I wanted to tell you just a very simple thing which I have learned the hard way. Perhaps you are getting it too cheap, and the simple is generally mistaken for the cheap. It is not cheap at all. It is the costliest thing possible because one has to pay for this simple truth with one’s own life. It is surrender, trust.
”The reason for my tears is that you trust me so much, and I am not worthy of it. It is too unbearable.”
"What can you do? At the most you can tell me to leave this house. Anyone who wants to come with me from this house will come, otherwise I will go alone. Alone I have come; alone I will have to go. Nobody can accompany me on the real journey."
But nobody seems to be at all interested in existence – in everything except existence.
Since that day he became my enemy. I know the art of how to make enemies.
We are born looking outwardly. To look inside is not part of the body organism. The body functions well; if you want to go somewhere else, it can take you. But the moment you ask ”Who am I?” it flops, simply flops on the ground, not knowing what to do now because the relevant direction is not part of the so-called world.
I was really unconventional. First, I used to wear wooden sandals, which were a nuisance everywhere. In fact, they were a good declaration that I was coming, coming closer; the louder the noise, the closer I was.
I loved those wooden sandals. As far as I was concerned I loved them because I used to go for long walks, for miles, in the morning and at night. And with a wooden sandal… I don’t think any of you has the experience of wooden sandals, but it sounds as if somebody is walking behind you, and although you know it is only your sandals making the noise, who knows? Perhaps, maybe… or, why take a chance? Just have a look. One wants to look back to see who is following. It took me years to train myself not to do such a stupid thing, and even longer not to even think of doing such a stupid thing.
I have told you the moment you create a friend, immediately you create an enemy. If you don’t want the enemy then forget about the friends.
That is the way of the monk, Buddhist and Christian; forgetting all about relationship, friendship and everything, so that you don’t create enemies. But to just not create enemies is not the purpose of life.
And for the first time in my life I was surprised, because I was not there to meet a poet, but a politician. I met a poet.
To be a failure is his destiny, because he longs for the stars. He cannot be satisfied with the small, the finite. He wants to have the whole sky in his hands.
For a moment we looked into each other’s eyes, and we both laughed. And his laughter was not that of an old man, it was still that of a child. He was immensely beautiful, and when I say this, I mean it, because I have seen thousands of beautiful people; but I can say without hesitation, that he was the most beautiful of them all, and not only in his body.
And when you are burning a fire, many very small creatures, alive but invisible to the naked eye, are burned. And sometimes even the wood carries ants within it, and other kinds of insects which have made their houses in it.
Of course he cannot use a blanket – it is made of wool; that is again violence.
They have taken the logic of non-possessing to its very extreme. It is really a sight to see a Jaina monk. One can see what logic can do to a man.
Forgive me for saying it, but their faces are faceless. They don’t say anything, they don’t show anything. They are not only empty pages, but pages which have waited and waited for something to be written on them, to make them significant… but they became sore because nobody ever came.
The starving child has to be helped; the Jaina monk has to be helped more, because he thinks that what he is doing is right.
Now, you can see how far nonsense can go. Yes, it can go on and on…
If you are stupid, you are as infinitely stupid as they say God is wise. I don’t know anything about God and His wisdom, but I know about your foolishness.
He made great effort, and worked very hard writing hundreds of books – and he was very scholarly. That also proves that he is a fool, but not an ordinary fool, an extraordinary fool.
I will have to tell you the meaning of the word vipassana. It means ”looking back.” Passan means ”looking,” vipassana means ”looking back.”
What I am doing at this moment is vipassana.
Jawaharlal really laughed… he laughed so much that tears came to his eyes. That is always the quality of a real poet, not an ordinary one. You can buy ordinary poets, perhaps in the West they are a little more costly, otherwise a dollar-a-dozen will do. He was not a poet of that type – a dollar-a- dozen. He was really one of those few rare souls whom Buddha has called bodhisattvas.
He was Mahatma Gandhi’s choice.
Gandhi, whatsoever his faults, at least did one thing that even I can appreciate.
He was certainly ascetic; yet with all his nonsense he was still sensible enough to choose Jawaharlal.
I said, ”Masto, you should know better, you have known Jawaharlal for years. I did not know him at all until just now. We are still only in the process of introducing ourselves. So don’t look with a questioning eye, although I understand your question: ‘What has happened to the politician? Has he gone mad?’ No, I say it to you, and to him also, that he is not a politician – perhaps by accident, but not by his intrinsic nature.”
