God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth Chapter 6 God is the originalsinner

CHAPTER 6

God is the original sinner

11 February 1989 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

OUR BELOVED MASTER, SEKITO WROTE: CAUSE AND EFFECT BOTH NECESSARILY DERIVE FROM THE GREAT REALITY. THE WORDS `HIGH' AND `LOW' ARE USED RELATIVELY. WITHIN THE LIGHT THERE IS DARKNESS, BUT DO NOT BE ATTACHED TO THIS DARKNESS. WITHIN THE DARKNESS THERE IS LIGHT, BUT DO NOT LOOK FOR THAT LIGHT. LIGHT AND DARKNESS ARE A PAIR, LIKE THE FOOT BEFORE AND THE FOOT BEHIND IN WALKING. EACH THING HAS ITS OWN INTRINSIC VALUE, AND IS RELATED TO EVERYTHING ELSE IN FUNCTION AND POSITION. THE RELATIVE FITS THE ABSOLUTE AS A BOX AND ITS LID; THE ABSOLUTE WORKS TOGETHER WITH THE RELATIVE LIKE TWO ARROWS MEETING IN MID-AIR. READING THE ABOVE LINES YOU SHOULD HAVE GRASPED THE GREAT REALITY. DO NOT JUDGE BY ANY STANDARDS. IF YOU DO NOT SEE THE WAY, YOU DO NOT SEE IT, THOUGH YOU ARE ACTUALLY WALKING ON IT. WHEN YOU WALK THE WAY, IT IS NOT NEAR, IT IS NOT FAR. IF YOU ARE DELUDED, YOU ARE MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS AWAY FROM IT. I SAY RESPECTFULLY TO THOSE WHO WISH TO BE ENLIGHTENED, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN VAIN. Friends, you must have enjoyed the ten God-oriented people on the Gateless Gate, shouting pathologically, "Jesus is the only savior."

We used to have a motto in the commune in America: "Moses earns, Jesus saves, Bhagwan spends". It is just utter stupidity ­ saving, earning. I have never saved and never earned. I simply spend. When others are earning and saving, why bother? But you will enjoy such processions more and more, because there are more idiots in the world than you can think of. Sooner or later they all have to come in processions. I don't move out of my room, and the whole world is concerned about me. Anando goes on bringing news from all over the world ­ such immense concern about a single man who has nothing to be afraid of. This proves that even nuclear weapons are weaker before the words of a man who has arrived at the ultimate home. What are they afraid of? And they find excuses which make them just a laughingstock. The Dutch government still keeps the law that I cannot enter their country. And basically when they made the law, the law minister had reasons, the same reasons all over the world ­ that even a three weeks' visa for me, and your whole religion, morality, everything is sabotaged. But Holland had a new idea also when they passed the law against me: because I have spoken against homosexuality, they cannot allow me in their country. I have told them ­ and I am telling my sannyasins from Holland to tell the government again ­ to change the name Holland and make it Homosexualland. Because I have spoken against homosexuality...! Homosexuality is a religion or what? People's feelings are hurt... This is so sick, so pathological. But you will have many such circuses coming here. Enjoy them, laugh and dance. And they all had long faces, sad. Anando was there; she told me that the man who was the leader, who was shouting, simply needed a girlfriend. It is just repressed sexuality, which becomes all kinds of perversions; Christianity is one of those perversions. Question 1 The questions. The first question: IT SEEMS THAT FOR GOD WORSHIPPERS, THE OPPOSITE TO GOD IS NOT ­ IN THE FIRST INSTANCE ­ THAT WHICH IS "EVIL," BUT THAT WHICH IS NATURAL. WHAT HAS MADE MAN SUCH EASY PREY FOR THE PRIESTS WITH THEIR CONCEPT OF A GOD WHO IS HOSTILE TO LIFE? The questioner is very clear and very right. On the surface, Christian theology seems to be saying that God is opposed to evil, but if you look deeper you see that it is not actually opposed to evil, it is opposed to the natural. All religions are against nature, it is not only Christianity. Why are they against nature? There is a great psychological strategy. The strategy is that if you are programmed to be against nature, you will live a miserable life, you will live in anxiety, anguish, perversion, guilt.

This whole phenomenon can be created only if you are programmed to be against nature. If you are natural, then you will be just as happy as all the birds, and all the trees, and all the animals. They don't worship God, they don't go to any church, they don't have any theology. They don't have any feeling of guilt, they are simply natural. The priests found out very early in human history that man can be forced to be God-oriented only if he is forced to be against nature. Once you are against nature you are schizophrenic. Your whole being is part of nature; just your mind is against nature, because only the mind can be programmed, not your body. So you may take the vow of celibacy, but that does not change your biology, that does not change your physiology. It is just a mind concept, just words. Your blood will go on creating sexual energy, your body will go on creating sexual hormones. Have you seen the statues of Buddha, of Mahavira and the twenty-three other tirthankaras of the Jainas? You will be surprised. They don't have any beard, any mustache. Do you think these people had no beard, no mustache? But it is the cunning priests who made these statues, to make it clear to you that these people are not sexual, because mustaches and beards come because of certain hormones. Man has those hormones, woman does not. To show that their physiology has also changed, their beards and their mustaches have been removed. No photographs exist and the statues were made after they had died ­ three hundred years after ­ so nobody had any idea, nobody has seen these people. But the desire you can figure out. Krishna has no beard, no mustache. Rama has no beard, no mustache. What is happening to these people? You can see your celibate monks, and they continue to grow beards and mustaches. Their celibacy has failed. The beard and mustache show that your manhood is still the same in spite of your promise in front of the statue of Jesus or any other god that you are going to follow celibacy. Celibacy remains in your mind only, but your whole body, your whole structure is in favor of nature. So you are split into two parts, and a house divided is going to fall any moment. These religions have created insanity and nothing else. That is their only contribution to humanity: insanity, split consciousness, split personality. One part, which is very impotent, the mind ­ it has no power over the body, it cannot change anything in the body ­ this mind is programmed according to a certain ideology. And when this mind finds that your body is acting against the program, it feels guilty, it feels miserable. It feels worried that there is going to be some great punishment after death, you will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. Your body wants. Just naturally, it wants food, it wants nourishment, it wants love. Love is also a nourishment. If nobody loves you, you will shrink and die. There are hundreds of experiments done by the scientists on monkeys. In one experiment which has been repeated and found to be completely certain, the small baby monkey is brought to the lab and two mother monkeys are provided. Both mothers are artificial. One is just wires, but it has pipes from which the baby monkey can drink milk. But he cannot hug the wires, and he cannot feel while drinking from a pipe the feelings of the mother, the love, the warmth.

