How could a man like Adolf Hitler love? He had no sympathy, no feeling, he had no heart, no feminine side to him. He had killed the woman within himself so how could he love the woman outside? To love the outer woman you have to nourish the woman within, because only that which is within is expressed in your actions.
- THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA will be the first on my list.
- THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV is the second.
- Third is THE BOOK OF MIRDAD.
- Fourth is JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL.
- The fifth book is TAO TE CHING by Lao Tzu.
- The sixth is THE PARABLES OF CHUANG TZU. He was the most lovable man, and this is the most lovable book.
- Seventh is THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – only THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT not the whole Bible. The whole Bible is just bullshit except THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
- The eighth, BHAGAVADGITA – the divine song of Krishna. ’Krishna’ means the highest state of consciousness, and the song of Krishna, the BHAGAVADGITA, reaches to the ultimate heights of being.
- Ninth, GITANJALI. It means ’an offering of songs’. It is the work of Rabindranath Tagore, for which he got the Nobel prize.
- And the tenth is the songs of Milarepa – THE ONE THOUSAND SONGS OF MILAREPA – that’s how it is called in Tibetan.
I could not believe how I could forget Kahlil Gibran’s THE PROPHET. It is still torturing me.
How could I forget the book which is the ultimate: THE BOOK of the Sufis! Perhaps I forgot because it contains nothing, just empty pages.
How can you create a better book than one which contains nothing, and the message of nothingness?
First, THE BOOK of the Sufis.
Second, THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran.
I could easily drop THE PROPHET for the simple reason that it is only an echo of Friedrich Nietzsche’s THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA. In our world nobody speaks the truth. We are such liars, so formal, so full of etiquette…. THE PROPHET is only beautiful because it echoes Zarathustra.
Third, THE BOOK OF LIEH TZU
Lieh Tzu I forgot, and he is the very culmination of both Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Lieh Tzu is the third generation. Lao Tzu was the master, Chuang Tzu was the disciple. Lieh Tzu was the disciple of a disciple.
But his book is immensely beautiful and has to be included in the list.
Fourth Plato’s DIALOGUES OF SOCRATES
and this is really amazing – I did not mention Plato’s DIALOGUES OF SOCRATES.
his DIALOGUES OF SOCRATES AND HIS DEATH is impossible to overpraise and should be included.
Fifth… I also forgot THE NOTES OF THE DISCIPLES OF BODHIDHARMA
Sixth: I also forgot the RUBAIYAT
Tears are coming to my eyes. I can apologize for forgetting everything else but not the RUBAIYAT. Omar Khayyam… I can only cry, weep. I can only apologize with my tears, words won’t do.
The RUBAIYAT is one of the most misunderstood and also one of the most widely read books in the world. It is understood in its translation, it is misunderstood in its spirit. The translator could not bring the spirit to it. RUBAIYAT is symbolic, and the translator was a very straight Englishman, what in America they would call a square, not hip at all. To understand RUBAIYAT you need a little bit of hip in you.
The RUBAIYAT talks of wine and women and nothing else;
Only Sufis address God as the beloved. And the ’wine’ is that which happens between the lover and the beloved, it has nothing to do with grapes. The alchemy which happens between the lover and the beloved, between the disciple and the master, between the seeker and the sought, between the worshipper and his God… the alchemy. the transmutation – that is the wine. RUBAIYAT is so misunderstood.
Seventh, MASNAVI of Jalaluddin Rumi
It is a book of small parables. The great can only be expressed in parables. Jesus speaks in parables: so speaks the MASNAVI.
I love parables; I should not have forgotten it. I have used hundreds of parables from it. Perhaps it has become so much of my own that I forgot to mention it separately.
Eighth: the eighth is the ISA UPANISHAD.
I have drunk it, it has become a part of my blood and bones; it is me. I have spoken on it hundreds of times. It is a very small Upanishad. There are one hundred and eight Upanishads and ISA is the smallest of them all. It can be printed on a postcard, on one side only, but it contains all the remaining one hundred and seven, so they need not be mentioned. The seed is in the ISA.
