness will be deepened. Act consciously, even in day-to-day acts be conscious, for example ­ walking, eating, talking ­ and your consciousness will be expanded. Be alert when thinking. No thought should be allowed to pass unwitnessed. And then, in the end, there is explosion in which you become totally conscious with no unconsciousness behind. When this happens one is one, and to be one is to be silent. This silence is beyond time and space, because it is beyond duality. 168 Love. God is when you are not. When you are IT IS not because YOU are nothing but a blindness. The ego cannot see.

the ego cannot be aware, the ego exists only as a by-product of unconscious living. One goes on living as if in sleep. In this sleep the part begins to dream itself as the whole, and this dreaming becomes a barrier to knowing the whole. Begin to be aware, aware of your actions, thoughts and emotions, just aware. Because if you condemn or appreciate you will not be aware ­ in any choice the awareness is contaminated and the darkness of unawareness comes in, so just be aware without any choice; then awareness is pure and innocent, and then awareness is a mirror. In this mirror-like awareness one never finds oneself but one finds THAT-WHICH-IS. And that is God. But it is only when you are not because you are the dust which makes the mirror blind. Because you are the blindness. 169 Love.

There are three forms of knowledge. The first is intellectual knowledge, which is in fact not knowledge but information only, and the collection of facts and the use of these to arrive at further intellectual concepts. The second is emotional knowledge which also is really not knowledge but feeling of the mental states in which man feels he has known something, but there is no transformation or mutation of his being. The first is objective and out of it science is born, and the second is subjective and is the source of all art. The third is neither; it is beyond both, and this third is the real. It is achieved through meditation because meditation does not use thinking and feeling as doors of perception ­ really these are not doors of perception but forces of projection; through them pure knowing is impossible, whatsoever comes through them is changed and coloured by them.

So unless one is free from all projections one cannot know THAT-WHICH-IS. When there are no ripples of thought and emotion in the consciousness, then and only then dawns the third form of knowledge, and this third is the only real knowledge. Out of it religion is born, and out of it is total transformation. 170 Love. The journey is long and the path is pathless ­ and one has to be alone. There is no map and no one to guide. But there is no alternative One cannot escape it, one cannot evade it. One has to go on the journey. The goal seems impossible but the urge to go on it is intrinsic. THE NEED IS DEEP IN THE SOUL. Really, you are the urge, you are the need ­ and consciousness cannot be otherwise because of this challenge

and because of this adventure. So do not waste time ­ begin. Do not calculate ­ begin. Do not hesitate ­ begin. Do not look back ­ begin. And always remember old Lao Tzu's words: A tree that takes both arms to encircle grows from a tiny rootlet. A many-storied pagoda is built by placing one brick upon another brick. A journey of three thousand miles is begun by a single step. 171 Love. When I say mutation I do not mean simply change. Change is from the known to the known: a sinner becomes a saint ­ then it is change and not mutation. You can practise change but you cannot practise mutation because only the known can be practised ­ and then any change is going to be only a modified past because the past will be continuous in it, and the past also will be the master of it because it is cultivated by the past.

In other words, change is from this to that, it is a movement in the known. But mutation is explosion: from THIS to nothingness, from here to nowhere. You cannot practise it ­ on the contrary, you are the only hindrance. So what is to be done. Really nothing can be done. Be aware of this helplessness, and remain in this helplessness. Do not do anything because any doing will be escaping from this fact of helplessness. Do not move at all ­ and then there is explosion, and then there is mutation. 172 Love. Religion is not a promise for the future but an experience HERE AND NOW. But through priesthood it has become promises and promises and promises. At an examination of a class in First Aid

a member, who was also a priest, was asked: What would you do if you found a man in a fainting condition? I would give him some brandy, was the answer. And if there was no brandy? he was then asked. I would promise him some, replied the priest. 173 Love. Wherever there are words there is no real meaning. But here also are words? Then what to do? READ BETWEEN THE WORDS. Or read that which is said but not written, or that which is shown and not even said, or that which is meant and not even shown. That is ­ LOOK IN, because the words are without but the meaning is within. 174 Love. Reason is not enough; it is necessary but not enough. The beyond must be remembered ­ and always, because reason in itself is destructive;

alone, it is nothing but a cutting weapon. It creates a man anti-all and pro-nothing. It creates absolutely negative minds which can criticize but cannot create, because reason has no healing force within itself; it is only a tiny part and not the whole of life amd the healing force is always with the whole. 175 Love. With thought the mind has boundaries but without thought the mind is just infinite space. That is why in thoughtless awareness one stops being a drop and becomes oceanic. And then there is great energy. This energy wipes out everything which is dead. It wipes out the whole karmic past ­ and with no effort at all. The greater absorbs the lesser and remains untouched. 176 Love. The will to wholeness is inherent in everything,

but only in man has it become conscious. Therefore man lives in tension, and only when this longing is fulfilled is his negative state of tension wiped out. The tension is symbolic of the infinite potential and also of the infinite possibilities. Man is not what he can be, and unless he is that which he can be he cannot be at ease. This dis-ease is man, and health is in wholeness. The fact that language has one root for the words whole, holy and to heal conceals a deep truth: He who is whole is also healed, and to be healed is to be whole. This wholeness can only be achieved by becoming totally conscious of oneself: The darkness of the unconscious is to be penetrated and transformed into light. And meditation is the method. 177 Love. The new world revealed in meditation

is not something added from the outside. It has always been there ­ within, is in being itself. It IS being itself. One may know it or not, but it is THERE ­ as a seed of course, as a potentiality, one has to make it actual, that is all. That is why when it is revealed, when it flowers, one laughs uproariously because it has always been there and one never knew it. To work towards meditation is just like sculpturing because just as the sculptor chisels out a figure deeply buried in a mass of inert matter. so the meditator transforms his won inert potentialities. into living, dynamic and conscious creations. of course, here the creator and the creation and the means of creation are not different but one because the meditator himself is all. And that is why I call meditation the greatest art. 178 Love.

Do not think of others and waste your time; really, that is a subtle and cunning way of the mind to escape from itself. Once a monk asked Ummon: Sir, you always say that Buddhism helps us in every possible way, but how can it help the blind, the deaf or the dumb? The blind cannot see the teacher's staff that is raised before them, the deaf cannot hear the teacher's words, no matter how wise, the dumb cannot ask their questions or speak their understanding: so since we cannot help these people how can we say that Buddhism helps in every possible way? What good is it? Ummon just remained silent for a while and then abruptly poked at the questioner with his stick. The monk of course jumped back. Ah! said Ummon. I see you are not blind! Then he told the monk to come forward, which he did. Ah-ha! said Ummon. I see you are not deaf! Then he asked the monk

if he understood what all this to-do was about. The monk said he did not. Ah-ha! said Ummon. I see you are not dumb! 179 Love. Meditation does not require any application of the mind or use of effort. It descends upon you as effortlessly as sleep. You cannot try to sleep, nor can you try to meditate. On the contrary, every effort hinders its smooth and silent coming. There is no place in it for action or aggression ­ and action is ways aggressive. Meditation is passive receptivity. Mind is aggressive, meditation is passive. Be passive nd receptive and open and vulnerable and WAIT. The real miracle happens through waiting. The moment that waiting is total

there is happening, and ­ THE EXPLOSION. 180 Love. The problem of life is not philosophical, it is existential. You cannot solve it from the outside; you cannot just be a spectator to it ­ you are in it ­ you ARE IT. And moreover, what is philosophy? At the worst a linguistic misunderstanding, or at best a linguistic analysis. And even at its best it leads nowhere because the problem is existential and it cannot be solved through language analysis and grammar. One dark night a dervish was passing a dry well when he heard a cry for help from below. What is the matter? he called down. I am a grammarian, and I have unfortunately fallen, due to my ignorance of the path, into this deep well, in which I am now all but immobilized, responded the other. Hold, friend, and I'll fetch a ladder and a rope,

said the dervish. One moment please! said the grammarian. Your grammar and diction are faulty. Be good enough to amend them. If that is so much more important than the essentials, shouted the dervish, you had best stay where you are until I have learned to speak properly. And he went his way. 181 Love. don't think about surrender at all because that which thinks about it is the only barrier, and therefore no one can surrender: it is not a doing at all. It happens, you cannot go to it, it comes to you. And any effort on your part will hinder its coming. Be open and effortless, relaxed and passive, and it will come ­ it always comes I am a witness to it. 182 Love.

Mulla Nasrudin was searching for something on the ground. What have you lost, Mulla? someone who saw him searching, asked. My key, said the Mulla. So they both went down on their knees and looked for it. After a time the other man asked: Where exactly did you drop it? In my house, said the Mulla. Then why are you looking here? There is more light here than inside my house. I ask you also ­ where are you looking for the key? Inside the house? Or out there, where there is more light? 183 Love. There is no end to man's self-deception, because whatsoever he is going to do he can rationalize it. One day one man boasted in the bar that he is a man of iron WILL, and now he will show it by not touching wine again in his life. But not even that day could pass. In the evening he came to the bar and said loudly for all to hear ­ I am stronger than my willpower. I fought the whole day and finally conquered my

damn willpower! A double scotch, please! 184 Love. The way of meditation is above the self; its base is surrendering. Surrender the self to your own no-self; Be as if you are not. Oh, the benediction when one just leaves everything to the no-self! Buddha called this phenomenon anatma or anatta (no-selfhood). One must turn oneself into a puppet in the hands of the no-self, and then everything begins to flow naturally and spontaneously just like a river flowing to the sea or like a cloud wandering in the sky. Lao-tzu says this is doing by non-doing. One ceases to be one's own master and becomes an instrument of the unknown ­ and what nonsense it is to be one's own master because there is no one to be so! Do not search and you will continue to believe in it. Search and it is nowhere to be found.

The self exists only in ignorance. It IS ignorance. In knowing there is nos elf because there is no knower. Then knowing is enough unto itself. 185 Love. There is conflict in the mind ­ always, because the mind cannot exist without the conflict. It gets strengthened through conflict; even warring against conflict is conflict and struggling to go beyond the mind is mind. See this deeply and immediately without motive, just as if you have come across a snake in the street ­ and the jump. Then it is not that you jump but ­ the jump. The jump happens spontaneously without effort and without conflict. When this happens there is no-mind and no-mind is the door to the divine.

186 Love. In meditation, enjoy doing nothing. Be in a state of perfectly quiet passivity ­ then you are in harmony with the world. The thought-forms dissolve automatically because they cannot exist with total passivity: they are forms of an activity-addicted mind, and with them dissolves the ego ­ because it cannot exist without thought-forms. The ego is nothing but a whirlpool centre of constantly revolving thought-forms. Remain in passivity, that is, in the state of absolute doing-nothingness, and meditation deepens to the depths where there is no meditator; and remember that only when there is no meditator has meditation really come into being. If you are then there is no meditation, and when there is meditation you are not. 187 It is tragic but true that few people ever possess

their souls. They possess everything except themselves, and then naturally they just become a thing among their other things. The possessor becomes the possessed. Nothing is more rare in any man, says Emerson, than an act of his own. But this is just what can be expected because no one is one's own, no one is oneself. Most people are other people. They are not living but only acting roles given to them by others. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions and their faces are just masks. They are faceless. They have no authentic being at all. Their lives ­ a mimicry and their passions ­ a quotation. Break this vicious circle otherwise you will never BE. Break this through meditation ­ and it cannot be broken by anything else because through mind it cannot be broken,

and except for meditation, all else is mind. Mind is the prison, meditation, the door. And the only door. 188 Love. Only God is ­ that is why it is so difficult to find Him, and God is everywhere ­ that is why He seems to be nowhere, and the seeker is the sought ­ that is why all seeking is so futile. Stop and see. But the mind is running constantly. Do not be, and see. But the mind is trying to be continuously. Says Auden: For the garden is the only place there is, but you will not find it. Until you have looked for it everywhere and found nowhere that is not a desert; The miracle is the only thing that happens, but to you it will not be apparent, Until all events have been studied

and nothing happens that you cannot explain; And life is the destiny you are bound to refuse until you have consented to die. STOP AND SEE. DO NOT BE, AND SEE. 189 Love. Live in the body intimately and deeply. Feel the body more and let the body feel more. It is astonishing how many people are almost completely unaware of themselves physically. The body is suppressed and denied life too much, that is why it is just a dead weight and not a living joy. That is why I insist: be back in the body and regain the wonderful joy in its movements, sheer movements. Make it a meditation and you will be enriched beyond comprehension. 190 Love. John Burroughs remembers: One day my boy killed what an old hunter told him was a mock duck.

