Bliss is Prayer
25 August 1978 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
This will be your new name... and remember that the change of name is not only a change of name but the getting out of the old, dropping out of the old continuum. It is only symbolic but it carries much meaning in it. If it is just a change of name it is not significant then all names are the same; whether you have one name or another will not make any difference. If the old continues in the new name too, then you have only changed the label the wine is old, the bottle is new and that is not going to help at all. The change of name has to be understood as being a discontinuity with the past. It has to be deeply felt as the old being dead and the new being born. Sannyas is significant only if it is a new birth. If it remains a horizontal continuity with the past it is utterly meaningless. It has to be a change of direction, dimension. From being horizontal it has to become vertical. One has to stop being the old. And this is one of the fundamentals to understand that if you decide, it is immediately possible; all that is needed is a decisiveness. It is not a question of time. Time never changes anything it only gives the appearance of change; deep down things remain the same. Time only changes covers, clothes, but never the real essence. It changes the personality but the personality is not you. Your essence remains untouched by time. The essence changes only by a kind of absolute decision. It is a question of decision. If one decides, the change immediately happens. Because it is you who have decided to be identified with the personality, with the old name, with the old problems misery, anger, sadness, and all that. It is you in the beginning who have decided to remain identified with all this continuity. It is you who can immediately break the cooperation.
And this I call a real drop-out. Dropping out of the society does not help, because the society has penetrated you so deeply. Your personality is a given thing from the society. One can have long hair, one can have orange clothes, one can become a hippie, one can become anything, but the society has penetrated one very very deeply. You have been drinking it from the first day, you have been made by it; you are a structure created by it. How can you drop it? Where are you going to drop it? It will follow you like your shadow. So deep down if you look into the hippie you will find the same man, the straight man. Nothing has happened just on the surface new paint, a new whitewash, and sooner or later the hippie again becomes the straight man. Suddenly after thirty he disappears. You don't find old hippies. Where do they go? It comes like a phase underneath the same river flows. Sooner or later they go back to their old pattern. Sannyas has to be a real break away. And all that is needed is your decisiveness not a reaction against anything but a loving surrender to the new. Not that you are against the old;. if you are against the old you will react. I am not against the old I am in love with the new. And the emphasis is very different. It is a search for the unknown. We have nothing to do for or against with the known. The known has been known, has been lived, we have e *cperienced it; now there is no point in going on repeating it. And there is no point in being against it either, because it has helped in its own way. It has brought you here; it has served its purpose. So no need to feel angry about it. Never feel angry against the past; otherwise you will remain in a very hot relationship with the past. Anger is a hot, passionate relationship. Never be against the past, never feel guilty for it, never condemn it, because whatsoever it was, you have used it as a stepping-stone. Now it is no more relevant, that's all, so you are searching for a new relevance. That is the hidden meaning in changing the name. It is only symbolic, but if the symbol is understood well it goes really deep, cuts deep, like a sword. The old simply becomes history. Deva means divine, kavyo means poetry divine poetry And that is my vision of religion. Religion is the ultimate in poetry. Poetry is just groping in darkness for religion. Religion is poetry arrived, poetry found, poetry realized. Poetry is religion on the way; religion is goal-arrived. Religion is the ultimate fragrance of poetry, and poetry is the beginning, the first step towards religion. Poets come very close to the mystics. In their real moments of poetry they are mystics, but no poet is capable of remaining a poet twenty-four hours a day. There are only moments when he opens up, when suddenly his ego disappears, when he finds a kind of unity with existence, when he knows god is in a flower, in a tree, in a song, in music, in a sunset. Suddenly he becomes aware of the presence of the divine, but it is only for a moment, and once the moment is gone the ego comes back, and with a revenge. That's why poets are very egoistic too, and there is a very deep psychological reason in it. All artists are egoistic people. You may sometimes find even a politician humble, but you will not find an artist humble. This looks very absurd. Why is the artist so egoistic? He goes on beating his own drum, he goes on shouting against the world, as if only he knows and nobody else, as if he is the first painter or the first poet or the first musician, and there is nobody to be compared with him.