Another baby monkey is given a version of an artificial mother just a little different. The wires are covered with woolen clothes and with fur. It is artificial, just made-up, and warm like the mother's blood. It is kept warm through electricity, so the baby feels the warm body because of the warm clothing. Inside there are tubes carrying milk, kept continuously warm by the electricity. It has breasts for the baby monkey, not just like pipes, but looking almost like real breasts ­ plastic, but warm and so the milk comes out warm. And the baby monkey can hug the mother. And strangely, all these experiments proved that the child who gets the warmth and a certain idea that he is with a living mother, lives; the other child dies. Within three months the other child dies, although he is being nourished, taken care of. Only one thing is missing: the warm breasts of the mother. Only one thing is missing: some feeling of love. Even deceptive, artificial warmth is helping the child to grow. Just today, I came to know that in America the Red Indians have almost all been killed. A few have remained who live in deep forests on reservations. And they are given pensions, because America is using their land ­ the whole country belongs to them... and they are very few so it is not much of a problem. It is better to give them money than to create the possibility of any revolt from them. Money is very destructive, when no work is given. Work makes you feel that you are doing something, you are worthy, you are contributing to life, to existence, you are taking care of people whom you love. But no work is given to the Red Indians. That gives a feeling that they are not needed at all. If they die, the government will be happy, the nation will be happy, because that much pension will be saved. And what is he going to do with the money if he has no work? He will drink alcohol, he will gamble, he will go to the prostitutes. And in his drunkenness he will fight, and sometimes he will rape and murder. And when they commit crimes, then immediately the American government forces them into jail. What I am leading you to is the strange fact that the Red Indians who have been forced into jail, almost all of them were declared to have committed suicide. But I know the American jail ­ I have been in five jails ­ and there is nothing that can help you to commit suicide. You cannot carry even your watch into the cell. It is absolutely empty in the cell, there is not a rod that you can hit your head with, there is nothing. Absolute care has been taken that the person cannot do anything as far as suicide is concerned. But I can understand why those people must have died. Either they were killed or most probably they simply shrank. They died from shrinking ­ life is useless; it was useless before, now it is even more useless. And they had been sentenced for thirty years, forty years, or for their whole life. To live in this cell where there is no love ­ although they are given food ­ where nobody accepts them as human beings, their dignity is taken. My feeling is that a person can die out of shrinking; there was nothing that he could commit suicide with. It is possible that the police and the jail officers thought he had committed suicide. He has not committed suicide. You have forced him into a space where he is not needed, neither loved, nor respected ­ no pride. He shrinks. There was no meaning, no significance... Why go on living in this slavery, in this indignity, humiliation?

The whole of humanity has shrunk because of the religions continuously teaching you to be against nature. And you cannot be against nature. So all that you can do is become a dual personality. On the front gate of the house you are a Christian, you are a Hindu, you are a Mohammedan, and you are showing a mask to the people, a false face. And from the backdoor you are natural. So you start feeling a struggle within your own heart. This struggle is the root of how the priests can exploit you; because you are feeling so miserable, you are in need of somebody wise to advise you, to give you some way of getting out of this anxiety. So first religions create anxiety, anguish, misery, suffering. And the way they create it is by making your mind be against nature ­ that is the simplest method. Just be against nature and you will be very sad, empty, not needed, you will lose your whole desire to be alive. Then naturally one wants some advice, and these priests have been bragging that they know the way to get out of misery: prayer. "God will take care of you if you believe in him." This is the whole strategy of all the religions. First create misery, anguish, guilt, and then people are bound to come to you, to the priests, because all priests for centuries have been keeping their holy scriptures ­ which are not very holy at all ­ their monopolies. For example, in India, only after the British Empire came into existence were Hindu scriptures printed for the first time. And Hindus were very much against printing them, because once you print them they become available to everybody. They kept handwritten scriptures; particular families had the monopoly ­ from father to son it passed like a heritage ­ it was their property. And the public was never allowed to know what was in their holy scriptures. So they were the wise men. Half of humanity, women, were not allowed to read holy scriptures. In India, half of humanity, the women, and one fourth of the population, the untouchables, were not allowed even to enter a temple, or even to hear a brahmin chanting mantras from the Vedas. The punishment was death. What was this secrecy? The reason was that if everybody comes to know, then two things are going to happen. First he will know that there is nothing holy in it. Ninety-eight percent of it is sheer nonsense. In perhaps two percent can you find some beauty, some inspired sayings. So it will be a great exposure: "You have been hiding these scriptures, and there is nothing in them." And secondly, the monopoly will be lost. People will be able to look into the holy scriptures for their own consolation. The priests were very much against publishing their books. Finally they agreed, because under British rule they had to agree, they had no power. They agreed, but they agreed that the books should be published in Sanskrit, which is not a living language. Only the priests know it, only the brahmins know it. It has never been a living language of the common people. Buddha had to speak in Pali, not in Sanskrit. Mahavira had to speak in Prakrit, not in Sanskrit, because the public has no idea of Sanskrit. Not only have they kept the Vedas secret, they have kept the language also as a monopoly of the brahmins, of the priests. And this has been the case all over the world in different proportions.

So you are forced finally to go to the priests. When you are feeling so miserable and you don't see anywhere any light, and the night is so dark and goes on becoming darker, and there seems to be no hope for the dawn, where are you going to look? The priest is there, who claims he knows God, who claims that he has the sole monopoly of God's message for humanity. Man easily became a prey because he listened to all these people, and they managed to convince him. They were more educated; they were the only educated people. They knew how to argue, how to convince ­ the whole masses have been kept in darkness ­ so they argued against nature, and they convinced people. And it is very convincing. For example, everybody is suffering because of marriage, and marriage is a creation of the priests. It is a good device to keep people miserable. You will not find in my people any misery, because there is nothing like a bondage. You should live as individuals in freedom. Out of your freedom you love, but not against your freedom. If you sell your freedom for love, you are going to be in despair. So marriage was one of the devices to keep people harassing each other, fighting with each other, because they cannot separate. No divorce was allowed by any religion, and it is human nature to get fed up. Nobody can eat the same food every day ­ except me. My cooks, my people who take care of my body, they get fed up. I eat, and they get fed up, because they have to bring the same food. But unless you are enlightened, you are going to be fed up with everything. It is good when it is new. You have to change your car every year. It does not mean that the new car is better than the old, most probably it is not. The older was stronger, had a thicker body, a stronger engine. The newer is becoming more and more a toy. And because you are going to change in one year, there is no need to make a very strong car. What are you going to do with a strong car? Strong cars were made to serve you for your whole life. The newest car will be even more fragile, and in fact it is for the benefit of the manufacturers that you change your car every year; otherwise how is he going to produce new cars? The factories will close. So there is great propaganda for the new cars, and what changes is just the bonnet, a little design change, new colors, more shiny colors. But the reason why people change their car is they get fed up. One gets fed up with relationships also. In the beginning everything seems to be just great. But how long is it going to be great? Soon you become acquainted with the geography of each other. Once you have seen a woman naked, it is the beginning of the end. Only in India marriages go on being happy, for the simple reason that the husband and wife cannot see each other in the daylight. They cannot talk to each other before their elders. Families are joint families, so one family may be forty persons all living together. And there are many elders. My mother has told me that not only can the husband not see the wife in daylight, but he cannot even play with his own child in front of the elders. And this is a program, centuries old. And when you see your wife in the darkness of the night... And you cannot even talk, because all around is the joint family. Your elders are sleeping; if you start talking somebody may wake up. So silently under the blankets, without even saying, "I love you," just make love and reproduce, and get out of the bed to your own bed so nobody is disturbed. But you don't know your wife, you have never seen her, so the interest remains. It is the darkness that keeps the interest.

