God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth Chapter 4 God is alie

CHAPTER 4

God is a lie

9 February 1989 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

OUR BELOVED MASTER, AFTER NANGAKU'S COMMENT ABOUT SEKITO, HE ONCE MORE SENT THE ATTENDANT MONK TO SEKITO TO ASK HIM A QUESTION. ON ARRIVAL, THE MONK ASKED SEKITO, "WHAT IS LIBERATION?" SEKITO SAID, "WHO BOUND YOU?" THE MONK ASKED, "WHAT IS THE PURE LAND?" SEKITO RESPONDED, "WHO MADE YOU DIRTY?" THE MONK ASKED, "WHAT IS NIRVANA?" "WHO GAVE YOU BIRTH AND DEATH?" SEKITO REPLIED. THE ATTENDANT MONK CAME BACK TO NANGAKU AND REPORTED SEKITO'S ANSWERS. NANGAKU PUT BOTH HANDS TOGETHER AND MADE A GESTURE OF TOUCHING HIS FEET. AT THAT TIME, KENGO, RAN AND NANGAKU WERE THOUGHT TO BE THE THREE MASTERS IN THE COUNTRY, AND ALL THREE OF THEM SAID, "FROM THE STONE-HEAD COMES THE LION'S ROAR TO MY EAR." THE MONK WENT BACK TO SEKITO AND SAID THAT, IF THERE WERE ANYTHING THE MONK COULD DO FOR HIM, TO LET HIM KNOW. A LITTLE LATER, THE MASTER, NANGAKU,

CAME WITH HIS MONKS TO SEE SEKITO. SEKITO STOOD UP TO RECEIVE HIM, AND THE TWO GREETED EACH OTHER. LATER, NANGAKU HAD A TEMPLE BUILT FOR SEKITO'S CONVENIENCE. Friends, first the questions. The first question: Question 1 IS IT NOT THE SAME TO CALL EXISTENCE INTELLIGENT AND LOVING AS TO CALL IT GOD? IT MIGHT NOT BE THE CHRISTIAN CONCEPT OF GOD BUT THERE ARE OTHER PANTHEISTIC CONCEPTS WHICH SEE GOD IN EVERYTHING. It is not the same. God gives a sense of personality, of limitedness, while existence gives you an unlimited, non-personal vastness. God cannot be equivalent to existence. God has always been conceived by all religions, monotheistic or polytheistic, as the creator of existence. And existence is not a created phenomenon; it has been here always. So first the God gives you an impression that he is the creator. Then many lies start arising out of the God. Then prayer becomes possible, then worship becomes possible, then statues of God become possible. Then temples and churches and mosques start arising. Then organized religions become possible. God is the center of all organized religions. Once you accept God as a person, you have limited intelligence, invested intelligence in one person. I am spreading it all over existence. The whole existence is intelligent, caring, compassionate, loving, but it is not a person. It is not limited in any way; it is unlimited, infinite and eternal. There is no beginning, no end. It is continuously evolving towards higher peaks and higher peaks; it is continuously fathoming depths beyond depths. There are skies beyond skies; there is no end to existence, it has no boundary. God is bound to be limited. God is a fiction of the human mind, existence is not. You have created God in an old image. He is just sitting on a throne, an old man, of course ­ you cannot conceive of God as young or a child ­ with a long beard. The beard must be longer than God himself. Since eternity he has never entered a barber's salon and I don't think that he has safety razors. Every morning in the bathroom... I don't think that he has a bathroom either, there is no mention of his bathroom in any scripture. He seems to be perfectly Indian. So beware of him! He must be using the whole sky as his toilet. When something falls on your head, it is holy shit. Conceiving God as a person is going to create many troubles. No, existence is a totally different concept. It is not your fiction; it is there. When you were not here, it was there. When you will not be here, it will be here. We come and go; we are just waves in this vast ocean of existence. We come and go, existence remains. And to find that which remains is the ultimate truth. You don't have to worship nature, you don't have to pray to nature. Those things are only associated with the fiction of God. Existence is non-judgmental. I want to emphasize this fact as categorically as possible. God is judgmental. The Christian God has exactly declared that there will be a judgment day, when he will choose those who are on his side, followers of Jesus Christ, his son. And those who are

not on his side are against him. They will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. It is because of God all kinds of moralities arise: this is good, that is bad. What is the criterion? The scripture. And the scriptures were written by primitive people, uneducated, they don't belong to our century. Existence does not write any scriptures and does not give any commandments. Existence does not tell you what to do and what not to do. Existence is absolutely non-judgmental. It is as compassionate to the sinner as to the saint, it makes no difference, because in the eyes of existence everything that is natural is beautiful. Those who go against nature, religions call saints, and nature simply feels sad for them. Existence simply feels that they are going astray, and by being astray they will suffer. It is not that existence is giving them suffering and hell, punishment and reward, no. Existence simply is there. If you are in tune with it you will be immensely rewarded. Nobody is rewarding you, it is just that the very tuning with existence is such a peace, such a joy, such a benediction, you are already rewarded. There is no reward beyond this; and those who are not in tune with nature and existence are already punished. You can see your saints; they can't smile, they can't laugh, they can't enjoy anything. They are the ugliest human beings who have fallen from humanity into some kind of darkness that knows no end. They are self-torturers, masochists, and they are already suffering. Their suffering is not caused by anybody else, it is caused by themselves. This is the criterion for me: if you are suffering, that means you are not in tune with nature. If you are miserable, that means you are not in tune with nature. So the moment you feel you are miserable, suffering, in agony, immediately try to make the distance smaller, come closer to existence and suddenly there will be light and there will be joy and there will be song and there will be celebration. To be in tune with existence is its own reward; not to be in tune is its own punishment. So my approach is very clear and clean. If you make God, then he is bound to judge you. And his judgment is going to be out of date; he will always be lagging behind human consciousness. And if you follow those scriptures which are creations of the priest, not of God... There is intrinsic proof of it. Hindus say the Vedas were written by God himself, and I cannot conceive the stupidity. Nobody in thousands of years has objected to the idea. There is intrinsic proof in the Vedas themselves that they were created by the priests. There is no need for any outer proof. I will tell you just which proofs are intrinsic. Ninety-eight percent of the prayers in the Vedas are from priests. God will not say a prayer. There is no other God; to whom will he pray? Just look at the point. God cannot be a worshipper; God cannot be in prayer; God cannot ask anything from anyone because there is no one beyond him. The whole Vedas are nothing but prayers, and the content of the prayers is so idiotic it is a miracle that nobody raises the question. One of the so-called Hindu seers prays, of course to God, that this year, "Just let your clouds rain in my fields and not in the fields of my enemies." Do you think this writing can come from God? Another seer, a so-called, self-styled seer, asked God, "Let my cows have more and more milk and let my enemies' cows simply stop giving milk at all." These kinds of things God will write? This is intrinsic proof that these are the writings of ordinary worshippers, brahmins, priests, and they have