And Jawaharlal nodded and said, ”At least one person in my life has said it exactly, as I was not able to formulate it clearly. It was vague. But now I know what has happened, it is an accident.”
”And,” I added, ”a fatal one.” And we all laughed.
When I take my shower I enjoy it so much that I forget, and splash the water all over.
When I take a shower I really take a shower, and I splash not only the floor, but even the walls, and if you have to clean, then of course it is a problem for you. But if you clean with love, as my cleaners do, then it is better than psychoanalysis, and far better than transcendental meditation. I cannot now change anything.
What was future then is now past. But I am the same, and I have remained the same. In fact to me, it seems that death happens not the moment when you stop breathing, but when you stop being yourself. I have never for any reason allowed any compromise.
It is impossible to forget, even for a single moment. To be a husband or a wife means a declaration of war.” Although people call it love, it is really a cold war. And it is better to have a hot war, particularly in a cold winter, than to have a cold war twenty-four hours a day. It even starts freezing your being.
”Don’t ask who he is, because right now he is no one, but someday he could be really somebody.”
know he was wrong; I’m still no one, and I am going to remain no one to the very end.
But nobody wants to be no one, nobody, nothing, and naturally that’s why Jawaharlal was saying to Indira, ”Now he is no one, but I can predict one day he certainly will be someone.”
Put them right – that is right side up, because they are doing shirshasana, standing on their heads. Either put them right or resign, but do something.”
He asked, ”Do you think it is okay to be in the political world?”
I said, ”I don’t think, I know it is not okay at all. It is a curse, a karma. You must have done something wrong in your past lives, otherwise you could not be the prime minister of India.”
He said, ”I agree.”
‘If you see that strange boy, and if you are in any way concerned about him, keep him out of politics, because I wasted my life with these stupid people. I don’t want that boy begging votes from utterly stupid, mediocre, unintelligent masses. No, if you have any say in his life, please protect him from politics.’
You are unconscious when you go on doing things without knowing why; during the day, during the night – the awareness is missing. Once awareness happens, dreaming disappears. Both cannot exist together. There is no coexistence possible between these two things, and nobody can make it. Either you dream, then you are unconscious; or you are awake, aware, pretending to dream – but that is not a dream. You know and everybody else knows too.
I loved to be known as mad. I still love it. There is nothing more beautiful than the madness I have come to know.
But the memory is not consciousness, and memory can function even without consciousness, in fact more efficiently. After all, what is a computer? A memory system. The ego has died; that which is behind the ego is eternal. That which is part of the brain is temporal, and will die.
I was wondering yesterday how God created this world in six days. I was wondering, because I have not yet been able to even go beyond the second day of my primary school. And what a world He created!
Hindus don’t believe in a God, they believe in many gods. In fact, when they first conceived the idea, they counted exactly as many gods as there were Indians.
They believed that each single individual had to have a god of his own.
They are everything that a human being can be – very cunning, mean, political, in every way exploitative. But somehow, somebody at least managed to have a census.
This whole mess is what Albert Einstein, another Jew, calls ”the expanding universe.” It is expanding every second, becoming bigger and bigger, like a pregnant woman’s belly, and of course faster than that. It is expanding at the same speed as light and that is the greatest speed yet conceived.
Nobody ever took Nietzsche seriously, but I think his declaration was one of the greatest moments in the history of consciousness: ”God is dead!” He had to declare it; not because God died – He had never been there, never been born in the first place, how could He be dead? Before you can be dead you have to suffer at least seventy years of so-called life. God has never been. It is good, because existence is enough unto itself. No outside agency is needed to create it.
That’s why nobody is happy in the world. There are hundreds of successful people, rich people, powerful people, but you don’t find a crowd of happy people unless you meet my people. They are a different kind altogether.
Ordinarily everybody is going to be frustrated sooner or later. The more intelligent, the sooner; the more stupid, the later; and if utterly stupid, then never. Then he will die sitting on the merry-go-round, in Dinseyland.
Many times I am surprised at how the body has grown old, but as far as I am concerned I don’t feel old age or the aging process. Not even for a single moment have I felt different. I am the same, and so many things have happened but they have happened only on the periphery. So I can tell you what happened, but remember always, nothing has happened to me. I am just as innocent and as ignorant as I was before my birth.
