You have to understand also that each individual is so unique that if you start following somebody you will be automatically imitating. You will lose your identity. You will start becoming phony, a hypocrite. You will not be yourself, but somebody else. You will become split.
You will have a mask: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist. That will be just the mask that you and the person you have been following have created – it is not your authentic face. You are going against yourself, and you will be in suffering... and the whole of humanity is in suffering.
Every child is trying to imitate his parents, his neighbors, his schoolfriends, his teachers... and they are all trying to enforce it.
I have never followed anybody and it has paid me tremendously. It has been the greatest benediction to me that can be possible for a human being: not following. I have tried to remain just myself.
You will need courage. You will need intelligence. You will need a true search and seeking; then only can you risk. Otherwise there are people all around you, they are all salesmen....
The very idea of following makes me sick. It is sickening. You have to be yourself, and when you blossom, you are not going to be like me or like Jesus or like Buddha. You are going to be just like you: **you have never happened before**, and you are not going to happen again. It is only possible with you. You are unrepeatable. If you start following somebody you are missing a great opportunity that existence has provided for you, and you will never be happy. No Christian is happy, no Hindu is happy, no Buddhist is happy; they cannot be. How can you be happy?
A lioness gives birth to a child in a crowd of sheep. The child grows amongst the sheep and naturally believes that he is a sheep – what else can the young lion do? One day an old lion, just passing by the crowd of sheep, looks at this miracle: a young, beautiful lion just walking in the middle of a crowd of sheep. Neither the sheep are afraid of him, nor is he in any way behaving differently.
The old lion becomes interested. He runs after the young lion. It is with great difficulty that he catches hold of him because the young lion escapes, just like every other sheep escapes. But finally he catches hold of him. The young lion starts crying and weeping, like a sheep. And the old lion says, ”Stop all this nonsense!” He takes him to a nearby pond, drags him by his side to the pond, forces him to look into the water... and suddenly the young lion roars like a lion.
The old lion has not done anything. He has just shown him his face, his real face, and he has recognized that he is a lion – he is not a sheep. And just that recognition is enough. It is transforming.
The old lion has not done anything at all. He has not told the young lion to ”follow me,” to ”imitate me,” and ”These are the commandments for you, and this is the character you have to attain, and these are the principles, and these are the things you have not to do.” He has not done anything of that sort. That is the function of the master: just to bring you so close to his own experience that something transpires in you.
A sudden lion’s roar... and the transformation, and you are yourself – neither a Hindu, nor a Mohammedan, nor a Christian. But the world wants a mob, a crowd. It is afraid of the individual because every authentic individual is bound to be a rebel, because he will insist on being himself.
I do not believe in believing. That has to be understood first.
Nobody asks me, ”Do you believe in the sun? Do you believe in the moon?” Nobody asks me that question. Millions of people I have met, and for thirty years continuously I have answered thousands of questions. Nobody asks me, ”Do you believe in the roseflower?” There is no need. You can see: the roseflower is there or it is not there. Only fictions, not facts, have to be believed.
God is the greatest fiction that man has created. Hence you have to believe in him. And why does man have to create this fiction of God? There must be some inner necessity. I don’t have that necessity so there is no question. But let me explain to you why people have believed in God.
One of the significant things to understand about man’s mind is that the mind is always seeking and searching some meaning in life. If there is no meaning, suddenly you feel then what are you doing here? Then why go on living? Then why go on breathing? Then why tomorrow morning have you to get up again and go through the same routine – the tea, the breakfast, the same wife, the same children, the same phony kiss to the wife, and the same office, and the same work, and comes the evening, and bored, utterly bored, you are back home – why go on doing all this? The mind has a question: Is there any meaning in all this, or are you just vegetating?
Buddhists and Jainas don’t believe in God, don’t believe that anybody created the world, but they use ’bhagwan’. They have a different origination for their word. In Jaina and Buddhist reference bhag means fortune, and bhagwan means the fortunate one, the blessed one; one who has attained to his destiny, who has matured.
So man has been searching for meaning. He created God as a fiction to fulfill his need for meaning. Without God, the world becomes accidental. It is no more a creation of a wise God who creates it for your growth, for your development, or for something. Without God – remove God and the world is accidental, meaningless. And the mind has an intrinsic incapacity to live with meaninglessness, so it creates all kinds of fictions – God, nirvana, heaven, paradise, other life beyond death – and makes a whole system. But it is a fiction, to fulfill a certain psychological need.