The word Isa means divine. You may be surprised that in India we don’t call Christ ’Christ’, we call him ’Isa’ – Isa, which is far closer to the original Aramaic Yeshua, in English Joshua. His parents must have called him Yeshu. Yeshu is too long. The name traveled to India and from Yeshu became Isu. India immediately recognized that Isu is so close to Isa, which means God, that it would be better to call him Isa.
The ISA UPANISHAD is one of the greatest creations of those who have meditated.
Ninth… I forgot to say something about Gurdjieff and his book ALL AND EVERYTHING
it is a very strange book, not even readable. I don’t think there are any living individuals except me who have read from the first page to the last. I have come across many Gurdjieff followers, but none of them had been able to read ALL AND EVERYTHING in its totality.
It is a big book – just the opposite of the ISA UPANISHAD – one thousand pages. And Gurdjieff is such a rascal saint – please allow me this expression, rascal saint – he writes in such a way that it becomes impossible to read.
This book is of immense value, but the diamonds are hidden among ordinary stones. One has to seek and search.
Tenth: IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS.
It is tremendously beautiful, more so because it was written by a man who was only a disciple, who himself had not known. Not only was he a disciple but later on a Judas, the man who betrayed Gurdjieff. It is strange, but the world is full of strange things.
Ouspensky’s book represents Gurdjieff far more clearly than Gurdjieff’s own. Perhaps in a certain state of being Gurdjieff had taken possession of Ouspensky and used him as a medium, just as I am using Devageet as my medium.
Eleventh: LEAVES OF GRASS by Walt Whitman.
The poet has functioned as a bamboo flute, and the notes are not of the flute itself; they don’t belong to the bamboo. Walt Whitman is just an American bamboo. But LEAVES OF GRASS is immensely beautiful. Something overflowing from God has been caught by this poet. No American as far as I know, except Walt Whitman, may have touched it – that too, partially; otherwise no American has been so wise.
If I include his hook then nothing else is needed, then no other book is needed. Sosan is enough unto himself. His book is called HSIN HSIN MING.
HSIN HSIN MING whether I said it or not, is the foremost, the first.
HSIN HSIN MING is such a small book.
And Gurdjieff had to write one thousand pages, yet the few words of Sosan are far more penetrating, far more significant. They go directly to your heart.
Sosan’s book is so small, just like ISA UPANISHAD, and far more significant. When I say that my heart breaks, because I would like ISA to be the ultimate book, but what can I do? – Sosan has defeated it. Tears come to my eyes because ISA is defeated, and also because Sosan is victorious.
The book is so small, you can write it on your palm;
I cannot conceive of a single word that could be deleted. It is exactly that which is needed, required, to say the truth.
The greatest moments of my speaking were when I was speaking on Sosan.
He was not a man of words, he was a man of silence. He spoke just the minimum.
First is Sosan’s HSIN HSIN MING.
Second is P.D. Ouspensky’s TERTIUM ORGANUM.
It is a miracle that he wrote it before he had even heard of Gurdjieff. He wrote it before he knew what he was writing. He understood it himself only afterwards, on meeting Gurdjieff.
His first words to George Gurdjieff were: ”Looking into your eyes I have understood TERTIUM ORGANUM. Although I have written it, now I can say that it has been written through me by some unknown agency I was not aware of.”
there are only three great books: the first is ORGANUM written by Aristotle; the second is THE SECOND ORGANUM written by Bacon; and the third, by P.D. Ouspensky, TERTIUM ORGANUM. ’Tertium’ means third.
That is the difficulty with all that is great: if you try, you miss. It comes effortlessly or not at all.
Third: GEET GOVIND – the song of God.
It is a Baul song, the song of a madman. If you dance and sing it, you will understand it, there is no other way.
Fourth: Kundkunda’s SAMAYASAR.
This is one of the greatest books the Jainas have produced, but it is very mathematical; that’s why I have always dropped it. I love poetry. If it was poetic I would have spoken on it. I have even spoken on unenlightened poets, but not on even enlightened mathematicians and logicians. Mathematics is so dry. Logic is a desert.
Mathematics too has its beauty, its rhythm, that’s why I appreciate it. It has its own truth but it is very limited, and very right-handed.
