The Means is the End





Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Vedanta Vedanta: Seven steps to Samadhi


The second question:

Question 2



It is both. You have to make all effort that is possible, that you can do. No stone should be left unturned, no energies should be left unused. You must get totally involved. You are required to work as a unit, only then the flowering, the happening, will become possible. But that doesn't mean that it is an outcome of your effort; just by your effort it is not going to happen. This is a little delicate and you will have to be very penetrating about it, then only will you understand.

Look at it in this way. You see a person walking on the street. Suddenly you have a feeling that you remember the face or you feel that you even know the name, and you say it is just on the tip of your tongue, but it is not coming. The more effort you make the more frustrated you feel -- it is not coming. But you cannot leave it at that, because you have the feeling that you know this face, you know the name. And there is even this feeling that somewhere, just in the corner of the mind, the name is waiting, you have only to recall it.

You make all effort, you try in every way. You close your eyes, you contemplate, you ponder over it, you try to associate, you go into the past, you start feeling for some key, some clue, but nothing happens. You get frustrated, bored; you leave the whole effort, and you go into the garden and start working, or you start smoking, or you take a cup of tea. Suddenly the name is there, suddenly the memory has come, suddenly you have recognized.

Now two things are happening. One: you are making every effort possible, but it is not coming through the effort. Then you leave all the effort, and then it comes. Effort is needed but is not enough. If you don't make any effort it will not come when you go to the garden or when you take a cup of tea. If you have not made total effort it is not going to come. And if you make just the effort -- total even -- then too it is not going to come. So total effort is needed, then total relaxation also -- then it will bubble up.

Many Nobel prizes have been given for certain discoveries which happened in this way. One Nobel prize winner was working on the inner structure of the human cell, the lymph cell. He was working for years, contemplating, brooding, making many experiments, and nothing was happening, every effort was a failure. After many years of research, effort, failure, one night suddenly he had a dream, and in the dream he saw the structure, the very structure he was looking for, the structure of the human cell, just as if a magnified picture was there. He got up. Immediately he drew the drawing and then he worked on it, and it proved that the dream was true.

But remember, you are not going to have this dream, it cannot happen to you. It happened after so many years of effort. The conscious was exhausted. The conscious did everything that could be done and then the conscious was tired, the conscious mind was finished, the conscious accepted the failure. When the conscious is exhausted the unconscious comes into focus and starts working -- but it comes only when the conscious is exhausted. If the conscious is still hoping, if the conscious is still trying, then the unconscious will not function. And this is one of the basic laws of the human psyche: that if you want the unconscious to function, exhaust the conscious completely.

Effort will not lead you to enlightenment, but without effort no one has ever achieved it. This may look like a paradox. It is not, it is a simple law.

Buddha tried for six years continuously, and no man has tried as totally as Buddha did. He made every effort possible, he went to every master available. There was not a single master Buddha did not go to. He surrendered to every master, and whatsoever was said he did so perfectly that even the master started feeling jealous. And every master finally had to say to Buddha, "This is all I can teach. And if nothing is happening I cannot blame you, because you are doing everything so perfectly. I am helpless. You will have to move to some other teacher."

This rarely happens because disciples never do everything so perfectly, so the master can always say, "Because you are not doing well, that's why nothing is happening." But Buddha was doing so well, so absolutely well, that no master could say to him, "You are not doing well." So they had to accept defeat. They had to say, "This is all we can teach, and you have done it and nothing is happening, so it is better you move to some other master. You don't belong to me."

Buddha moved for six years, and he followed even absurd techniques when they were taught to him. Somebody said "Fast," so for months he fasted. For six months he was continuously fasting, just taking a very small quantity of food every fifteen days, only twice a month. He became so weak that he was simply a skeleton. All flesh disappeared, he looked like a dead man. He became so weak that he couldn't even walk. He finally became so weak that he would close his eyes to meditate and he would fall down in a fit.