It looked like a duck, it acted like a duck, but when it came on the table ­ it mocked us! Remember to make a clearcut distinction between your self and your mock-selves ­ the masks, otherwise in the end they will all mock you! 191 Love Man is strange, very strange, because he begins by deceiving others and ends with deceiving himself. A fakir was walking down the village street deep in thought when some urchins began to throw stones at him. He was taken by surprise, and besides he was not a big man. Don't do that, he said, and I will tell you something of interest to you. All right, what is it? But no philosophy. The king is giving a free banquet to all comers ­ he just lied to them. The children ran off towards the king's palace as the fakir warmed to his theme ­

the delicacies and delights of the entertainment... He looked up and saw them disappearing in the distance, and then suddenly he tucked up his robes and started to sprint after them I had better go and see, he panted to himself, because it might he true after all. 192 Love. To be religious is to be a yea-sayer: yes to everything ­ yes to life and yes to death, yes to light and yes to darkness. Total acceptance is religion. Says Nicolas De Cusa: Yes God! Yes God! Yes, yes and always yes Say YES ­ and feel it, and you have entered the temple of the divine. Say no and you yourself have closed the doors ­ or closed yourself to the divine. No is suicidal, no is poisonous ­ know this and be a yea-sayer. Let your heart say yes with every beat. Breathe YES in and out

and you will feel the divine all around you within and without. He is always present but He cannot enter through a NO sign, He cannot trespass on you. With a no you are an ego but with a yes you are just egolessness. Ego is a Leibnizian monad without any doors or windows, and egolessness is the gate. Be a gate ­ the divine is waiting to enter you from eternity. 193 Love. Begin to live positively, that is ­ with positive emotions. To be negative is to be self-destructive and ultimately suicidal. But ordinarily the mind works that way because it is only an instrument for safety and security; it detects death only and not life. So to be completely positive is to transcend mind. Some fakir was asked to talk to a group about the negative nature of the mind.

He tacked up on the wall a large sheet of perfectly white paper. He made a black spot in the paper with a pencil. Then he asked each man to say what he saw. Each man replied: A black spot. The fakir then said: Yes, there is a little black spot. But not one of you saw the big expanse of white paper and that is the point of my speech. 194 Love. The forms of existence are finite ­ all forms. Really, to have a form means to be finite. But existence is infinite because only the formless can be infinite and existence is formlessness, that is why it can take all the forms. But to take form in any way is to allow death in because form is a death sentence whilst existence itself is eternal life. Do not be identified with the form: this identification creates the fear of death

­ in fact, all fear. Remember the formless and you will know immortality because you will be that ­ then. 195 Love. The attitude is everything. Negative attitudes negate life ­ they are good for dying but not good for living. Life needs positive attitudes; life feeds on them because they make you not only happy but creative also. Once there lived an old woman, but the older she became the younger she felt ­ because youthfulness has nothing to do with age, it is an attitude, and with age and its richness one can really be younger than the young. The old woman was so cheerful and creative that everyone wondered at her. But you must have some clouds in your life. said a visitor. Clouds? she replied. Why, of course: if there were no clouds

where would the blessed showers come from In the presence of trouble ­ and there are troubles in life ­ the positive mind grows wings but others buy crutches. Grow wings, and do not buy crutches. 196 There is no security in life because life cannot exist except as insecurity ­ that is why the more secure one is the less alive one becomes. Death is complete security so never be in search of security because you are searching for death. To live totally and in ecstasy never demands security. Accept insecurity blissfully and when you accept it then you will know that it has a beauty of its own. Mulla Nasrudin's tomb was fronted by an immense wooden door, barred and padlocked. Nobody could get into it ­ at least through the door: as his last joke

the Mulla decreed that the tomb should have no walls around it.... Oh, what the Mulla did with his tomb everybody is doing with his life ­ and unknowingly! If you also want to do it ­ at least do it knowingly, because I know that knowingly you cannot do it! Not only you cannot, but no one can do it, because no stupidity can be done with oneself knowingly. 197 Love. The universe cares for little but play. But man in his life does hardly anything but work, and because of this everything has become upside down. Hence the agony. The law, the TAO of the universe, is play ­ leela, and the law of the human reason is work because reason cannot think beyond utility. But existence exists beyond utility. Meditate on this gap and you will find the bridge ­ and the bridge is necessary because you cannot exist without work,

and to exist only for work is unbearable and unlivable. The meditative mall works that he may play ­ the reason for his work is play, and the unmeditative man plays that he may work ­ the reason for his play is work. 198 Love. Life does not need comfort when it can be offered meaning nor pleasure when it can be shown purpose, because in the total intensity of intentional living is the fruition of the seed of consciousness. And consciousness without the self is the goal. Consciousness without the centre ­ and you have reached. Consciousness without ego is nirvana: or you may call it God or whatsoever you like. Know that everyone is seeking this state of being, but unless the seeker is lost this state of being cannot be found ­ and the seeker can only be lost in the fire of total intensity of living. So live totally and live in the moment

and moment to moment, because there is no other way to live totally, and no other way to dissolve the centre, the self, the ego. 199 Love. The secret of meditation is the art of unlearning. Mind is learning; meditation is unlearning: that is ­ die constantly to your experience; let it not imprison you; experience becomes a dead weight in the living and flowing, riverlike consciousness. Live in the moment unburdened by the past, flow in the moment unblocked by the mind, and you will be in meditation. Know well that it is innocence that is full and experience that is empty ­ although the surface appearance is quite the contrary. It is innocence that knows and experience that knows not ­ though innocence never claims and experience is nothing but claims and claims and

claims! And that is why I say: Innocence is meditation because it opens the doors of the unknown. So learn how to unlearn. So learn how to be beyond the mind. Do not cling to the known and the masterkey will be in your hands. Be open and vulnerable living and flowing always into the unknown and you will be in meditation ­ you will BE meditation. 200 Love. Three men made their way to the circle of a Sufi seeking admission to his teachings. Almost at once one of them detached himself from the group, angered by the erratic behaviour of the Master. On the Master's instructions the second was told by a disciple that the sage was a fraud. He withdrew soon afterwards. The third was allowed to talk

but was offered no teaching for so long that he lost patience and left the circle. When they had all gone away the teacher instructed his circle thus: The first man was an illustration of the principle: Do not judge fundamental things by sight. The second was an illustration of the injunction: Do not judge things of deep importance by hearing. The third was an example of the dictum: Never judge by speech or the lack of it. When asked by a disciple why the applicants could not have been instructed in this matter the Master retorted: I am here to give real knowledge, not to teach what people pretend that they have already learned at their mother's knees. 201 Love. Always remember the golden rule: ONE STEP AT A TIME. A goodnatured woman was often asked for food by tramps. She finally decided to refuse them;

it was becoming too burdensome. But shortly after she made her resolution one young man stopped and asked her for a little piece of thread. She noticed that his pants were badly ripped, that he had a needle, and she realized he could not get work with his pants in their present condition, so she gave him the thread. The fellow took the thread, went down the road and sat under a tree for a few minutes, then came back to the house. He told the woman he could not repair the pants unless he had a piece of cloth for a patch. She gave him a small piece of material. About an hour later the young fellow came again to the house and said: Madam, these pants are beyond repair. It would be very good of you if you could give me a pair of your husband's old pants. So she gave him a pair of old pants and smiled at his cleverness. The young man went behind the barn and changed into the pants given to him. Then he returned to the house and told the woman

that the pants were sort of big around the waist, but if she could give him some food he was sure they would fit perfectly. This time the woman burst out laughing and gave him a big dinner. And all because he took one step at a time. 202 Love. Knowledge is accumulation, that is why knowledge is always dead while learning is moment to moment because learning is not accumulation but movement. So do not be dead with knowledge but move with learning, only then you will be alive. Do not be tethered to experience ­ experience is slavery. Always transcend that which has been so that you are ready to receive the new. Ecstasy is always with the new, with the fresh, with the young, with the discontinuous ­ and to be always in the discontinuous is to be in

the divine. 203 Love. If one is aware of the present moment then one also becomes aware of the fact that there is no ME inside. The me is my past, the me is the dead past. The me is not my life because it is not living. The ego can exist only in the past or in the future ­ which is nothing but a projection of the past; that is why awareness, moment to moment awareness, leads to egolessness: because the ego cannot exist in the present and because awareness cannot exist except in the present. So they both cannot exist simultaneously. Ego is unawareness and awareness is egolessness. 204 Love. I live not by planning and I feel also that this is the only way to be alive at all.

In fact I live a wild life, absolutely unplanned, not knowing anything about the future ­ not even about the next moment. Today is enough for me ­ really more than enough! The moment that is present is the only living moment ­ the past is dead in the sense that it is no more and the future is also dead in the sense that it is not yet born. And so to be concerned with the past is to be dead and to be concerned with the future is also to be dead. The only way to be alive is to be here and now ­ in the moment and totally in it. Living moment to moment I have found that ecstasy and bliss which is not of this world at all. The single moment lived totally transcends time itself. It becomes the gap between two moments of time, and if one can be in this gap then one is beyond death because time is death and timelessness is life. Life is not something fixed and finished, life is living what is,

a process, just riverlike, flowing always into the unknown, from the shores of the known to the shores of the unknown. 205 Love. Anger, violence, greed or envy cannot be overcome by the cultivation of their opposites, because anger itself will cultivate its opposite and violence will be present in its cultivated non-violence. So always be aware of the hypnotic spell of the opposite: it never solves any problem because it is beating around the bush. Do not fall into the trap of the opposite but understand anger, violence or greed or anything else directly. To seek the opposite is a way of escape. To seek the opposite is cowardice. Live with your mind as it is. Do not try to change it. Be brave and face it and understand it. When the light of awareness falls on anger or greed or envy there is change.

Awareness acts as a catalytic agent ­ and then anger does not change into its opposite, it is not that violence becomes non-violence, but there is no-anger, there is no-violence, and when there is no-violence there is no-mind, and an altogether different dimension opens its door: the dimension of the spontaneous, the dimension of the divine. 206 Love. Moment to moment life passes into death, because it is death. Covered, it appears as life, uncovered it is death. Remember this fact always. This is silent meditation. And when this remembering penetrates even in your dreams you will have a new door opened unto you. Through it in fact you will be altogether new. And ultimately reborn. Remembering death gives a new dimension to consciousness

because to remember death is not natural. On the contrary nature has arranged that one should not be aware of it because the moment one transcends death one transcends nature also. And one cannot transcend death unless one is totally aware of the fact. So be totally aware of death. And it is happening each moment within and without. It is present everywhere. And because it is so obvious one becomes absent to it. Remember ­ and deepen the consciousness, because as the awareness of death goes deeper one becomes capable of feeling that which is deathless. Really, death is the door ­ the opening to the deathless. But be conscious of it. Be conscious and transcend. Be conscious and know that which is before birth and after death. And ­ you are that. 207

Love. Be a stranger to yourself. See life as a river flowing through time. Stand on the bank, neither curious nor concerned. Glance or gaze at the driftwood of your past floating in memory ­ just like the incidents one reads about in the paper. Detached and indifferent remember that nothing matters. ONLY EXIST ­ and the explosion. 208 Love. Be always positive, in each and every situation ­ that helps meditative awareness very much. Negative attitudes negate the whole effort. Diogenes was looking for an honest man in New Delhi. What luck? asked the wayfarer. Oh, pretty fair, sir, replied Diogenes. I still have my lantern. 209 Love. Philosophy cannot cure you of questions ­ on the contrary, it can give you more. This I have heard at a chemist's shop:

Did the patent medicine you purchased cure your aunt? Mercy, no. On reading the circular that was wrapped around the bottle she got two more diseases. 210 Love. Mulla Nasrudin was carrying home some liver which he had just bought. In the other hand he held a recipe for liver pie which a friend had given him. Suddenly a buzzard swooped down and carried off the liver. You fool! shouted Nasrudin. Having the meat is all very well, but what will you do without the recipe? 211 Love. Man can only know what God is not. To know what God is, is impossible because there begins the realm of being. You cannot know God but you can BE, and in that dimension is the only knowing; but that knowing is altogether different from all our other knowings

because in that knowing there is no knower and no known, but only knowing. That is why in that dimension knowing and being are the same. There is no knowledge even because knowledge is dead and therefore a thing. Moreover, knowledge is always of the past, and God is never in the past nor in the future. God is now, always now; and here, and always here. Close your eyes and see. Then open your eyes and see. Then neither close your eyes nor open your eyes and see. 212 Love. There was once a man who was obsessed with the idea that there was a secret knower in those who achieved success. To discover this secret

he devoted years to study and research: ancient masonry, philosophy, astrology, psychology, salesmanship, religious beliefs, the various cults that have had their rise and fall ­ all these he studied long and diligently, but no conclusion was visible. He struggled and struggled but still there was no conclusion. And then instead of success in his search for the secret of success came death ­ and as death approached him he realized the goal of his whole life's efforts, and finally he gave his conclusion to those who were near him. It came in two short words: I WILL. 213 Love. Do not believe in thinking because that is the greatest of all superstitions ­ but well hidden because it pretends to be anti-superstitious! Thinking is nothing but dust in a blind mind because you cannot think that which is not known ­ and you need not think that which is already known.

