who bothers about MAHABHARATA? It is such a big book that unless one wants to really go insane one would not read it.
But there are people who read even the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. I know such a person.
Only such people read MAHABHARATA. It is the Hindu encyclopaedia; let’s call it the ”Encyclopaedia Indiana.”
Somebody else has counted. I don’t know for sure because I never do such rubbishy things, but they estimated that I had written three hundred and thirty-three books, up till now. Great! – not the books, but the man who counted them.
But MAHABHARATA is bigger, and will always remain the largest book in the world – I mean in volume, in weight.
The whole of the MAHABHARATA is nothing but the Indian obsession written at length, voluminously, saying that man is born again and again and again eternally.
But why this obsession? I became aware of many things at that moment of his death. I will talk about everything that I became aware of in that moment, because that has determined my whole life.
We still don’t have a word for that which goes beyond enlightenment, but perhaps there is a limit to everything. Something is always going to be beyond, far away, not within words but transcendental.
But ”endarken” should become a commonly used word. Everybody is endarkening everybody else.
Death is not the end but only the culmination of one’s whole life, a climax. It is not that you are finished but you are transported to another body. That is what the easterners call ”the wheel.” It goes on turning and turning. Yes, it can be stopped, but the way to stop it is not when you are dying.
Just be a witness. Let it happen, don’t interfere. Remember, remember, remember that you are only a witness; that is your true nature. If you can die remembering, the wheel is stopped.”
Magga Baba never said anything about his own life, but he said many things about life. He was the first man who told me, ”Life is more than what it appears to be. Don’t judge by its appearances but go deep down into the valleys where the roots of life are.” He would suddenly speak, and suddenly he would be silent. That was his way. There was no way to persuade him to speak: either he spoke or not. He would not answer any questions, and the conversations between us two were an absolute secret. Nobody knew about it. This is for the first time that I am saying it.
I have had the fortune to be loved by many strange people. Magga Baba is the first on my list.
He helped me tremendously although he never gave any directions except by his very being. Just by his very presence he triggered unknown forces in me, unknown to me. I am most grateful to this man Magga Baba, and the greatest blessing of all was that I, a small child, was the only one to whom he used to speak. Those moments of privacy, knowing that he spoke to no one else in the whole world, were tremendously strengthening, vitalizing.
That night, before he disappeared he told me, ”I may not be able to see you blossom to a flower but my blessings will be with you.
There are six great religions in the world. They can be divided into two categories: one consists of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; they believe in only one life. You are just between birth and death. There is nothing beyond birth and death – life is all. Although they believe in heaven and hell and God, they are the earnings from one life, a single life. The other category consists of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. They believe in the theory of reincarnation. One is born again and again, eternally; unless one becomes enlightened, and then the wheel stops.
Obsession is a psychological way of condemning something, hence I have used the word. As far as the masses in the East are concerned, it has been a disease for thousands of years. It has stopped them from being rich, prosperous and affluent, because their whole concern was how to stop the wheel. Who then is going to grease it and who is going to run it smoothly?
Just a look from Bodhidharma into the eyes of Marcus Aurelius would have been enough. Then he would have known, for the first time, what meditation is.
He would have gone home and burned what he had written so far. Perhaps then he would have left a collection of sketches – a bird on the wing, a rose withering away, or just a cloud floating in the sky – a few sentences here and there; not saying much, but enough to provoke, enough to trigger a process in the person who comes across it. That would have been a real notebook on meditation, but not on meditations…. There is no plural possible.
Immediately after my enlightenment I rushed to the village to meet two people… first Magga Baba, the man I was talking about before. You will certainly wonder why. Because I wanted somebody to say to me, ”You are enlightened”… I knew it, but I wanted to hear it from the outside too. Magga Baba was the only man I could ask at that time.
I rushed to the neem tree where Magga Baba sat, and the moment he saw me do you know what he did? I could not believe it myself – he touched my feet and wept.
This is the first time I have told anybody; my Nani was my first disciple. I taught her the way. My way is simple: to be silent, to experience in one’s self that which is always the observer, and never the observed; to know the knower, and forget the known.
My way is simple, as simple as Lao Tzu’s, Chuang Tzu’s, Krishna’s, Christ’s, Moses’, Zarathustra’s… because only the names differ, the way is the same.
I saw that he had understood what coming to a Master really means. It means coming to one’s self. It cannot mean anything else other than self-realization. His smile was absolutely new.