been proclaiming for thousands of years that the Vedas are written by God. All religions try to prove that their holy scripture is written by God. If not written, at least sent through a messenger; but the word is coming from God. Once you accept the fiction of God, you will have to accept these holy scriptures and you will have to accept his judgment. And his judgment is absolutely against nature, because these scriptures prescribe that you live an abnormal, stupid, insane life. "Don't eat according to the needs of your body, fast! Don't live in the world, renounce! Go to the Himalayas, live in the caves!" With difficulty man has come out of the caves. Thousands of years' struggle has brought man out of the caves, and these so-called holy scriptures are sending him back: "Go to the caves!" There is a certain psychological reason behind it. If you are fasting, you become more imaginative. Obviously you have to imagine food; that is the first imagination that comes. The whole night you will be imagining that you are being invited by the king himself, and you are having a great feast. It is bound to happen. If you are sexually starved, you will have sexual dreams. If you are physically starved, you will have dreams about food. If you are thirsty, you will dream about water. Your dreams show what you need, what you are denying yourself. The dreams are indications from your very nature that you are unnecessarily going against nature, you will suffer. But all religions prescribe fasting as one of the virtues, great virtues. The reason is fasting helps hallucination, it is a scientific fact. If you fast for three weeks continuously and you are alone in a cave in the Himalayas, you will start hallucinating. By the end of the second week you will start talking to yourself. By the end of the third week you will start talking to God. The actual dialogue you will manage from both sides. You will ask the question and you will answer the question and you will feel that the answer is coming from God. By the end of the fourth week you will be able to see your God, Jesus Christ or Krishna or Buddha, whosoever you have been believing in. By the fourth week you have lost all grip on intelligence, you have lost all grip on reality. You cannot make any distinction what is real and what is dream; you have fallen back into the state of a small child. The small child in the beginning cannot make the distinction between what is dream and what is real. In the dream he is playing with a toy, and when he wakes up in the morning and the toy is gone, he starts crying, "Where is my toy?" He cannot make the distinction that the toy was a dream. It will take a little maturity, a little growth of intelligence to make the distinction between the real and the unreal. In just four weeks fasting you will lose all the discrimination of your intelligence. Living alone is absolutely necessary for it, because if somebody else is living with you, you will talk to him. That will be a release. But if you are living alone... and every religion prescribes living alone, in monasteries, in your cells or in caves. Live alone. Why alone? So that you cannot talk to anybody ­ then your whole mind is so boiling to talk that you start talking to yourself. You have seen people on the street also. You can see their lips moving, yet they are alone. They are going fast towards their office or their home and their lips are moving. Sometimes they are making gestures, throwing away something.

What is happening to them? They are going like robots towards their house because it has become habitual. They don't need to think about where to move right and where to move left, this will be done by the legs themselves. I have seen people counting money on their fingers, I have seen people with lips moving. I have loved a story very much. A man had become the center of attention of a crowd gathered in a waiting room at a junction railway station. The train was late and all were eagerly waiting for the train, but everything was focused on a person who was resting in a chair. His lips were moving and once in a while he would start smiling, once in a while he would giggle, once in a while he would throw something away. Finally they could not resist the temptation to ask what was going on. So one man asked him, "What is going on? Sometimes you throw something away." Sometimes you giggle, sometimes you smile.

He said, "Nothing. I am just telling jokes to myself. When I hear a really good joke, I smile. And when a joke is so fresh and new, I giggle. And when I hear some old joke, I simply throw it away." He is telling jokes to himself and all the jokes must be old. Everybody said, "You are having a great time, while we are unnecessarily worrying about the train that is getting later and later." In India it happens... Once I was stuck in Allahabad. First they declared the train was two hours late. I said, "Not much of a problem. I will reach to the place where I am going in time. After two hours, then I went to inquire. They said, "Now it is another four hours late." I said, "Is it going backwards? How can it be another four hours late when it was just two hours late? Those two hours are gone; the train should be on the platform. It means it is now six hours late. What is happening? Is the train going backwards?" The man was in shock. He could not answer me, because my question was absolutely logical. "What is happening to the train? I can understand it was late, but it cannot go on moving backwards. Next time I will come after four hours. It may be twelve hours late because it is going backwards. You have to answer me." He said, "What can I do? I have just been informed by the stationmaster that it is now another four hours late." I said, "Go and ask the stationmaster, otherwise I am going to report this to the police." He said, "For what?" I said, "Your stationmaster and you are both crackpots. What is happening to the train? How can it be so much more late?" He rushed towards the stationmaster and the stationmaster came to cool me down. He said, "It is not going backwards."

Then I asked, "What is happening?" "That I don't know. The information has just come from the other station that it is another four hours late." I said, "Make inquiries from the station you are receiving the message from, because if it gets any later I will go to the police station and find out where the madhouse is in Allahabad. And you will be arrested." He said, "But it is not my fault." I said, "I don't care whose fault it is. You find out why the train is going backwards." But in India it happens every day... just to keep people hoping. They don't know exactly how late it is, so they say two hours late. If it comes early, it is good. If it does not come early, then it is still more late, but to tell people that it is twelve hours late will be too shocking. So make it easy: two hours, four hours, two hours more... it is just coming in an hour. By and by it is twelve hours late. So they could not answer me because I knew the reality. What was the reality? The reality was they had no idea how late it was. Sitting in the waiting room, watching people... I have seen people with nothing to do; they start moving their lips, talking to themselves, just keeping themselves engaged. Otherwise it is an agony to think that you are caught up in this place for nobody knows how long. Sometimes the train is twenty-four hours late, I have seen it even forty-eight hours late. I don't know how this happens. But I found out once. I was coming from Chanda to Gondia, in a very small train. Now these small trains have almost disappeared, except in a few places. This train was a passenger train; on that small line there were only passenger trains, and it was stopping at every station. One friend of mine, who has since died, a rich man, had persuaded me to travel. He said, "It is a beautiful place to travel to in this train. On both sides it is scenic ­ mountains, rivers, wild forests." So I agreed; otherwise I was going to fly, because this train would take twelve hours while I could fly in fifteen minutes. I said, "Okay, this time let us try it. You have been telling me again and again that it is beautiful country around the train." It is an almost unpopulated area, aboriginal area, where people live deep in the forest. At one station he told me, "Get down." It was mango season. And that place! Outside the station, there were such beautiful mango trees, perhaps for miles, and the smell of mangos... and hundreds of cuckoos creating such beautiful songs, such beautiful sounds. He took me out. I said, "What are you doing?" He said, "Come with me. You will never find such beautiful mangos anywhere." So he climbed up a tree and told me to come behind him. I said, "But what about the train?" He said, "Don't be worried. That is my responsibility. Unless I come down, the train will not move." I said, "This is strange ­ because you have not told anybody, the stationmaster or the driver."

He started laughing, he said, "Just look up. The driver is above us. Unless I allow him to come down, the train cannot move. Don't you be worried." And the driver started laughing. He said, "That's right." So we enjoyed mangos for almost an hour, and whenever the driver tried to come down my friend said, "I will pull you by the leg and throw you down. Just remain there. The train cannot move until we are finished. You eat mangos, there is no harm." So we kept the driver up the tree and all the passengers on the train were wondering what the matter was. It was the only train on the line. One time it goes, one time it comes. So there was no question of another train coming. The stationmaster was looking to see where the driver had gone. The conductor was looking all around, everywhere... And we saw everybody searching for the driver. The driver was imprisoned completely because he could not pass us. We were there to push him back. "Just go up!" Then I knew how these trains get late. It could only happen in India. All religions preach fasting and, "Go into aloneness and constantly visualize, imagine your God." It is a psychological fact that in four weeks even the most intelligent person will start wavering over what is real and what is imaginary. And what to say about the ordinary masses whose intelligence quotient is not more than seven years? Their minds remains stuck between seven and fourteen. The body goes on growing to seventy, eighty, but the mind stays somewhere between seven and fourteen; very rarely a man passes beyond fourteen. So these people who have a retarded mind ­ and only a retarded mind can belong to a religious organization, can believe in the fiction of God, can believe in heaven and hell, can pray to the empty sky ­ these people renounce the world out of fear and greed. And when they are alone they start visualizing, for which fasting is absolutely necessary. It weakens not only you, but also your mind. Have you ever thought that no vegetarian in India has ever received a single Nobel Prize? And in fact they should be the ones to receive most of the Nobel Prizes, because they think they are eating the purest food. Their minds should be purer and clearer and cleaner than those of non-vegetarians. But not a single Jaina has received a Nobel Prize, and it will never be possible because something which is needed for intelligence to grow is missing in their food. But they won't listen. I have talked at their conferences and they were all angry, they were ready to kill me. But they won't listen. I was telling them that it is perfectly good to be vegetarian, but they should understand that there are a few proteins which are missing in their food for which they have to have a substitute. The best way is to start eating eggs which are unfertilized. They are just like vegetables, there is no life in them. When the hen has not been hanging around a cock, she is still going to give eggs every day. She is not dependent on the cock. So the egg will be just vegetarian, there will be no life in it. And it has all the proteins and vitamins which are needed for the intelligence to grow. But just the word egg is enough to freak them out: "You are teaching us to eat egg!"