The encounter is always with the unknown. The unknown is everywhere, within and without, and thinking is always in the known and of the known. You call never be in contact with the unknown through the known so throw the known and be in contact with the unknown. And this is what I call meditation. 214 Love. Man goes on dreaming and desiring but basically remains where he is. and in the end nothing but ashes of his dreams and desires are in his hands ­ and of course tears in his eyes. Panchatantra has a beautiful story: In a certain town lived a Brahmin named Seedy who got some barley meal by begging, ate a portion, and filled a jar with the remainder. This jar he hung on a peg one night, placed his cot beneath it and fixing his gaze on the jar fell into a hypnotic reverie.

Well here is a jar of barley meal, he thought. Now if famine comes a hundred rupees will come out of it. With that sum I will get two she-goats. Every six months they will bear two more she-goats. After goats, cows. When the cows calve I will sell the calves. After cows, buffalos. After buffalos, mares. From the mares I shall get plenty of horses. The sale of these will mean plenty of gold. The gold will buy a great house with an inner court. Then someone will come to my house and offer his lovely daughter with a dowry. She will bear a son whom I shall call Moonlord. When he is old enough to ride on my knee I will take a book, sit on the stable roof and think. Just then Moonlord will see me, will jump from his mother's lap in his eagerness to ride on my knee and will go too near the horses. Then I shall get angry and tell my wife to take the boy but she will be too busy with her chores

and will not pay attention to what I say. Then I will get up and kick her! Being sunk in his hypnotic dream he let fly such a kick that he smashed the jar and the barley meal it contained turned him white all over. 215 Love. Go on discarding: not this, not this (NETI, NETI). and ultimately when nothing remains to be discarded ­ then is the explosion. Do not cling to anything, to any thought. Go on and on until the nothingness. I have heard about a little boy Toyo and his meditations. He was only twelve years old but he wanted to be given something to ponder, to meditate on, so one evening he went to Mokurai, the Zen master, struck the gong softly to announce his presence, and sat before the master in respectful silence. Finally the master said: Toyo, show me the sound of two hands. Toyo clapped his hands.

Good, said the master. Now show me the sound of one hand clapping. Toyo was silent. Finally he bowed and left to meditate on the problem. The next night he returned and struck the gong with one palm. That is not right, said the master. The next night Toyo returned and played geisha music with one hand. That is not right, said the master. And again and again Toyo returned with some answer but the master said again and again, That is not right. For nights Toyo tried new sounds but each and every answer was rejected. The question itself was absurd so no answer could be right. And when on the eleventh night Toyo came and before he spoke anything the master said: That is still not right! ­ then he stopped coming to the master. For a year he thought of every possible sound and discarded them all, and when there was nothing left to be discarded any more

he exploded into enlightenment. When he was no more he returned to the master and without striking the gong he sat down and bowed. He was not saying anything and there was silence. Then the master said: So you have heard the sound without sound! 216 Love. Thought is divisive, it divides ad infinitum, so thought can never come to the total, to the whole. and the whole is while the parts are not ­ or they are only for the mind: and if there is no mind then there are no parts. With the mind and because of the mind the one becomes many ­ or appears so; and with the mind and through the mind, to conceive the one is impossible. Of course it can think about the one, but that one is nothing but a putting together of all the parts, and that one is quite different from the one which is.

The one which is conceptualized by the mind is just a mathematical construct: it is not a living whole, it is not organic, and unless one experiences the cosmos as an organic whole one has not known anything at all. This is not possible with thought, but this is possible with no-thought. 217 Love. EMPTINESS IS ALL ­ and to get hold of emptiness is to get all and be all. But it is very arduous to get hold of emptiness ­ because it is emptiness! And it hurts much ­ though it is emptiness, still it hurts much! Because to make way for it the ego has to die. But I am happy that you are dying because this is the only way to be beyond death ­ I say: the only way. Remember this always. Sekkyo said once to one of his monks: Can you get hold of emptiness ­ I will try, said the monk; and he cupped his hands in the air.

That is absurd, said Sekkyo. You have not got anything in there. Well, Master, said the monk, please show me the right way. Thereupon Sekkyo seized the monk's nose and gave it a great yank. Ouch! yelled the monk. You hurt me! I cannot help it because that is the only way to get hold of emptiness! said Sekkyo. 218 Man asks questions and then answers them himself. Nothing is answered in this way. But man is capable of deceiving himself ­ and the whole of philosophy is nothing but such a deception. Man asks: What is mind? and then answers himself: Not matter? nd then asks: What is matter? and then answers: Not mind? and this stupid game goes on. I have heard about a distinguished philosopher who customarily began his speeches with: Why are we here?

He had occasion to address the inmates of a mental hospital and finally said: Ladies and Gentlemen, why are we here? One of the inmates called out: We are all here because we are not all there! 219 Love. The mind always thinks in terms of the self. It is egocentric. During the French revolution a man from Paris stopped at a village and was asked by a friend what was happening. They are cutting off heads by thousands, said the visitor. How terrible! cried the villager. That could ruin my hat business! But this is the way of the mind, and because of this it is never in tune with the cosmos, so how can it know life? It cannot know it because it cannot be one with it. Really with the mind there is no knowing but only superficial acquaintance. Intimate and deep knowing comes only with no-mind ­ and meditation is dissolving mind into no-mind. 220

Love. A monk asked Hyakujo Yekai: What is the most miraculous event in the world? Hyakujo said: I sit here all by myself! 221 Love. Freedom from becoming means freedom for being. Becoming is desiring, being is that which is. Becoming is longing for the future, being is to be in the present. Becoming is mental, being is existential. That is why becoming must cease for the being to reveal itself. Becoming is just like the smoke around the flame, or just like the outer covering around the seed, so please let the smoke go for the flame to explode in its complete glory and splendour, and let the seed die to its outer shell so that it may be what it is in its innermost depth. 222 Love.

No more principles are needed. The world is already much too burdened with principles and persons who are men of principles. I have heard that once a priest was consoling a widow. He said feelingly about her dead husband that he was a man of principle. That he was, sighed the widow. Every Saturday night for these twenty years the poor man would come home and faithfully hand me his pay envelope ­ that he never missed doing. Of course the envelope was always empty, but mind you, he was loyal to the principle of the thing. 223 Love. Religion is ­ living without conflict, that is ­ without ideas and without ideals, because whenever one lives with ideals there is conflict, there is conflict between that which is and that which should be,

and then life is misery. See this and go beyond. In fact the very seeing of the fact is going beyond. And please do not ask the seemingly inevitable how? because there is no HOW to it. Either you see it or you do not see it ­ and moreover the how is again the creator of conflict. 224 Love. Bhakti needs only time to absorb the shock she has come across in her deep meditations; remember ­ only time and nothing else. The shock is nothing new. It happens whenever the deeper layers of the unconscious are encountered Before any mutation this is absolutely necessary. Be grateful to the divine because this is a good omen. Bhakti needed it badly and when she is out of it she will be a new person totally. Soon she will be twice-born. At present she is passing through a great spiritual crisis, so you be with her ­ but just as if you are not.

Be present, but with absolute absence. This is the only way you can be helpful to her. Let her be alone as much as possible. Do not talk with her except where it is needed absolutely ­ and then too be telegraphic. But if she herself wants to talk let her talk as much as she likes, and you yourself be just a passive listener. Let her do whatsoever she wants to do or not do and soon everything will be okay. Do not worry at all. I will be there beside you always ­ and if you can see, you will be able to see me also. Of course Bhakti will feel my presence and become aware of me these days so many times. Convey my blessings to her. 225 Love. One day a man came to the Sufi teacher Bahaudin. He asked for help in his problems and guidance on the path. Bahaudin told him to abandon spiritual studies and to leave his court at once.

A kind-hearted visitor began to remonstrate with Bahaudin. You shall have a demonstration, said the Master. At that moment a bird flew into the room darting hither and thither not knowing where to go in order to escape. The Master waited until the bird settled near the only open window of the chamber and then suddenly clapped his hands. Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window to freedom. To him that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, do you not agree? said Bahaudin. 226 Love. Fu Ta Shih says: Each night one embraces a Buddha while sleeping Each morning one gets up again with him Rising or sitting ­ both watch and follow one another Speaking or not speaking ­ both are in the same place They never part even for a moment

but are like the body and its shadow. If you wish to know the Buddha's whereabouts, in the sound of your own voice ­ there he is. Do you understand this? If not now ­ when will you understand? And this is not being asked for the first time, but many many times in many many lives the same question has been raised ­ and you have not yet answered! Now, is it not time enough? 227 Love. Mind is localization of consciousness, and it can be localized in any part of the body. Ordinarily we have localized it in the head but other cultures and other civilizations in the past have tried other parts of the body also, and on other planets there are beings with other parts of their bodies working as their minds, but whatsoever may be the part chosen localization of consciousness means its freezing, and whenever it ceases to flow freely as is needed

it is no more consciousness in its suchness. Meditation means: consciousness in its suchness, so let consciousness fill the whole body, let it flow throughout the totality of your being and you will have a feeling of aliveness which is never known and felt by localized consciousness. Whenever there is localization of consciousness the part in which the localization happens becomes tense and diseased and the remainder of the body becomes a dead weight. But with meditative consciousness or flowing consciousness everything changes completely: the whole body becomes alive, sensitive and aware and consequently weightless. Then there is no centre for tensions to exist and accumulate because they cannot exist without frozen blocks of consciousness. The flowing, the moving, consciousness washes them out constantly with every movement, and when the whole body is alive only then you begin to feel the cosmic consciousness all around you. How can a frozen consciousness, and that too surrounded by a dead body,

feel the cosmic? 228 Now man knows more about man than ever and yet no problem is solved. It seems that something is basically wrong with our so-called knowledge itself. This whole knowledge is derived from analysis and analysis is incapable of penetrating into the depths of consciousness. The analytical method is all right with matter or with things because there is no inside to them, but consciousness is insideness, and to use the analytical method with consciousness is to treat it as an object while it is not an object at all. And it cannot be made an object; its very nature is subjectivity, its being is subjectivity, so it must not be approached from outside because then whatsoever is known about it is not about it. Consciousness must be approached from inside ­ and then the method is meditation and not analysis. Meditation is synthetic: it is concerned with the whole and not with the parts

it is subjective and not objective, it is irrational or super-rational and not rational, it is religious or mystic and not scientific. Authentic knowledge of consciousness comes only through meditation and all else is just superficial acquaintance and basically erroneous because the very source of it is fallacious and poisonous. 229 Love. Life is a dream so enjoy it; but do not ask for more because then you only disturb the dream and get nothing except a disturbed night. Be a witness to the dreaming mind and then there is transcendence: then you go beyond dreaming and beyond mind itself. And know well that there is an awakening BELOW the dreaming mind which is nothing but just a disturbed dream. One can get to this below-dreaming state of awakening through asking for more desiring more ­ as ordinarily we all do. In a dream Mulla Nasrudin saw himself being counted out coins and when there were nine silver pieces in his hand the invisible donor stopped giving them.

Nasrudin shouted: I MUST HAVE TEN! So loudly that he woke himself up. Finding that all the money had disappeared he closed his eyes again and murmured, All right then give them back ­ I will take the nine. There is also an awakening above the dreaming mind ­ the real awakening in comparison to which man ordinarily is asleep. One can get to this awakening through witnessing the dreaming mind ­ and unless one gets to it one is not really alive. 230 Love. The divine is that from which one cannot depart, and that from which one can depart is not the divine. So find that from which you have never departed and cannot ever depart from ­ and then laugh at the absurdity of the human mind and its efforts! Buddha is still laughing because of that Listen! 231

Love. Why does man suffer? Man suffers because of his craving, craving to possess that which cannot be possessed, and craving to keep things for ever with himself which are essentially impermanent. And chief among these things is his own ego, his own persona. But all things are impermanent. Except for change itself. everything changes. Really nothing is because everything is only a process, so as soon as one tries to possess anything it slips away. The possessor himself is slipping away constantly! Then there is frustration. and then there is suffering. Know this well, realize this well and there will be no suffering because then you have uprooted the root. 232 Love. The self can never be free ­

because the self itself is the bondage. This is the meaning of the penetrating saying of Jesus: He that saveth his life shall lose it and he that loseth his life shall keep it unto life eternal. Or that of Lao Tzu in TAO-TE-KING: He who humbles himself shall be saved, he who bends shall be made straight and he who empties himself shall be filled. One is not to make the self free; rather on the contrary, ONE HAS TO BE FREE FROM THE SELF. The self is nothing but the husk of the seed. Do not cling to it. Sings Wu Ming Fu: The seed that has to grow must lose itself as seed, and they that creep may graduate through chrysalis to wings. Wilt thou then, O mortal, cling to husks which falsely seem to you the self? 233 Love. The gates of the temple are wide open and it is only after thousands of years that such opportunity comes to this earth. Know well that they will not remain open for ever, the opportunity can be lost very easily,

and you are still wavering, and you are still hesitating ­ to enter or not to enter ­ to be or not to be. I know that the challenge is great, but I know also that your being is completely ready to take the jump. Hence my insistent call for you to come and enter. And this is not for the first time that I have called you. nor the first life; I know you Bhakti, through so many births! And soon you will also remember many things. But not before the jump. Only your superficial persona is resisting, not you ­ and it is expected to resist always because the moment one take the plunge into the unknown it has to die naturally. So please do not identify yourself with it; be a witness to it, and you will be in the jump. Oh, it is time enough now to die to the old ego and be reborn to the supreme self! 234 Love.

