FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM
Existence is only in the present
FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM
Existence is only in the present
THIS IS MY FIFTH VISIT TO RAJNEESHPURAM. I CAME TO SEE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY WHO LIVE HERE. I CAN SEE HOW HAPPY MY FORMER WIFE IS, LIVING SO CLOSE TO YOU. I FEEL VERY HAPPY AND AM DOING GROUPS AT THE UNIVERSITY. BUT I HAVE A BIG FEAR: WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN HERE WHEN YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE YOUR BODY? I'M AFRAID THE COMMUNITY COULD BECOME FANATIC AND DANGEROUS. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN?
I never think of the future -- not even of tomorrow, not even of the next moment that is just going to come. This way of thinking of the future keeps man tense, worried, never allows him to be relaxed and enjoy the moment that is available.
You feel good here, you feel your former wife is immensely happy. Why is she happy and why are you not? She is living in the moment. That is my fundamental approach to life: if you want to live, live here and now; if you want to worry, then tomorrow is the time. Then you can have a thousand and one things....
I cannot say what is going to happen when I am not here. One thing I know: the people who have learned the art of living moment to moment will continue to live the same way of life wherever they are, because no other way can give them so much joy, so much juice.
And who cares what is going to happen when I leave my body? How many millions of people have left their body? The place you are sitting must have been the grave of at least ten persons -- that many people have died on the earth. Life goes on, people come and go.
I am not important, but what I am imparting to you is important; that should not leave your body. And that is up to you. If you want to fall back into misery, anguish, suffering, then it is your choice, you are free.
You say you have been coming here again and again. Why do you go away? Five times in four years you have been here -- and you must have seen the difference: when you are away you are in a darkness; when you are here you are surrounded with light, with love, with immense life around you.
You cannot find this laughter anywhere in the whole world. The world is too serious, and seriousness is the cancer of the soul. The world is too much concerned about the future, and goes on losing the real present, unlived. You are losing something which is in your hand for something which is not in your hand. This is simply stupid, but this is how the whole world has been living for millions of years -- a stupid way of life.
Existence knows only one tense -- the present. It neither knows the past, because it is no more, nor does it know the future, because it is not yet. But the mind is always concerned either with the past or with the future, never with the present. Do you see?
Existence is only in the present. Mind is never in the present. In fact, the moment you are in the present, there is no mind in you, there is great silence. The whole sky of your inner being is without thoughts, without clouds. I call this the state of no-mind.
Only in this state of no-mind do you meet existence. And that meeting is the ultimate ecstasy. Once you have tasted it, you will never bother about the future. You know how to live in the present, so in the future also -- it will be coming as the present, it will not come as the future -- you will know the art.
And it is not that my presence is making people happy here; it is their own presence. Certainly they have learned the art of being in the present, but now they are absolutely independent of me. They are not my followers, I am nobody's leader -- I hate such words!
To me, the most beautiful word in the human language is "friend." And the most beautiful experience in life is that of being friendly with someone who is authentically herenow. Because to be friendly with him, you will have to be here and now; otherwise, you cannot shake hands with the man, you cannot converse with the man, you cannot be with the man. The distance between you and him will be unbridgeable.
But once you have tasted the beauty, the benediction of the present moment, its eternity, its deathlessness, you simply forget all about the past, all about the future. You have the master key. Whatever door comes before you, you will be able to unlock it.
But I feel sorry for you; you can see your wife is happy, you can see the people are happy, you yourself feel happy being here -- then what is there out in the world? Perhaps a good job, more money, more power, respectability. But are they worth it if they destroy your happiness, if they destroy you? if they destroy your life, if they kill you before your death comes?
Millions of people in the world are dead -- although they go on breathing, working. And perhaps it will take years for them to be recognized as dead, but they are dead. There is no smile on their face, nothing flowers in their being; no song arises, no dance, no laughter. Every moment they are missing life -- which is so precious that you cannot purchase it. Even if you give everything you have, not even a single moment can be purchased; it is not a commodity, it is a gift unconditionally given by nature. And you have taken it for granted. You have not been even thankful to existence, you have not shown any gratitude.
To me, unless you feel full of joy, bursting with happiness, you will not be able to have that great quality of gratitude towards existence.
That quality is authentic religiousness.
So rather than thinking about the future, about what will happen to this commune, think about your present. This time, just be here and don't go anywhere. Enjoy risking -- it is great excitement -- risking all for nothing, because we have nothing to offer to you except what you already have.
I take away from people what they don't have, and I give to people what they already have. My work is very simple.
WHY HAVE THE OLD RELIGIONS FAILED IN TRANSFORMING HUMANITY?