My work is to make your mind so mature that you can live with meaningless life, and yet beautifully.
What is the meaning of a rose, or a cloud floating in the sky? There is no meaning but there is such tremendous beauty. There is no meaning. The river goes on flowing but there is so much joy, meaning is not needed. And unless a man is able to live without asking for meaning, moment to moment, beautifully, blissfully, for no reason at all.... Just to breathe is enough. Why should you ask for what? Why do you make life a business?
Is not love enough? Have you to ask what is the meaning of love? And if there is no meaning in love, then of course your life becomes loveless. You ask a wrong question. Love is in itself enough; it needs no other meaning to make it beautiful, a joy. The birds singing in the morning... what is the meaning? The whole existence, to me, is meaningless. And the more I became silent and became attuned with the existence, the more it became clear that there is no need for meaning. It is enough as it is.
Don’t create fictions. Once you create a fiction then you have to create a thousand and one other fictions to support it, because it has no support in reality.
So when I say God is a fiction, please do not misunderstand me. God is a fiction but godliness is not a fiction; that is a quality. ’God’ is a person... as a person it is a fiction. There is no God sitting in heaven creating the world. And do you think a God will create such a mess that you call the world? Then what is left for the devil? If anybody has created this world it must be the devil, it cannot be God.
I say existence itself is enough, it needs no creator. It is creativity itself.
And to me, to be creative is the most important religious quality.
If you create a song, if you create music, if you create a garden, you are being religious. Going to the church is foolish, but creating a garden is tremendously religious. That’s why here in my commune, work is called worship. We don’t pray in any other way, we pray only through creating something. To me, creativity is God. But it will be better if you allow me to change the word god into godliness, because I don’t want to be misunderstood. There is no person like God, but there is tremendous energy – exploding, unending, expanding. This expanding, unending, exploding energy, this creativity, is divine.
'Meditation' means for one minute no thought moves on the screen of awareness. It is not easy. It is one of the most difficult things in the world. But it can happen if you continue to try.
And if it happens for one minute, that’s enough. If for one minute you can be in a state where no thought moves.... This has been my whole life’s work, teaching people how to be silent.
If you can be silent for one minute, you have learned the art. Then you can be silent for two minutes, because it is the same; the second minute is not different from the first. You can be silent for three minutes; all the minutes are the same.
Once you know the way... and the way is not something which can be told to you; you have to just sit with closed eyes and start watching your thoughts. In the beginning there will be a great rush hour, but slowly you will find the street is less and less crowded; less cars are passing, less thoughts are passing, less people are passing, gaps are becoming bigger. If one continues patiently, in three months’ time he will certainly be able to attain one minute’s silence.
Meditation does not require faith in God as a necessary step – in fact it is a hindrance. Meditation simply wants you not to begin with any belief, because any belief can become a hypnotizing factor. If you believe too much, and if you go on believing in a certain thing, you will start hallucinating about it.
Meditation is without any faith, without any belief, entering into silence to see what is there.
Meditation is the most scientific method. It needs no belief, no faith – just inquiry. And the inquiry, to be scientific, has to be without belief.
Start fresh: a clean slate with no belief, with no dogma, with no faith. Then there is a possibility that you may find what is the truth. And the truth is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian. And the truth is not in The Bible, nor in the Koran, nor in the Gita.
The truth that you will find – you will be surprised – is nowhere written, cannot be written. It is impossible to write it. It has never been uttered by anybody and it is not going to be uttered by anybody. Only fingers have been pointing to the moon, saying nothing. And you should not get attached to the finger, because the finger is not the moon. You have to forget the finger completely and look at the moon. And the moon has nothing to do with the finger.
You have to understand one thing which is very fundamental. The world consists of verbs, not of nouns. Nouns are a human invention – necessary, but after all, a human invention. But existence consists of verbs, only of verbs, not nouns and pronouns.
Look at this. You are seeing a flower, a rose. To call it a flower is not right, because it has not stopped flowering, it is still flowering; it is a verb, it is a flow. To call it a flower you have made it a noun. You see the river. You calI it a river – you have made it a noun. It is rivering. It will be more accurate to the existential to say that it is rivering, flowing. And everything is changing, flowing.