One day he was taking a bath in the river Niranjana, just near Bodhgaya, and he was so weak that he couldn't cross the river. He fell down in the river and he thought that he was going to be drowned; it was the last moment, death had come. He was so weak he couldn't swim. Then suddenly he caught hold of a branch of a tree and remained there. And there for the first time the thought came to his mind, "If I have become so weak that I cannot cross this ordinary small river in summertime when the water has gone completely, when there is no more water and it is very small, just a little stream -- if I cannot cross this little stream, how can I cross this big ocean of the world, bhavasagar? How can I transcend this world? It seems impossible. I am doing something stupid. What to do?"

He came out of the river in the evening and sat under a tree, which became the bodhi tree, and that evening when the moon was coming up -- it was a fullmoon night -- he realized that every effort is useless. He realized that nothing can be achieved, the very idea of achievement is nonsense. He had done everything. He was finished with the world, with the world of desires. He was a king and he had known every desire, he had lived every desire. He was finished with them, there was nothing to be achieved, there was nothing worthwhile. And then for six years he had been trying all austerities, all efforts, all meditations, yoga, everything, and nothing was happening. So he said, "Now there is nothing more except to die. There is nothing to be achieved, and every concept of achievement is nonsense; human desire is but futile."

So he dropped all effort that evening. He sat under the tree, relaxed, with no effort, no goal, nowhere to go, nothing to be achieved, nothing worth achieving. When you are in such a state of mind, mind relaxes -- no future, no desire, no goal, nowhere to go, so what to do? He simply sat, he became just like the tree. The whole night he slept, and later on Buddha said that for the first time he really slept that night -- because when effort is there it continues in sleep also.

A person who is earning money and who is after money goes on counting even in his dreams, a person who is after power and prestige and politics goes on fighting elections in his dreams. You all know that when you are sitting for an examination in the university or college, in sleep also you go on doing the examination; again and again you are in the examination hall answering questions. So whatsoever effort is there it continues in sleep -- and there is always some effort for something or other.

That night there was no effort. Buddha said, "I slept for the first time in millions of lives. That was the first night that I slept." Such a sleep becomes samadhi. And in the morning when he awoke he saw the last star disappear. He looked. His eyes for the first time must have been mirrorlike, with no content, just vacant, empty, nothing to project. The last star was disappearing, and Buddha said, "With that disappearing star I also disappeared. The star was disappearing and I also disappeared" -- because the ego can exist only with effort. If you make some effort ego is fed -- you are doing something, you are reaching somewhere, you are achieving something. When there is no effort how can you exist?

The last star disappeared, "And," Buddha said, "I also disappeared. And then I looked, the sky was vacant; then I looked within, there was nothing -- anatta, no self, there was no one."

It is said Buddha laughed at the whole absurdity. There was no one who could reach. There was no one who could reach the goal, there was no one who could achieve liberation -- there was no one at all, no entity. Space was without, space was within. "And," he said, "at that moment of total effortlessness I achieved, I realized." But don't go to relax under a tree, and don't wait for the last star to disappear. And don't wait thinking that with the last star disappearing you will disappear. Those six years must precede. So this is the problem: without effort no one has ever achieved, with only effort no one has ever achieved. With effort coming to a point where it becomes effortlessness, realization has always been possible.

This is what I go on emphasizing for you to do: make as much effort as you can, and don't withhold any energy. Bring your total energy into it so you get exhausted, so the conscious mind cannot make any more effort. When the conscious cannot do anything, suddenly the unconscious reveals. And it reveals only when the conscious has become a total failure, only then it is needed -- otherwise it goes on sleeping inside.

It is just like this. Every human body has three layers of energies. The first layer is only for day-to-day work: eating, sleeping, walking to the office, working in the office, coming home, fighting, making love, anger -- routine. The first layer. It has not got very much energy, just routine energy.

The second layer is for emergency situations. Unless the first is exhausted the second is not available. You are tired. You have come from the office, the boss has been very insulting. You come home and the wife is very bad-tempered, the children are creating noise, and the whole house is a mess. You feel tired and dead, and suddenly you find that the house has caught fire, it is on fire. Tiredness disappears immediately. You need not do anything, you don't even have to take a cup of coffee. Tiredness is no more. The house is on fire, and you have got so much energy that you can work the whole night. From where is this energy coming? The first layer is exhausted, and an emergency is there -- the second layer becomes available.