The old religions failed because they were all against this world. And this is the only world there is. They were all for renouncing it. And when you are renouncing the world, the question of transforming does not arise -- the world has to be condemned. All the religions have been condemning the world.
It is a very strange thing -- nobody has even raised the question in five thousand years, that "You say God created the world, and the priest says to renounce the world." Anybody with just a little intelligence -- not much -- can see that the priest is against God. God creates the world, and the priest says renounce the world.
I am the first man who is saying to you, "Rejoice in the world." There is no question of renunciation, there is nothing to be renounced; everything has to be enjoyed to its fullest. Because the old religions were saying, "Renounce the world," they created a humanity which was sick.
You are part of the world -- how can you renounce it? You cannot live even a few moments without breathing the world. You cannot live for a few days without drinking the world. You cannot live a few months without eating the world. You are an intrinsic part of the world, and you are connected every moment with the sun, with the moon, with the ocean, with the trees, with the air, with the earth.
And these people have been teaching for thousands of years, "Renounce the world," without even taking note that the man who really renounces the world cannot be allowed to breathe, cannot be allowed to drink water, cannot be allowed to eat food, cannot be allowed in any way to be connected with the world. And we are connected in millions of ways, known and unknown.
If the sun suddenly goes dark, gets exhausted, do you think you will be living in darkness? You will be simply dead, not living in darkness, because it is the sun that is giving you warmth every moment. The trees will die, the flowers will not blossom anymore, the birds will not sing -- everything will be dead. In some unknown way the sun is your very life, it is your warmth.
Renouncing the world made the human mind very sick. If you try to renounce it, you find it impossible. If you don't renounce it, you find yourself guilty and a sinner.
The old religions have not been able to transform humanity. They have only been able to make the whole humanity a madhouse. And because we have been listening to them century after century, from the very childhood, even things which are absolutely idiotic have become our conditionings. For example, all the religions teach that celibacy is something spiritual. And I am puzzled: the world is full of scientists, physiologists, chemists, biologists, medical people, and none of them has raised a voice to say that celibacy is an impossibility.
To ask people to be celibate is to drive them to perversions, to make them homosexuals, lesbians, to drive them towards sodomy and all kinds of unnatural expressions of their sexual energy. And the pervert can never feel at ease with himself. He knows deep down he is doing something which is not right. What is right, the religion does not allow. What is not right makes him feel guilty. He is being crushed between two rocks.
Religions have been killing human beings -- their naturalness, their consciousness, their innocence. All the religions praise fasting. Your body is hungry, your body gives you indications that it is hungry. Your stomach shouts loudly to you, "I am hungry!" But your religion says fasting is spiritual.
This is making people schizophrenic, divided against themselves, and a house that is divided against itself cannot stand long; it is going to be in ruins soon. And that's what has happened to humanity:all human beings are not what they would have been, they are just ruins. In a very subtle and psychological way they have been deprived of their own nature. That's why old religions have not been able to transform humanity. On the contrary, they have been the hindrance for any transformation.
I am telling you to be natural. When you are hungry you should eat, and when you are not hungry you should not eat. One extreme creates another extreme. Hungry people go on remaining hungry and torturing their bodies -- this is one extreme. Then the other extreme is thirty million Americans are dying of over-eating; everybody is dieting. Either you are fasting or you are dieting? It seems a crazy world! Why can't you simply be balanced? When your body says, "I am hungry," you are fasting. When your body says, "It is enough," you go on swallowing because it is so tasty -- how to stop?
The body always gives you the right indication in the right moment. If you just listen to the wisdom of the body, all your wise men will look fools. Your body has its own wisdom. Rather than looking in THE HOLY BIBLE, or in the holy KORAN, or in the holy GITA, you should listen to your own body. When it is thirsty, it says; when it needs rest, it says. When it is rested, it wants some exercise, it wants to run, to play, to swim, to go for a long walk.
But you are not listening to the body because your religions have said that the body is your enemy. Once you accept the idea that the body is your enemy, naturally you are not going to listen to the enemy. And who is the friend? -- the priest, the prophet, the savior, the messenger, who are all somehow crackpots. If you look into their lives without any prejudice you can see the cracks in the pot.
Mohammed declares himself to be the last messenger of God. Why the last? The world continues -- has God lost interest in the world? No, he has sent the final message. And the KORAN itself cannot be counted even as third-grade literature. Mohammed is uneducated; he cannot write, he cannot sign his name. You can see why the KORAN is so poor: Mohammed is poor; his mind has no refinement, he has not seen the heights of mind flights. So whatever he says is just as a villager. But he declares that he is the last messenger; now there will not be any other messenger of God coming -- and if anybody tries to be a pretender, he has to be punished. And Mohammedans have killed many people in fourteen centuries who have claimed that they were messengers of God....
