Chapter 9: God is born again

Question 1



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The first question:

Question 1


Miguel Terc,

THE best thing is never to be born, but that you have already missed. The second best thing is to die as soon as possible; that's a little bit difficult. I don't mean the physical death; that is not difficult. To commit suicide is the easiest thing in the world, the most cowardly. It needs no guts. But to commit psychological suicide needs great courage -- to be and yet not to be, to drop the ego.

Yes, there are a few people who even manage to do the first. Lao Tzu must have been one of those few people who were born and yet not born, who came into the world utterly egoless. Hence the story that Lao Tzu lived in his mother's womb for eighty-two years. Until he became ripe, until he became capable of existing in the world without the ego, he resisted the temptation to come out of the womb. He allowed himself, permitted himself, to be born only when there was no possibility of any ego arising. What Buddha attained under the Bodhi tree, Lao Tzu must have attained in the mother's womb.

Yes, there is a way to be aware even in the mother's womb. Then a person is born, but is born without the ego; Jesus must have come that way. A few have managed the second too: the second means to go on dying to all the yesterdays.

The ego is nothing but the cumulative effect of all the yesterdays. If you can die to all the yesterdays, even to the moment that has passed and is no more, you remain without the ego. You are there in utter radiance, in great splendor, but there is no idea of 'I'. A pure amness, just fragrance of being, but no center... then one exists in God and God exists in one.

The second is also very difficult. One needs to be so utterly alert that the moment the moment passes by, one has slipped out of it. One does not go on lingering with the past, one does not go on clinging to the memories. There is no nostalgia, no looking back. It does not mean looking ahead, because looking ahead is another way of looking back. It does not mean beginning a life in the future, projecting a life into the future, because the future is nothing but a reflection of the past. What you can desire in the future is bound to be nothing but a repetition of the past, modified, refined, more sophisticated, more polished but still the same. But there cannot be any qualitative difference; maybe some quantitative differences are there. The future is nothing but the projection of the past.

So I am not saying drop the past so that you can live in the future. That is the past coming back through the back door again. If you drop the yesterdays, you will have to drop the tomorrows too. When all yesterdays and all tomorrows have disappeared, then what is left? -- this moment, this purity, this silence, thisness! Buddha calls it TATHATA, suchness. There is nothing else to desire, there is no should, no ought, there is nowhere to go. One is utterly contented in this moment; one is relaxed, calm and quiet. All desires have disappeared because they can exist only through the past and through the future. And when there is no desire, how can there be mind? Mind is desiring. And when there is no mind how can there be an ego? Ego is the center of the false mind. This is the second best.

The third best is to love, because love is a sweet way to die, to disappear. The SWEETEST way to die is love. It helps you to drop the ego, and with no effort. And it helps you to drop the ego with such grace, with such joy, that if you cannot drop the ego through love then it will be very difficult to drop it at all.

In love, the other is available; the other is an excuse to drop the ego. And the beauty of the other, and the caressing warmth of the other, the protection, the shelter! -- it is easy to die because love gives one courage, courage to do the impossible. And love gives one a kind of drunkenness. In that drunkenness it is easy to take the jump, the quantum leap.

Love makes one mad. That madness is higher than what you call sanity, because your sanity remains crawling in the dark holes of the earth, and love opens its wings towards the sun. Love dares, is adventurous. Love is ready to die, because in love one FEELS that even if one dies, one cannot die. Love gives the feel of immortality.

And the path of love is full of flowers -- the birds are singing, and the trees are green, and it is very sunny. The easiest is the third.

But for a few people it is very difficult: the very idea of drowning oneself in the other makes them very much scared. The very presence of the other makes them shrink in. The very presence of the other and they become closed. If you are of that type, Miguel, then the fourth way is for you: to meditate.

That too is a way of dying -- a little more dry than the third, a little more alone than the third, not so sweet, certainly, even a little bitter... but a few people like bitter tastes -- coffee, cocoa. Likes differ, so if you like something bitter, spicy, something hard... There are people who are intrigued only by the harder course; the easy is not a challenge to them, the easy has no appeal for them. The harder the task, the more they rise to it. They are challenged only by the arduous, the difficult, the impossible; the impossible is their passion. For them is the way of meditation. Be alone -- doing nothing, sitting silently, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

In love there is a song, a dialogue, a meeting, a merger. In meditation one simply evaporates. In one's aloneness slowly, slowly one evaporates, and one day nothing is found, the ego has died.

These are the four possibilities.

Miguel, you ask me, "CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS BEST FOR ME?" These four things.

But the basic note is the same, and that is: learn to die, because that is the only way to learn to live. Let the ego die and your life starts taking the flavor of the divine. Death becomes the door to the divine -- death of the ego.