Fifth: J. Krishnamurti’s THE FIRST AND LAST FREEDOM
I love this man, and I hate this man. I love him because he speaks the truth, but I hate him for his intellectuality. He is only reason, rationality. I wonder, he may be a reincarnation of that goddamned Greek Aristotle. His logic is what I hate, his love is what I respect – but his book is beautiful.
This was his first book after his enlightenment, and the last too. Although many other books have appeared they are only poor repetitions of the same. He has not been able to create anything better than THE FIRST AND LAST FREEDOM.
It is a strange phenomenon: Kahlil Gibran wrote his masterpiece THE PROPHET when he was only eighteen years old, and struggled his whole life to create something better but could not. Ouspensky could not go beyond TERTIUM ORGANUM even though he met Gurdjieff, lived and worked with him for many years. And such is the case with J. Krishnamurti: his book THE FIRST AND LAST FREEDOM is really the first and the last.
Sixth. The sixth is a book by another Chinese, THE BOOK OF HUANG PO.
It is a small book, not a treatise, just fragments. Truth cannot be expressed in a treatise.
It is one of the most meditative books ever written.
In English THE BOOK OF HUANG PO is translated in the English way as THE TEACHINGS OF Huang PO. Even the title is wrong. People like Huang Po don’t teach. There is no teaching in it. You have to meditate, to be silent, to understand it.
The seventh is THE BOOK OF HUI HI.
Again in English it is translated as THE TEACHINGS OF HUI HI. These poor Englishmen, they think there is nothing more in life than teaching.
They impart, they don’t teach. Hence I call it THE BOOK OF HUI HI, although you will not find it in the libraries. In the libraries you will find THE TEACHINGS OF HUI HI.
The eighth book: the SONG OF SOLOMON in The OLD TESTAMENT.
This is a book I love wholeheartedly. I hate all that is Jewish except the SONG OF SOLOMON.
The SONG OF SOLOMON is very much misunderstood because of the so-called psychologists, particularly the Freudians.
they make it a sexual song. It is not. It is sensual, that’s true, very sensual, but not sexual. It is so alive, that’s why it is sensual. It is so full of juice, that is why it is sensual… but not sexual. Sex may be a part of it, but don’t misguide humanity. Even the Jews have become afraid of it. They think that it has been included in the OLD TESTAMENT by accident. In fact this song is the only thing worth preserving; all else is worth throwing into the fire.
First: The FRAGMENTS of Heraclitus.
Heraclitus says in the FRAGMENTS: ”You cannot step in the same river twice.” And then he says: ”No, you cannot step in the same river even once….” This is tremendously beautiful, and true too.
Everything is changing, and changing so fast that there is no way to step in the same river twice; you can’t even step in the same river once. The river is constantly flowing; going, going, going to the ocean, to the infinite, going to disappear into the unknown.
Second: The GOLDEN VERSES of Pythagoras.
He was one of the most misunderstood men, obviously.
neither Jesus nor Buddha nor Lao Tzu made so much effort to find the key as Pythagoras. He worked the most. Pythagoras was the most authentic seeker. He risked all and everything. He traveled all around the world that was known in those days; studied under all kinds of masters; entered into all kinds of mystery schools and fulfilled their conditions. He is a category in himself.
Third: THE SONG OF SARAHA;
The song is not the composition of a poet but a realization of a mystic. It is just a few lines, but of such grandeur and beauty that the stars can feel ashamed.
I heard it from a Tibetan lama. I would have liked to have heard it again and again but the lama stank so much that I had to say ”Thank you….”
Fifth: Suzuki’s book ZEN AND JAPANESE CULTURE
Suzuki worked for his whole life to introduce to the West the innermost core of Zen.
’Zen’ is only the Japanese pronunciation of the Sanskrit word dhyana – meditation.
This man has done so much service for humanity that no one can transcend him. His work is immense. The whole world is indebted to him and it will always remain so. Suzuki should be a household word. It is not… I am saying that it should be. Very few people are aware, and those who are aware it is their responsibility to spread their awareness far and wide.
Sixth: Hubert Benoit’s LET GO
It should be on the bookshelf of every meditator. Nobody has written so scientifically and yet so poetically. It is a contradiction, but he has managed it. Hubert Benoit’s LET GO is the best that has come out of the modern Western world. It is the best book of the century as far as the West is concerned. I am not counting the East.