I said, "You don't understand. I am not teaching you to eat eggs, I am teaching you to eat unfertilized eggs." They said, "Eggs are eggs." They will not understand a simple phenomenon: that when it is unfertilized, it is not an egg, it is just the shape of the egg. Otherwise it is pure protein, vitamins, and so cheap and so natural. And it is an absolute necessity for your intelligence to grow. You will be surprised to know that Jews get forty percent of the Nobel Prizes and the whole remaining world gets the other sixty percent. And there are not many Jews because everybody is killing them. For four thousand years the whole world has been killing Jews. Mohammedans are killing them, Christians are killing them, everybody is against them. So they are a very small portion of humanity, but they get forty percent of the Nobel Prizes. What is the problem? When I worked out what the reason was and I told the Indians, everybody was against me. I finally stopped talking to the masses because these idiots won't understand. The Jews are some of the most intelligent people on the earth. Just see: Jesus has turned half of humanity to Christianity; Karl Marx, another Jew, has turned the other half to communism. Sigmund Freud, the third Jew, exploits both. The fourth Jew, Albert Einstein, created atomic energy and nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world. These four Jews are the most important people in the world. Strange! And the reason is even stranger: it is their circumcision. It is not a laughing matter at all; it has a scientific basis. Even scientists are now agreeing with the fact that circumcision has something to do with Jewish intelligence. As they have been working on the brain, they have found that there are millions of small nerves in the brain. In this small skull millions of small nerves, not visible to the eyes. And they control your whole behavior, your intelligence, your functioning of the body, your digestion, your blood circulation, they control everything. The intelligence is controlled by a certain center in the brain. By the side of this intelligence center is the center that controls your sexuality. They are too close. The more intelligent a person is, the more sexual he will be. The more sexual a person is there is the possibility of more energy for creation, for intelligence. And what happens when the very small child, just born, is immediately circumcised? The sexual organism is connected with the brain center, and particularly in a small child everything is very soft, flexible. And to cut that small child's unnecessary skin from the sexual organ gives a certain shock. That shock goes not only to the sexual center but because the sexual center is so close to the intelligence center, the shock goes to the intelligence center also. And the shock in a certain way wakes it up. Mohammedans also circumcise, but not in childhood, later on. Then it is useless because now everything has become fixed. Now things are not so volatile, not so flexible. So Mohammedans don't get the same Nobel Prizes as the Jews. Both religions, Christianity and Mohammedanism, are by-products of Judaism. There was a great debate in the time of the emperor Constantine, whether to continue circumcision for Christians. He was a Roman and the president of the council of Nicaea that was deciding what

to do about circumcision. Because they were all Jews converted into Christians, Constantine voted against it. That's why Christians stopped circumcision; now they are starting again. In America now it is an established thing, it does not matter to what religion you belong. Every child that is born in the hospital has to be circumcised. And every child has to be born in a hospital, not at home. So the doctor has immediately to circumcise the child. The reason is double: it is hygienic, it prevents many diseases, it keeps you cleaner; and the secret reason is, it gives a shock to your intelligence center, which then certainly starts functioning better than any other center. I am absolutely in favor. The whole world should be circumcised, and immediately after the birth; the more quickly you do it, the better. But to tell people the truth about anything is very difficult. To have eyes in a valley of blind people is not an easy job. Keeping a person fasting for four weeks destroys all those proteins and vitamins that make his intelligence. You don't know the dynamics of fasting. Why are all religions insisting on fasting? Because it destroys... For four weeks, at the most, one can live on the storage. After the fourth week there is no storage. And immediately, within six minutes, if they are not supplied with the right amount of proteins, oxygen, the right amount of vitamins, those small nerves break down. Once those small nerves break down, you don't have any capacity to discriminate whether Christ is standing before you, or it is your imagination, your projection. With open eyes you start seeing dreams. It needs aloneness so nobody disturbs your imagination and it needs constant visualization, praying the whole day. In monasteries what are people doing? The whole day praying: Ave Maria, Ave Maria... and holding Maria's picture and prostrating and fasting and "Ave Maria"... In a few days' time the picture will start moving its lips. Ave Maria is coming alive and that is a great satisfaction to the stupid mind. Soon Ave Maria will start coming out of the picture. A great revelation! That's what the person was waiting for. He touches the feet of nobody, but he feels the feet, just as you feel things in your dream. He has destroyed the barrier between dream and reality. To destroy that barrier, fasting and aloneness and constant visualization are used. You can visualize God, but you cannot visualize existence; and there is no need to visualize it, it is already there. The trees are there, the rivers, the ocean, the mountains, the stars, the whole sky is there. It is not your imagination. And it is an objective phenomenon. You can all agree that it is a full-moon night. But if somebody is seeing Jesus, you will not agree, because you will not see Jesus, only he is seeing Jesus. It is a projection. If it was a reality, then there would be no question; others would also see, as they see the full moon, as they see the sunrise, as they see roses and everybody agrees that, yes, there is a roseflower. Maybe they have different opinions: a poet may be more sensitive, a painter may look at the rose with different eyes because he has a sensitivity for colors, a man who is an expert about perfumes will have a different sensitivity towards the rose because he will smell more deeply than you can. And for a man like me who has an allergy to perfumes...

My gardener, Mukta, has to keep all the flowers outside my windows, which are never opened, so I can see the roses but the perfume cannot reach to me. And poor Mukta has to work hard because keeping those roses around my room... There are such big, huge trees, so much shadow, and roses cannot blossom perfectly unless they have sunlight. So she has constantly to change the flowerpots. But she manages for me to see the roses all around me wherever I am in the house. She is deceiving the sun and she is deceiving the roses. She has to continuously move them in a rotation; whenever a flower comes to its total blossoming, she brings it around to my side outside the windows. And when she sees that the plant is not happy without the sun, she takes the plant to the sun. So she has to keep a double row rotating. It is a rotary club. But she manages perfectly well. She knows I love the roses, but I cannot tolerate their fragrance. I am too sensitive to their fragrance. That immediately disturbs me. So it may be different to different people, but the existence of the rose will be objective. Everybody will accept it, except a few blind people; but they also can touch the rose, they also can smell the rose. Some idea they can have of the rose except the color. They can feel its softness, its velvety petals and because the blind man has no eyes... Eyes use eighty percent of your energy. The other four senses have only five percent distributed to each. Twenty percent of your energy is used by four senses, the eyes use eighty percent. So the blind man distributes his hundred percent energy to the four senses; twenty-five percent to each. That's why blind people are good singers, they have a better ear than anybody else. Their touch has more energy than a man with eyes because their hands are carrying twenty-five percent of their energy, your hand only five percent. So they may not be able to see the flower and the color, but they can touch and their touch will be deeper than yours. They can smell and their smell will be deeper than yours. But we can come to the same conclusion that there is something objective. Your dream is purely yours, you cannot share it with anybody. I have told you about two friends who were talking. One said, "Last night was a great night. In my dream I went fishing. And, my God, I had never seen such a big fish in my whole life. Just to catch one fish and to carry it to the bank, I felt I was not strong enough. The fish was so big. And fish upon fish... I was lying down on the beach, the whole beach was full. You should have seen, you should have been there." The other friend said, "That's nothing. Last night I dreamt that naked women were lying by my side, one on my left, one on my right. I looked to the right, and I was amazed: it was Marilyn Monroe, the American actress, the concubine of President Kennedy. And on the other side was Sophia Loren, both naked, and you are talking about fish, you idiot." The other man also became angry. He said, "If this was the case, why did you not give me a phone call immediately? What were you going to do with two women?" The man said, "I did. I phoned your wife, and she said, `He has gone fishing.'" You cannot share your dreams, you cannot share your hallucinations. So a follower of Krishna will see Krishna, not Christ. And a follower of Christ will see Christ, not Krishna. And when he is seeing,