I had been worried about him: he was becoming more serious every day. I was really concerned, because to me seriousness has always been a dirty word, a disease, something far more cancerous than cancer can ever be, and certainly far more infectious than any disease.
He is one of those few people that if I had to die without them becoming enlightened, then I would have had to turn the wheel again.
He looked a little puzzled. He was talking about coming and I was talking about happening. Then, just as if a window opened and you see – just like that – a window opened and he saw. He touched my feet with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. To see tears and smiles mixing and merging is beautiful. It is an experience in itself.
But the sound of a man popping into existence is not the sound of pop music, it is not even classical music; it is pure music, not capable of being classified… not even to be heard but only to be felt.
But ”to live like a dog” means to live just for barking, enjoying the bark, shouting at each and every opportunity. Living like a dog simply means not living a human life but something subhuman, something less than human. And one who lives like a dog is bound to die like a dog. Obviously you cannot have a death that you have not earned.
Death is either a punishment or a reward;
Dogs are heady people, very intellectual. If you live intensely, intuitively, from the heart, intelligently, not intellectually; if you allow your whole being to be involved in everything you do, then you can die a god’s death.
This has been my whole teaching: Jump up! Don’t do a headstand. Stand on your feet, be natural!
And by god, I mean simply a master of one’s self.
In fact nobody in the whole world, including Sigmund Freud himself, is ever totally psychoanalyzed, for the simple reason that it cannot be done.
Why? – because it is nothing but thoughts, insubstantial. One thought leads to another, and so on and so forth; there is no end to it.
The man laughed even more loudly, and said, ”You fool! Don’t you understand anything? Don’t worry about that stupid camel. Everything reminds me of sex, even you! So what can I do? That is my problem. That’s why I came here. It is my obsession.”
I told you this story to explain what I mean by the word ”obsession.” And the whole world can be divided into two categories: people who are obsessed with sex, and the people who are obsessed with death. That is the real demarcation line between East and West. It is not a geographical division, but far more important than geography.
And to live a life with any obsession, western or eastern, is to live almost without living… it is to miss the whole opportunity. The East and West are two sides of the same coin, and so are death and sex. Sex is the energy, the beginning of life; and death is the culmination of life.
It is no coincidence that millions of people never know what real orgasm is. It is for the simple reason that unless you are ready to go into a sort of death, you cannot know what orgasm is. And nobody wants to die, everybody wants to live, to renew life again and again.
The first thing I used to say to my class each day was, ”Remember, here I am the master. If you don’t want to listen to me, simply get lost. If you want to listen to me, then just listen. I am ready to answer all your questions, but I will not tolerate any noise, even whispering. If you have a girlfriend here then get out immediately and I allow you to go with your girlfriend. When I am speaking, only I am speaking, and you are listening. If you want to say something then raise your hand, and keep it raised because it does not mean that when you want to ask I necessarily have to answer at that time. I am not here as your servant. I am not Aristotle. Even Alexander could not make a horse out of me.”
I am simple in that way. You can always tell me where I am wrong, and I am open to listen. But when I am doing something, I hate interference. Even though the intention may be good, I don’t want it even for my own good. I would rather die driving wrongly than be saved by somebody’s advice. That’s the way I am and it is too late to change.
You will be surprised to know that it has always been too late. Even when I was only a child it was too late. I can only do a thing the way I want to do it; right and wrong are irrelevant. If it happens to be right, good; if it does not happen to be right, that is far out.
The point is that I am not against getting rid of the wheel, but I am against being obsessed with stopping it. It stops by itself, but not by you stopping it. It can stop only by you doing something else – that something else I call meditation.
Seeing the doctor tremble, I saw, for the first time, that all education was useless. If it cannot make you fearless then what is it for? Just to earn bread and butter? You will tremble.
But the story, or rather the gossip, was only to tell you that everything exists first in the mind, only then in the body. The body is an extension of the mind, in matter. Brain is the beginning of that extension, and the body its full manifestation, but the seed is in the mind. The mind carries not only this body’s seed, but it also has the potentiality to become almost anything. Its potential is infinite. Humanity’s whole past is contained in it, and not only humanity but even the pre-human past.