And there is a third layer which is the real source, the source of all energy. You may call it the infinite source, the elan vital. When the second layer is also exhausted, only then the third becomes available. And when the third is available you are totally different: you have become divine, because now the source is infinite, you cannot exhaust it.

We live on the first layer and only sometimes in emergencies, accidents, in some dangerous situations where life is at stake, does the second become available. The third remains almost unavailable. All the effort in spiritual sadhana, discipline, is to exhaust the first. Then austerities, arduous efforts, are to exhaust the second. When the second is exhausted you fall into the ocean, and it can never be exhausted. And from that source, the original source -- you may call it God, or whatsoever you like -- from that original source, once a contact is made, you are totally different. This is what liberation means, this is what becoming infinite means, this is what Jesus used to call the kingdom of God.

But remember, you cannot just slip into it, it is not available. You have to exhaust the first layer and the second layer, only then it becomes available. Effort is needed to exhaust these layers, and then effortlessness is needed to enter the original source.

So the first thing to be understood: effort is needed, but effort alone is not enough -- effort and then effortlessness, effort plus effortlessness. Effort precedes, and then effortlessness follows. Effortlessness is the peak of effort, it comes only when you have reached the peak. And this is so difficult to conceive that there are many misunderstandings.

In Japan, Zen, which is an offshoot of the Indian dhyana, says no effort is needed. And it is right. Because of this Zen has become very influential in the West. And the West has created its own Zen writers -- they are Zen writers, not Zen masters. And it has much appeal; no effort is needed, you can become enlightened without any effort. So in the West there are many Zen writers, Zen painters, Zen haiku poets -- and they are all bogus, because they have taken this idea.

This idea is very appealing, that there is no need of any effort. If there is no need of any effort, then as you are you are a master, you are enlightened, you have become a siddha. But then look at the Zen monasteries in Japan. If you read Zen scriptures, there it is written that there is no need of effort. But then go to the Zen monastery and look: for twenty years, thirty years, a seeker has to make all the efforts. Then the moment comes when that scripture becomes applicable -- then, no effort.

Effort will lead you to no effort, and this is a basic law. You can understand if you try to observe your own life. For example, if in the day you have been working hard, sleep will be deep in the night. If you have been working hard, exerting hard, then sleep will be good. If you have slept well in the night, then in the morning you will be capable of doing much hard work again. Hard work is against relaxation, it is the opposite. This would be more logical -- that you sleep the whole day, rest, and then in the night you fall into deeper sleep because you have been practicing sleep the whole day. This should be the logic -- that a man who has been practicing sleep the whole day must sleep better in the night than others who have not been practicing so much.

Mulla Nasruddin once went to his doctor. He had a cold and had been coughing for many days. As he was entering his doctor's office he coughed. The doctor heard and said, "Nasruddin, it sounds better."

Nasruddin said, "Of course it must because I have been practicing for three months."

But logic is not life. If you sleep and rest the whole day you will not be able to rest at all in the night. That's what is happening with rich people in affluent societies. Insomnia is a luxury, not everybody can afford it. To attain insomnia you have to rest for the whole day. If you can afford that much rest, only then is insomnia possible. A poor man cannot afford it. He has to fall in deep sleep, he is helpless. He has been working hard the whole day.

But work is against rest, so it is not logical -- but this is the logic of life. Life depends on opposites, life depends on opposite polarities. Logic is linear, life is polar. Logic moves in a line, life moves in a circle. So a person who has been relaxing will not be able to relax in the night, a person who has been working hard the whole day will be able to relax.

Or look at it from another angle. A person who is always loving, never angry, really cannot be loving. Ordinary logic will say that a person can be loving in the morning, loving in the noon, loving in the evening, loving in the night; always loving in summer, always loving in winter -- every season, every moment loving. This love is not humanly possible, because the opposite is needed. He must sometimes become angry. That anger relaxes, that anger becomes the valley and then peaks of love can arise again.