The seventh: Ramakrishna, his PARABLES
Saints are phony, hocus-pocus, the stuff bullshit is made of.
But Ramakrishna does not belong to them – again, thank God! At least there are a few people who are saintly and yet are not saints.
Ramakrishna’s PARABLES are very simple. Parables are bound to be simple.
A parable is only needed so that it can be understood by all ages of children.
Eighth: THE FABLES OF AESOP
Ninth: Nagarjuna’s MULA MADHYAMIKA KARIKA.
In his KARIKAS he has reached the profoundest depths of which words are capable. I have never spoken on it. If you want to speak on the essential, the best way is not to speak at all, just to be silent. But the book is tremendously beautiful.
Tenth: THE BOOK OF MARPA
It is the great work of Marpa, the Tibetan mystic. Even his followers don’t read it; it is not meant to be read, it is a puzzle. You have to meditate over it. You have just to look at it and then suddenly the book disappears – its contents disappear, and only the consciousness remains.
First: BRAHMAN SUTRAS, Badrayana.
he is too serious. A mystic should not be so serious, that’s not a good quality. But he was a brahmin living thousands of years ago, living among brahmins, talking to brahmins, and brahmins are the most serious people in the world. Do you know India has no jokes?
in spite of Badrayana’s seriousness it is great. Badrayana reaches to the highest, to the ultimate, with great acumen, with great efficiency, the efficiency of a scientist.
In India a person is called an acharya, a master, only if he has written a commentary on three things: the GITA, the UPANISHADS and the BRAHMAN SUTRAS.
Sutra simply means a track, a hint. But a hint can become a bridge, a track can become a bridge, and Badrayana has made a bridge within his sutras.
I love the book in spite of Badrayana’s seriousness.
Second: Second: Narada’s BHAKTI SUTRAS.
Narada is just the opposite of Badrayana.
Narada always carried an ektara, a musical instrument with only one string. Narada always carried his ektara, playing on it, singing and dancing.
To inquire into love is the greatest exploration, the greatest inquiry. Everything else falls short, even atomic energy.
ou can be a scientist even of the caliber of Albert Einstein, but you don’t know what real inquiry is unless you love.
And not only love, but love plus awareness… then it becomes inquiry into love, the most difficult task in the world.
Let me repeat, it is the most difficult task in the world – love with awareness. People fall in love; people become unconscious in love. Their love is only biological, it is gravitation. They are pulled down towards the earth.
But Narada is talking about a totally different love: love as meditation, as awareness. Or in scientific terms, love as levitation, against gravity. Leave gravitation for the graves; levitate, arise! And when one starts rising to love, flying towards the stars.
I have loved Narada’s book tremendously. I have talked about it, but not in English, because English is not my language, and moreover it is too scientific, mathematical, modern. I have spoken of Narada in Hindi, my mother tongue, in which I can sing more easily. It is closer to my heart.
One of my professors used to say, ”You cannot love in a foreign language, and you cannot fight either.”
When it comes to fighting one wants to speak the language of the heart. When it comes to love it is the same, only more so because it needs more depth.
I am still speaking in Hindi and then translating it into English. A hard task. Speaking directly into English has not happened to me, Thank God !
The third book is Patanjali’s YOGA SUTRAS
Badrayana is too serious, Narada is too nonserious. Patanjali is just in the middle, exactly in the middle. the very spirit of a scientist. I have spoken ten volumes on Patanjali so there is no need to say more about him. After ten volumes it will he difficult to say anything more, to add anything more to it. Only one thing, that I love the man.
Fourth: Kabir, THE SONGS OF KABIR
Nothing like it exists in the world. Kabir is incredibly beautiful. An uneducated man, born a weaver – to whom nobody knows – his mother left him on the bank of the Ganges. He must have been an illegal child. But it is not enough to just be legal; he was certainly illegal, but he was born out of love, and love is the real law. I have also spoken much on Kabir too, so there is no need to add anything except again and again to say, ”Kabir, I love you as I have never loved any man.”
Fifth: THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Blavatsky
It is almost an encyclopedia. Nobody, I think, can compete with Blavatsky as far as esotericism is concerned – except me of course; I can write seven hundred volumes. That’s why I have avoided speaking on THE SECRET DOCTRINE: because if I speak on the seven volumes of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, then, Inshallah, God willing, I will produce seven hundred volumes, not less than that.