you can be there but you won't see anything at all. It is just a projection, open-eyed dreams. To make it possible you need to fast to destroy your intelligence and you need aloneness, so nobody disturbs you and tells you that you are an idiot: "There is nobody. I can see a plain wall. Where is your Krishna? I don't see anyone and I can bring other people as a proof that nobody sees." So you need to be alone, so nobody disturbs your projection, your hallucination. God has been one of the greatest disturbances to human evolution because it has made people hallucinate, destroying their intelligence, destroying their possibility of becoming a buddha. Existence has its own wisdom, existence has its own love. You just have to experiment. And now science is very clear about it. In fact, the first scientist who became aware of the sensitivity and intelligence of trees was so shocked because he felt, "We don't have that sensitivity and that intelligence; it is a totally different dimension which we have never bothered about. And we have lived with trees for millennia, millions of years. But we have never bothered to find out whether those trees have any intelligence, any sensitivity." It is just within ten years that scientists have become aware. Now they have a special instrument, like a cardiogram; it has exactly the same type of mechanism. They put the cardiogram around the tree and the cardiogram starts giving the graph, how the tree is feeling. And the graph is very harmonious; the sun is rising, a cool breeze is blowing and the tree is dancing in the wind, in the sun; she is really happy. The graph is very harmonious, there is no tension in the tree's mind, no trouble, no anxiety. The graph continues harmonious... and suddenly a gardener appears with an ax in his hand. Immediately the graph starts trembling, it is no more harmonious, the tree is feeling worried. But this happens only if the gardener is going to cut the tree. It is strange, the tree is not bothered by the ax; the tree is bothered by the intention of the gardener. When it became clear to the scientist, it was really shocking. First they thought it was the ax. The tree has no eyes, but it must have some way of perceiving. But finally they found that it is not the ax, it is the intention of the person; because one time they brought a gardener with an ax just to cut the trees, including the tree that they were working on. The gardener had to cut one of the branches. And the tree completely freaked out. The graph showed that the tree was absolutely against what was going to happen. It was shocking... because trees don't have eyes, and how far away was the gardener with his ax? And then they tried a gardener coming with the ax, but with no intention of cutting the tree. And the graph remained harmonious. So it was not the ax, it was the desire, the intention of the gardener to which the tree was somehow receptive. And then they worked on. For ten years the work has been going on, particularly in the Soviet Union. They wired other trees also near the main tree, and they found that it was not only the tree which was going to be cut, but other trees also feel sympathy for the tree; their graphs don't go that crazy, but they become disharmonious. They are feeling that one of their friends, one of their neighbors, is going to be cut. But this happens only if there is intention. If there is no intention and the mali comes with an ax and passes by, no tree gives any sign of worry, anxiety, anguish. This whole existence has its own ways of being intelligent. Our intelligence is not the only intelligence. A famous scientist, John Lilly, has been working ­ and he has almost gone crazy ­ he has been working on dolphins. Dolphins have a very different language. Nobody has ever thought that anybody had language except man. And the dolphin's

head is bigger than a man's head; it has more nerves than the man's head. Perhaps it is a higher stage of intelligence than man. It uses a certain system which is called sonar, because it creates a certain sound in the water. That sound travels through the water for miles and reaches another dolphin to whom it is addressed ­ without any wire, this is a wireless system. There are thousands of dolphins in the area, but perhaps the boyfriend or the girlfriend... and the message is a sound we cannot hear, it is beyond the range of our hearing. Only when we magnify it through instruments can we hear it, a certain very beautiful sound. And it must be that the sound is directed to a particular dolphin ­ perhaps that particular dolphin has a name and address. The sound reaches and soon you find the other dolphin rushing to the spot from where the first dolphin has given the signal, "Come soon!" Lilly has been working almost his whole life, and he has become almost insane working with dolphins. Just now one friend suggested he should come here, forget dolphins for a few days and meditate for a few days to calm down. The shock is great, that dolphins have a language that we cannot understand, we cannot even hear. And their language is capable of traveling miles and miles in the ocean and reaching the right address. Dolphins are very loving animals, very playful, very joyous. They have never attacked any human being or any other dolphin ­ no fight, no quarrel. If you are swimming, they will swim with you. If you are playing with them, they will play with you. They are perfectly happy with human beings, they have no problem at all. The whole existence... I used to have a mali, a gardener, a very old man. I found that once in a while when he was not aware that I was watching ­ I may have been inside the house looking at him through the window ­ he was talking to the trees. I caught him one day red-handed, I said, "What are you doing?" He said, "Don't tell anybody. They will think I am mad. But the truth is that I feel a certain affinity... My whole life I have worked with trees; I have always talked to them and to my surprise, if I put two plants of equal height and I talk to one plant and not to the other ­ and I give equal nourishment, equal care, equal water, equal sun, equal manure to both, but to one I talk with great love, I caress with my hands ­ that tree grows faster. Soon, within a month, it has a height double the other tree. Although everything else is equal, one thing is missing ­ my love. And he used to win every year the competition for flowers. He produced the greatest roses I have ever seen, the greatest dahlias I have ever seen. And his strategy was to talk to the flowers, "Don't let me down. The competition is coming closer. You have to give me one big flower, the biggest that you can manage." I became intimate with him and he knew that I would not tell anybody. I understand him and I don't think he is mad. He is working perfectly. Poor fellow, if he had been educated and scientific, he would have found many secrets about trees. But I have seen it with my own eyes because he was with me for almost nine years. And when I left, he wanted to come with me. But I said, "In Bombay I won't have a garden."

He even wrote to America, when I was there, "Now you have such a big place there, why don't you call me, although I am too old and not much use. But still, what I can do with trees, nobody else can do." Existence has multidimensional intelligence. We are only one section of this vast universe. Don't think for a single moment that I am putting existence in place of God. No! God does not exist, existence exists. That's why we call it existence. Question 2 The second question: IT IS VERY EASY FOR ME TO SAY, "AH, I HAVE NOT BELIEVED IN GOD SINCE I WAS A CHILD, AND EVEN THEN I WAS NOT SO SURE." BUT THIS HABIT OF THE MIND TO TRY TO TURN THE MYSTERIES INTO SUPERSTITIONS IS VERY DEEP-ROOTED AND SLIPPERY. THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN YOU WERE SPEAKING I WAS REMINDED OF THE OCCASIONS WHEN I HAVE ATTRIBUTED THESE QUALITIES OF OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE, OMNISCIENCE TO YOU; OR WHEN THOUGHTS OF YOUR DEATH HAVE FILLED ME WITH FEAR AND DREAD MUCH MORE THAN THE LOSS OF ANY GOD. IT SEEMS THIS DISEASE OF GOD IS HIDING DEEP IN THE BONES AND POPS OUT LIKE SOME OBSCENE INTRUDER WHEN I LEAST EXPECT IT AND WHERE I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT IT. It is easy to change your prisons. The new prison looks better. It is easy to change your chains, your slaveries, because any slavery, howsoever different from the old one, is still deep down the same ­ and that's what people go on doing. Hindus become Christians, Christians become Hindus. They are only changing their slavery. They are only changing their prisons, they are only changing their handcuffs, their chains. Nothing is changed. So when you hear God is dead and your intellect is convinced that God never existed, he is nowhere to be found... it is simply intellectual conviction. But you are not just intellect; you are emotion, you are sentiment, you are feeling, which is deeper than intellect. And the concept of God has entered into your emotions, into your sentiments, into your feelings. The intellect is the surface of your mind, and you may be convinced logically, rationally, there is no God. One of my friends, an old man, very intelligent, used to be a follower of J. Krishnamurti, and was of the same age as J. Krishnamurti. I came into his life when he was very old, but he started coming to me. He was intellectually a giant, convinced that there is no God, no hell, no heaven, no morality, that this is all social convenience. His son was the attorney general of the state where I was living. The supreme court of that state was in the city. One day he came running to me, they lived just five minutes walking distance. And he told me, "My father has had a great heart attack and the doctors are worried that he may have another attack coming. He is so weak and he has suddenly remembered you and wants you to be there." So I went, running with him. As I approached... they had put the whole room in darkness, an airconditioned room. I stood at the door, I heard some sound. That old man was repeating, "Hare