I have heard about George Bernard Shaw that somebody asked him 'How are things going in literature nowadays?' He looked very serious, sad, and he said 'You know, Dante is dead, Shakespeare is dead and I am also not feeling very well.' He was joking, certainly, but that has been the approach, always the attitude of the artist. And the reason is that for a few moments he loses his ego, and the ego feels hurt, comes with a vengeance and claims him back, claims him too much in fact. The poetry is born when the artist disappears, but by the time the poetry is ready, the ego comes to claim it, to sign it, to make it a point that 'This is my work.' The ancient poets have not signed their works. Nobody knows who wrote the Upanishads some of the greatest poetry, each single statement condensed poetry; out of each single statement great works can arise, but nobody knows who wrote them. Those poets were not only poets, they were mystics. They knew that god had written it through them they were only instrumental. That's why Mohammed says 'It is not me who is writing the Koran; god has spoken into my ears. I am simply repeating it. If there are some faults, they are mine; if there is some beauty, it is his.' This is the true form of a poet he cannot claim but in the true form, the poet becomes the mystic. In the ordinary form for only a few moments, few and far between, does he take a jump, have an experience of the truth. Then he falls back on the ground into the valley and into the dark night, and claims 'This is my experience, my words, my poetry, my painting, my sculpture...' brags about it. And the reason is: the ego has to compensate for its hurt feeling. It cannot forgive the poet so easily, because there was a moment when he had left it. It jumps upon the poet, possesses his whole being... but still, the poet reaches very close to the mystic, although only for a few moments. In Sanskrit we have two words for 'poet'; no other language has two words for 'poet'. One is 'kavi', out of which comes 'kavyo'. 'Kavi' means the poet who is only in truth for moments and falls back. Yes, he has flights into the unknown, but again and again comes back to the earth. Another word is 'rishi'; that too means poet, but a poet whose very state has become that of poetry. He never falls back from it. Buddha is a rishi, Mohammed is a rishi, so is Christ. They live poetry they need not write it. They walk poetry. When they look there is poetry, when they listen too there is poetry, when they sleep there is poetry. Poetry is their very state. For the poet poetry is just an episode, but in the beginning one has to move that way. So move from being a poet towards being a mystic. Deva means divine, navyo means new. Truth is always new. Truth has no past truth is always present. You cannot say 'God was'; you cannot say 'God will be'. You can only say 'God is'. With god only one tense is possible: that is the present. And this is the beauty of existence that it is continuously renewing itself. Each moment it dies to the past and is born again. And that has to be the way of a sannyasin: each moment die to the past. Drop it, let it disappear; don't cling to its memory. Remain constantly in the present. This moment is all, and this moment contains eternity. If one can be only in this moment then meditation has happened. And that brings benediction, because then one is always virgin, so fresh, as the dewdrops in the morning sun or newly opening flowers or a lotus in the pond. In that freshness is fragrance. In that fragrance is joy, because in that fragrance is life, utterly alive, throbbing, breathing.