But in the West, it is very difficult to remain interested in the same woman for your whole life. After the honeymoon the marriage is finished. I think the honeymoon is the only time you are happy, and then begins a long journey of misery and unhappiness. Now the same is happening in India, because now India is becoming civilized, entering into the twenty-first century. So people get fed up, but they cannot say the truth, that they are fed up with you. So anger comes, violence comes. They both become sad. I was just telling Zareen the other day... Where is she? She is sitting there, and that Manu ­ Mickey Mouse ­ is sitting there. He used to go to Bombay every three weeks. Since he has fallen in love with Zareen, it is a difficult job for him to remain here for seven days, the whole week. His son is taking care of his business better than he has ever been able to. He has never earned so much as his son is earning, so there is no problem for him. But now he goes for business to Bombay. For what business? Just to avoid poor Zareen. And in anger, Zareen goes to Mahabaleshwar. One has gone this way, the other has gone that way. For what is Zareen going to Mahabaleshwar, the opposite direction? And when they are far away ­ one is in Bombay, another is in Mahabaleshwar ­ they start feeling love for each other. Then they both come back to the campus. For one or two days love remains, and then again Manu is ready for Bombay, to do some business. It is better to spend a little less time with each other. Twenty-four hours hanging around each other's neck, nobody is going to be happy, neither you nor the person you are hanging with. Religions have been using all these devices to create misery in people. And they have been telling people not to look at anybody's wife, or anybody's husband. And it is very natural. When you are tired of your woman, you start looking all around for some way out. But all religions are saying, that adultery is the most sinful act. And I don't see... When you become adult, you are bound to commit adultery. I see it as simple human nature, and once in a while it is good. It helps you keep your love relationship fresh if some other woman comes at the weekend. It is not against marriage. It can keep the marriage floating forever, because those two days you realize again the old woman was better. So Manu, the Mickey Mouse, moves back to Zareen. And by that time Zareen is also ready, thinking of Manu, because she has been with somebody else and it does not feel... So they are back. Five days a week it is good to be married. Two days at the weekend it is good to be free. And it is perfectly human. You want to explore new experiences, you want to love as many people as possible. It is one of the characters of Jean-Paul Sartre who says, "I would like to love all the women of the earth." It is not possible, but the desire is there: "I would like to love all the women of the earth." Every woman is a unique individual, every woman is a different experience. Every woman has her own whims, every man his own insanities. So when two new people meet, it is a meeting of different kinds of cuckoos. It is good, because it gives you an opportunity to see that the old one was better. You were settled with the old one; this is an unnecessary trouble. But in five days you will forget it; that is also natural to the mind, to go on forgetting. After five days living with the old woman you will again think that it is getting too much.

So Manu, stop going for business in Bombay, because that creates suspicion in Zareen's mind: "Are you having another love affair in Bombay?" If you are having another love affair I will allow you. But not for business! The business is going on perfectly well. Just be honest, and tell Zareen, "I need three days freedom." Then she is also free for three days, and she is such a nice woman that everybody here... There are so many Romeos, and they will love Zareen. So just a little exchange... and everybody is happy. Why do you think you are so happy? It is because of my continuous corruption of your mind. Whenever I see any marriage, I cannot resist the temptation to corrupt, because I only see that unless you corrupt, people are going to be sad and then they will be prey to the priests. Your question is important. "What has made man such easy prey for the priests...?" His misery. So it is very much a con game. Religion is a con game. The priest first destroys your happiness in every possible way, forces your mind to be against nature: "Nature is a sin." And once you have become miserable the priest has his shop open, you can come for advice. A doctor's son returned from the medical college. He had become an M.D. And the son said to the old father, "Now I am here, you need not work. You have worked hard your whole life. I will take your work, you just rest." After three days he told the father, "That old rich woman you have been treating for almost thirty years I have cured in three days." The father just beat his head. He said, "You idiot! That woman has been supporting our family. It is because of that woman you are an M.D. It is because of that woman your other brothers are becoming educated, and you cured her? Do you think I was not able to cure her? But to cure her was to destroy your education. That was half of my income!" A doctor cures poor people quickly; with rich people he takes his time. It is natural, there is nothing wrong in it. The rich man can afford it, the poor man is unnecessarily wasting his time. And not only time, but the poor man may start asking that medicine also should be given to him because he has no money. The rich man has to be kept. If he gets tired of one sickness, give him another sickness. Just put the idea in his mind ­ "I feel you are going to have a heart attack." Just the idea, and his heart will start pulsating and in the middle of the night he will want to check his heart, whether it is failing or it is still there. Just give the idea, and then he remains your patient. Just tell him, "You need a continuous checkup every week. Your body is in a very fragile condition." Doctors are living a very contradictory life. They are supposed to cure people, but if they cure all the people, then what will happen to them? If a society is completely healthy, and nobody is sick, the doctors will start getting sick, starving, dying. They will become beggars. It was only in China, under Lao Tzu's influence, that for the first time a new method was introduced. It was out of Lao Tzu's great compassion that he went to the emperor and said, "The whole medical profession is basically wrong, because the doctor lives on the diseases of the people, and he is supposed to cure them. You are putting the man in a contradictory position."