And the fifth -- which is not really the fifth but a combination of all these four, a symphony, an orchestra -- I call it sannyas. It combines all that is beautiful in all the four, it is multi-dimensional. All these four are one-dimensional, sannyas is multi-dimensional. It teaches you how to be born and yet never to be born. It teaches you how to die and yet to live immensely. It teaches you how to fall in love and yet go on rising up. It teaches you how to disappear in love and yet remain aloof, unpossessed, non-possessive. It teaches you how to be with the other and yet remain free and let the other be free. It teaches you how to meditate and be alone and yet not let your aloneness become an escape, to be alone and yet be in the world. It teaches you how to be a lotus leaf in the lake, in the water, and yet untouched by it.

Sannyas is the synthesis of all these four dimensions; it is the very crescendo, the cream of them all.

Many religions have concentrated on the first, particularly the Indian religions; their emphasis is on how not to be born. Hence in India all the religious people go on praying, "God, help us NOT to be born again. We don't want to get back into this wheel of life and death." All Indian religions are basically rooted in one concept: how to be free from this vicious circle of birth and death, how to go beyond birth and death, how not to be born, how to enter into eternity and never come back into the turmoil of time.

The Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jew -- their emphasis is on the second: to die as soon as possible, to surrender to God. Prayer is their way. Prayer means dying, dying and disappearing as a person, becoming part of the universal, a surrender, a trust in God. The whole emphasis is on how to surrender your ego, sacrifice your ego, at the altar of the divine.

The third, to love as a method of dying, has been chosen by all the devotees of the world. The Vaishnavas in India and the Sufis of Islam and the Hassidic mystics of Judaism have all chosen the third: love, love intensely, love totally, love withholding nothing back and you will attain, because love kills the ego.

The fourth, to be aware, to be meditative, has been chosen by Buddhism, Jainism, Zen, Taoism.

My effort here, Miguel, is to create a symphony of all the religions. Here, Sufis and Hassids and the people of Zen and Taoism are meeting and merging. I am creating an ocean in which rivers from different mountains, bringing different flavors, bringing different fragrances, are meeting and merging and creating something absolutely new that has never happened before -- a universal religiousness. I don't give it any name.

Miguel, if you listen to my suggestion, become a sannyasin. And the only way to know what it is is to be a participant.

Miguel is a journalist from South America. It will be very difficult for him to participate; the whole training of a journalist is to observe, to be a spectator, to watch with a critical eye, and to find out whatsoever he can find which is negative. If he cannot find the negative, then invent, project, because only the negative becomes news. The positive has no news value, only the negative, only something sensational. People are interested only in the wrong.

If you murder somebody it is news, but if you help somebody you can go on helping your whole life; it will never become news. If you love it is not news, but if you hate and you destroy, it becomes news. Buddhas are really not counted in your history books.

That's why it still remains a problem whether men like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, ever existed, or whether they are only just mythology. Nobody is suspicious about Alexander the Great, and Napoleon, and Tamurlaine, and Genghis Khan, and Nadir Shah; nobody is suspicious about them. They have left so many destructive proofs, you cannot deny them. History is full of the fools; from Tamurlaine to Adolf Hitler they are the major part of history, because they create news. History is ancient news. That which is in the newspaper today will become part of history tomorrow, and that which is history today had been in the news yesterday.

But somehow the Buddhas are left out of the account. Why? What must the reason be? The reason is that these people were not destructive: they never killed, they never conquered, they never possessed anybody. They lived so silently, they lived so blissfully, they never created a ripple.

Once I was talking to the Prime Minister of India; and I asked, "What are the qualifications? How do you choose your cabinet colleagues?"

And the Prime Minister said, "Whosoever has a nuisance value, whosoever can create more nuisance, has to be chosen." That is the qualification! If he is left out of the cabinet he will create trouble. He has to be taken into the cabinet, he has to be made a minister so he does not create trouble.

Troublemakers become powerful. Troublemakers become heads of state, troublemakers create news.

Miguel is a journalist. If his training has gone too deep it will be really difficult for him to participate here. But there are a few things you can know only by participation. If you don't dance you will not know what it is. You can see somebody else dancing, but it is one thing to see a dancer and it is totally another thing to BE a dancer. Seeing a dancer from the outside, you are simply seeing physical gestures. Being a dancer from the inside, you will know the real feel of it.

Somebody can tell you that he has a headache and you can understand that he is in pain. But from the outside, if you have never known a headache, will you be able to understand what exactly his agony is? You will never be able to understand it. It is something interior; you have to participate.

Even suffering cannot be known from the outside -- suffering, which is gross. What to say about bliss? What to say about peace, serenity? They are the highest peaks, the Everests of human consciousness. Even dark valleys cannot be known from the outside; you have to go into them, you have to disappear into them.

So if you are really interested, if the question is not just for the question's sake, then be a participant. Fall en rapport with me. Put your mind aside -- that's what I mean by death -- put your ego aside. Enter into this buddhafield as a small child, innocent, knowing nothing. Function from the state of not-knowing -- that's what I mean by death -- function from the state of innocence, and tremendous are the possibilities: you can also bloom, as other flowers are blooming in my garden.


Next: Chapter 9: God is born again, Question 2


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