Krishna, Hare Rama." I could not believe it. His whole life he was denying, denying, denying and now he was repeating, "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama." I went very slowly, not to disturb him, sat by his side, listened closely that he was repeating, "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama." I shook him. He opened his eyes. I said, "What are you doing? Just one heart attack and your whole philosophy gone?" He said, "This is not the time for discussion. And this is not the time to take any risk. Just leave me alone; just sit by my side and let me pray to God. I know intellectually there is no God. But who knows? What is the harm? Anyway I am dying. It is better to repeat his name. If he exists, it will be helpful; if he does not exist, what is the harm? I just repeated a few times his name, that's all." I said, "This is not the question. It is a question of your whole integrity. You are a very split man." It was only intellect. That's what I have been saying to you again and again, that this is intellectual rationality. And that was the failure of J. Krishnamurti. He was only talking to people intellectually, convincing them intellectually, but he had no method, no meditation that people could experience deeper than feeling. People can go deeper than the heart. They can reach to their being and only then a tremendous light arises which is unwavering; whether death comes or a heart attack comes, it makes no difference. And he became okay. After a few days he came to see me and he said, "Don't tell anybody." I said, "I am going to tell everybody and I am going to send the message to J. Krishnamurti." And I did. I said, "These are your followers, lifelong followers. And you have depended on these people." And Krishnamurti's last statement before he died agreed with me. His last statement was, "I am dying a frustrated man. People have used me as entertainment. Nobody has listened." But it was not the fault of the people. It was his own fault. He was just talking to them intellectually; he never gave them any indication to go deeper. Unless you go deeper, you will shift your projections from one to another. If there is no God, you will make me your God. And certainly I am not God. I have never created this ugly mess that you see around the world. I never created Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane, and Nadirshah and Benito Mussolini. I never created these people. Don't make me responsible. And I am not omnipotent. I am just sitting in my chair, that's all. Omnipotent means I will need a chair in which the whole universe fits. And I am not omnipresent. I am not a peeping Tom to look into your bedroom. That's what God used to do, watching you even in your bathroom through the keyhole. I am not omniscient either. I don't know what is going to happen next moment. I am simply human, just awake, just fully alert, conscious and responding to life moment to moment according to my awareness, my consciousness; just a pure mirror reflecting whatever comes in front of me. Don't project anything on me.

But I can understand your trouble. Your trouble is you are convinced intellectually, but you have not known the truth from deeper sources of your being. You have to know through meditation that there is no God; existence is self-sufficient, it does not need any God, any fiction. Once this happens inside you at the deepest core, you will never project the same old stupid superstitions again. Only meditation can bring a metamorphosis to your being. Krishnamurti died a failure because he never thought that he is only dealing with people's intellect. Intellect is part of the mind, and Krishnamurti never helped anybody to go beyond mind. I suspect perhaps he himself never got beyond the mind. Otherwise, how can he miss it? If he had gone beyond the mind, then his whole effort would have been a long life of ninety years to help people go beyond the mind. When you start looking beyond the mind, there is no God, but this existence becomes so beautiful, so intelligent, so charismatic, so self-sufficient, it needs nothing else. But only meditation can do that miracle. Question 3 The third question: YESTERDAY I HEARD YOU SAYING THAT PRAYER IS SOMETHING DIRECTED TOWARDS THE OUTSIDE. WHAT ABOUT GRATEFULNESS? I HAVE THE FEELING THAT GRATITUDE DOES NOT NECESSARILY HAVE AN OUTER OBJECT. ALSO DOES GRATITUDE HAPPEN ONLY BECAUSE OF A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED DESIRE THAT IS FULFILLED? You are not aware that you have changed the word from gratefulness to gratitude. They are two different words. Gratefulness is always towards the outside, and gratefulness is always because deep down you wanted something directly or indirectly and it has been given to you. That's why you are grateful. Gratefulness simply means thankfulness. That will make it clear. You thank the person who has fulfilled a desire which was hidden in you whether you were aware of it or not. Something has been gratified; hence you feel a thankfulness. Thankfulness is going to be outward. It may be thankfulness towards God which does not exist. It can be thankfulness towards a friend who exists. But thankfulness is a gratification of conscious or unconscious desire being fulfilled. Gratitude is a totally different phenomenon, though not in the dictionaries. In the dictionaries gratefulness, thankfulness, gratitude ­ all are put into the same category. Existence is not according to your dictionaries. Gratitude has no outward object nor inward object. Gratitude is almost like a fragrance arising out of a flower. It is an experience not directed to anybody. When you reach to the very source of your being where you are completely in the mood of spring, and the flowers are showering on you, you suddenly feel a gratitude not directed to anybody, just like a fragrance arising out of you, just as incense brings ripples of smoke and fragrance moving towards the unknown sky and disappearing. Gratitude arises out of you just like a fragrance, not as a thankfulness to anybody. It is the shadow, the by-product of your becoming the buddha. It is not a gratification of any desire. If you have any

desires, conscious or unconscious, you cannot become a buddha. It is only when all desires have passed on, when you have transcended all desires and demands, that you become a buddha. And out of a buddha a fragrance radiates. That fragrance has many elements in it. It is gratitude, it is compassion, it is love, it is blissfulness, it is ecstasy ­ it is manifold, multidimensional. Now the sutra: OUR BELOVED MASTER, AFTER NANGAKU'S COMMENT ABOUT SEKITO, HE ONCE MORE SENT THE ATTENDANT MONK TO SEKITO TO ASK HIM A QUESTION. ON ARRIVAL, THE MONK ASKED SEKITO, "WHAT IS LIBERATION?" Before I discuss Sekito's answer, I will tell you a small anecdote about al-Hillaj Mansoor, the Sufi mystic. A man came to him and asked the same question, "What is liberation?" He was sitting in a mosque with beautiful pillars all around. Listening to the question al-Hillaj Mansoor went immediately towards a pillar, and holding the pillar by both hands started shouting, "Help me!" The man could not understand what was happening. He had just asked about liberation and this man seemed to be mad. Mansoor is holding the pillar, and he is asking the man, "Please help me, the pillar is holding me. And it is not leaving me. Liberate me." The man said, "You are mad, you are holding the pillar. The pillar is not holding you." Mansoor said, "I have answered, just get out of the place. Nobody is binding you." That was Sekito's answer. "WHO BOUND YOU?" Why are you seeking liberation? This is the right approach of Zen, to look into your bondage. Don't bother about liberation. Your bondage is false and your own creation. Who has made you a slave? You yourself. And now you are asking, "Liberate me." Nobody can liberate you because nobody has enslaved you. It is your own game. The answer is very hard, but very clear and very truthful. SEKITO SAID, "WHO BOUND YOU?" First tell me what is your bondage? Who has done it to you? Why are you asking for liberation? Once you look into your bondage, you will simply start laughing. The bondage is your own creation; you can drop it right now. And once you drop the bondage, you see that liberation has been your nature; you don't have to be liberated. You are born liberated, you have been liberated since the beginning, but you get again and again into a bondage. Perhaps the bondage gives you a certain security, a certain safety. The bondage gives you a certain feeling of doing something against the bondage. But you are in your consciousness absolutely liberated, always liberated. It is as if you lie down and close your eyes and start shouting, "Wake me up!" Now it is very difficult to wake a man who is awake. It is easy to wake up a man who is asleep. You can throw cold water, a bucketful of ice-cold water, on his eyes and he will jump. You can take his blanket and he will immediately shout, "What are you doing?"