The emperor asked, "What do you suggest?" He said, "I suggest that the doctor should be paid by the emperor for keeping people healthy. When people feel they are losing their health, they become sick, the doctor's money has to be cut. He is not taking care well. Just the opposite of now: he will be paid to keep people healthy and if somebody falls sick, his pay will be cut. That will bring to the whole medical profession a totally different perspective." And that's how enlightened people have been giving new perspectives to people, which the people don't understand in the beginning. People would not understand that you have to pay for health. Health is yours, what has the doctor to do with it? And the doctor has to lose money if you fall sick? That was absolutely right, though it looked strange. The same is the situation with the priests. If everybody was without guilt... That's what they think about me ­ that I am a dangerous man, because my whole effort is to make you free of guilt, free of sin, free of the idea of morality. I want you to learn only one thing, and that is clarity beyond mind. And then, out of that clarity let everything happen: your love, your morality, your behavior. But this will destroy the priests absolutely. This will destroy religions and churches, and this will destroy God. Who is going to pray to God if you are blissful? If your life is just a dance, who is going to pray to God? For what? If you can be kept healthy, if you can be kept well nourished... If you can live a long life, one hundred and fifty years and still young... These are clear-cut possibilities, because there are people in the Soviet Union who have passed a hundred and fifty years of age. And there are a few people who have passed the age of one hundred and eighty, particularly in the region where Stalin and George Gurdjieff came from, both men of steel. In the Caucasus people live to a hundred and eighty years and they are still working in their orchards, on their farms. They are young. They have completely forgotten how old they are. Who remembers for one hundred and eighty years? Just think, when you are a hundred and eighty years old will you remember your birth date? So tentatively it is understood... because the oldest people say, "We have been seeing them from our very childhood, so they must be older than us." And they are all around. You will be surprised to know that there have been marriages at the age of one hundred and eighty. The last marriage happened just last year. The man was one hundred and eighty, the woman was one hundred and seventy. And they got married, fell in love ­ this is what I call life! The magistrate who married them asked them, "At this age?" They said, "We are still young. Our very falling in love proves we are young, and we want to be together. And why are you worried? If we have survived one hundred and eighty years, we may survive for two hundred years or even more ­ if one hundred and eighty years have not been able to kill us..." You should remember the arithmetic. It is at seventy-five that the majority of people die. At eighty-five fewer people die. At ninety-five very few people die. Beyond hundred, very rarely does someone die.

And beyond one hundred and eighty, there is every possibility you may not die. A simple arithmetic! Who has ever heard of somebody dying after one hundred and eighty? There is no precedent. And scientists say man has the capacity in his body to live for at least three hundred years if everything remains natural. It is the unnaturalness of life, which is imposed by all religions that makes people's life not only miserable, but cuts their life from three hundred to seventy-five. Even at the age of sixty people start feeling, "It is better to die, what is the point of living?" You cannot fall in love because everybody will object. One old man married a young girl. He was ninety and the girl was only nineteen. His sons ­ one was seventy, another was sixty ­ all told him, "This is not the time for you to marry. Don't make us all ashamed. Everybody will laugh." He said, "It is not your business. I have fallen in love, I am going to marry." And he married, and the doctor who used to look after the old man said to him, "Your getting married... It is very dangerous at your age. It would be better to have a boarder in your house." He meant him to keep some young man in the house who would take care of his wife, but that was understood. After nine months the doctor saw the old man in the market, and he said, "How are things going?" He said, "Great! My wife is pregnant." The doctor said, "And what about the boarder?" He said, "She is also pregnant." Now this is life! Live totally, and live naturally, and there will be no religion for you, there will be no priest for you, and there will be no God for you. And there will be nobody who can exploit you and destroy your intelligence, your life, and make you pathological and sick. Now do you see why I am dangerous? Question 2 The second question: WHY IS THE LIE OF GOD SO SUCCESSFUL? Because you are a failure. It is your failure that makes the lie of God so successful. In your life you have not loved totally, you have not lived totally. You have never done anything totally; this is your failure. I don't mean by failure what you understand. You understand you are a failure if you are not superrich. You are a failure if you are not a great politician, a prime minister, a president. You are a failure if you are not world famous. That is not failure, that is simply the competitive, egoistic life.

And that kind of life is the most miserable, because you are continuously fighting, fighting, pulling others back by the legs, rising over people's heads, making them as if they are steps for you to climb higher. Your life is violent, and a violent life cannot be beautiful. You are merciless; only then can you become super-rich. You don't have any compassion; otherwise how can you exploit millions of people to such a stage that they are starving, and you are simply accumulating money which you cannot use? There is no point in accumulating more; it has just become a habit to go on accumulating. The richest man in the world now is in Japan; he has twenty-six billion dollars. What are you going to do with twenty-six billion dollars? There is nothing that you can do with twenty-six billion dollars, but he is still running for more. The people you think are successful are continuously running for more. Deep down they are not successful. I have heard about a man whose seventy-fifth birthday was celebrated by his friends. But while they were singing and dancing and drinking and enjoying, suddenly they found that the man was missing. So one of his best friends, a great successful attorney, went out in the garden to look for the man. He was sitting under a tree, very sad. The attorney went to him and said, "This is strange. We are all enjoying your birthday. For you we have arranged this whole ceremony, and you are sitting here under a dark tree in darkness. What is the matter?" He says, "You are the matter!" The attorney said, "I am the matter. What have I done to you?" He said, "Remember, fifty years ago I came to you saying that I wanted to kill my wife, and what would be the punishment? You told me it would be at least fifty years in jail. And now I am feeling, if I had murdered my wife I would have been a free man today. Fifty years have passed. Because of you I suffered. I would have at least rested in the jail for fifty years and today I would have been free, and there would have been a real celebration. It is you who destroyed my whole life!" A man is successful if he follows his own natural way and lives it as totally and intensely as possible. If you want to be a musician, you will not be a super-rich man. If you want to be a flutist, you are not going to be a great politician, but you will be utterly happy. Maybe there is only just enough to eat, but playing on the flute who cares? You simply disappear in your music. Your flute becomes your meditation. Your song, your dance becomes your meditation. Anything that is totally lived is equal to meditation. You don't need meditation. And a man who is living moment-to-moment, absolutely naturally, according to himself, has nothing to regret, is not a failure. Hence, a happy man, a blissful man, needs no God. It is your misery, your failure to be natural, that makes the life of God so successful. God fills your vacuum. But a man who lives totally has no vacuum. I don't have a God ­ not because I am philosophically atheist, no. I simply don't need a God. I am so fulfilled in myself that I don't need any religion, and I don't need any prayer, and I don't need any