My sannyasin has to be utterly alive alive, spontaneous, responsive to the moment. My sannyasin has to forget both the past and the future, because one is no more and the other is not yet. Then you are left only with this moment and the rain falling on the trees, and the sounds... and you and me.... And then there is blessing. It is impossible to be miserable in the present. People are always miserable because of the past or the future. People are worried because they have done something in the past or something has been done to them, or they are worried about whether they will be able to do something right in the future or not. The present moment is utterly free of worry. It has a taste of the divine... the door to god opens through it. Smell the rose, but this rose. Drink the water, but this water. Live the moment, but this moment. And forget all. You will not miss anything in life. Life will go on showering a thousand and one joys on you. To be in the present is to be worthy, because to be in the present is to be receptive, open, unclouded. Deva means divine, bhavyo means splendour. Life is full of divine splendour it is just far-out! It is so beautiful that one cannot imagine a more beautiful existence. It is impossible to dream a more beautiful life. But we go on missing because we can see only that for which we are ready. The blind man cannot see the light and the deaf man cannot hear the music. And if we don't see the beauty in life, the grandeur, that simply shows that we don't yet have a receptive heart. Sannyas is an alchemical process of creating a receptive heart so that you can have eyes in the heart and ears in the heart, so that the heart can start seeing and can start hearing... so that you don't see only the outer form of life but you start penetrating into the inner core of it. It is such an immense gift to be alive, but people are very ungrateful; they have forgotten how to thank god. They never feel the awe of existence. They never feel so grateful that they need to bow down to the earth. They are utterly stonelike, unfeeling, unseeing. And because of these people and they are the majority the whole of life has become ugly. It is because of these people that life has lost its joys, celebrations. Remember: animals can play but only man can celebrate. It is man's privilege and prerogative; no other animal can celebrate. Yes, they can play, but play is one thing and celebration is totally another. Celebration is a thankfulness; it is prayer out of gratitude. It is recognition of the gift that has been given to us... it is understanding. It is overflowing love for god who has done so much for us. Just to be alive is so festive. Even for a single moment to feel the rain and to see the sun and to be on the beach, even for a single moment to see the stars, is enough for a person to become religious. Churches are not needed, priests are not needed, because if people cannot see the beauty of the trees they will not be able to see the beauty of the cross, because the cross is just a dead tree. And if people cannot see the beauty in rose flowers they will not be able to see the beauty of the eyes of Jesus, because those eyes are also rose flowers. If they don't feel the wonder of the sky and the clouds and the sun, they will not feel the wonder of the presence of a Buddha. This is my message for you on your sannyas birthday: start seeing the splendour it is tremendous. Feel more and more and love will arise of its own accord. One day suddenly you will be surprised
you are praying. And then prayer has a beauty of its own when it has a surprise. A learned prayer is bogus. A learned prayer is Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. It is parrotlike, it is mechanical; you repeat it from the head. It does not arise out of your being; it does not come as a surprise. Real prayer always comes as a surprise. Suddenly you feel one day an immense urge to bow down... not to anyone in particular but to this beautiful existence itself. And that's how one bows down to god. [A yoga teacher asks: sometimes when I listen to you speaking about yoga I get the feeling that I want to be flowing and I want not to be too tight... ] Mm mm. You can be flowing even with yoga. Don't be very rigid, help people to be flowing, and then you will come closer to the real yoga spirit. These rigid yoga teachers are not really yogis; they are just gymnasts. They themselves are rigid and they are trying to impose their rigidity on others too. Help people to be alive, not rigid. Help people to be more flexible, flowing, adapting, human. Don't make them into machines. It is not only a question of doing certain yoga postures. Those postures can be learned by any idiot easily; in fact if a person is an idiot he will learn faster. The question is not only of yoga postures; those yoga postures have to be used only for a certain life source inside, as a provocation. It should not become like an army drill; it should be more like a dance. Just keep that in mind and there will be no problem, and you will be of immense help. Let yoga be a kind of dance; keep that quality in mind. Don't be rigid and don't try to force forms on people. Rather, help them to find their own dance. Each