Blavatsky, poor woman – I pity her and love her too, in spite of her face, which is not lovable. Her face could only be used to frighten children when they are doing something nasty.
Blavatsky had a very ugly face – but I pity the woman: in the world of men, made by men, dominated by men, she is the only woman who asserted, dominated, and started the first religion ever by any woman… Theosophy. She competed with Buddha, Zarathustra, Mohammed, and I thank her for that. Somebody needed to do it. The man has to be put in his place. I thank her for that.
THE SECRET DOCTRINE, although so full of esoteric bullshit, has many beautiful diamonds too and many lotuses. There is much rubbish in it because she was a collector. She went on collecting all kinds of rubbish from everywhere possible, without bothering whether it was useful or not. She was great at putting all that useless nonsense in a systematic way. A very systematic woman. But there are a few – sad to say only a few – diamonds here and there.
Sixth, THE SONGS OF MEERA
they are the most beautiful ever sung by any man or any woman. It is impossible to translate them.
Meera says: ”main to prem divani – I am madly in love, so madly loved that I am mad, mad, mad!” Perhaps this may give you a little hint what kind of songs she sang. She was a princess, a queen, but she renounced the palace to be a beggar on the streets. Playing her veena she danced in the marketplace, from village to village, town to town, city to city, singing her heart out, pouring herself totally. I have spoken of Meera in Hindi; someday some madman may translate what I have said.
Seventh: THE SONGS OF SAHAJO
Even the name is poetic, it means ’the very essence of spontaneity’.
Someday it can only be hoped that what I have said on Sahajo will be known to the world at large.
Heighth: Rabiya al-Adabiya
Rabiya laughed and said, ”I don’t care about tradition. I have seen God face to face, and I have changed the book according to my experience.
I have to be true to my experience, not to anybody else’s.”
Meera is beautiful, but without salt, just sweet. Rabiya is very salty. As you know I am a diabetic, and I cannot eat or drink too much of Meera – Devaraj won’t allow it. But Rabiya is okay, I can have as much salt as I want. In fact I hate sugar, and I hate saccharin even more, the artificial sugar created especially for diabetics – but I love the salt.
Nineth: Ninth: Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, his songs
His songs are so beautiful, they bring tears to my eyes. Just because of his songs a new language was created. Because he wouldn’t listen to any grammar, any rules of language, regulations, he created Punjabi just by his songs. It is a tremendously strong language, just like the sharp edge of a sword.
Tenth: Shankaracharya, VIVEK CHUDAMANI
The Crest Jewel of Awareness.
the book is more logic than love, and I would have had to suffer that logic. It is not a small book. It is a big book and I was going to speak on it for eight months continuously. It would have been a long journey and it was better to call it off, so I decided not to speak on it. But it has to be included among the great books that I am counting.
VIVEK CHUDAMANI, by Shankaracharya, has of course here and there diamonds, flowers, stars. But the brahmin rubbish in between is too much and too thick, I could not tolerate it. But the book is great – you cannot renounce a mine of diamonds just because there are too many stones and so much mud around.
Eleventh: Hazrat Mohammed’s KORAN
The KORAN is not a book to be read but a book to be sung. If you read it you will miss it. If you sing it you may God willing perhaps find it.
The KORAN was not written by a scholar or a philosopher. Mohammed was absolutely illiterate, he could not even sign his own name, but he was possessed by the spirit of God. Because of his innocence he was chosen and started the song, and that song is the KORAN.
I don’t understand Arabic, but I understand the KORAN because I can understand the rhythm and the beauty of the rhythm, of the Arabic sounds. Who cares about the meaning! When you see a flower do you ask, ”What does it mean?” The flower is enough. When you see a flame, do you ask, ”What does it mean?” A flame is enough. Its beauty is its meaning. Its very meaninglessness, if rhythmic, is meaningful.
So is the KORAN, and I am thankful that I am allowed by God – and remember, there is no God, this is only an expression. Nobody is allowing me. Inshallah, thank God I am allowed to end this series with the KORAN, the most beautiful, the most meaningless, the most significant but yet the most illogical book in the whole history of humanity.