meditation. Every moment is so exquisite, so immensely ecstatic, who cares about all these stupid questions: God, heaven, hell? These are questions of insane humanity, and the insane humanity is bound to be exploited by the priests in the name of God. So first they drive you nuts, then you have to bring coconuts to offer to them. It is a strange game. The priest is playing the ugliest game in the world. His whole success depends on your failure, and your failure depends on being unnatural. If you understand, my approach is so clean and clear: just be natural, and God will not matter at all, nor heaven and hell, nor any priest. Every moment you will be so much in tune with existence that you will blossom like flowers, you will dance like peacocks, you will sing like cuckoos. Your life will have a totally different flavor. It will have the fragrance of a man who is utterly contented with himself and existence as it is, with no desire to change, no desire to make this existence better, no desire to bother about what will happen after death. Socrates' statement is very significant at this point. When he was facing death somebody asked, "Are you afraid that you are going to be poisoned this evening as the sun sets?" He said, "Why should I be afraid? There are only two possibilities: either I will die, then there is nobody there to be worried, or I shall not die, then what is the worry? Only two alternatives, simple: either I will be completely gone, and gone, there is nobody left. Who is going to worry? Who is going to suffer? Or I will not die. If I don't die, why should I worry? I know how to live. I have lived my whole life so joyously. If there is any life after death, I will continue to live, I know the art. If there is no life, I will rest. I know how to rest totally, eternally. There is no problem. Either I will be dancing or I will be resting. But I know both are beautiful. Rest has its own beauty ­ eternal rest, no worry, no despair, no anxiety, no anguish. Or I will be dancing, I know the art. And my dance can go on eternally." A man who is really successful will have the same approach as Socrates. Who cares about death? Only people who have not lived are worried about death. It is a very strange phenomenon. People who have not lived, who have simply hoped to live someday, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, or maybe after death, in paradise ­ those who have been postponing life, they are the only people who are afraid of death because they don't know the art of living. The art of living is simple. Be natural. Don't be bothered by Manu, Moses, Mahavira, Mohammed ­ don't be bothered at all by anybody. They lived their life, they never bothered about anybody. Just learn that secret. Buddha lived his life, not according to any scripture, not according to any Vedas, not according to any discipline. He lived according to his own insight. That is his greatness. That's what makes him a beautiful flower, a lotus, perfectly open to the sun, to the rain, to the wind, dancing, enjoying. Mahavira lived his own life. All the people who have lived their life totally, without any guilt, without any priest interfering, are successful people. I know only of one success, and that is your life should be your life, your natural existence. But if you fail to be your authentic nature, then the lie of God is going to be successful. Then you have to

look for somebody to take care of you. Then you are worried what will happen after death. Perhaps there is a God, how will you face him if you don't worship him? It is better to worship: if there is no God, there is no harm; if there is God, you can always say, "I was worshipping." These people are chickens, they are not to be called human beings. Be authentic, be natural, be honest in every act you are doing. And this is possible only if you enter into your being and find out the center. That is the only success in the world: to find out your center and then let the center guide you. The light will come from the center, radiating from you, and you will be a natural man. The natural man is the buddha. The unnatural man is pathological, sick. Then he is bound to be exploited by the priests, or by the psychoanalysts ­ who are the new priests. They don't have anything to offer. Their psychoanalysis is as bogus as the religions. They are the new rabbis, new bishops, new popes. They don't give anything, they simply exploit you. And the priests have not contributed anything to humanity, they have simply exploited. They are the greatest parasites in existence. Question 3 The third question: IT SEEMS THE THOUGHT OF GOD ARISES FROM THE FEELING THAT THERE IS SOMETHING GREATER THAN OURSELVES. IS THIS "GREATER" THE NO-MIND OR SOMETHING ELSE? There is nothing greater than yourself, because you are the universe. You are existence, there is nothing greater than you. This idea is also implanted in you, that the saints are holier than you. And what are they doing that they have become holier? Because they eat only one time a day? But look at their bellies. One time they eat, but how many calories? I don't think any saint has eaten sixteen hundred calories ­ that is what I am eating, only sixteen hundred calories. Even your breakfast could be two thousand calories! In twenty-four hours I eat only sixteen hundred calories. In twenty-four hours your calories must go beyond four or five thousand ­ if you are not an American. If you are an American, then a thousand more. And they condemn me, that I am a hedonist. Food with sixteen hundred calories and a hedonist! Each time, just two small slices of bread and a cup of soup. The same breakfast, the same lunch, the same supper, the same dinner ­ those two slices of bread and one cup of soup. No saint of yours has ever lived on sixteen hundred calories. But I am a hedonist, I am a materialist, I am characterless! And only you know my character. People who have never seen me, people who have never been here, who don't have the intelligence or the courage or the guts to enter the gates of this campus, they think I am characterless because I am not living according to their scriptures. I am living according to my own consciousness. And my understanding is that all the great people of the world ­ Socrates, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Chuang Tzu, or Rinzai, or Sekito ­ lived according to their own light. That's what makes them great and brings a great splendor to their life. Their contemporaries were as much against them as my contemporaries are against me.

But I have more enemies than anybody else, because they were very local people. Sekito was not known outside Japan. Buddha was not known outside Bihar, a small state of India. Mahavira was not known outside Bihar. I am a world-notorious buddha ­ for the first time. And I live in my room the whole day. I just come to see you in the evening. But I can understand what the problem is for these people. It is the same old problem: they cannot accept a lion; they are sheep, they are poor little men, hungry for money, power, prestige. They cannot tolerate a man who lives according to his own insight, according to his own awareness, who does not follow anybody, who has no scriptures and no religion. Such a man creates a great inferiority complex in millions of people. Otherwise, what harm am I doing to anybody? But because I have been known around the world ­ I am not a local person, a local buddha ­ I have enemies all over the earth. I have friends also, all over the earth. Obviously, the friends are going to be very few chosen ones who can understand my insight and who are ready to live on their own, without looking for any God, and without looking for any scripture, without looking for any leader, who have guts and courage to go alone, dancing joyously. But there is nothing greater than you. Your religions are teaching that you are sinners, saints are holier, and God is greater, and you are just small creatures crawling on the earth. Religions have given you an inferiority complex. That inferiority complex is always looking for somebody who must be greater. But it is not a natural thing, it is implanted, programmed, conditioned. You have been reduced to a subhuman species. Your whole pride, your dignity, your honor, has been taken away. You are left without honor, without self-respect, without dignity. Naturally you think that somebody must be greater. And then you have all kinds of frauds. You know only their outside, you don't know their inside. On the outside they behave as unnaturally as possible, which gives you the idea that all these saints are very superior ­ because religions have been teaching you, "Unless you go beyond nature you cannot realize God." All they are doing is self-torture. To me they are masochists who need psychiatric help. But religions have been praising them as saints. They are in the middle between you and God, but God is the highest, of course; he lives above you in the skies. Have you ever thought that the earth is round? When I was in America, God used to live just above my head, but America is just exactly below my feet. If you dig here, you will reach Rajneeshpuram in the USA. I keep my feet exactly over Ronald Reagan's head. God is above, but the earth is round, so what is above and what is below? People who live on the other side of the earth, their god is below your feet, and your god is below their feet. So when you raise your hands in prayer, just think ­ you are living on a round earth. Don't be stupid. There is nobody higher, nobody lower, it is one existence. That's what triggered the enlightenment of Sekito ­ reading the sutra of an ancient master, that one who feels oneness, one life in all things, one who is in tune with existence is absolutely one with existence. No one is higher than you, no one is lower than you. There is only one existence, one life. We are different expressions of one life, and it is good that there are so many different expressions. It makes existence beautiful, it gives variety, it gives color. It makes it a rainbow. It is not monotonous, it is immensely interesting.