But if a man is awake, lying with closed eyes, and says to you, "Please wake me up!"... That's what Sekito is saying to the monk who asked "WHAT IS LIBERATION?" SEKITO SAID, "WHO BOUND YOU?" You have always been liberated; you are the buddha; you are the awakened one. It is your own fabrication, a fiction of bondage. You can try a small experiment, just sitting in your room. Put your fingers this way. (The Master clasps his hands.) Hold your hands tight, close your eyes and just think that whatever you do, you cannot open your hands. For at least five minutes you continue repeating with closed eyes, "Whatever I do, I cannot open my hands." Then after five minutes make every effort to open them. Put your whole energy into opening them and you will be surprised ­ the more you try, the more it seems to be impossible. You have hypnotized yourself into a bondage. Now the only way to open the hands which you have hypnotized into a bondage is not to make any effort of opening. Just relax. And the hands will be okay without your making any effort. Your effort is going against you because you have hypnotized yourself. Now you cannot, with effort you cannot open your hands. We have hypnotized ourselves into all kinds of bondages and then we wonder how to be liberated. Then we make a great effort. Every effort brings more trouble. The hands become tighter, then you start freaking out. My God, what to do? The more effort I make, the tighter they become. It seems impossible because you don't understand the simple process. Hypnosis can be dissolved only by relaxation. You just relax. You don't make any effort to open. The hands will open by themselves, because closing is an effort, but opening is just effortless. You don't have to make any effort. That's why... Have you seen any man dying with closed fists? Can a dead man manage to keep his fist closed? Impossible, because the fist needs effort and the dead man cannot make any effort. So all people die with open hands; all people are born with closed fists. Just watch a small child ­ fist! And watch a dead man, the hand is open, because the dead man is completely relaxed. For the first time in his whole life there is no tension. The monk asked another question, "WHAT IS THE PURE LAND?" But this is just going roundabout the same thing. SEKITO RESPONDED, "WHO MADE YOU DIRTY?" Why are you bothering about pure land? THE MONK ASKED, "WHAT IS NIRVANA?" "WHO GAVE YOU BIRTH AND DEATH?" They are fictions. Your birth is a fiction, your death is a fiction; your body is born, your body will die. But you have never been born; you are coming, passing through many bodies, many births, many deaths and you are going on and on from beginning to end ­ eternity to eternity. You are an eternal light. So what is the point of asking, "WHAT IS NIRVANA?" Nirvana simply means getting rid of birth and death; and birth and death are both fictions. Even to say `getting rid of' is not right. What is right is just to look deeply into everything, into your bondage, and you will find it is your creation. Your idea that you are a sinner, dirty, is your idea. Perhaps you have borrowed it from others, the preachers, the priests, the so-called religious saints.

They are making you feel dirty, sinners, getting ready to fall into hell. They are putting all kinds of humiliations on you. And people go on listening to humiliations. From my very childhood I was fighting with every saint who passed through my village. My parents were worried, my family was worried: "You disturb every meeting. Whenever some saint comes, the whole village gathers to listen to him and you stand up in the middle." And my father would beat his head, "Again he is standing, again disturbance!" My basic point was, "You are humiliating people by calling them sinners. Just tell me who is a sinner here and what sin he has committed. You are making a generalized statement, `You are all sinners.' Just point out the person who is a sinner." And these saints were telling people, "Don't be attached to women because they are nothing but bones, flesh, mucus, blood covered in a bag of skin. Why are you getting attached to them?" And I would immediately stand up and say, "What about you? You think you are made of gold? Women are bones, blood, mucus, flesh; okay, what are you? And if blood, mucus and bones hug each other, what is the problem? Rubbing their skin, what is the problem? Why are you making so much fuss? What else can they do?" But all the holy scriptures are full of these descriptions in detail, about women only, not about men. Strange! Both are made of the same stuff and in fact man comes from the woman. The woman never comes from the man. Right now in America they have allowed in many states lesbian marriages, so a woman can marry a woman. There is no problem now, it is legalized. And this year they are expecting forty thousand babies out of lesbian marriages. They simply... one of the partners who is ready to carry a baby for nine months goes to the hospital, gets an insemination, an injection. What is man? Just an injection, a syringe. Any syringe can do that work. So I used to tell the saints that you only have a syringe, and that syringe is also made of bones and flesh, and is covered with dirty skin. So what are you bragging about? And why are you making these people feel humiliated? They are all listening with their eyes down because he is telling a great truth. All scriptures are saying it too. So my father would take me home, "Because you disturb the whole meeting, people have started leaving and the mahatma is very angry." I said, "I don't care. If he is angry, he is going against his own teachings, he will suffer in hell. He was teaching against anger and now he is angry, so I have shown him his real face." My father would say, "Just come home. Sometimes I feel worried that they will not even beat you, they will start beating me. And you are such a fellow... Not a single saint can part from the village who has not been disturbed by you. And we keep the information as secret as possible so you should not come to know that some mahatma, some saint, is delivering a speech. We give you money to go to the movie. "

And the moment they gave me money I would say, "Keep the money. I am coming with you. This money is never given to me for the movie, it is given only to protect the mahatma. I am not going, I am going to the real show." It became so difficult because of the problems that I created for the mahatmas, because it was a simple question: "If two persons are rubbing their skin, what sin is there? Just tell me. I am rubbing my skin; it's the same, it is just cleaning my hands, warming my hands. And if a man and a woman are rubbing their skin, they will fall into hell! And just look at your belly." All the mahatmas in India have big bellies and they are teaching people, "Don't eat with taste." And they themselves... I said, "Where does this belly come from? Stand up! Show your belly to the whole people. You are eating too much and the country is hungry. And I know that because of this belly you cannot make love to a woman. So now you are teaching everybody not to make love to any woman. It is because of this belly, not because of your religion." Such bellies I have seen... you would not believe it. Muktananda's guru was Nityananda. Perhaps he has the biggest belly, an Everest. He was continuously lying down, because with that belly walking was difficult. And lying down, it does not seem that Nityananda has a belly, it seems the belly has Nityananda. The belly is just like a mountain; on this side a small head, on that side two small legs. These creatures have become great mahatmas. I have never seen such a perfect belly, and he was continuously lying down and eating sweets. And worshippers were bringing sweets and halva and puri and making his belly bigger and bigger. When I saw him for the first time, I said, "This man some day is going to burst. He is using his belly as a balloon. This man cannot make love to a woman." That is true. Where could you find such an inverted-belly woman? I don't... I can't understand. It just seems to be impossible, a puzzle, a koan. This man can make love only if he can find a woman with an inverted belly, so they can fit together. Obviously, because he cannot do something, he will say to everybody, "Be celibate." He is having to suffer, and trying to create the same suffering around him. People enjoy other people's suffering because that gives them a chance that, "We are higher than you. Look at us. We are always happy, silent, peaceful." And the reality is they cannot stand up, they cannot walk. One very famous mahatma, Shivananda, who had many followers in the West, used to be a doctor. And that a doctor should do such stupid things to himself makes it more difficult to understand. He was eating so much that he could not walk without two persons holding his hands. He even could not raise his hand. His hand was so heavy, so fat, that one person would take one hand, another person would take his other hand and then the small walk would be done. And he was telling people, "You have to follow the five great principles of Hinduism. The first is ashwad, no taste." What happened to this man? And he was a doctor! I told him, when I went to Rishikesh and saw him, I told him, "What kind of doctor are you? It seems your certificate is bogus. You can't even take care of your body; you have become a monster. You cannot raise your own hand, it has become so heavy."