Logic is not all; neither is consistency; because even madness has its own methods, rationalizations and inner consistencies. A madman was throwing handfuls of crumbs around his house. What are you doing? someone asked him. Keeping the elephants away, he answered. But there are no elephants in these parts, said the enquirer. That is right. My method is effective isn't it? declared the madman. 235 Love. Total acceptance of existence is impossible for the mind because the mind exists as denial. It exists with the NO. and with a total YES it dies. So it continues to find reasons to say no even if there are no reasons. Walking with a disciple one day Mulla Nasrudin saw for the first time in his life a beautiful lakeland scene. What a delight! he exclaimed. But if only, if only... If only what, Master? asked the disciple.

If only they had not put water into it! said the Mulla. 236 Love. Meditation is like the sea: receiving the dirty river and yet remaining pure. You need not be purified before it, but you will come purified out of it. Meditation is unconditional, purity is not a prerequirement but a consequence. 237 Love. Be like a dead one, and then dualisms will not contaminate you and you will reach the state of non-arising of thought, the brightness of self-nature will appear in full ­ and when this happens you are no more. This disappearance is the appearance of the divine, so please ­ DISAPPEAR! 238 Love. Existence exists in order to exist ­ And likewise life. There is no meaning to it beyond itself so never posit any meaning

otherwise you will feel its meaninglessness. It is not meaningless and it cannot be so because there is no meaning in it all! The very search for meaning is mean and ugly because it comes from the utilitarian mind of man. Existence simply is and likewise life: there is no purpose in it and there is no end to it. Oh, feel it here and now! Please do not practise it because that is the way of the utilitarian mind. Be playful and only then will you know the playfulness of the universe. And to know that is to be religious. 239 Love. Do not continue circling in the old rut ­ and the way out is just by your hand. The mind is the past, the dead past; one has to break it somewhere and jump out of it The mind is the prison, the slavery. Be free of it.

And the moment is ripe. Of course I know that you are still not clearly aware of it but you are not unaware either. Gather courage and jump into the unknown. One step only is enough because the next follows it automatically. But do not go on thinking and thinking and thinking. Thinking promises to lead you somewhere but the promise remains always a promise because thinking is just impotent as far as life is concerned. So please, be existential. Do not hesitate. And You have nothing to lose ­ because you have nothing! Realize this and be nothing ­ no-one. 240 Love. Life is movement, process, fluidity; but ideas become fixed, so they become also anti-life. They become dead blocks. Do not remain with them.

MOVE. And do not fear inconsistency because life is not a syllogism, life is not a theory but a mystery. Someone asked Mulla Nasrudin: How old are you, Mulla? Forty. But you said the same last time I asked you, five years ago! Yes, I am always consistent and always stand by what I have said. 241 Love. Mind means consciousness somewhere ­ centred, focussed and tense. Meditation means consciousness nowhere, and when it is nowhere it is everywhere ­ decentralized. unfocussed and non-tense. Mind is agony by its very nature, meditation ­ ecstasy. Do not treat consciousness like a cat tied to a string. This very treatment ­ or mistreatment ­

creates the mind The consciousness must be left to itself. utterly free to move and be, according to its nature. Do not localize it. Do not partialize it. This is the essence of my discipline of no-discipline. Preserve the absolute fluidity of your consciousness and then you will not he. and when you are not and only consciousness is then for the first time the doors of the divine are open to you. 242 Love. Yes, man learns by experience! Two old drunkards were in the habit of coming together twice a week to the wineseller to get drunk. After years of this one of them died. His old friend came in on the Saturday and they told him his pal had died ­ that the whisky had been taken into blood circulation

and so saturated his blood and his breath that one night before going to bed the old man went to blow out the candle and his breath caught fire and he was burned to death. The other man promptly called for a bible and took all oath that from that time forward he would never blow out another candle in his life! Yes, man learns by experience! 243 Love. Do not imitate anyone, do not follow anyone, otherwise you will be just a pseudo existence ­ and that is worse than suicide. BE YOURSELF ­ and only then can you be responsible and authentic and real. But ordinarily everyone is just secondhand and borrowed, and that makes everything ugly. Mulla Nasrudin went to a mosque and sat down. His shirt was rather short and the man behind him pulled it lower,

thinking it looked unseemly. Nasrudin immediately pulled the shirt of the man in front of him. What are you doing? asked the man in front. Don't ask me. Ask the man behind ­ he started it, said Nasrudin. 244 Love. The real religious experience cannot be organized, taught or transmitted. To systematize it is to kill it. It is so living and moving and dynamic that to impose a pattern on it is impossible; and the experience is always so unique and individual that it cannot be put into any category ­ although it happens when the individual is not! It cannot be followed, for everyone has to find it for himself, and that is the beauty of it, and also its freedom and virginity. It is not new in the sense of any opposition to the old, it is new in the sense of timelessness ­ that is, with eternal freshness and innocence ­ as every flower is new and every sunrise is new

and every love is new. It is not borrowed from the past, it is not based on any tradition. it is not derived from without, it happens within without any causality. It happens unconditionally. It is not continuous with the mind, it is a discontinuous explosion. There are clouds in the sky and the sky cannot be seen, but there is no causal chain. The clouds have gone and the sky is clear but there is no cause-and-effect relationship. The sky has not even known the clouds! It has not been affected by them in any way whatsoever. 245 Love. Life becomes more authentic in the encountering of death directly. But we always try to escape the fact of death, and thereby life becomes pseudo and phoney.

Even death when authentic has a beauty of its own while pseudo-life is just ugly. Meditate on death because there is no way to know life unless you stand face to face with death ­ and it is everywhere; wherever life is death is also; they are really two aspects of one and the same phenomenon, and when one comes to know this, he transcends both. Only in that transcendence is the total flowering of consciousness and the ecstasy of being. 246 Love. Man adds everything to his ego ­ while everything goes on without him. He is nothing, but he thinks himself everything. Mulla Nasrudin was walking past a well when he had the impulse to look into it. It was night, and as he peered into the deep water he saw the moon's reflection there. I must save the moon! the Mulla thought.

Otherwise she will never wane and the fasting month of Ramadan will never come to an end. He found a rope, threw it in and called down: Hold tight! Keep bright, succour is at hand! The rope caught in a rock inside the well and Nasrudin heaved as hard as he could. Straining back he suddenly felt the rope give way as it became loose and he was thrown on his back. As he lay there panting he saw the moon riding on the sky above. Glad to be of service, said Nasrudin. Just as well I came along, wasn't it? 247 Love. Are you really aware of what anger is? Are you really aware of it when it is present? I ask these questions because man is never present in the present. Man lives in the past and only becomes aware of anything when it has become a part of memory. One becomes aware of anger and sadness only when they are all over,

and then awareness is just pseudo-awareness; it is not awareness but remembering and remembering leads nowhere because it is running in a circle. Then one can fight with anger but can never understand it, and fighting with anger is anger ­ of course more subtle and therefore more strong and more poisonous. So do not think about anger or sadness or happiness and do not misunderstand remembering them as an awareness but be aware when anger is present. Be totally conscious of it, live it consciously and do not escape from it and then you will know what it is. To understand it is to transcend it. Then you will find a silence descending on you which passes all understanding. 248 Love. Never to have seen the truth is better than to have seen it and not to have acted upon it. 249

Love. One should never be afraid of rising thoughts or desires but only of the delay in being aware of them. 250 Love. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace; and the brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks. 251 Love. Be empty and you will know. Be empty and you will be the mirror. Oh, only total nothingess is capable fo knowing all! I have heard that the nun Chiyono studied for years and meditated for years on the ultimate questions of existence but was unable to find the light. The thinking was filling her so much that she could not be a passage to the divine. She was so much filled by herself that she could not be a host to the divine guest, and the more she longed for enlightenment the more far off it was. But one moonlit night she was carrying an old pail filled with water ­ and the thing happened!

She was watching the full moon reflected in her pail water when the bamboo drip that held the pail staves broke. The pail fell all apart, the water rushed out, the moon's reflection disappeared ­ and with it disappeared Chiyono herself. She was not ­ but the enlightenment was there! She wrote this verse: This way and that way I tried to keep the pail together hoping the weak bamboo would never break. But suddenly the bottom fell out: no more water no more moon in the water ­ and emptiness in my hand! 252 Love. One day Lin-chi was asked: What is the essence of meditation? Lin-chi came right down from his seat and taking hold of the questioner by the front of his robe, slapped his face, then let him go. The questioner, of course, stood there stupefied. Then Lin-chi laughed and said to him: Why don't you bow?

This woke him from his reverie, and when he was about to make a bow to the Master he had his first taste of meditation! Please read this again and again and again, and if you do not have the same taste then slap your face yourself then laugh and bow down to yourself ­ and then you will have the same taste, surely! 253 The sun is rising high in the sky. Its light enters the house through an opening. The dust is seen moving in the ray of light but the empty space of the room is unmoving. Now close your eyes and be silent. Then ask yourself: Who am I ­ the moving dust or the unmoving space of the room? Do not answer intellectually, because intellectual answers are not answers, but wait and realize. Hsu Yun says: The mind is nothing but the foreign dust. Who are you ­ the mind? ­ the foreign dust? or ­ ? 254 Love. The mind is, to raise questions,

but only questions, it never answers, and it can never answer ­ that is beyond it, it is not meant for that, that is not its function. But it TRIES to answer, and the result is the mess called philosophy! Meditation never questions, but it answers. It is the answer, because it is life, because it is existence. Question ­ and there is no answer. Do not question ­ and you are the answer. Why is it so? It is so because the questioning consciousness, mind, is disturbed, and the non-questioning consciousness, no mind, is silent, quiet and at rest in its suchness. Philosophy comes out of questioning, religion out of the non-questioning consciousness. Logic is the method of philosophy

and meditation the method of religion. 255 Love. If the present is just continuous with the past then it is not present at all. To be present, the present must be discontinuous with the past, only then is it young, fresh and new ­ and then it is not a part of time but is eternity itself. The now is eternal but we live in the past or in the future ­ which is nothing but a faint echo of the past itself. our whole activity springs from the past or for the future ­ which is the same thing. Then the present is false and dead: and if the present is false then we cannot be real, and if the present is dead then we cannot be alive. That is why I insist on living in the present and dying each moment to the past. Live atomically ­ moment to moment, and then your life will have a totally different quality ­ the quality of the divine.

256 Love. To me meditation means: be playful and transcend all seriousness. See: life is not serious. Look around: existence is not serious. Only disease is serious, and of course death, and the exploiters of death: the priests! Life is playful and festive and therefore purposeless. It is not going anywhere, because there is nowhere to go. It is always here and here. It is always now and now. It is just abundant energy overflowing from here to here and from now to now, and once you know it and be it you are in that ecstasy which is the purpose of purposelessness! Don't be a mind and you will know it and be it. Meditation is nomindedness. Mind is thinking, and thinking is going astray from the being. Mind is forgetfulness of 'that which is'. Meditation is coming back home. So, come back home. And I create situations so that you may remember the forgotten,

and I will go on creating situations until you are back. 257 There are things which cannot be proved, and there is no evidence for them because they are self-evident, and to try to prove them is ridiculous, and the effort shows that one is not acquainted with them. Such are all the proofs of God. Sitting one day in the teahouse Mulla Nasrudin heard the rhetoric of a travelling scholar. He was arguing for the existence of God; questioned by one of the company on some point the scholar drew a book from his pocket and banged it on the table: This is my evidence! AND I wrote it myself! A man who could not only read but write was a rarity, and a man who had written a book...! The villagers treated the pundit with profound respect ­ and of course Mulla Nasrudin was impressed! Some days later Mulla appeared at the teahouse and asked whether anyone wanted to buy a house. Tell us something about it. Mulla, the people asked him. for we did not even know that you had a house of your own

Actions speak louder than words! shouted Mulla, and from his pocket he took a brick and hurled it on the table in front of them. This is my evidence! Examine it for quality ­ and I built the house myself! 258 Love. When you are with me be completely at ease and relaxed; that is, be totally yourself. If you feel like crying, then cry; if you feel like weeping, then weep; but just be uninterruptedly aware. Do not think about what you are doing ­ just be the doing, and when your senses are shaken like leaves in the wind ­ then enter this shaking, because only in such situations the being is revealed. If a mood against someone or for someone arises do not place it on the person in question but remain centred in yourself and you will know a transcendence which is not of this world at all. 259 Love.