The child is becoming a young man; the young man is becoming old; life is turning into death; death is turning into life. Everything is in continuity, continuous change; it is a continuum. There never comes a stop, a full stop. It comes only in language. In existence there is no full stop.
Do you remember when you stopped being a child? – when, at what point came the stop and you became a young man? There is no place, no demarcation, no full stop. The child is still flowing in you. If you just close your eyes and look within, you will find everything that has been is still there, flowing. You have been absorbing more and more, but all that has been is still there. The river is becoming big, new rivulets are joining it, but the original is still there.
Have you ever thought about it? Do you love yourself? Have you any respect for yourself? Forget about love, forget about respect; do you even accept yourself as you are? There is condemnation; you would like to be somebody else, you don’t want to be yourself – not at all.
But to love yourself... you don’t become superior. You don’t even look at yourself. You have not even looked within you at what you have been carrying from your very birth. What is it that you are? Have you ever tried to face it?
And secondly, anybody who is really original and thinking about love will have to know one thing: you can love only if you are capable of hate. You cannot love if you become incapable of hate. You can love somebody because you are capable of hating somebody else. You have a friend, that is why you can have an enemy. You cannot destroy hate completely and just save love; they are two sides of the same coin. When hate disappears, love also disappears. That is my experience.
Buddha also says love, and don’t hate. Jesus also says love, don’t hate; Mahavira also says love, don’t hate. But I say to you: if you don’t hate you cannot love. All these people are just talking intellectually. They have not looked into the energy of love and hate, that they are one energy. Love standing upside down becomes hate; it is just standing on its head, that’s all. It is not a different thing. So when hate disappears – I am saying it to you from my own experience – when hate disappears, love disappears too. And what is left is just compassion.
You cannot call it love – love is too passionate a word, too hot a word. What is left when love and hate are gone – for love and hate it would be better if I say love-hate and drop the ’and’ because they are not two things – when love-hate disappears, then the energy that is left is compassion. It has no attachment; it is neither love nor hate. It has no friends, and no enemies. Neither Buddha has understood it, nor Mahavira, nor Jesus.
You cannot avoid doubt; wherever belief exists, doubt is simply suppressed. If there is no doubt you don’t need any belief.
It is because of the doubt that you need belief, to suppress it, to cover it. And the condition is that there should be no doubt; you should believe in me without any doubt and I will redeem you. Neither can you fulfill the condition, nor can you ask me, ”Why am I not redeemed?”
The condition is such that it cannot be fulfilled. And I am free to say that you have not fulfilled the basic condition; the contract has not been fulfilled from your side, what can I do? You agreed to believe in me indubitably, which is absolutely impossible. Nobody can do it, it is not in the nature of things.
You go on pouring belief, more belief; but you are simply suppressing doubt deeper and deeper into your unconscious. And the deeper it goes, the more dangerous it is because you will become unaware of it. One day you will think that you believe, that you are a believer, that you have attained to faith – because your doubt has gone so deep in your dark unconscious that you cannot see it anymore.
I would like you to see your doubt clearly. Rather than repressing it by any belief system, bring it out into the conscious mind, face it. And just by facing your doubt, it dissolves. No belief is needed, it simply evaporates.
Doubt is not to be substituted with a belief. If you substitute it with a belief, then you are in a very strange dilemma: just scratch your belief a little bit – and there is doubt flowing, fully alive. The belief is skin deep and underneath your blood is flowing.
So basically my standpoint is: you are responsible for whatsoever you are. If you are miserable, you are responsible. Don’t throw the responsibility on anybody else; otherwise you will never be free of it... because how can you be free if I am responsible for your misery? Then, unless I free you, you cannot be free; it is in my hands. And if it is in my hands, it can be in somebody else’ hands.
Those who are with me have to understand, howsoever hard and painful it is, that you and you alone are responsible for everything that is happening to you, has happened to you, will happen to you. Once you accept all your responsibility in its totality, you become mature. You stop throwing tantrums, and you stop seeking for messiahs. Then there is no need for any Jesus to save you. Nor can any Jesus save you – he was exploiting your situation.
Every religion is afraid of women, because every religion is afraid of sex. Every religion is repressive of sex, against sex. Naturally, it is a byproduct that every religion has to be against the woman, the woman has to be condemned. If you condemn sex you are bound to condemn the woman. If you respect the woman – it is a corollary – you will respect sex also, as a natural thing.