I have looked into Mohammed's words, and into the words of al-Hillaj Mansoor, who was killed because he was declaring not only that he was a messenger of God, but was also saying, "I myself am God." Al-Hillaj Mansoor has a beauty as far as his words are concerned, a tremendous poetry, far superior to the KORAN. The man is again a crackpot, but the pot is far more polished. Mohammedans killed him; and they have been killing many other people.
If you look into the psychology of Mohammed you can see this man seemed to be not normal. He married a woman sixteen years older than himself. He was only twenty-four, and he married a woman who was forty. Now, this is something strange. A man who is forty may marry a woman who is twenty-four, but there is no parallel to Mohammed: a man who is twenty-four marrying a woman who is forty. It seems he is not marrying a wife, he is marrying his mother. The reason why he married this woman was that she was immensely rich. And nobody else was ready to marry that old woman, even though she was rich. This marriage was not out of love; the motivation was the money the woman had.
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These are the people who are telling others, "Renounce the world!" Mohammed married nine wives. And these are the people who are saying, "Renounce the world" -- renouncing the world remains spiritual. Marrying nine women -- the whole battalion -- and nobody asks how it can fit in with the renunciation of the world.
Mohammed has given the name "Islam" to his religion. The word "islam" means peace -- and Mohammed was carrying a sword; no other prophet has cut off so many heads as Mohammed has done. But on his sword the sentence was written: "Peace is my message." Islam has been one of the most murderous religions -- and peace is the message.
If you look at all these people who have claimed themselves to be incarnations of God, saviors of humanity, prophets, you will be surprised that this whole lot seems to be eccentric. They say one thing and they do just the opposite.
Jesus says, "Love even your enemy as yourself." A beautiful sentence... but one day he is hungry, his disciples are hungry, and the village they have passed refused to give them food. They come to a fig tree, hoping that there may be fruits on the tree. But there are no fruits on the tree. And now you can see what I mean by a crackpot: Jesus curses the tree!
It was not even the season for the tree to give fruits, but he curses the tree because she has not welcomed him and his disciples with fruits. Now, the poor fig tree -- what can she do? it is not the season. And this man seems to be utterly blind; he cannot see that it is not the season, and trees are not supposed to welcome people with fruits. Cursing a tree, and teaching, "Love your enemy as yourself" -- can you see the contradiction? The tree is not even the enemy. She has done no harm, it was not her fault that the season wouldn't allow fruits.
Jesus talks about love; he even says, "God is love." But he throws out the moneychangers from the temple of Jerusalem, singlehanded, with great anger and rage. Lashing them, beating them, he overturned their tables and threw them out of the temple, and said, "I will not allow such dirty business in the house of my father." This behavior does not show love, it does not show compassion; it shows only anger, hatred.
Without any authority, he was claiming himself to be the only begotten son of God. And he could not convince anybody; not a single rabbi was his follower -- and Judea was full of learned rabbis, scholars, professors. Judea had its own university and not a single professor, scholar, rabbi, was influenced by his teachings. The people who were influenced were twelve uneducated, poor fishermen, woodcutters, farmers, who don't know anything about religion. But they got interested in Jesus because he was saying that if they have faith in him, they will enter into paradise, and on the judgment day he will choose who his people are.
These poor people, who have suffered starvation, suffered humiliation, are suddenly given a great hope -- and very cheap. You just have to have faith in this man and paradise is yours. It is just a lottery; having faith costs nothing and you are getting a ticket for entry into paradise.
Is it not something very significant that not a single man of intelligence, scholarship, culture, was impressed by Jesus? They all really laughed at him. He looked like a clown, for the simple reason that he was claiming things he had no way to prove. How do you prove you are the only begotten son of God? Anybody else can say "You are not, I am!" There is no way to decide either.
It happened in Baghdad, in the times of Caliph Omar. A man was brought to his court who was declaring himself to be the messenger of God -- which is against Islam.
Caliph Omar said, "Take him to the jail. Bind him to a pillar, naked, and keep him hungry for seven days. Give him a good beating every day; and after seven days I will come and see whether he has changed his mind or not."
After seven days he came; the man was almost dying. Seven days without food, and continuous beating -- his whole body was oozing blood, he had lost much blood. Omar asked him, "Have you considered your idea again?"
The man laughed. He said, "When I was leaving God he had told me, 'They will torture you very much.' This proves that I am certainly the messenger -- your torture is a proof!"