During the nine months in the mother’s womb the child passes through almost three million years of evolution… very quickly of course, as if you see a film run so fast that you can hardly see it – just glimpses. But in nine months the child certainly passes through the whole of life from its very beginning. In the beginning – and I am not quoting the Bible, I am simply stating the facts of every child’s life – in the beginning every child is a fish, just as once the whole of life began in the ocean. Man still carries the same quantity of salt in his body as ocean water. Man’s mind plays the drama again and again; the whole drama of birth, from the fish to the old man gasping for his last breath.
I wanted to go back to the village, but it was next to impossible to regain that which had been lost. That is where I learned that it is better never to go back to anything. Since then I have been to so many places but I have never gone back. Once I have left a place I have left it forever. That childhood episode forever determined a certain pattern, a structure, a system.
He said, ”I am so poor that although I want to invite you, my poverty prevents me. I don’t want you to see that ugly house in all its dirtiness. In this life I cannot see a time when I will be able to invite you. I really have dropped the very idea.
Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Mahatma Gandhi. And all these people were absolutely unacquainted with the science of influencing people. They did not need to know, they had it in their very guts.
In India the family is not the same as in the West. In the West it is just singular: the husband, the wife, one, two or three children. At the most there may be five people in the family. In India people would laugh – five? Only five? In India the family is uncountable. There are hundreds of people. Guests come and visit and never leave, and nobody says to them, ”Please, it is time for you to go,” because in fact, nobody knows whose guests they are.
In India it is possible to enter a home where you are not related at all; and if you keep your mouth shut, you can live there forever. Nobody will tell you to get out; everybody will think somebody else invited you. You have only to keep quiet and keep smiling.
And it was a bazaar, continuously buzzing with so many people, no space at all, no silence. Even if an elephant had jumped into that ancient pond, nobody would have heard the plop;
He used to say, ”I’m not going to sleep unless you promise that by tomorrow you will be perfectly well.”
And I had to promise – as if being sick or not depended on my promise – but somehow, once I had promised him, it worked. That’s why I say there is something like magic in the world.
The entry into school was the beginning of a new life. For years I had lived just like a wild animal. Yes, I cannot say a wild human being, because there are no wild human beings.
Man has rarely become a superman, and the word ”super” has nothing to do with ”higher.” The true superman is one who is conscious of all his acts, thoughts and feelings, of all that he is made of – of love, of life, of death.
I said, ”That’s exactly true, and I am going to the headmaster to find out whether it is legitimate for you to punish me when I have answered you correctly.”
He became a little more mellow. I was surprised because I had heard that he was not a man who could be subdued in any way.
I then said, ”And then I am going to the president of the municipal committee who runs this school. Tomorrow I will come with a police commissioner so that he can see with his own eyes what kind of practices are going on here.”
He will torture you.
I said, ”It is not easy. Let this be the beginning of my struggle against all torture. I will fight.
I said, ”Tomorrow, either I will be in this building or you, but we cannot both exist here together. Just wait until tomorrow.”
”I know. Nothing can be done about it. You have to live with it, you will have to learn how to tolerate it.”
I said to him, and I remember my words exactly, ”I am not going to tolerate anything that is wrong to my conscience.”
And for that I must thank that cow-dung, because the vice-president of that village, Shambhu Dube, proved to be the only man of any worth in that whole village, in my experience. When I knocked on his door – I was only eight or nine years old, and he was the vice-president – he called, ”Yes, come in.” He was expecting to see some gentleman, and on seeing me he looked a little embarrassed.
I said, ”No, because I am ready to fail. That’s all he can do.” I said I was ready to fail and I was not insisting on success, but I would fight to the last: ”It is either this man or me – we both cannot be there in the same building.”
Shambhu Dube called me close to him. Holding my hand he said, ”I always love rebellious people, but I never thought a child of your age could be a rebel. I congratulate you.”
We became friends, and this friendship lasted until he died.
If you ask me, it will look like an exaggeration, but in fact, in the whole of India I never found another Shambhu Dube. He was just rare.
Shambhu Dube was the vice-president of the municipal committee, and he said to me, ”Don’t be worried. That fellow should be punished; in fact, his service is finished. He has applied for an extension but we will not give it to him. From tomorrow you will not see him in that school again.”
I said, ”Is that a promise?”
We looked into each other’s eyes. He laughed and said, ”Yes, it is a promise.”
The next day Kantar Master was gone. He was never able to look at me after that. I tried to contact him, knocked at his door many times just to say goodbye, but he was really a coward, a sheep under a lion’s skin. But that first day in school turned out to be the beginning of many, many things.