And why were these people against sex? They are different in their attitudes about everything except sex. About sex all religions agree; that seems to be the only agreement amongst religions. So it seems to be tremendously important that we should go deep into the whole phenomenon: why they are afraid of it. They are afraid of sex because it is the greatest energy in man, the most powerful pull of nature and biology.
There is no way to destroy it. Either you can condemn and repress it, or you can understand and transform it. But the second is a long and arduous path and needs tremendous intelligence, awareness – because sex is an unconscious force in you. Each cell in your body is made of it, is vibrant with it. Your conscious mind is nothing compared to your unconscious sexual energy; hence the fear that the unconscious can take possession of you any moment.
But to repress seems to be easier. Repression needs no intelligence in the first place; any idiot can do it. In fact, only idiots do it. I have been surprised, seeing hundreds of monks in India belonging to different religions – they are all repressing their sexuality. My surprise was that the more they repress their sexuality, the more stupid they become, exactly in the same proportion. Repressing nature is such an idiotic effort that it is bound to destroy your intelligence.
When you repress life energy you will become dull. And the methods you are going to use to repress life energy are bound to make you more and more stupid. When all the needs of your body are fulfilled, only then intellect gets energy, because it is at the highest level of your being. If on the lower levels your energy is starving, then it cannot rise to reach to the higher levels.
I am against the will-to-power, because the will-to-power is nothing but ego projection, and that is the greatest barrier between you and existence. The bigger ego you have, the farther away you are from existence. If it is not there... the meeting, the merger.
But I will not tell you to drop the ego. I am fully aware how cunning the ego is. It can even play the game of dropping itself, and you can say, ”Look, I am the humblest person in the world, the most egoless.” It has come in from the back door again; now you are the humblest, the most egoless – but you have to be somebody special and extraordinary.
I only say to you: if you try to drop it, it will come in from the back door. Just try to understand its games, that’s enough. Just try to see how many games it can play, in how many ways it can deceive you. Just be alert.
And if you are aware of all the possible ways of the ego, it disappears just like darkness disappears when you bring a lighted candle in. And you start looking with the candle where the darkness is. And you go on looking... and wherever you go it is not... wherever you go it is not.
When the light is there, the darkness disappears. It is not that darkness escapes; darkness does not exist at all. It is only an absence of light. Ego is just like darkness; it has no existence of its own. It is only the absence of awareness. So I don’t say drop the ego, I say watch it. Be watchful, observe it – and you will find it in so many layers that you will be surprised.
My whole life’s work is to find out the basic problem of humanity. And once we know the basic problem of humanity, it is not difficult at all to dissolve it. In fact, in the very finding it dissolves, because your awareness becomes a light unto itself.
I cannot say I am a messiah, I cannot say I am the avatara, because I know those are subtle ego games. All that I can say is: I am just as ordinary as anybody, or as extraordinary as everybody.
In existence, the smallest blade of grass has the same significance and the same beauty as the greatest star. There is no hierarchy. There is nobody higher, nobody lower.
I am not against anybody. But my basic work is to expose before you all the diseases, the bondages, so that you are not caught in them, so you can remain free, so you can have a merger with existence, without any barrier. And ego is the only barrier. It can come in so many ways that unless you are really alert it will deceive you. It can become so subtle – almost like a shadow – that it will follow you, and you will not be aware of it.
If you start fighting with anything – it may be sex, it may be ego, it may be greed, it may be fear, it may be anger, whatsoever – if you start fighting with it. And how will you drop it?
Other than fight, how are you going to drop it? You will push hard but where will you push it? Anything pushed goes deep down into your own unconscious. And anything in the unconscious is far more powerful than in the conscious, because conscious is only one part; the unconscious is nine times bigger than that. And in the conscious mind at least you are aware what is there.
In the unconscious mind it is so dark, you don’t know what is there; and it is nine times bigger, more powerful. It can take over your conscious effort any moment.
Awareness is my teaching. Never fight with greed, ego, anger, jealousy, hatred – all those enemies that the religions have been telling you, ”Fight with them, crush them, kill them. You cannot kill them, you cannot crush them, you cannot fight with them; all that you can do is just be aware of them. And the moment you are aware, they are gone. In the light, the darkness simply disappears.