The past is not nor the future is, but the mind exists between these two non-existences, and therefore ­ the misery. To live in the mind is to live in misery. In agony and in hell. The mind is the hell. Be aware suddenly of this and then there is a new opening: the opening of the present, the opening of that-which is. The present is the only existence or, it is the existence. BE in it and you are liberated. Live in it and there is bliss. 260 Love. No ideology can help to create a new world or a new mind or a new human being because ideological orientation itself is the root cause of all the conflicts and all the miseries. Thought creates boundaries,

thought creates divisions and thought creates prejudices ­ and thought itself cannot bridge them; that is why all ideologies fail. Now man must learn to live without ideologies: religious, political or otherwise. When the mind is not tethered to any ideology it is free to move to new understandings. And in that freedom flowers all that is good and all that is beautiful. 261 Love. A disciple of Rinzai met a party of three men on a river bridge. One of the three asked him: How deep is the river of meditation? Find out for yourself, he said, and offered to throw the questioner from the bridge. But unfortunately the man ran away from him in time and escaped! If you meet such a man who can throw you in the river be fortunate enough to be thrown so! And you have met such a man! Now be THROWN. 262 Love. You possess only that which will not be lost in death;

all else is illusion ­ even the possessor, because that too will not be able to stand the final shipwreck. Then find out what is left. Turn in and meditate. Discard all that is vulnerable to death. Say: Not this, not that and go deep to the point where nothing more remains to be discarded ­ and the illumination. 263 Love. Nothing great is ever accomplished without going mad, that is, without breaking through the ordinary level of consciousness and letting loose the hidden powers lying further below, and also penetrating to the realm that is further above. ­ And it may not be true for any other great thing, but it is absolutely true as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation means MADNESS ­ of course, with a method! 264 Love.

Detach yourself from all fixed ideas: they are the killers of all livingness and innocence ­ which are musts for illumination. Beware of the trap of preconceptions; they make a stagnant pool of your consciousness, and to meet the ocean you need a dynamic one. Be alive and fluid and flowing ­ then the goal is not far off. 265 Love. Meditation is disciplined opening of the self to God. Because of fear we are closed, and only love can become a door. So love more ­ or rather be loving, then there is less fear and less tension, and you are more open. This help meditation as nothing helps. Meditation plus love is the path. 266 Love. Truth is never secondhand, it cannot be transferred. One has to know it and be it oneself ­ that is why all tradition falsifies it, and all scriptures,

and all words, and in the end it is nothing but the soup of Mulla Nasrudin... But first I must tell you the story. A kinsman came to see Nasrudin from the country and brought a duck. Nasrudin was grateful, had the bird cooked, and shared it with the guest. Presently another visitor arrived. I am a friend, he said, of the man who gave you the duck. Nasrudin fed him as well. This happened several times. Nasrudin's house had become like a restaurant for out-of-town visitors. Everyone was a friend at some remove of the original donor of the duck. Finally Nasrudin was exasperated. One day there was a knock at the door and a stranger appeared. I am the friend of the friend of the friend of the man who brought you the duck from the country, he said. Come in, said Nasrudin. They seated themselves at the table and Nasrudin asked his wife to bring the soup.

When the guest tasted it it seemed to be nothing more than warm water. What sort of soup is this? he asked the Mulla. That, said Nasrudin, is the soup of the soup of the soup of the soup of the duck. 267 Love. Man is not a rational animal, but only a rationalizing one; and that is more dangerous than just to be irrational. Give me a shot of bourbon and a shot of water ­ said the obviously heavy drinker to the bartender. When the order was placed before him on the bar the lush pulled a worm from his pocket and dropped it into the glass of water. After watching it swim around for a few seconds the man drew the worm from the water and dropped it into the whisky. It wriggled briefly, then curled up and died. You see that? said the lush to the bartender. It proves that if you keep on drinking whisky you will never have worms. 268

Love. Life is a sermon; existence preaches in its own way, but always indirectly ­ and that is the beauty of it. The harmony in nature teaches, without any intention, the lesson of proportion m life. Look at a bird on the wing ­ and you will go into meditation without effort, or listen to its song ­ and your heart will move with it without any motivation, and when there is no effort on your part the meditation goes deep and transforms you suddenly; and when there is no motivation and you move ­ the movement is in the divine. 269 Love. I know your inner condition more than you know it yourself because now your inner is not my outer. Things that are happening to you unconsciously and even against your conscious will are good. Welcome them and be grateful, because nothing divine can happen to you with your will,

rather, your will is the only barrier in the way. Say wholeheartedly: THY WILL BE DONE! and feel it and live it. Come home soon, I am waiting for you, and much is waiting to happen to you also. I know you are sceptical. That is not bad but a good beginning to start with. Wherever there is mind there is scepticism. Mind IS scepticism and therefore conflict. That is the way of the mind and its nature. Please do not fight with it and neither be identified with it. These are the obvious alternatives, but both are false, and aspects of the same coin. You will have to walk in between. Come and be with me, and you will understand. 270 Dear Mukta.

Love. Yes, you were related to Yoga Vivek in one of your past lives. Now many things will be remembered by you soon because the key is in your hands. But do not think about them at all otherwise your imagination will get mixed up with the memories and then it will be difficult to know what is real and what is not. So be always aware from now that you are not to think about past lives: let the memories come up by themselves. No conscious effort on your part is needed; on the contrary it will be a great hindrance. Let the unconscious do the work, you be just a witness, and as the meditation will go deeper many locked doors will be opened to you. But always remember to wait for the mysteries to reveal themselves. The seed is broken ­ and much is to follow. You need only wait and be a witness. 271 Love. Oh, just drop yourself into the divine and be purified!

Surrender and be reborn. Do not resist. Let go! 272 Love. See: this is a white paper ­ it contains words. You can look at it as white paper or as words. Or, listen to the silence which contains a sonata; you can be aware of the silence or of the sonata. Or, think of the space which contains a building; you can be aware of the space or of the building. Or, imagine an empty house; you can conceive of it as the walls or as an emptiness. If you see the words, the building, the sonata and the walls you are in the mind, but if you see the white paper or the silence or the space or the emptiness then you are in meditation. 273 Love. From sound to soundlessness is the path. Intone a sound as A-U-M,

slowly, and as sound enters soundlessness so do you; or: remain in the gap between any two sounds and you yourself will become soundlessness; or: bathe in the continuous sound of a waterfall, or any other; or: by putting fingers in the ears hear the source sound of all sounds ­ and there will be a sudden explosion of the silent music of the cosmos upon you. In any way fall into the abyss of soundlessness and you will achieve the divine. 274 Love. I am thrilled with great expectations about you. Oh, much is to happen within you and without also. You are on the verge of the explosion, so be alone. Not lonely but alone, and live with that aloneness. Rather, BE that aloneness; that is the only meditation for you now. Loneliness is negative. To be lonely is to be aware of the absence of others but to be alone is the most positive state of mind.

It is to be aware of the presence of oneself: Be aware of the presence that is you. Just be aware and wait, wait for the happening. Near, very near is the moment. And remember that I am always with you. I have always been with you even when you did not know me. And always feel my blessings. 275 Love. Takuan says: You cannot bathe in solid ice, neither can you live in frozen consciousness ­ and what is mind except that? Go in and find out; do not ask anybody, do not go to the scriptures, go in and find out. Do not think about it because that is absurd ­ how can you think against mind? Any conclusion out of thinking can only strengthen the mind. Do not think

because thinking is stopping, halting and freezing. Thinking is the disease. Go in and find out ­ IMMEDIATELY. A moment's thinking and you are again in the old rut. A moment's thinking and you are as far off from the real as is possible. 276 Love. We kneel down to ourselves because we kneel down to the gods we make out of our experience or out of our desires and dreams or out of our so called logic and foolish arguments. This is neither humility nor prayer, rather on the contrary this is the most egoistic attitude possible. The true religious mind is one which just kneels down ­ not to anyone, not to any image in particular. This kneeling down is nothing but a flowering of one's total nothingness. Then this kneeling down becomes an inner way of life, and unless prayer is such, prayer is not. One cannot pray, one can only be prayerful. 277 Love.

You cannot run away from the self because you are the self ­ how can you run away from it? It is like running from one's own shadow and all your efforts are bound to be futile. Rather, stop and see it, witness it, be aware of it. Face the shadow and then ­ where is it? It has never been, really. You created it by not facing it and you strengthened it by running from it. Is it not time enough now to stop the game? 278 Love. Search ­ and the ego is always somewhere behind. Search ­ and in every act the ego is the motivation. But if one can find it so and can realize it so one goes beyond it because the very realization is the going beyond. Brother, said Mulla Nasrudin to a neighbour, I am collecting to pay the debt of a poor man who cannot meet his obligations.

Very laudable, said the other, and gave him a coin. Who is this person? Me, said Nasrudin as he hurried away. A few weeks later he was at the door again. I suppose you are calling about a debt, said the non cynical neighbour. I am. I suppose someone can't pay a debt and you want a contribution? That is so. I suppose it is you who owes the money? Not this time. Well, I am glad to hear it. Take this contribution. Nasrudin pocketed the money. Just one thing Mulla ­ what prompts your humanitarian sentiments in this particular case? Ah, you see...I am the creditor! 279 Love. Knowledge is through experiencing. Mere information is not knowledge, on the contrary it cannot give the clarity

which knowledge gives to the mind and may confuse one more because a confused mind is still more burdened with it. Two men had played chess regularly together for several years. They were quite evenly matched and there was keen rivalry between them. Then one man began to beat his rival nearly every time they played and the other man was completely at a loss to understand this phenomenon. On the contrary, he was expecting his game to improve because he was reading a four-volume set on HOW TO PLAY CHESS! After much thought he came up with an idea. He sent the books to his friend as a gift ­ and it was not long before they were evenly matched again! 280 Love. There is no proof of the divine in the world for it is hidden and hidden and hidden. But in you there is the absolute proof, for it is hidden and hidden and hidden.

Go in and discover it. Thinking about it will not help: action is needed, action upon oneself ­ so ACT. That is, TURN IN. Man is like a sealed book written before he was born, and ordinarily he carries it unopened inside himself until he dies. One who opens it knows that HE IS NOT and only the divine is. 281 Truth is aristocratic; it cannot be decided by votes or numbers because truth is enough in itself, it needs no help or support; it needs no proof even because truth is self-evident. A certain man was believed to have died and was being prepared for burial when he revived. He sat up but he was so shocked at the scene around him that he fainted. He was put in a coffin

and the funeral party set off for the cemetery. Just as they arrived at the grave he regained consciousness, lifted the coffin lid and cried out for help. It is not possible that he has revived, said the mourners, because he has been certified as dead by competent experts. BUT I AM ALIVE! shouted the man. He appealed to a well-known and impartial scientist and jurisprudent who was present. Just a moment, said the expert. He then turned to the mourners, counting them: Now we have heard what the alleged deceased has had to say; you fifty witnesses tell me what you regard as the truth He is dead, said the witnesses. Bury him, said the expert. And so he was buried. 282 Love. Choice is the root cause of all anguish. CHOOSE and you always choose hell ­ even when you choose heaven! And who chooses hell directly? Yet everyone lives in hell! Oh, the trick!

The gates of heaven open into hell! Then what is to be done? Nothing at all, because in doing nothing you can rest content with all things as they are. and you have knocked at the right door without even knocking! 283 Love. Silence is benediction but not the silence you can create, because you are the noise so you cannot create silence: but you can create the illusion of it, and this illusion is created by all sorts of autohypnotic techniques. So never use autosuggestions to be silent; rather, be aware of the constantly chattering mind, and be aware, not to make it still, but to understand it, and this very understanding flowers into a silence which is not just absence of noise but a positive bliss. 284

Love. To explore truth one must be free of one's prejudices ­ that is, from oneself, otherwise one goes round and round in circles ­ because the known can never be the door for the unknown; and the known is the mind, so mind becomes the barrier: look attentively at this fact. Be alert to the vicious circle of the mind ­ and then there is transcendence. The known must cease for the unknown to be. The known must go for the unknown to come in ­ and this cessation of the known is meditation. 285 Love. The more deeply you go within yourself the less and less you will find yourself ­ and yet THAT is the very heart of your being. And vice versa also: because the more you go without the more and more you will find yourself ­ and yet that is the very heart of your non-being. These are the two ways you can go. The first is the way of meditation,

and the second is the way of the mind. 286 Love. Be ordinary, so ordinary that virtually you come to be nobody ­ and there is the opening, and there is the explosion. Only when you are not are you the extraordinary! But do not think about it and do not crave for it, and if the craving comes ­ be aware and laugh. It will be stopped in awareness and the created energy will be used by the laughter, and after the laugh you will feel a deep relaxation. Then begin to dance or sing and the negative state of the mind will be transformed into the positive. The craving to be someone, somebody, is absolutely negative because the ego is the negation of being. The ego is the principle of negation, and if the negative is negated then you are positive. The ego is the source of all inferiority, but the trick is subtle because the ego promises superiority

and in the end only results in inferiority. Decode this secret and understand it very clearly. One who thinks in terms of superiority will remain always inferior because these are two aspects of the same coin. Oh! Sow the seeds of superiority and you will reap the crop of inferiority. Begin with the longing of superiority and you will end with nothing but inferiority and all the hell that is involved in it. Begin with humbleness, with humility, and you are nearer to the divine. In fact you are divine but the ego will not allow you any gap to look into your own divinity. on the contrary it will go on creating new imaginary heavens only to make way for new hells. Enter heaven and you are entering hell! Beware of this, and beware of your so-called self ­ the creator of all the agonies that exist on earth. And be a no-self and you will be that which you are already and have been always ­ that which is bliss eternal,

and freedom, and the cosmic being, the brahman. TAT TWAM ASI ­ that art thou, my love. 287 Love. Man is unaware of himself. He does not know what is happening to him, nor does he know the state of his being. A man cut down a tree one day. A Sufi who saw this taking place said: Look at this fresh branch which is full of sap and happy because it does not know yet that it has been cut off. But his companion said: Yes, ignorant of the damage it has suffered it may be, but it will know in due time. Hearing this the Sufi laughed and said: Meanwhile you cannot reason with it. This reverence is the state of man. this ignorance is the state of man ­ and meanwhile you cannot reason with him! Or can you? But this is irrelevant. If you can reason with yourself that is more than enough!