And at that very time, another man who was tied to another pole shouted, "Omar! Don't listen to that idiot, because I have never sent any messenger after Mohammed." He had been caught a few days before; he proclaimed himself to be God. So he said, "This man is completely lying; I have never sent him, I have never seen him before. After Mohammed, no messenger -- that's why I had to come!"
You can find strange rationalizations. Because the need is there, and messengers cannot come -- that dimension is closed with Mohammed -- God himself has come.
These people are psychologically sick, not healthy. They may say some beautiful things -- even mad people say some beautiful things -- that does not mean that they are not mad. Mad people may paint a few beautiful paintings, that does not mean that they are not mad.
The very desire to put yourself at the highest place -- nobody can go above you -- arises from a deep inferiority complex. It is the projection that leads you to the most superior position in existence. You become God, God's son, God's messenger: you raise yourself above humanity.
These people have been managing the human mind for centuries. They were themselves sick; they have made the whole humanity sick. It is time to get rid of all this nonsense. Man has to understand one thing: that religiousness is not something propounded by a prophet or a messenger, it is an experience of your own being.
Religiousness is not a philosophy or a theology. It is just like love... the highest, most refined quality of love. You love one person -- religiousness is falling in love with the whole existence. And that happens when you enter within yourself and you find the lifeline running within you, joining you with all lifelines around you, from the smallest blade of grass to the biggest star. It is one life in different manifestations, a great play of abundant energy: you have fallen in love with existence.
This is religiousness. You don't become a Christian, or a Jew, or a Hindu; you simply become yourself. And you don't find any God, any prophets, any saviors; you simply find the whole existence is yours. You are part of it, an intrinsic part of it, an organic part of it. Without you something will be missing. That gives you, for the first time, a real sense of being proud.
It is not ego, because it is not putting yourself above others. Now you know even the smallest blade of grass is as essential as you are. And to feel this pride, that existence accepts you as you are -- which no religion has ever done.... When existence accepts you as you are, you start growing without any split. The transformation happens of its own accord.
We need a humanity without religions. We need a humanity with religious people, but not churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, no... no mediators, no priests.
Every man is capable of entering into his own shrine, and from there can get the perspective that delivers him from all misery, suffering, tension, fear, death. And then his each moment becomes a moment of ecstasy and this whole existence is his kingdom.
The whole existence consists only of kings and queens; there are no slaves, no servants. Existence is really the only communism there is. All are equally accepted, respected, nourished. And a dance comes to your life.
This dance is the transforming force.
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WHERE THE OLD RELIGIONS FAILED, OUR COMMUNE CAN SUCCEED?
It is not only possible, it is absolutely certain, because our commune is not a religion. Our commune is a very liquid religiousness. It is not an organization; it is just a meeting place of people who have dropped all conditions, all religions, all ideologies, and who are ready to become seekers on their own, individuals on their own, who are no longer searching for a prophet and a savior, who have decided that all the saviors have failed -- now the only way is to save yourself.
And because the search is the same, there is a loving atmosphere, a togetherness -- not of any ideology, not of any belief system, but only of a friendship of fellow travelers.
The commune is a totally different phenomenon from religion. Religions are dead; the commune is a living phenomenon. And each individual has absolute freedom to be himself. There are no ten commandments, no discipline imposed on you. You have to simply follow your own hunch. Yes, that is the right word: your own hunch. That is something that comes from your innermost being. Without any reason, without any rationalization, you follow it. It has never led anybody into a ditch.
And the commune is helpful in many ways. A certain energy field is created -- so many seekers.... You just think: one roseflower creates a certain fragrance around it, but then five thousand rosebushes and thousands of roseflowers will create a tremendous fragrance, a field full of rose energy.
If you even pass through that field without doing anything, your clothes may catch the fragrance, your hair may catch the fragrance. When you have passed through the field, you will be surprised that you are full of rose fragrance, it is all around you.
Exactly the same is the situation of the flower of meditation. It is subtler, but more powerful. Five thousand people functioning meditatively create a certain energy field. I call it the buddhafield, the field of awakening.
Anybody who comes just as a spectator is bound to be affected by the energy, by the love, by the laughter, by people's faces. Something has happened to these people.
I have told my sannyasins that now if they want to use any color of clothes, they can. I received one letter two days ago, saying that a few sannyasins in London went shopping -- not in red clothes, and without malas. But the shopkeeper said, "You look a little different from other people; something is strange about you."
So they have written to me, "Beloved Master, it is useless: by changing the clothes and dropping the mala, we cannot go underground. People can see from the face, from the eyes, from the gestures, from the way we speak, the way we walk, that something is different." It is bound to be so.