one has a different kind of body, and when you start forcing a certain form on everybody this is a regimentation. The form has to be used just as a jumping-board and then everybody has to find his own way to use it. Make your yoga more feminine and you will be of great help to people. That is a need that has to be fulfilled: yoga has to be taken from the rigid people. In my new commune I am going to experiment with more flowing forms, with more freedom. Use Patanjali and his yoga postures as jumping-boards and then let everybody seek and search for his own form, his own being, for whatsoever he feels good with. The work of a yoga teacher is not to impose a certain discipline forcibly but to provoke the inner consciousness of the person so that he starts loving his body, so he starts playing with his body as if it is a musical instrument. It is! Help the person to become aware of the mysteries of the body. There are infinite mysteries. Somewhere in your body a Buddha is hidden he has to be discovered. From the lowest to the highest, all is hidden in the body; the body is a ladder. You can find hell in it and you can find heaven in it. Help people to search, to seek, become more aware and alert about their bodies, about their health, their well-being, their wholeness. This is true yoga. Form is immaterial... form is only a formality. Start teaching from the form but soon help them to go beyond form. And when they transcend form they will have infinite joy and freedom available to them. They will be grateful to you and you will also enjoy the work, because then it will not be just a dead routine; it will be more poetic. And you will also be able to explore new things. Patanjali has not exhausted yoga; nobody can exhaust anything ever. But the Indian mind is traditional. Since Patanjali they have not developed Yoga at all; they cling to the form. This is
stupid. There is no need to cling to Patanjali. Pay homage to Patanjali, he is a great pioneer, but there is no need to remain stuck with him; we have to search further. Patanjali was never aware of these bodies that are available today. In Patanjali's time a totally different body and a totally different body chemistry was available. Things have changed: man lives longer now, man has developed more capacities in these ages, more potential has become actual, man is more intelligent. Man is more loving, more aware, alert. Each new generation is more intelligent than the previous one. We have to take account of all these things. Patanjali is just a beginning and a rudimentary beginning; it has to be developed, it has to be constantly developed. Just think: if traditional people had stopped at Newton and they hadn't allowed Einstein because they said 'Enough is enough. Newton has done all' then what would the situation of physics be? But they did not. We are not going to stop at Einstein either we are growing and growing. If after three, four, centuries Einstein comes, he will be surprised! So should be the case with yoga. I am very happy that yoga is getting out of this country, moving into new cultures. There it is bound to take new forms less rigid, more exploratory. The West has much to contribute to yoga as yoga has much to contribute to the West. It is very good that many things that have remained stuck and dormant in India are moving out. It will be good, because new people will start trying new things. New postures can be developed, new body rhythms, new breathing processes. Think of it as an exploration. Don't think in rigid terms. You are not just to be there like a school teacher. Then you will enjoy it. I will help you to be free of the rigidity and that will make you more and more in tune with truth. [A sannyasin asks if his energy is negative.] It is neither negative nor positive. It is in a kind of limbo, just on the borderline... very ambiguous. It depends on you: you can choose to be negative very easily, you can choose to be positive very easily. You are sitting on the fence. So it depends on you if you want to be positive you can immediately become positive. But people who sit on the fence go on sitting on the fence; that becomes their habit. It seems to be less risky, and one can tolerate this kind of indifference... [A couple ask about sex and love] Mm mm. One thing: the animal side is as beautiful as the human side of love. You have some condemnation for the word 'animal'. And I can understand it because it has been taught again and again down the ages 'Don't be like an animal', as if to be an animal is something bad, something like a sin. Animals are beautiful, innocent, and the animal side is not necessarily the hard side. When we think of animals we think of ferocity, killing each other, blood. That is not the only side of animals. They are very playful too and very loving too, and very soft, tender. Sex is bound to have something of the animal in it, but there is no condemnation. In fact the animal side makes it alive. The wilder the sex is, the more alive it is. You should be happy rather than creating a problem out of it. The softer side, the human side, is not against it. The animal side can become the foundation, and the love, the human love can become the temple on top of it.