288 Love. In life everything is whole, and organically whole. You cannot divide it or do it in part. Love is like that and meditation is also like that. Even death is like that. That is why I say: Death is not dead but organically one with life. You cannot die partially! ­ either you die or you do not die. Nor can you die gradually. Please remember this always when you are in meditation or in prayer or in worship. A very valuable dachshund owned by a wealthy woman was run over. The policeman detailed a man to tell the woman of her misfortune. But break the news gently, he said. She thinks a lot of this dog. The man rapped on the mansion door and when the woman appeared he said: Sorry lady, but part of your dog has been run over. 289

Love. There is no use for artificial and outward discipline ­ the inner and natural discipline is enough. But what is the inner discipline? In one word: ACCEPTANCE ­ total acceptance. And acceptance can be only total because partial acceptance is just a contradiction in terms. If you live ­ live! If you die ­ die! If you suffer ­ suffer! And then there is no problem and no anxiety and no anguish ­ and what FREEDOM! A Zen Master was once asked: It is terribly hot, how shall we escape it Why not go, answered the Master, to the place where it is neither ­ neither hot nor cold? Where is that place? And then the Master laughed and said: IN SUMMER WE SWEAT AND IN WINTER WE SHIVER.

290 Love. How can a man learn to know himself? enquires Goethe, and then answers: Never by reflection but only by action. John Burroughs doubts this. He says: Is not this a half-truth? Because one can only learn his powers of action by action and his powers of thought by thinking. But I say that man is always more than all his actions and all his thoughts, and unless that MORE is known no one knows himself. That MORE can be known neither by action nor by reflection because they both belong to the periphery and that MORE IS eternally the centre. It can only be known witnessing action and thought both: not BY them but by witnessing them. And witnessing IS meditation. 291 Love. There is no answer to man's ultimate questions because the questions are absurd, and moreover there is no one to answer them.

Existence is silent and has always been so, so do not ask but be silent and live it and know it. because there is no knowing except living. The search for answers is meaningless. A patient in a mental hospital placed his ear to the wall of his room, listening intently. Quiet, he whispered to an orderly and pointed to the wall. The attendant pressed his ear against the wall, listened, and then said: I don't hear anything. No, replied the patient. It's awful, it's been this way always! 292 Love. The mind lives in a logical somnambulism, and it feeds on arguments and words. You cannot come out of it gradually or logically or rationally, rather TAKE THE JUMP, illogical and irrational ­ and the jump can be nothing else than that. It cannot be calculated or conceptualized

or predetermined because it is going into the unknown and the uuchartered and the unpredictable, and ultimately not only into the unknown but into the unknowable also. 293 Love. Meditation cannot be taught directly because it is not a mechanical technique, but a living art. Dogo had a disciple called Soshin. Soshin waited long with his Master to be taught the art of meditation. He expected lessons the way a schoolboy is taught at school, but there were no special lessons coming, and this bewildered and disappointed the disciple. One day he said to the Master: It is a long time since I came here but not a word has been given to me regarding the essence of meditation. Dogo laughed at this heartily and said: What are you saying, my boy? Since your arrival

I have ever been giving you lessons on the matter! At this the poor disciple was even more bewildered and for some time he could not think what to say. Then one day he gathered courage and asked again: What kind of lesson could it have been, sir? Dogo said: When you bring me a cup of tea in the morning, I take it; when you serve me a meal, I accept it and when you bow to me I return it with a nod. How else do you expect to be taught in meditation? Soshin hung his head and began to think about the puzzling words of the Master, but at this the Master said again: If you want to see, SEE, RIGHT AT ONCE, because when you begin to think you miss the point altogether. 294 Love. Meditate, pray and wait. Do not will anything, for in you there is strength greater than any strength of your own. But it works only when your will is at rest. 295

Love. Be free at the centre; let the centre relax and die: be a circumference only ­ and this is the only renunciation I know. No man is free until he is free at the centre. When he lets go then he is free indeed ­ and then life is not anguish and then life is not agony because no hell can exist without the self, the centre. 296 Love. Do you hear me? Do you see me? I stand at the door and knock, and I block because of a promise made in another life and another age 297 Love. Be in the crowd as if you are alone and vice versa. Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone, and when alone

maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests. In this way the drop drops into the ocean. Upon retiring, sleep as if you have entered your last sleep, and upon awakening be reborn again. In this way the ocean drops into the drop. 298 Love. Emptiness is not really emptiness: rather, it is the All. It is not negative: rather, it is positivity itself It is out of it that everything is born and to it everything returns. It is the source and ground of all existence. So whenever I say EMPTINESS I never mean just emptiness! To me emptiness is not the absence of anything but the presence of emptiness itself: And now you can understand it because you yourself are in it, and it is in you. Once a student asked Joshu: Sir, you teach that we must empty our minds, but I have nothing in my mind;

now what shall I do? The old Master laughed and said: Throw it out! But I have nothing. How can I throw it out? If you can't throw it out, carry it out! Drive it out! Empty it out! But don't stand there in front of me with nothing in your mind! 299 Love. Come here whenever it is possible. You will always be welcomed. And stay with me a little longer, and let me help. It will be difficult for you because you will have to let go of yourself completely. But it is not impossible ­ and with you especially because I have seen in you the great potential that is awaiting its opportunity. With you much that is impossible is possible. The seed is there which is longing to explode.

Its very longing is the source of your search, its longing is the tension that you are today and its longing will be the freedom that you will be tomorrow. The essence is there and the existence will follow if you so wish. Please follow its call to the conclusion. Go on doing meditation. Do not seek results, they will come by themselves when the time is ripe. And the time is ripe but still you are not. Let meditation ripen you. 300 Love. Life is non-fragmentary, but mind makes it appear fragmentary; and this fragmentation creates all the problems. Beware of fragments and always look beyond them and below them and through them ­ then you will be able to see the ocean in spite of all the waves. The waves are in the ocean

but the waves are not the ocean. The ocean can be without the waves but the waves cannot be without the ocean. 301 Love. Mind means duality and meditation, oneness. In Zen they call it ­ THE ONE SWORD. Kusunoki Masashige came to a Zen monastery when he was about to meet the overwhelming army of Ashikaga Takanji and asked the Master: When a man is at the parting of the ways between life and death how should he behave? The Master answered: Cut off your dualism and let THE ONE SWORD stand serenely by itself against the sky! 302 Love. The real thing is not to fight with your thoughts or desires or instincts because that is negative and the negative cannot help. The real thing is

to grow in awareness in meditation because then one wins without any fight whatsoever ­ and to win through conflict is not a real victory because that which has been suppressed will have to be suppressed again and again. Through conflict there is no end to conflict and through fight only more fight is born. But there is a victory without any conflict, fight or suppression. That victory comes through positive growth in awareness. Do not fight with yourself but grow in awareness and understanding and silence, and all that is negative and diseased will have withered away by itself. Suzuki tells a story: Chi Hsing Tzu was raising a fighting cock for his lord. Ten days passed and the lord asked: Is he ready? Chi answered: No sir, he is not ready. He is still vain and flushed with rage. Another ten days passed and the prince asked about the cock. Chi said: Not yet, sir. He is on the alert whenever he sees the shadow of

another cock or hears its crowing. Still another ten days passed and when the inquiry came from the prince, Chi replied: Not quite yet, sir. His sense of fighting is still smouldering within him ready to be awakened. When another ten days elapsed Chi replied in response to the inquiry: He is almost ready. Even when he hears another crowing he shows no excitement. He has now become positive. He has grown in subtle inner awareness. Now he resembles one made of wood, he is so quiet and silent. His qualities are integrated. No cock is his match and to win he will not have to fight because other cocks will at once run away from him. They cannot face him now. And really it proved so. He won fights without fighting at all. Aud I say that you can do likewise with yourself: learn the secret from Chi Hsing Tzu's cock! 303

Love. Everything has happened as it should happen. And l was surprised not because you ran away from here but because I never thought you could be so predictable! It is not from here that you have escaped it is only a vain effort to escape from yourself: Which is impossible. How can one escape from oneself? But in meditation a moment comes necessarily when the mind tries the impossible ­ or the mind this is the last defensive act. Meditation is ultimately suicidal to the mind. And of course the mind must be given a chance! And you have given it! Meditation is encountering yourself directly and in your total nakedness. This creates fear and the futile effort to escape. The effort is futile because whatsoever is known once is known for ever and you cannot be the old ignorant one again. There is no way to go back and there is no bridge. This escape too will make you more mature and you will come back strengthened through it

and because of it. Now relax there under the sky and beside the sea and I will be there. Whenever you are relaxed you will feel my presence. And when you feel like coming, come back ­ nd soon you will feel this. I will be waiting here for you as ever. COME and recontinue the arduous journey towards your self. 304 Love. I know that the apprenticeship is very hard but worth it. So keep on. It is arduous, but one has to pay for everything, and in no other way can you get to THE GREAT TREASURE. You have longed for it for lives and lives and now when the time is ripe and the key is being given to you DO NOT LOSE COURAGE. The access to the treasure is difficult because it is hidden in our own unconscious layers of the mind. It will be easy if you approach that threshold when the diurnal tide favours, that is when you are passing from sleep to waking

or from waking to sleep. Evening and morning are therefore probably the best times for meditation. You might have noticed that when the mind is recovering from sleep it takes at least fifteen minutes to close one aperture and open fully the other. That is why dreams cannot last longer than that in memory after waking. When the mind is approaching sleep it again passes the same threshold. BE AWARE OF THIS THRESHOLD because it is very significant for those who are in search of the inner treasure. This threshold is the gate to the unknown This threshold, this gap between waking and sleep, must be used for meditation. Be aware of the gap, be a witness of the interval, and you will be transformed. 305 Love. I know what is happening to you ­ the nothingness is descending, the emptiness is increasing.

Welcome it, and rejoice in its coming. Dance in ecstasy because there is no other way to welcome it. And the more you dance the more you will die. And when you are dead completely you will be reborn. And the moment is near, very near ­ just by the corner. You have passed through the entrance-explosion and now be ready for the ultimate. Look at yourself once more as the river looks at itself before falling into the ocean, because after falling into the ocean there will be no one to look, and no one to be looked at! 306 Love. What is meditation? Hsu Yun says: Meditation lies in laying down. But laying down what? Laying down yourself ­ because nothing less will do. Have you ever been at the bedside of a dead man? If you try to scold him he will not be excited, and even if you strike him with a staff he will not strike back. He also indulged before in the same things everyone indulges in. He also longed for reputation and wealth. But now he is just without any longing whatsoever. Now he does not make any distinctions

and lays down everything. If you cul be in this laying down state ­ alive, you are in meditation. 307 Love. Leave the grasping of things and thoughts. Open your fist completely because grasping is suffering. Halt! cries Buddha. But the mad mind does not halt. If it halts, it is Enlightenment! 308 Love. Love to be alone. Solitude is the temple of the divine, and remember that there is no other temple. 309 Love. Do not be closed to the universe. Open all your doors and windows and let everything pass freely in and out, out and in, because only then will you be able to receive the truth. 31O Love.