Here, we are doing the greatest experiment which has ever been done. Religions have existed, but they were all destructive. They could not create the new human being. We are not a religion, but we are certainly religious -- which is a far higher quality. And we are making the effort to create individuals.
We are not interested in stupid miracles. And if you look at those miracles, you can see that they are fictions, nothing else. For example, in the Old Testament Moses leads his people out of Egypt. The enemy is following behind; they come to the ocean, and there is no way ahead, they cannot go back. The sound of the enemy is coming closer and closer, and then suddenly the miracle happens: God helps. The ocean parts, gives way; Moses and his followers pass through the ocean. As soon as they have passed, the ocean is again back to its old state; the way that was created for Moses is no longer there. Their enemies are now on the other side of the ocean. It is a great miracle.
But I cannot say that it happened, ever, for the simple reason that the God who is so much interested in helping Moses and his people that he goes against the laws of nature and parts the ocean, makes a way for them.... This God does not help Moses and his people when for forty years they go on wandering in the desert to find Israel, the promised land.
Forty years! Almost three-quarters of the original followers have died: a new generation has grown up, which has no respect for Moses. On the contrary, it is full of anger because this man has been driving them mad! In the desert, hot sun, no food, no water -- they have become beggars, and where is the promised land? And they are continuously asking him, "How long will it take? Why didn't you say before that it would take so long?"
Just this fact is enough to prove that the ocean didn't give way, because a God so compassionate as to make it give way, to change the laws of nature, must have helped these poor dying people. Three-quarters of them died. And finally, it is not that they found the promised land, it is simply that the old, tired Moses says, "This is the promised land" -- because Israel is nothing that can be called God's promised land!
The first miracle is just a fiction; the second story is a reality. Moses got so tired -- and nobody had any idea how the promised land looked, so they settled in Israel. And Moses found an excuse just to get rid of those people, because one of the tribes somewhere on the way was lost....
It was not lost, it had reached the promised land! They simply dropped following Moses -- it was enough. For twenty years they had tortured themselves in the desert, and there was no hope. And the desert seemed to be infinite; you go on and on and there is no end to it. So they moved in exactly the opposite direction from Moses, and they reached Kashmir. And Kashmir is certainly a place that can be called God's promised land. They settled in Kashmir. They were later on converted by force to Islam, but they are basically Jews.
Moses said, "I will have to go to find the lost tribe." He also reached Kashmir, and you will be surprised -- Moses died in Kashmir. His grave is in Kashmir, in India, in the promised land of God -- not in Israel.
If you look at Jesus, his miracles, things can be very easily understood. He walks on water, he heals the sick, gives eyes to the blind, makes the crippled walk, makes Lazarus come back to life out of his grave. He does everything that you can conceive -- makes water into wine....
Such a man was not recognized by his contemporaries as a savior? Such a man would be recognized even in the twentieth century, with all the miracles of science, to be the savior -- what more do you want? No Jewish scripture even mentions the name of Jesus. That is impossible. If such a man appears, then all the television sets and all the radios and all the newspapers will be full of him. As long as he lives, he will be the "Man of the Year" every year. You cannot ignore such a man.
But not even a mention in any of the Jewish books! And Jesus was a Jew: born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew -- he had never heard of the word "Christianity." Jews would have been immensely happy with him; on the contrary, they crucified him.
All those miracles are fictions. If they were real, Jesus would not have been crucified. And if they were real, who would be able to crucify him? The man who can walk on water can also walk on air. The man who can make dead people come back to life -- you cannot crucify him. And a man with such power falls three times on the way, because the cross is very heavy and he has to carry it on his own shoulders. He is young, only thirty-three, and he is a carpenter's son; he must have been accustomed to carrying logs....
If I was carrying the cross and had fallen three times, it would have been understandable. I have never carried even a glass of water. Carrying a cross on my shoulder? Impossible. Just somehow I manage to carry myself! But Jesus falling three times shows his humanity, shows that after all he is the son of man, not the only begotten son of God.
Those three incidents on the way are very significant to me. They prove that all the miracles are just invented.
These religions have been trying to reduce human beings to sinners, and to raise their prophets, messengers, into saints; and creating such a distance that it becomes almost impossible even to conceive that you can become a saint -- transformation is impossible.
But this commune is going to do it! It is already happening. And when I say "this commune" I mean all the communes around the world -- it is one commune. I want to create a circle of energy around the world of meditative people, so that anybody who wants to have some taste of meditation can have it. And it is very addictive!
I DO NOT KNOW THE QUESTION, BUT WOULD YOU PLEASE STILL ANSWER IT?
I will answer it, and I will answer it three times: Yes! Yes! Yes!
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