That’s why sometimes the Buddhas have laughed, seeing the utter stupidity of all effort; the stupidity of all that they have been doing. But to see it they had to pass through many things.
”Two plus two is four” needs no trust; but ”two plus two equals five” certainly needs a love that goes beyond arithmetic. If Baba had said it, then it must be so.
The story of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, and Jawaharlal’s bursting into tears on the radio, stunned the whole world. It was not a prepared speech. He was just speaking out of his own heart, and if tears came, what could he do? And if there was a pause, it was not his fault but his greatness. No stupid politician could have done it even if he had wanted to, because their secretaries would even have to write in the prepared speech: ”Now please start weeping, cry and leave a pause so that everybody believes that it is for real.”
Mahatma Gandhi was an old man; he called me close and looked at me. But rather than looking at me, he looked at my pocket – and that put me off him forever. And he said, ”What is that?”
I said, ”Three rupees.”
He said, ”Donate them.” He used to have a box with a hole in it, by his side. When you donated, you put the rupees in the hole and they disappeared. Of course he had the key, so they would appear again, but for you they had disappeared.
I said, ”If you have the courage, you can take them. The pocket is there, the rupees are there, but may I ask you for what purpose you are collecting these rupees?”
He said, ”For poor people.”
I said, ”Then it is perfectly okay.” And I myself dropped those three rupees into his box. But he was the one to be surprised, for when I started leaving, I took the whole box with me.
He said, ”For God’s sake, what are you doing? That is for the poor!”
I said, ”I have heard you already, you need not bother repeating it again. I am taking this box for the poor. There are many in my village. Please give me the key, otherwise I will have to find a thief so that he can open the lock. He is the only expert in that art.”
He said, ”This is strange….” He looked at his secretary. The secretary was dumb, as secretaries always are, otherwise why should they be secretaries? He looked at Kasturba, his wife, who said, ”You have met your equal. You cheat everybody, now he is taking your whole box. Good! It is good, because I am tired of seeing that box always there, just like a wife.”
I felt sorry for that man and left the box, saying, ”No, you are the poorest man, it seems. Your secretary does not have any intelligence, nor does your wife seem to have any love for you. I cannot take this box away – you keep it. But remember, I had come to see a mahatma, but I saw only a businessman.”
He was not a man who could agree with me: ”Jump before you think.” No, he was a businessman. He would think a hundred times before taking a single step out of his door, what to say of a jump.
If I had read that book as Gandhi did, I would not have come to the same conclusion. It is not the book that matters, it is the man who reads, chooses and collects.
I decided to be against Mahatma Gandhi, not because there was nothing in him that I could have loved – there was much, but much more was there which had far-reaching implications for the whole world. I had to decide to be against a man I may have loved if – and that ”if” is almost unbridgeable – if he had not been against progress, against prosperity, against science, against technology. In fact, he was against almost everything for which I stand: more technology and more science, and more richness and affluence.
I am not for poverty, he was. I am not for primitiveness, he was. But still, whenever I see even a small ingredient of beauty, I appreciate it; and there were a few things in that man which are worth understanding.
He had an immense capacity to feel the pulse of millions of people together. No doctor can do it; even to feel the pulse of one person is very difficult, particularly a person like me. You can try feeling my pulse, you will even lose your pulse, or if not the pulse, then at least the purse, which is even better.
Gandhi had the capacity to know the pulse of the people. Of course, I am not interested in those people, but that is another thing. I’m not interested in thousands of things; that does not mean that those who are genuinely working, intelligently reaching to some depth, are not to be appreciated. Gandhi had that capacity, and I appreciate it. I would have loved to meet him now, because when I was only a ten-year-old lad, all that he could get from me were those three rupees. Now I could have given him the whole paradise, but that was not to happen, at least in this life.
I can begin with the second day in my primary school. How long can it wait? It has already waited too long. The second day was my real entry into the school, because Kantar Master had been thrown out and everybody was joyous. Almost all the children were dancing. I could not believe it, but they told me, ”You did not know Kantar Master. If he dies we will distribute sweets for the whole town, and burn thousands of candles in our houses.”
It was he who told me for the first time that snakes don’t have ears. They cannot hear, and almost everybody believes that they are influenced by the snake charmer’s flute.
He said, ”It is nothing but training. When I play my flute, have you ever noticed that I sway my head? That is the trick. I sway my head and the snake starts swaying, and unless he sways he remains hungry. So the sooner he starts swaying, the better. Hunger is the secret, not the music.”