Ego plays a subtle role everywhere ­ not only in men but in mice also! An arrogant elephant looked down contemptuously at a mouse and said: You are just about the puniest little creature I have ever seen. I am not always like this, squeaked the mouse. I've been sick! 311 Love. The whole yoga has gone dead because of imitation. One cannot imitate anything that is real, the real is always spontaneous: one can jump into it but one cannot practise it. Any practice is of the mind and by the mind ­ and the mind is the past, the dead; the mind is the thing one has to jump out of. Out of the mind is the explosion, so be aware of the mind and its tricks! Mamiya went to a great teacher to learn meditation. The teacher told him to concentrate on the famous koan: What is the sound of one hand? Mamiya went away and came back a week later shaking his head. He could not get it.

Get out! said the Master. You are not trying hard enough. You still think of money and food and pleasure. It would be better if you died, then you might learn the answer. The next week Mamiya came back again. When the Master asked him: Well, what is the sound of one hand? ­ he clutched at his heart, groaned and fell down as if dead. Well, you have taken my advice and died, said the Master, but what about the sound? Mamiya opened one eye: I have not solved that yet, he said. Dead men don't speak, said the Master. Get up and get out! 312 Love. We settle down where no settling is possible. We make homes whilst homelessness is the very nature of our consciousness. Oh, we go on doing things which are impossible and then suffer! But no one else is responsible. We fight with the void and are then defeated ­ not because the void is stronger than us

but because it is not. Now stand up and fight with the empty space of the room so that you can know and taste the whole stupidity of the human mind. And then sit down and laugh at yourself, and as the laughter dies down be silent and search within, and then you will come to know a deep mystery: the mystery that the void is not only without but within also! 313 Love. Death is everywhere but everyone deceives himself that it is not for him; this is the greatest and the deepest deception the human mind is capable of; and unless one is constantly aware of this fact one is bound to be a victim of this deception ­ because the mind goes on giving very beautiful and logical rationalizations up to the very end. I have heard about a ninety-year-old man who got into a bitter argument with his shoemaker as to how a pair of shoes should be made.

See here, said the shoemaker, What's the idea of doing so much yapping You are past ninety and there is little chance of your living long enough to wear these shoes out. The old fellow looked sternly at the shoemaker and said: Apparently you are not aware that statistics prove that very few people die after ninety years of age! 314 Love. Information is not knowledge because information is not transformation and can never be ­ and knowledge comes only through transformation. Information is adding something to the same old mind. It is quantitative; there is no qualitative change because the mind behind remains the same. That is why all that is called education just proves superficial. Mind must go through qualitative change otherwise there is no wisdom; and to go on adding information to ignorance is fatal. I call meditation

the method for mind's total mutation First let there be a transformation of the very quality of the mind and only then education can be educative. In ancient times the king of a certain country was concerned because his son was something of a fool. The king's counsellors urged that the son be sent away to a great university in another land in the hope that the boy would acquire learning and wisdom. The king agreed. The son studied hard for several years then wrote his father that he had learned just about everything possible and pleaded to be allowed to return home. The king assented. When the son arrived at the palace the king was overjoyed. A great feast was prepared and all the great men of the kingdom were invited. At the end of the festivities one of the sages present asked the son what he had learned. The young man ticked off the university's curriculum that he had gone through. While the lad was talking

the sage slipped a ring off his finger, closed his hand over it, held up his hand and asked: What do I hold in my hand? The son though for a moment and said; It is a round object with a hole in the centre. The sage was astonished at such wisdom. Maybe the lad had become a great mind. Will you now name the object? asked the sage. The king's son pondered for a few moments, then said: The sciences that I studied do not aid me in answering your question, but my own commonsense tells me that it is a cartwheel. The sage concluded to himself that you can educate a fool but you cannot make him think. 315 Love. Yes, there is a WAY, but in many the will is lacking to find it. And it is not far away, it is just by the corner, so to say. Knowingly or unknowingly all men long for it. Really, the whole life is a longing for it because without it

there is no reaching, no flowering, no fulfilment. But few men seek it and still fewer seek it rightly and still fewer find it ­ and all of those who find it do not enter. Only a few enter and still fewer progressively follow it. But those who follow it with their total being realize that the way is the goal itself! 316 Love. Mind and meditation are two names of the same substance, or the same energy. Mind is energy flowing in dualisms, in conflict and dis-ease, and meditation is non-dual energy, one with itself and at case. Thinking is impossible without dualisms, that is why meditation asks to go beyond thinking. The moment there is no thinking ­ or a single ripple of thought ­ the energy becomes integrated and there is qualitative change. The no-thinking energy

opens the door of the dimensionless dimension. So refrain from seeking even Enlightenment or Buddhahood because with any seeking whatsoever he mechanism of thought begins to operate and create dualisms. 317 Love. Do not forget the search for the divine for even a single moment because the time is always short and the task is great and besides, the mind is wavering. In fact the mind IS the wavering. Remember this, and remain aware of this fact as much as you can because the moment one is aware the wavering stops, and in the intervals are the glimpses: glimpses of oneself, glimpses of no-mind. One has to transcend the wavering of the mind absolutely before one comes to the doors of the beloved. NO-MINDEDNESS IS THE DOOR. And the door is not far off. But the seeker is asleep. Mind is the sleep. That is why you will have to be attentive and alert of everything that passes before your

consciousness ­ even be attentive of the inattentive moments. Through constant awareness the spiritual sleep will be broken and you will he transformed. This is your potentiality. This is everyone's potentiality. and for you the time is ripe. But the seed can remain a seed and die. The opportunity can be lost. You are free to be that which you are meant to be or to be that which you are not meant to be. Man is free to be or not to be ­ this is the glory and this is the burden. Freedom means responsibility, SO BE CAREFUL. If you can be that which is your potentiality, if you can flower to your fullness then there is bliss then there is ecstasy, otherwise ashes are in the hands and anguish in the heart ­ and ultimately everything depends on you: heaven or hell ­ and you and only you will be responsible for it. SO BE CAREFUL.

My blessings are always with you. 318 Love. Metaphysics is born out of childish curiosity, so howsoever sublime, it remains juvenile. And all the ultimate answers are foolish in a way because the ultimate is not only unknown, it is unknowable. A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension: the dimension of being. Knowing is not possible, but being is. Or in other word: in relation to the ultimate only ­ being is knowing. This dimension is the religious dimension and unless one is religious in this sense one goes on asking absurd questions and accumulating even more absurd answers. In a little backwoods school the teacher was at the blackboard explaining arithmetic problems. She was delighted to see her dullest pupil

giving slack-jawed attention, which was unusual for him. Her happy thought was that at last the gangling lad was beginning to understand. When she finished she said to him: YOU were so interested, Cicero. that I am sure you want to ask some questions. Yes'm, drawled Cicero, I got one to ask. Where do those figures go when you rub them off? 319 Love. Do not cling to anything, to any idea, because clinging is the bondage. Even if one is clinging to the idea of liberation ­ moksha or nirvana, one will be in bondage. With clinging meditation is impossible because clinging is mind ­ the bondage, and no-clinging is meditation ­ the freedom. In the BOOK OF AMU DARIA there is an old Sufi tale: Once upon a time there was a monkey

who was very fond of cherries. One day he saw a delicious looking cherry and came down from his tree to get it, but the fruit turned out to be in a clear glass bottle, so he had to put his hand into the bottle to get it out. As soon as he had done so he closed his hand over the cherry but then he found that he could not withdraw his fist holding the cherry because it was larger than the internal dimensions of the bottle's neck. Now all this was deliberate because the cherry in the bottle was a trap laid by a monkey hunter who knew how monkeys think. The hunter, hearing the monkey's whimperings, came along and the monkey tried to run away, but because his hand was, as he thought, stuck in the bottle. he could not move fast enough to escape. But as he thought he still had hold of the cherry he consoled himself. The hunter picked him up and tapped the monkey sharply on the elbow making him suddenly relax his hold on the fruit.

The monkey was now free ­ but he was captured. The hunter had used the cherry and the bottle and he still had them. This monkey-way of thinking is the mind-way also! And in the end when death, the hunter, comes everyone is found caught in his own bottle. Remember, before the hunter comes make sure your hand is out of the bottle! 320 Love. A life without meditation is like a winter landscape with the sun hidden, the flowers frozen and the wind whispering through the withered leaves. And everyone knows it because everyone lives it that way, though no one needs to live it that way But why is this so? This is so because life's needs require an occupied mind and meditation means unoccupiedness. We train ourselves to be occupied and then forget that one needs to be unoccupied sometimes to know the ecstasy of sheer existence.

One is to be totally vacant inside because only then is one a host to the divine guest. 321 Love. Meditation is beyond knowledge. You can be it but you cannot know it. All knowledge is superficial. It is never anything else but acquaintance from outside. It is always about but never the thing itself; When the Chinese emperor Wu came to meet Bodhidharma he asked the Master: What is the holy ultimate truth? Bodhidharma laughed and replied: Nothing holy, sir, and it is emptiness itself. Of course Wu was taken aback, but he asked again: Then who is the one who at present stands confronting me? Bodhidharma simply said: I don't know. Do you see the beauty of it? And the truth? And the innocence?

And the holiness? And the fullness? And the absolute ultimateness? 322 Love. It is very easy to progress from one illusion to another because no foundational transformation is needed. There is no shaking of the foundations because you remain the same. So the real problem is not to change the objects of desire from the worldly to the other-worldly but to transform oneself; not to change the seeking but to change the seeker ­ otherwise the problem remains as it is, only it takes new shapes. But how to change the seeker. First find it out ­ where it is and what it is. and then you will come to know a hidden secret: that the seeker exists only until it is not sought, and when someone goes to search it out ­ it is never found. It exists only in ignorance and in darkness; in awareness it is not:

and this realization of no-self is the jump. Jump into the unknown. Jump into the truth. 323 Love. Whatever I say is nothing new; nor is it anything old. Or it is both ­ the oldest and the newest. And to know it you need not listen to me. Oh! Listen to the birds in the morning or to the flowers and grass blades in the sun and you will hear it, and if you do not know how to listen then you will not know from me either. So the real thing is not what you listen to but HOW you listen because the message is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. Now I will tell you the art of listening: roam about until exhausted or dance or do vigorous breathing and then, dropping to the ground, listen; or repeat your own name loudly until exhausted and then suddenly stop and listen; or at the point of sleep when sleep has not yet come

and external wakefulness vanishes be alert suddenly and listen AND THEN YOU WILL HEAR ME. 324 Love. That which is never lost cannot be found, and to search for it is absurd. But the moment this absurdity is understood all seeking stops by itself and that which is never lost is found! That is why I say: SEEK AND YOU WILL NOT FIND, because the very seeking is the barrier. The search itself is the hindrance because it creates the seeker, the ego, the illusion that I am, and I am not. Do not seek and you will find it: the I-AM-NOTNESS. This nothingness is the gate. THE GATELESS GATE. Riko once asked Nansen to explain to him the old problem of the goose in the bottle. If a man puts a gosling into the bottle, he said,

and feeds the gosling through the bottle's neck until it grows and grows and becomes a goose ­ and then there is just no more room inside the bottle, how can the man get it out without killing the goose or breaking the bottle? RIKO! shouted Nansen, and gave a great clap with his hands. Yes Master! said Riko with a start. See! said Nansen. The goose is out! 325 Love. Meditation requires understanding and not effort, understanding is essential, not effort, and remember always that you cannot substitute understanding with any effort whatsoever. But what do I mean by understanding? By understanding I mean ­ living a natural life. Of course, you cannot try to be natural, that is self-contradictory! You can BE natural but you cannot try to be natural. Do you understand this? Suzuki tells a story:

A monk once asked one of the old Chinese Masters: What is the way? he Master replied:The natural one, the ordinary one, is the way. How, continued the monk, am I to be in accord with it? When you try to be in accord with it, said the Master, then you deviate from it. Does this mean that one should not try? No, because that too is a way of trying. ­ Of course, indirect, but still intentional; that too will not help. But just see the dilemma clearly and you are out of it. ARE YOU, NOT? 326 Love and blessings. Received your letter. I was waiting for it daily since you left. I know that you have gone far away from here but I also know that now you cannot go away from me ­ and that nearness is all that counts. YOU have come near to me in a nonspatial and nontemporal sense. The meeting has taken place in the nowhere or in the everywhere

because they both mean the same thing. And the real meeting takes place only in this way. All else is illusion. Remember me whenever you need and you will find me then and there. Ask anything and wait ­ and you will be answered. The barriers have fallen down from your mind and you have entered the meditative state. Now the doors of the divine are open do not hesitate, and take the plunge. You are completely ready, only just be courageous to enter the uncharted and the unknown. The call from beyond has come ­ now accept the challenge and be fulfilled. Now close your eyes and feel me and see me and let my blessings be showered on you. 327 Love. Oh, don't take life so seriously! Because seriousness is a great dis-ease, and not only a disease but a suicide also. Be playful ­ totally

because that is the only way to be living. Life is a play, a leela, and to know it so is religion, and to live it so is sannyas ­ renunciation. If you can act and live as if acting and living in a dream and still be a witness to it then you will be in the cosmic flow, the tao. And to be in the cosmic flow is to be free ­ free from oneself, the ego. The ego is the seriousness, the disease, and the tao, the egoless existence, is the bliss, the ecstasy. That is why I have given you a name so absurd! But I have given it to you knowingly. I have given it to you so that you may never be identified with it. The name is so absurd that you will have to remain nameless and nobody behind it, and the name is such that not only others but you yourself will be able to laugh at it. Swami Krishna Christ! Oh, what a name! But perfectly suitable in a dream drama. is it not so So feel at ease with it. and laugh with it, and sing and dance with it

and be SWAMI KRISHNA CHRIST with all the letters in capital! And always remember that you are nobody. And always be aware that you are neither a swami nor a Krishna nor a Christ ­ that is what is meant by a swami! And Krishna himself is not a Krishna and Christ himself is not a Christ because they are nameless, absolutely nameless. They are nobodies ­ and that is what makes them divine. The moment one is identified with any name one is lost to one's divinity. Either one can be a name or a reality, and no one can be both simultaneously. Be a name really ­ and your reality is lost. Be a reality really ­ and your name is just a dream ­ maya. And what nonsense to be a swami! But once one is at ease with the no sense one transcends it. Please! Don't try to be sensible otherwise you will never be with any sense at all! Because only stupidity tries to be sensible!