Use it rather than fighting with it. There is no antagonism; the problem is just your mind-created problem. Enjoy both, and slowly slowly you will see a deep harmony between them. There is no disparity, they are not against each other. In fact, if the animal side is missing your love will not have colour, will not have passion, will not have intensity, will not be aflame, will be dull, insipid, pale. The animal side brings blood to it! The blood gives it redness and vitality. Simply forget that it is a problem. Enjoy both, and soon they will start meeting and merging into each other and they will become complementaries; in fact, they are complementaries. But your interpretation is wrong. The animal has to play its part: it has to be absorbed by the human not negated, not denied. And then both the human and the animal have to be absorbed into the divine. It is a pyramid: as you go higher, it becomes smaller, but the peak depends on the base; the base has to be very big. The animal is the base of life, the human the middle of it, and the divine the peak of it. They support each other. They are in perfect harmony. Just something that you have been told by the priests is disturbing you. Drop that say goodbye to the priests and listen to your reality. [A sannyasin asks: As far as I know I will be the first sannyasin in the town that I go to, where I live, and there is great publicity now and I feel insecure about dealing with the situation.] I will make you capable don't be worried! All that bad publicity is going to help my work. Don't be worried. (laughter) I am behind it those people are doing my work! Just laugh and enjoy, and help people to understand me by your very being, your meditativeness, your love. My sannyasins will be enough to answer all that bad publicity. Seeing you they will see something of me, and that is the only proof that something beautiful is happening here. You will be the proof, so don't be worried at all. Just be there and enjoy all that bad publicity about me! [A sannyasin says that she's been alone for the past month, travelling in Ceylon and visiting Buddhist monasteries. She's begun to feel a rather lovely centring within her but she wonders if it's really real.] It is true you need not be worried; it is not imagination. And many more things will be happening, so allow them and enjoy them and never for a single moment doubt. Now it is time the doubt can be dropped. Trust! Things have started happening. In the beginning when nothing is happening doubt is a very good instrument it prepares you. When things have started happening doubt can be put aside. Then trust helps; now you need trust. The days of doubt are over, that dark night of the soul is finished. So trust in the morning sun and just go with those experiences. They are true and if you trust them, much more will be happening. I am going to be there with you! [A sannyasin couple: the swami asks about jealousy and awareness] Just remain aware and it will go. Nothing else has to be done about it. Jealousy can remain only if you are unconscious of it. The moment you become alert, it starts going. Just remain watchful. Bring it completely to your awareness, and when it grips you just sit silently and see the whole cloud that surrounds. And don't leave anything unseen. All the parts, the whole mechanism, has to be seen, and then it will disappear. Nothing to be worried about.
It is very human, mm? because we have been made in such a way by the society that jealousy is the outcome of it. The whole life's conditioning is to be jealous. The school, the college, the university, the parents, the society everybody wants you to be jealous, because only out of jealousy can ambition be created, only out of jealousy can possessiveness be created, and only out of jealousy can you be made to become powerful, rich. If jealousy disappears this whole edifice of the society will fall. It is founded on jealousy; jealousy is the cornerstone of this society. It pervades everything, permeates everything. So it is nothing to be worried about, mm? this is just because you are born in a jealous society which depends on jealousy, lives on jealousy, so it has penetrated your blood, your bones. Just become aware and slowly slowly it will disappear. [To the female partner who says she is not sure what to do about it.] Just remain natural, as you feel. You need not think of changing yourself. Just be natural and relaxed, and whatsoever the moment brings, go into it. Sometimes it will bring suffering and agony and ecstasy one has to pass through all those things. It is too early for you to observe. It is good for Krishna Saraswati to observe. If you observe, it will become repression. For you it is better to get involved in things and suffer a little more... ... Let him observe because he is an old sannyasin, a very ancient seeker! But you are very new and American just remember it! And he is pure Indian: he can observe easily. You will not be able to right now; it will create trouble. And if you observe and try to control, then you will take revenge on him. You will be angry with him. Rather than being loving you will hate him, because it is because of him that you are doing all these things; your freedom is lost. And these words freedom, love, awareness have different connotations for different people. When an Indian thinks of freedom he means one thing and when an American listens to the word 'freedom' he thinks of something else. They are not the same words because they fall on different minds. And psychology is not growing because psychology goes on thinking as if there is only one mind in the world. It is not true there are as many minds as there are conditioning systems; one psychology won't do. There have to be as many psychologies as there are minds. You can do one experiment in psychology in America it won't be relevant when you work on an Indian mind. That is my problem here, because so many people are here from so many different countries with different conditionings. It is really a great problem. In the new commune I will have to create different types of groups. All groups are not for all. For example, all the groups that are being run in the ashram are good for the Western mind. Japanese people come and the groups are irrelevant, absolutely irrelevant, because they have a totally different kind of psychology; they need a different kind of group. So this is for him he should observe and for you, be involved in things and move moment to moment. Soon you will also become capable of observing, but a little more suffering is needed!