Go on exploring and you will always find something new coming up. Outside, science comes every day upon some new truth. Inside, those who have been exploring, they come every moment as they go deeper, into new bliss, into new ecstasies. Doors upon doors, doors upon doors, and there is no end to this mystery. I love this mysterious universe, and I love all that has come out of this mystery. It is unfathomable, hence it is inexpressible. The sutra, the SANDOKAI, second part: OUR BELOVED MASTER, SEKITO WROTE: CAUSE AND EFFECT BOTH NECESSARILY DERIVE FROM THE GREAT REALITY. Everything derives from the great reality. There is no other reality, there is only one reality, the great reality. Outside, inside are just two sides of this great reality. Every cause, every effect, necessarily comes from this great reality. THE WORDS `HIGH' AND `LOW' ARE USED RELATIVELY. Don't take any cognizance of those words. They are very relative, but even your so-called great people suffer from strange ideas. Napoleon Bonaparte, whom you will think a great, successful man, always suffered because he was only five feet five inches high. Even his guards were seven feet high. One day he was trying to fix a picture on the wall, but he could not reach. His guard, his bodyguard said, "I am higher than you, I can do it." He said, "Shut up! Don't use the word `higher'. Just say you are taller than me, not higher." Some very soft wound was touched that he had been carrying his whole life. The man who created the Russian Revolution, Ilyich Lenin, suffered his whole life from an inferiority complex. The greatest revolutionary in the world, he was always hiding behind a desk because his legs, being smaller than his upper body, were dangling, they never reached to the earth. And he could not sit on a smaller chair because that would look odd, "Why are you sitting on a small chair?" So he used to have a big chair, but in front of him a desk always covered his legs. He was so conscious about his legs, he never allowed anybody to come very close. You have to sit just in front of him on the other side of the desk so you could not see his legs. Just feeling unnecessarily inferior... So all your ideas of high and low are relative ­ your imagination ­ because you continuously compare. Everybody is unique, hence all comparison is wrong. WITHIN THE LIGHT THERE IS DARKNESS ­ because there is no difference between darkness and light. The difference is only relative. Darkness can be defined as less light, and light can be

defined as less darkness ­ just as the same thermometer can be used for cold water and for hot water. The hot water is a little less cold, the cold water is a little less hot; but these are degrees, and all degrees are relative. They are both the same. Light and darkness are one complete whole, two extremes of one reality. There are animals who see in the night. You know the owl, whose night begins when your day begins. He goes to sleep as the sun rises, because his eyes are very sensitive. He cannot open them in the light, it hurts his eyes. His eyes are so sensitive that he can see only in darkness, but in darkness it is all light to the owl, it is all light in darkness. So it is only a question of the capacity of your eyes. With certain instruments your eyes can see in darkness, your eyes can be brought to the same level of sensitivity as the owl's eyes. You don't hear radio waves passing, but they must be passing, because once you put your radio on it immediately picks them up. So when you are feeling there are no radio waves around, there are, but your ears are not capable of picking them up. It happened in Switzerland in the second world war that a man got a bullet in his ear. The bullet was taken out and the ear cured, but something strange followed: the man started hearing the nearest radio station the whole day ­ nothing could turn it off. He reported to the nurses. They wouldn't believe him. "You must be imagining. It can't be. How can you hear the radio station?" He said, "Call the doctors." And the doctors wouldn't believe him. He said, "Then make some experiment if you don't believe me. I am going crazy! There is no way to shut it off!" So they finally decided ­ because the man was absolutely sane, although what he was saying was absolutely insane ­ to make an experiment to satisfy him. So they brought a radio into an adjoining room and told the man, "You go on writing whatever you are hearing." And there was another doctor sitting in that other room writing whatever was going on on the nearest radio station. And when they were compared, they were exactly the same. His ear had to be operated on so he could become normal. But that opened the possibility that one day you will not have those big radios and transistor sets to carry and listen to. You will have small buttons you just fix in the ear, and on the button will be all the stations. Just push the part you want to hear and your ear will be able to hear directly. There will be no need for a big transistor radio or any other instrument. That leads to another idea which has not happened yet. Just as radio waves pass by, in the same way television waves are passing. So someday there is the absolute possibility you will just have to change your glasses, that's all. Your eyes are sensitive to certain waves, and on your glasses will be all the television stations. So you fix the television on the glasses, put the glasses on, and enjoy it without troubling anybody, silently. We are not aware of many things that are happening around us. We are not aware even of our own being, things that are happening within us. Sekito is right.