The existence is absurd and meaningless and irrational and that is why it is so beautiful. And to be in it such a blessing! 328 Love. Man is free to decide, but not free not to decide ­ because not to decide is to decide, to waver is to decide, to postpone and evade decision is to decide. There is no escape: one must say yes or no. And there are a thousand ways of saying no, only one way of saying yes, ant no way of not saying anything at all. This is the human situation and the seeker of truth must be aware of it otherwise life is wasted unnecessarily. A single moment lost cannot be regained ­ ant we have wasted so many lives ­ so decide to decide, and decide to transform and transcend. With the decision comes crystallization

and then one is ready to take the jump into the unknown. 329 Love. traveller stops at an inn He passes the night there, takes his meal, and as soon as he has done so he packs and continues his journey again. As for the host of the inn, he has nowhere to go. The one who does not stay is the guest, and the one who stays is the host. Now who are you ­ the guest or the host Meditate. No answer is required, rather ­ REALIZE. because all answers belong to the guest and realization only to the host. But do not believe me, I may be just deceiving you. Go in and find out for yourself! 330 Love. Meditation is the masterkey. It can open the doors of the infinite

and it can unlock the mystery of the unknown. But just by possessing the key nothing is attained, unless one uses it. Idries Shah tells a dervish tale: There was once a wise and very rich man who had a son. He said to him: My son, here is a jewelled ring. Keep it is a sign that you are a successor of mine and pass it down to your posterity. It is of value, of fine appearance, and it has the added capacity of opening a certain door to wealth. Some years later he had another son. When he was old enough the wise man gave him another ring with the same advice. The same thing happened in the case of his third and last son. When the Ancient had died and the sons grew up one after the other each claimed primacy for himself because of his possession of one of the rings. Nobody could tell for certain which was the most valuable. Each son gained his adherents, all claiming a greater value and beauty for his own ring.

But the curious thing was that the door to wealth remained shut for the possessors of the keys and even their closest supporters. They were all too preoccupied with the problem of precedence, the possession of the ring, its value and appearance. Only a few looked for the door to the treasury of the Ancient. The rings had a magical quality too. Although they were keys they were not used directly in opening the door to the treasury. It was sufficient to look upon them without contention or too much attachment to one or other of their qualities. When this had been done the people who had looked were able to tell where the treasury was and could open it merely by producing the outline of the ring. The treasuries had another quality too: they were inexhaustible. Meanwhile the partisans of the three rings repeated the tales of their ancestors about the merits of the rings, each in a slightly different way. The first community thought they had already found the treasure because they had the key.

The second thought that it was allegorical and thereby consoled themselves. And the third transferred the possibility of opening the door to a distant and remotely imagined future time and therefore for them there was nothing to do at present. There is every possibility for you also to belong to one of these three communities because anyone who begins to search is always prone to fall into the trap of any one of the three. Really, these are the three basic tricks the mind can play to save itself from meditation So beware of these old tricks. 331 Love. Look at yourself without thinking, evaluating, or judging, without any liking or disliking; that is, without any movement of the mind or without the noise of the mind: then you have eyes which are altogether different from your eyes because they are not burdened by the past. They are innocent and silent,

and in this silence there is neither the observer nor the observed ­ but that which is, undivided and one, beginningless and endless. You can call it God or nirvana or anything whatsoever ­ the name does not matter because the name is not the thing, and when one has known the thing one does not bother about the value. 332 Love. Begin the following meditation from tomorrow ­ and know that this is an order! Now you are so mine that I cannot do anything else but order! Prerequirements: Do it cheerfully. Do it relaxedly. Be playful. Do it in the morning after taking a bath. The meditation: First: breathe deeply and rhythmically, not fast

but slowly, for ten minutes. Second: dance rhythmically and slowly; be ecstatic, as if flowing in it: for ten minutes. Third: use the mahamantra: hoo-hoo-hoo; continue dancing and moving; do not be serious, do not be tense; for ten minutes. Fourth: close the eyes and be silent; do not move or dance now; stand, sit or lie town, as you feel to do, but just be as if dead, feel sinking in, surrender and be in the hands of the whole; for ten minutes. Postrequirements: One: live the whole day in ecstasy. in intoxication of the divine, flowing and flowering in it, and whenever depressed say inwardly: hoo-hoo-hoo, and laugh outwardly, laugh without any reason, and accept the madness. Two: before sleep chant the mahamantra: hoo-hoo-hoo

for ten minutes, then laugh at yourself. Three: in the morning as you feel awake chant again the mahamantra: hoo-hoo-hoo for ten minutes, and then begin the day with a hearty laugh. Four: remember always that I am with you. 333 Love. EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO WANTS NOTHING. Having nothing, he possesses all things in life: renouncing all he becomes the master of all. But why? Because into his emptiness enters the divine. 334 Love. Live humbly and in wonder and then meditation comes of itself. Relax, and there is ecstasy. But effort is needed because unless this fails completely you will not be effortless! 335 Love.

Be aware or the mind BEFORE it is stirred by a thought, or, be aware of the gap between two thoughts, and ­ you will meet yourself! And this meeting is the meeting with the divine. 336 Love. Buddha says: If the mind does not arise all things are blameless. What more is there to be said: And even this much is enough to blame everything! 337 LOVE. The eyes are blind. One must look within the heart. So do not believe the eyes, believe the heart and remember to look through it, and then you will come to know things unbelievable. And unless one comes to know the unbelievable one has not known at all. 338 Love. Remember always the one who is inside the body. Walking, sitting, eating or doing anything, remember the one who is neither walking nor sitting

nor eating. All doing is on the surface and beyond all doing is the being; so be aware of the nondoer in the doing. of the nonmover in the moving. One day Mulla Nasrudin's wife, hearing a tremendous thump. ran to his room. Nothing to worry about, said the Mulla. It was only my cloak which fell to the ground. What! And made a noise like that? asked his wife Yes ­ I was inside it at the time, said the Mulla. 339 Love. A monk asked Daishu Ekai, What is nirvana? The Master answered: Not to commit oneself to the vicious circle of birth and death or pleasure and pain is great nirvana, What then is the vicious circle of birth and death and pleasure and pain? The Master said: To desire nirvana! Now be silent and feel what is meant by to desire nirvana,

and remember that I am not saying think about it because to think is to miss it. FEEL IT. FEEL IT. FEEL IT. 340 Love. In this world everything is upside down and anyone who is meditating will have to put everything right side up! One should not try to know life but to know death, and then the mysteries of life are revealed to him. One should not ask for any security and then there is no insecurity at all. Bunan says in a poem: While living be a dead man, be thoroughly dead and then behave as you like because then all is well 341 Love. Materialistic societies produce hollow men, men with dead emptiness within, and because of this dead emptiness

one dies before one is really born. Remember that man cannot live by shops alone, and today the holy of holies is the shop. The outer is meaningless without the inner richness and the outer richness only makes the inner poverty prominent. Man is hollow because there is no inner growth and the inner grows only when one lives in the inner. Inward is the way of growth, grace and God. 342 Love. Never suppress any thought, or fight with it. otherwise you will never be without it. Fight it, and you invite it more. Suppress it, and it will be back with double force. I have heard that someone advertised something for women but with the heading, ONLY FOR MEN, and it is reported that out of ninety thousand women who came across it eighty-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-four read the advertisement. The other six were blind.

343 Love. It is impossible to conceive of the divine intellectually, and that is why the intellect denies it or fabricates fictitious systems about it, which is even more dangerous than plain denial. The mind works only in the circle of the known; it cannot transcend the world of the known: for the mind the unknown is not. Says Attar: You know nothing of your real self here and in this state. You are like the wax in the honeycomb ­ what does it know of fire or guttering? But when it gets to the stage of the waxen candle and when light is emitted THEN IT KNOWS. 344 Love. Life is not a detective story, and you do not have to deduce a thing. Life is before your eyes as clear as the sun and as open as the sky. Just be out of your thinking, disease and open your eyes

and nothing is hidden at all. Even the hidden one is not hidden then. I have heard a dialogue between Sherlock Holmes and Watson: Holmes: Ah Watson. I see you have put on your winter underwear. Watson: Marvellous, Holmes, marvellous! How did you ever deduce that? Holmes: Well, you have forgotten to put on your trousers. 345 Love. Life goes on flowing. It does not wait. But mind thinks and therefore takes time. To exist, no time is needed, but to think ­ time is necessary Really there is no time existence. it appears only because of the mind and its thinking Existence exists not in time but in eternity. It exists in the eternal now. There is neither past nor future But only the present ­

or not even that because without the past and future it is meaningless to call it present Do not live out or the mind. otherwise you will always lag behind. because life never waits for you and your so-called mind that is why the mind always feels as if something is missing ­ because it is missing life itself ­ and always! Once a Master said to his disciples: If you utter a word ­ thirty blows of my stick for you, but if you utter no words just the same, thirty blows of my stick Now ­ SPEAK. SPEAK! One disciple came forward and when he was about to bow before the Master he was struck The disciple protested :I have not uttered a single word and neither did you allow me not to utter. Why the striking ? The Master laughed and said If I wait for you and your speech or your silence... it is too late and life cannot wait! 346 Love.

Goethe is said to have cried when dying: Light, light, more light! And Miguel Unamuno has responded with his: No ­ warmth, warmth, more warmth! For we die of cold and not of darkness! But I say to you that we die neither because of cold nor because of darkness but because of our lust for living or because of our fear of death ­ which is to say the same thing in different terms. Do not look at death as opposite to life, because it is not. And live death moment to moment, do not postpone it for the end because that creates fear. Die each moment to the past, and then each moment you will be fresh, young and reborn. And then there is light always because the very darkness becomes light, and warmth also, because only the dead past is cold. THE PRESENT IS ALWAYS WARM. 347 Love. Man is not the end

but only the means Man is not really a being but only a tension between two planes of being. Man is a bridge only, that is why man cannot remain satisfied with himself. His heart is nothing but a continent of discontent and his very being is anguish. Religion is the wish to pass beyond himself as he now is. That is why I say man can never be irreligious; that is impossible; he can pretend to be but he cannot be. Religion is not something accidental or circumstantial, it is in the very nature of man. Man is a religious animal and man is nothing if man is not a desire to transcend himself. He can go below himself, or he can go above but he cannot remain himself. He cannot be rest. That is why there is restlessness 348 Love.

Use dreaming consciously as meditation and know well that conscious dreaming opens new doors of perception. Lie down, relax; and dream but do not fall asleep; remain conscious in the background; wait and watch; dream anything that happens to your mind: do not plan beforehand; dream anything because in dream the whole world is yours; dream your existence as you please; dream and be content, content with your dreams because they are yours, and remember that nothing can be yours like your dreams because you yourself are a dream entity! ­ and also because your wishes come to be true in your dreams, and only in your dreams. But do not fall into identification. Be a witness. Remain aware. And then suddenly there will be no dreaming. Only you and illumination.

349 Love. You write me that without me you cannot pass through the gate and with me you will not pass through the gate. Oh, I know that! But you need not do either. You need not pass through the gate with me or not with me, because I am the gate. I am no-one, so how can you be with me or not with me? And only one who is no-one can be the gate. The gate means the emptiness because the gate is nothing but the space to pass through. Pass through me ­ not with me ­ and know. I appear to be someone only from without, but the deeper you penetrate me the less you will find me. And in the end ­ NO-ONE. 350

Love. Walk as if you are not walking, stand as if you are not standing, sit as if you are not sitting ­ and then you will begin to feel something completely new arising within you. This is the real one. The false you walks, stands and sits and the real you just remains in suchness. FEEL THIS ­ THIS VERY MOMENT, because there is no need to postpone it, and if you postpone it you postpone it for ever because there is no tomorrow for the real one, there is no there for it,

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