I was learning, but not in school, and I never repented for it. I learned from all kinds of strange people. You cannot find them working in schools as teachers, that is not possible. I was with Jaina monks, Hindu sadhus, Buddhist bhikkus, and all kinds of people one is not expected to associate with.
The moment I became aware that I was not supposed to associate with somebody that was enough for me to associate with that person, because he must be an outsider. Because he was an outsider, hence the prohibition – and I am a lover of outsiders.
”God has told you not to eat the fruit of the tree of life…” and it was nothing more than an apple tree. Sometimes I think nobody could have sinned more than me because I must be eating more apples than anybody in the world.
If you see two snakes standing on their tails kissing each other, you will never bother to see any Hollywood film again.
And I didn’t bother to wear the uniform, and nobody can expect me to. I never did, even in primary school. I said, ”I have come to learn, not to be destroyed.
In India, there is no question of blocking the traffic; there are no traffic laws! You can walk in the middle of the road.
The whole road is yours; you can make your house there.
You will be surprised to know that in India you can do anything imaginable, or unimaginable, on the street.
The snake must have been six or seven feet long, and I was dragging it in a bag, so that I could suddenly expose it to everybody. And when I exposed it there was chaos! I can still see the teacher jumping on his chair. I could not believe my eyes. I said, ”This is just wonderful.”
But the truth is I am a beggar; but a special type of beggar who does not beg.
having nothing and living as if you own the whole universe.
"Whenever I have a bad day or the weather is not good, or something – the tea was not hot enough, the food was as if prepared for food poisoning – then I remember you jumping on your chair and calling for help. And that cheers me up again – although I am dead, it still helps. I am tremendously grateful to you."
His work was to open and close the gate, and he had a bell hanging in front of his cabin, to hit every forty minutes, leaving just ten minutes twice each day for tea breaks, and one hour for lunch. That was his only work, otherwise he was a completely free man.
I would go into his cabin, and he would close the door so that nobody disturbed us, and so that I could not escape easily. Then he would say, ”Now tell me everything since we met last time.” And he was such a lovely old man. His face had so many lines that I had even tried to count them, of course not telling him. I was pretending to listen to him while I was counting how many lines his forehead had – and it was all forehead because all his hair had gone – and how many lines were on his cheeks. In fact his whole face, howsoever you divided it, was nothing but lines. But behind those lines was a man of infinite love and understanding.
it was better to go to his cabin, and somehow – again I have to use the word ”synchronicity” – he knew when I was coming. I knew that if I didn’t go that day he would be coming to inquire what had happened to me. And it became almost mathematically accurate.
He was so ancient- looking you would not believe it. I have never seen anything so ancient. I have visited museums, all kinds of collections of old objects, but I have never come across anything more prehistoric than Mannulal.
I was talking about my visits to school. Yes, I call them visits because they were certainly not attendance. I was only there to create some mischief. In a strange way I have always loved to be involved in some mischievous act. Perhaps it was the beginning of how I was to be for my whole life.
At least it could now say to the other gates: ”Once upon a time, a boy passed through me on an elephant, and there was such a crowd to see it happen….”
In India you can find even the first model of all kinds of cars. In fact in Bombay or Calcutta you will still see such ancient cars that you cannot believe that you are still in the twentieth century.
”How do you manage to find these strange things? I have lived in this village my whole life yet I never knew about this horse.”
I said, ”One needs a certain insight, and one has to be on the lookout continuously. That’s why I cannot come to school every day.”
I said, ”The work is not worth doing. The fact that everybody else is doing it is enough proof that it is not worth doing. In this school everybody is doing this work. In India there are seven million villages, and in every village everybody is doing the same work. It is not worth doing. I try to find something which nobody else is doing, and I bring it to you free of charge.
I loved that peon. He was such a beautiful soul. He died in 1960. Just by chance I was in the town, but to me it was as if I was only there for him, so that I could see him die. And that has been my deep interest from my very childhood. Death is such a mystery, far deeper than life can ever be.
remember that death is not the enemy, and not the end either.
Birth and death, both are events in the stream of life, just waves. And certainly death is richer than birth, because birth is empty. Death is one’s whole life’s experience. It depends on you how much you make your death significant. It depends on how much you live, not in terms of time but in terms of depth.