Everything was out of proportion: a big belly, big fat hands, the legs elephant legs, and this person is teaching the whole world, "You are not the body, you are the soul." And who are these monsters? Just bodies, with no soul at all. I can't see any space in them; they are so filled up with junk that I don't think they can have a soul also. What Sekito is saying is absolutely right. There is tremendous truth in small statements. "WHAT IS THE PURE LAND?" SEKITO RESPONDED, "WHO MADE YOU DIRTY?" You are always pure, that is the Pure Land. Your inner space never has gathered any dirt. That mirror is always clean. No dirt can reach that depth, that invisible beyond. THE MONK ASKED, "WHAT IS NIRVANA?" He is not understanding at all, because the first question is the last question. All these are repetitions of the same thing. Nirvana is nothing but liberation, liberation from all desires, liberation from all attachments, liberation from all bondage. What is nirvana? Liberation from birth, from death. And Sekito said, "WHO GAVE YOU BIRTH AND DEATH?" It is you, your desire. Just try a small experiment. In the night when you are going to sleep, wait, and at the last moment when you think you are just on the verge of falling asleep, just say, "One." Go on saying, "One, one, one..." As you are crossing the border from waking towards sleep, "One, one, one..." Perhaps two or three times after the boundary is crossed, you may repeat, "One, one, one..." and then you will be fast asleep. In the morning, watch. As you become aware that you are waking, you will be surprised, you are repeating, "One, one, one..." Strange! After eight hours of sleep that `one' was continuously being repeated inside you. The last thought when you go to sleep will be the first thought when you wake up. That is an absolutely guaranteed science. Why am I giving you this example? Because the last thought and desire when you die will be the first desire to enter into a womb. If you die without a desire, without any thought, you will not enter into any womb. Nobody is forcing you into some womb. It is your desire, your last desire when you die. Some ambition, some unfulfillment, some frustration... You wanted to be the prime minister and you missed. You wanted to be the richest man ­ you missed. You wanted a beautiful woman and you missed. Anything that is the last thing in you will take you into a new womb to fulfill your desire. Life is very merciful; existence is very compassionate. It gives you chance upon chance, opportunities upon opportunities. If you die meditatively without any desire, then there is no womb for you, no birth, no death. That's what Sekito is saying. Who has given you birth and death? You yourself. By your desires, by your ambitions you go on perpetuating the circle of birth and death. Stop desiring; that is nirvana, you move from death into the cosmos, not into another womb. To move into the cosmos, to become one with existence, is nirvana. It is also liberation, it is also freedom, it is also pure paradise ­ different names for one experience. THE ATTENDANT MONK CAME BACK TO NANGAKU AND REPORTED SEKITO'S ANSWERS. NANGAKU PUT BOTH HANDS TOGETHER AND MADE A GESTURE OF TOUCHING HIS FEET.

Although he was not there, he accepted Sekito as enlightened. It is a very strange story. One day Sekito came to him with a letter to deliver. They could not find any attunement with each other, and Sekito returned without delivering the letter. That time he was not enlightened. This time on the same mountain where Nangaku had his temple and monastery ­ and the emperor has given the name to the whole mountain, Nangaku Mountain ­ on a small hilltop, on a flat stone, Sekito has settled. After Sekito's master died, Nangaku heard that Sekito was just sitting on a rock. He wanted to know whether he had become enlightened or not. He must have seen that very day when he had come as a disciple of Seigen, he must have seen the man, his strength and his power; he had asked a question and Nangaku had said, "Your question is very arrogant. You should ask in a humble way." And Sekito had said to him, "I would rather fall into eternal hellfire but I will not ask the question in any other way." And he had returned directly, a man of steel. Nangaku was a famous master. When he heard these answers from the monk, he folded his hands, and bowed down; he recognized that that fellow Sekito had become enlightened. These answers cannot be given by any scholar. They cannot be borrowed knowledge. They can only arise as an experience. AT THAT TIME, KENGO, RAN AND NANGAKU WERE THOUGHT TO BE THE THREE MASTERS IN THE COUNTRY, AND ALL THREE OF THEM SAID, "FROM THE STONE-HEAD COMES THE LION'S ROAR TO MY EAR." Because he was sitting on a stone with a shaved head he became known as Stonehead Sekito. All three masters were staying by chance in Nangaku's monastery. And they all three said, "FROM THE STONE-HEAD COMES THE LION'S ROAR TO MY EAR. He is sitting far away, but I can hear the lion's roar." THE MONK WENT BACK TO SEKITO AND SAID THAT, IF THERE WERE ANYTHING THE MONK COULD DO FOR HIM, TO LET HIM KNOW. A LITTLE LATER, THE MASTER, NANGAKU, CAME WITH THE MONKS TO SEE SEKITO. It is a strange phenomenon. Once, Sekito had gone as a disciple to Nangaku. Things have changed completely, now Nangaku comes to pay his respects to Sekito. SEKITO STOOD UP TO RECEIVE HIM, AND THE TWO GREETED EACH OTHER. LATER, NANGAKU HAD A TEMPLE BUILT FOR SEKITO'S CONVENIENCE. Zen gives a totally different taste ­ no competition. Nangaku made a temple for Sekito on his mountain for his convenience and took care of him. A monk used to come to ask him if he needed anything. But soon thousands of people started coming to Sekito. He became one of the greatest masters of Zen. He was a very straightforward man, not a philosopher or a theologian; his answers were very simple, but absolutely to the point. His sword was very sharp, and just in one blow he used to cut people's whole intellect, their whole mind. He helped many people to become enlightened. Very few masters can claim that they have made so many people enlightened as Sekito. Chinejo wrote:

SUDDENLY LIGHT SUDDENLY DARK ­ I AM A FIREFLY TOO. You have seen the firefly. It goes on... as it opens its wings, you see the light, as it closes its wings, there is darkness. SUDDENLY LIGHT, SUDDENLY DARK ­ I AM A FIREFLY TOO. Chinejo must have been meditating deep into the night. And the silence of the night and many fireflies moving around, sometimes dark, sometimes light, sometimes dark, sometimes light, suddenly he became so attuned to the fireflies that he said, "I AM A FIREFLY TOO. Sometimes I am ignorant and sometimes I am awakened. Sometimes all is dark and sometimes everything becomes light." Every buddha in his past was as ignorant as you are; and everybody who is ignorant has a future. Any day suddenly, light; and in that light all the past, maybe millions of years, disappear like dreams. Buddha used to measure people's age from the time they became enlightened. He did not count the previous age. One day, a great emperor of those days, Prasenjita, was sitting by the side of Buddha asking him questions. And an old monk ­ he may have been seventy-five years old at least ­ asked Prasenjita, "Forgive me please. I have been waiting because I have to leave before sunset. I have to reach the other village" ­ a buddhist monk cannot travel in the night ­ "so I am in a hurry. I have to disturb you just for a moment, just to touch Buddha's feet and ask if there is any message. I may not be seeing him again and who knows about tomorrow?" So he touched the Buddha's feet and Buddha asked, "How old are you?" And the old man said, "Four years." Prasenjita could not believe that and could not resist the temptation either to interfere. He said, "What? Four years? You must be at least seventy-five." Buddha said, "Prasenjita, you don't know. In my commune we count only those years which he has lived as an enlightened being. Before that was just darkness and dreams, nightmares, misery, not worth counting. You are right, he is seventy-five years old according to the ordinary world, but this is not an ordinary world. He is living in an extraordinary commune. As far as I am concerned he is four years old. I was just asking him whether he remembers or not. He remembers. He knows what is real life ­ only four years. And the seventy-one years were just fake, they do not matter, have no meaning at all. There is no need to count them." Buddha said, "With my blessings you can go because your remembrance is correct."