WITHIN THE LIGHT THERE IS DARKNESS, BUT DO NOT BE ATTACHED TO THIS DARKNESS. WITHIN THE DARKNESS THERE IS LIGHT, BUT DO NOT LOOK FOR THAT LIGHT. LIGHT AND DARKNESS ARE A PAIR, LIKE THE FOOT BEFORE AND THE FOOT BEHIND IN WALKING ­ two legs of the same man, of the same reality. EACH THING HAS ITS OWN INTRINSIC VALUE, AND IS RELATED TO EVERYTHING ELSE IN FUNCTION AND POSITION. THE RELATIVE FITS THE ABSOLUTE AS A BOX AND ITS LID; THE ABSOLUTE WORKS TOGETHER WITH THE RELATIVE LIKE TWO ARROWS MEETING IN MID-AIR. The whole existence is functioning together with you. This is your success: if you come together with existence and meet like two arrows in the air. This is your failure: if you don't come from your side, and existence stands there while you are going sideways. You can go anywhere but you will not be satisfied unless you come to existence, meet, and then your heartbeat becomes the heartbeat of the whole universe. That is success, and that is enlightenment. READING THE ABOVE LINES YOU SHOULD HAVE GRASPED THE GREAT REALITY. DO NOT JUDGE BY ANY STANDARDS. IF YOU DO NOT SEE THE WAY, YOU DO NOT SEE IT, THOUGH YOU ARE ACTUALLY WALKING ON IT. You may not be aware that you are a buddha, but you are carrying the buddha all the time. You may not know that you are reaching to the ultimate, but you are walking on the way without knowing. The whole difference is between knowing and not-knowing. Not-knowing, you are miserable; knowing, you are dancing with joy and celebration. WHEN YOU WALK THE WAY, IT IS NOT NEAR, IT IS NOT FAR. IF YOU ARE DELUDED, YOU ARE MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS AWAY FROM IT. Only in your delusion, in your mind fictions, hallucinations, is it far away, mountains and rivers away. But if you are not deluded, if you are simply silent without thoughts, you are in it. There is no distance between you and the truth, there is no distance between you and existence. This very moment, just a little awareness, and suddenly you will find yourself merging with this vast splendor, this great miracle of existence. I SAY RESPECTFULLY, says Sekito, TO THOSE WHO WISH TO BE ENLIGHTENED, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN VAIN. That is his last statement: "If you want to become enlightened, don't waste your time. Don't postpone until tomorrow." Now and here put in your total energy, and you will be enlightened. Enlightenment is your nature, so you are not to find it somewhere else. You don't have to go on any pilgrimage. You don't have to go to any holy place. You don't have to believe in any theology, in any religion. You just have to dig deeper into yourself, in the present moment, and suddenly the whole of life springs up. And you are in for a great surprise ­ the buddha was hidden within you, not in any temple. You have always been on the right path, you have always been carrying buddha in your womb as your nature. It is just that you never looked at it. All I teach you is to look inwards to find your center. That is the center of the whole existence.

Buson wrote: I GROW OLD ­ SWEET BIRD, YOU VANISH INTO AUTUMN TWILIGHT. He is saying, "I grow old, and just as a sweet bird vanishes into the autumn twilight far away, you see it to a certain point and then it goes into the blue sky..." He is saying, "I am also growing old, sweet bird, my autumn twilight is going to come soon. I will also disappear into the blueness of existence." These are the words of someone who knows. Death is a door to the divine, death is a door to the deepest mystery of existence. You just have to disappear. You are the only problem, you are the only barrier. Just drop that problem, drop that barrier, and all is just ecstasy and pure bliss. Question 4 Maneesha's question: OUR BELOVED MASTER, FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE SAW MAN'S ENERGY IN TERMS OF A LAKE THAT UP TO NOW HAS "FLOWED OUT INTO GOD." HE LOOKED FORWARD TO THAT DAY WHEN THE LAKE WOULD CEASE TO LEAK OUTWARDS, WHEN A DAM WOULD BE CREATED SO MAN'S ENERGIES COULD RISE HIGHER AND HIGHER. IT SEEMS HE WAS ON THE RIGHT TRACK IN ASSESSING THE NEED FOR ONE TO GO IN, BUT THE DAMMING UP OF ENERGIES SOUNDS DANGEROUSLY LIKE THE IDEA OF THE ASCETICS. WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT? Friedrich Nietzsche is only a thinker, a philosopher of tremendous genius. But whatever he is saying is only a logical, rational, philosophical statement. It is not existential. So try to understand that a man who has not gone beyond the mind can still make certain statements which come very close to the truth. But even to be close is to be at a distance. He is saying that up to now human energies have been just like a lake that has been flowing out into God, outwards. "He looked forward to that day when the lake would cease to leak outwards; when a dam would be created so man's energies could rise higher and higher." He is coming very close to the point of meditation. Your energies are going outward to objects, to money, to power ­ and finally, if you become religious, to paradise, to God, but they are all out. So your energies are leaking out and the ultimate result is a feeling of utter emptiness, hollowness, unworthiness, failure. He is only thinking that the day must

come when people will start creating a dam to prevent the leakage, so the whole energy gathers inwards. And rather than spreading outwards in thin layers, it starts rising upwards like a pillar. He is perfectly right, but it is not his experience. He is just imagining ­ someday. I am providing you with that day which he was imagining. What is your meditation? Just taking all your energies from outside to the interiormost space. And as energies go on gathering, not only do they go higher, they also go deeper, simultaneously, just like the roots of a big tree. Roots go on going deeper and deeper, and the tree goes on higher and higher. Exactly like that, your consciousness, your life energy, moves higher and lower simultaneously. It touches the very depth of the earth ­ that is materialism. And it touches the stars ­ that is your spirituality. Just as a tree cannot be without roots, any spirituality without roots in the earth is bound to fail. The East knows perfectly that its spirituality has failed, and still they go on insisting that materialism is against spirituality. And because of this idea the whole East has suffered poverty, starvation. No science has been developed, no technology developed which can help people. And the West has suffered because they think only roots are enough, there is no need for the tree and the flowers and the fruits. What will you do with the roots? So the West has roots very deep in the earth in technology, in science, in objective research, but it is feeling utterly empty inside. The East has huge trees and all the branches rising towards the stars, but they go on falling, because without roots you cannot keep the tree standing. Both need a great meeting point. East and West, materialism and spiritualism, the inner and the outer, the higher and the deeper ­ both have to come to a certain synchronicity, then man will be whole. And Maneesha, your worry is unnecessary. You say, "It seems he was on the right track in assessing the need for one to go in, but the damming up of energies sounds dangerously like the idea of the ascetics." He was not aware at all about meditation, so he used the word `damming'. But his word `dam' should be taken symbolically from a philosopher who is still within the mind. The mind of Nietzsche must have been one of the greatest minds that has ever lived on the earth, because he could conceive something beyond the mind while living in the mind. Living in a dark cell with no opening, he can still visualize, in his dreams, the sunrise. He has not seen it. He can visualize in his dreams beautiful flowers, he has never seen them. His capacity to visualize is great and should be appreciated. No, he is not an ascetic. He was absolutely against ascetics, so he cannot mean what you are worrying about. It sounds as if holding all your energies inwards is creating a prison for the energies so that they cannot flow outward. He could not use the right symbols because he had no experience. When you have energies rising like a pillar and going deeper into the ultimate depth, you will have both the worlds together ­ the inner world and the outer world, because the inner and the outer are two aspects of the same energy. Of course you will not be flowing towards God, which is a fiction. You will be flowing towards a real ocean of consciousness ­ we are making an effort to create that ocean of consciousness ­ and you disappear into it.