Question 4 Maneesha's question: OUR BELOVED MASTER, FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE WROTE OF HIMSELF ­ BUT I SEE HIS SENTIMENTS AS BEING MUCH MORE TRUE OF YOU: "ONE DAY THERE WILL BE ASSOCIATED WITH ME A CRISIS LIKE NO OTHER BEFORE ON EARTH, OF THE PROFOUNDEST COLLISION OF CONSCIENCE, OF A DECISION EVOKED AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT UNTIL THEN HAD BEEN BELIEVED IN, DEMANDED, SACRIFICED. IT IS MY FATE TO KNOW MYSELF IN OPPOSITION TO THE MENDACIOUSNESS OF MILLENNIA.... "I AM NOT A MAN, I AM DYNAMITE." WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT? Maneesha, there is no need to comment. I am not a man, I am dynamite. What Nietzsche was saying did not happen in his life; he ended up in a madhouse. No crowd gathered, no disciples, no friends. His last phase of life was a tragedy. The woman he loved refused to marry him because she did not think he was in his senses. The man he respected, Wagner, a great musician, told him not to come to his house because it was Wagner's wife to whom he had proposed. All his friends deserted him, only his sister remained to take care of him. And finally she was also unable to take care and had to put him into a madhouse. He was certainly a man of great insight, but all his insights were only intellectual. Those great insights drove him mad, because he could not manage to live with the crowd, and he could not manage to live alone. He was against everything, just the way I am. But I am absolutely capable of living alone. My aloneness is absolute silence. I just come for the evening talk to be with you, then I am alone the whole day, the whole night. But my aloneness is not lonely, my aloneness is so full of existence, so full of ecstasy and divine drunkenness. My aloneness is my innermost depth, my highest consciousness. Friedrich Nietzsche was poor in the sense that he never knew anything of meditation. So his dynamite turned against himself. He burned himself in his own intellectual, rational, logical arguments. But I am certainly not a man, I am dynamite. And my people have come already and they are coming more and more. Millions more will be here. No boundaries of nations, no boundaries of any church can prevent them. And my whole work is to put dynamite in you to destroy you completely, so that you can enter into the cosmos with an easy heart, relaxed, at peace, finally at home. Maneesha, you are right, your feeling is right. It does not need any commentary on it.

This is the right time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. After such a serious and difficult time, Sardar Gurudayal Singh has come to help me. Gilda and Gilbert Goldfish are swimming around in their fish bowl one day, having a deep philosophical discussion. "So," gurgles Gilda, "you say that you do not believe in the existence of God?" "That's right," bubbles Gilbert, throwing down his copy of THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA. "And Friedrich Nietzsche says that God is dead and fish are free!" "Holy shit!" splutters Gilda. "Then who is that guy that changes our water?" Chester Cheese, the golf-crazed golfer, is preparing one Sunday morning to go golfing at the local golf course. "Golf! Golf! Golf!" nags Betty Cheese, his wife, standing with her hands on her hips and curlers in her hair. "That's all you ever think about. If you ever spent a week-end with me I think I would drop dead!" "Look," replies Chester, putting on his golf hat. "There is no point in trying to bribe me!" Chief Patrol Officer Kowalski and his partner, Officer Jablonski, are walking down Main Street in Warsaw late one night. Suddenly, Officer Kowalski stumbles over a dead body lying on the sidewalk with a huge knife in its back, just in front of the Philharmonic Hall. "Ho!" shouts Kowalski with surprise. "What do we have here?" "It is a dead body, chief!" exclaims Officer Jablonski, his eyes popping out. "Right!" says Kowalski, and he pulls out his pad and paper and starts writing. "Time!" shouts Kowalski. "Er, one a.m." replies Jablonski, nervously looking at his watch. "Okay," says Kowalski, writing furiously. "Now, date!" "Er, March seventh," replies Jablonski, checking his calendar book. "Good!" shouts Kowalski. "Description!" "Er, knife stuck in back," cries Jablonski. "Right!" exclaims Kowalski. "And location!" Jablonski looks up at the huge building and says, "Er, F-I-L-A-M-O-N-I-C. Philharmonic Hall?"

Kowalski scratches his head, and starts writing. "F-I-L... no, that's not right," he says, and then he tries again. "P-I-L-L... no, that's not it! Maybe it is F-H-I-L ­ oh, shit!" snaps Kowalski, breaking his pencil. "How the hell do you spell `Philharmonic'?" "Gee," replies Jablonski, "I don't know." Then Kowalski bends over, picks up the bleeding body, throws it over his shoulder, and starts walking away. "Hey! Chief!" cries Officer Jablonski. "Where are you going?" Kowalski turns around and says, "Let's put him in front of the post office!" Nivedano... (Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano... (Drumbeat) Be silent, close your eyes and feel your body to be completely frozen. This is the right moment to look inwards. Gather your energy, your total consciousness, and with an urgency, as if this is going to be your last moment in life, rush towards your very center ­ faster and faster, deeper and deeper. As you come closer to your center, a great silence descends over you. It is falling almost like soft rain, so tangible. A little closer, and a great peace arises from your very sources, surrounds you in a glory you have never known before, in a grace that is not of this world. One step more and you are at the very center of your being. For the first time you are seeing your original face. As a symbol in the East we have accepted the face of Buddha as the original face of everyone. You are facing your own hidden buddha. This is your hidden splendor. This is your nature, your dharma. The buddha has only one quality, witnessing. Witness that you are not the body, witness that you are not the mind, witness that you are only a witness. And suddenly you have become one with the buddha.

As your witnessing deepens, a great ecstasy starts, starts arising in you just as if a lotus flower is opening in the morning sun, so fresh. On its petals there are still cold dewdrops of the night, shining in the morning sun like pearls. At this moment you are the most fortunate people on the earth. To be at your center, to be a buddha is the greatest experience of life. To make this witnessing deeper... Nivedano... (Drumbeat) Relax... Let go... But keep on witnessing. Slowly slowly, you start melting like ice in the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is turning into an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas are disappearing as separate units and are becoming the oceanic vastness, eternity, infinity. This is your ultimate nature. This is your birthright, to be a buddha; and you have gone beyond the mind and you have reached to the very source of your being from where you have come. And when the source and the goal become one, the circle is complete. This completion of the circle is enlightenment. Every day it will become deeper and deeper. Collect all the experiences that are happening right now: the feeling of vastness, the oceanic feeling, the great peace, the strange silence, the great ecstasy and flowers of bliss showering on you. Collect everything, you have to bring all these things to your ordinary day-to-day life ­ the same grace, the same peace, the same silence, the same joy, the same celebration. If you can manage to bring all these things from the center to the circumference, the buddha is bound to follow. But anyway, persuade him. Before Nivedano calls you back, persuade the buddha to come a little closer, just following you so that he remains a continuous presence behind you. In every act, in every gesture, in every word, in every silence, day, night, waking, walking, sleeping, whatever you are doing, his presence is always there following you like a shadow. But the shadow is very solid and the shadow is very radiant; the shadow fills you with great joy. Your heart starts dancing. Nivedano...

(Drumbeat) Come back... but come back very peacefully as if there is no one here, very silently, with great grace. You have to remember that you are a buddha. Sit down just for a few seconds to remind yourself of the golden path that you followed, to remind yourself of all the experiences that open their doors at the center of your being. The experience of the center is the only miracle there is. Just by your honesty, just by your sincerity, you have made this evening a magic evening. Feel the presence of buddha behind you. These are the three steps of meditation: first, you will find buddha as a presence behind you; second, you will find buddha as a presence in front of you, you will become a shadow; and third, your shadow will disappear into the buddha, you will become the buddha himself. You will not be anymore, only the buddha is. Buddha is just a symbol of pure existence, of ultimate liberation, of nirvana. One day, these three steps will be fulfilled in you. When the third step is fulfilled, you are awakened, enlightened. Then there is no birth for you, no death for you. You have become part of the ultimate cosmos. God is dead, and Zen is the only living truth. Okay, Maneesha? Yes, Beloved Master.

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