It is not ascetic. Certainly he was not an ascetic, so he cannot mean it. But a man without eyes who is talking about the light ­ and he comes so close to it! ­ is worth praising. He has no eyes to see, so he has no idea what light is, but just thinking about it, he comes very close. Also he cannot make exactly the right statement, it is only approximately right, but no other philosopher has come even that close. His beauty is great. It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Late one afternoon at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, Saint Peter is inspecting twenty married women who have just arrived for judgment. "Now, girls," says Saint Peter. "If any of you was ever unfaithful to your husband on earth, please take one step forward! And remember, no lying, and no cheating! I have ways of checking up on you!" Immediately, nineteen of the wives move forward, but one woman remains standing alone. Saint Peter nods quietly to himself and walks over to the telephone. He dials up Hell. "Hello! Satan!" exclaims Saint Peter. "I am sending down twenty unfaithful wives to you ­ but be careful. One of them is completely deaf!" One morning the phone rings in the office of Doctor Shelby Nameless. "Good morning," says Doctor Nameless, cheerfully. "It may be a good morning for you," snaps Brenda Chubbs, at the other end. "But ever since you have been treating my husband, Buster, I have not had a single good morning!" "I am sorry to hear that, Mrs. Chubbs," says the doctor. "What seems to be the problem?" "Well," grumbles Brenda, "before he came to you, he was a perfect husband and father. But now he has become a rat. He used to tell me how pretty I am ­ now he calls me an ugly old bitch! He used to love our family life, but now he is critical about my housekeeping, hates the kids, and chases after any loose woman who happens to walk by! I think you have been giving him hormone injections which have completely altered his personality!" "Hmm," says Doctor Nameless, "I want you to know, Mrs. Chubbs, that I have not been giving your husband injections of any kind. All I did was fit him with a pair of contact lenses!" It is Sunday afternoon at the Holy Orthodox Church of the Blessed Bleeding Virgin on the Greek island of Crete. Bishop Cretin is preaching a sermon to the remaining four old ladies in his flock. "And I am telling you," thunders Cretin, "that the morals of today are being horribly corrupted. Just yesterday I went to see a movie called BAMBI GOES BERSERK, which is filled with disgusting scenes of murder, rape, fornication, cannibalism, homosexuality and other perversions of the worst kind! If anything shows the need for censorship, then this movie is it! Now, ladies, are there any questions?" "Yes," cry all the old hags, in unison. "Where is it playing?"

Nivedano... (Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano... (Drumbeat) Be silent... Close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen. This is the right moment to go inwards. Gather all your energies, gather your total consciousness and rush towards your center of being with an urgency, as if this is the last moment of your life. Only with such urgency have people become enlightened. 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, cool, very tangible, and very mysterious. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium has become absolutely silent, as if there is no one here at all. A little deeper, closer to your being. And suddenly you are surprised, great fountains of peace burst all around you. A little closer, and there arises for the first time a divine drunkenness, a deep ecstasy, a blissfulness you have never known before. One step more, and you are at the very center. Suddenly you see you are no more. At the center is your hidden nature, your original face. We have used Gautam Buddha's face as a symbol for everybody's original face. So let me say, you have disappeared, only buddha is. In other words, you are no more, only existence is. And this is the greatest experience, the highest peak of consciousness and the greatest depth, simultaneously. The only thing you have to remember at this point is buddha consists of only one element, consciousness, awareness, witnessing ­ different names of witnessing. Just witness the way a mirror mirrors ­ no judgment, no appreciation, no identification. Witness you are not the body.

Witness you are not the mind. And witness you are only a witness. Nivedano... (Drumbeat) Relax... but go on keeping the witness as clear as possible. Buddha used to call this witness, sammasati, right remembering. You have remembered you are a buddha. You are not the body, you are not the mind. You are only a pure consciousness. And as your witnessing deepens, you start melting like ice in the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is turning into an ocean, and you are disappearing into it just like ice melting. No waves, no ripples ­ such silence! You are at the very center of existence. You can now feel your heartbeat to be in tune with the universal heartbeat. Absolutely unknown, unacquainted, flowers are showering over you. The whole existence is rejoicing with your entry into the beyond. Going beyond the mind is going into the very cosmos. Mind is your prison. To go beyond it is your freedom. Collect as many experiences as you can: all the flowers, all the fragrances, the silence, the serenity, the tranquillity, the calmness, the peace that passeth understanding, and the divine ecstasy, the great splendor that you are a buddha, that you are one with the cosmos. At this moment you are the most fortunate people in the whole world. The whole world is concerned with trivia. I am calling you the most blessed ones because you are concerned with the ultimate, with the essential, with the eternal. God is dead, and the only living truth is Zen. Zen simply means what you are experiencing at this moment: a pure mirrorlike innocence. One thing you have to remember: don't forget to persuade the buddha to come along with you. He has to come, it is your nature, and he has been hiding at the center for centuries, perhaps for millennia. And he has been waiting for you to invite him. Invite! Welcome! Request! Unless the buddha comes into your day-to-day life, in your actions, in your gestures, in your words, in your silences... His grace, his presence has to be felt. Unless you are completely possessed by the buddha, and all these experiences of silence and beautitude, and blissfulness and divine ecstasy start overflowing you in all your actions...

In your very presence an energy field is created around you; you for the first time become a mystery unto yourself, a shrine, a holy land; the place where buddha grows comes to its full flowering. This very body is the buddha, and this very earth is the lotus paradise. Nivedano... (Drumbeat) Come back... but come back as a buddha, with the same peace, with the same serenity, with the same silence. Sit down for a few seconds just to remember the golden path that you have traveled, the experiences that you have encountered. Some fragrance must have come with you. Some silence must be hanging around you. Some peace will be overflowing you. Some drunkenness you will still be feeling. And remember that just behind you there is a new presence standing, the presence of the buddha, the awakened one. There have been thousands of buddhas. The buddha is no one's monopoly, it is everybody's birthright. These are the three steps to become a buddha. The first step: the buddha comes because you have invited him, following you like a shadow just behind you. The second step: as you become more and more attuned with the buddha, he comes in front of you. You become the shadow behind the buddha. And as you become a shadow you are starting to disappear. The shadow has no existence. The third step: you have disappeared completely, you don't exist even as a shadow. You are absorbed into the buddha. You have merged into that ultimate consciousness. You have become one with the universe. This is the only existential truth. I don't teach any philosophy. I teach you existence, truth, beauty, and grandeur. It all happens at the third step without any effort ­ the metamorphosis from a man into a new man. The new man is the superman of Friedrich Nietzsche, and it is the awakened one, the buddha of the Eastern mystics.

My effort is to bring East and West into a meeting, not only a meeting but into a merger, a deep synchronicity between materialism and spirituality, between Zorba and the buddha. When you are both ­ the Zorba as far as the outside world is concerned, and a buddha, as far as the inner world is concerned ­ you are a whole man. And the whole man is the only holy man. There is no other possibility. Okay, Maneesha? Yes, Beloved Master.

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