If you want only peaks and no valleys, you are mad. Only peaks cannot exist. With every peak at least two valleys will be needed, and only between two valleys is one peak possible. So a person who is always loving is possible only in two ways. One is that he is not human. That means he must be a buddha, who can be always loving. But then his love cannot have any intensity, his love will be very silent. His love will not be like a peak, it will be just plain straight ground.

That's why a buddha's love can only be called compassion, it cannot be called love. There is no passion in it, it is compassion. There can be no intensity in it, because intensity comes from the opposite. A buddha is never angry, so from where can the intensity come?

In ordinary life you have to be angry, then you regain love. In marriage there is no need for the final divorce if every day you can divorce a little. In the morning divorce, in the evening remarriage, then things move beautifully. And if you go on postponing this everyday divorce then finally you will have to break, then separation is a must. Life is polarity, and this applies to everything. Effort plus effortlessness -- they are the polar opposites. The ultimate is reached through effort and effortlessness, so don't cling to one -- remember both.

Both the parties exist; there are a few persons who go on clinging to the method, effort, and then they go on making effort. Even if nirvana has been reached they cannot be stopped. They will go on breathing, they will say, "We cannot stop. Effort is needed." So even if God is standing before them they will go on doing chaotic breathing; they will not look, they will not look and see what has happened. They are too much attached to the method and the effort.

And then there is the other polar opposite party. They say, "If no effort is needed then why breathe at all?" So they are sitting just waiting for the last star to disappear so that they can become buddhas. Both are wrong. You have to breathe and you have to stop also. You have to make all efforts and then relax also. If these are both possible, only then will you create the rhythm through which every growth becomes possible.

The second thing: "Are there really discrete stages on the way to the ultimate happening, as this Upanishad seems to suggest?"

There are no stages. Life cannot be divided. But without division there is no possibility for you to understand. I call this part of my body my hand; this part of my body my head -- but can they be divided? Where my head begins and where it ends -- can you draw the line? Nowhere can the line be drawn. Where my legs end, where my hand ends -- can you draw a line? No line can be drawn, because inside I am one -- my hands, my legs, my head, they are one. But we have to divide to understand. Division is just to help understanding, it is not actual fact.

So this Upanishad is dividing, not because divisions are there, but because you will not be able to understand the whole. The whole will be too much, too complex. The whole will be incomprehensible, and understanding will not be possible. That's why the division into seven stages, and that's why there are so many divisions. You can divide in fourteen, you can divide in seventeen -- you can divide into as many as you like. And theologicians go on fighting about these divisions. They are workable, utilitarian -- not existential.

Just feel your body, close your eyes and feel. Where are the divisions? It is one. But if your eyes are not functioning well you will go to the eye specialist. And you know that eyes are not separate, they are one with the body, so then why go to the eye specialist? You can go to any doctor. The eye specialist has tried to understand eyes... because eyes in themselves are such a big, such a complex phenomenon, that just to understand those eyes medical science has divided the body in parts. There are millions of parts in the body, and as science grows more divisions have to be made. But those divisions are just workable, utilitarian -- you are not divided.

I have heard one story. Once it happened, one master had two disciples and they both were always competing. Who was the head, who was the chief disciple, was always the competition and the problem. And they were always competing with each other to gain the master's heart.

One summer afternoon the master was tired and was sleeping. The disciples wanted to serve him, to massage his body, so the master said, "Okay. Number one, you take my left side. Number two, you take my right side and massage." The master fell asleep. They drew a line with chalk on his body, because one should not enter into the other's territory.

But it happened the master was not aware that he had been divided. He was fast asleep, and he didn't know that now he was not one, but two. So he moved in his sleep, and put his right leg on his left. The disciple to whom the left leg belonged said, "Take away your right leg. Remove it immediately! You are interfering with my work. This is a transgression!"

But the other said, "I cannot remove it. I have not put it on your leg. And if you have any courage, then remove it yourself and see what happens!"

Now they were standing with two sticks, and they were almost going to beat the master. Suddenly the master became aware that something was wrong, so he asked, "What is happening?"

Both said, "You need not interfere. Remain silent and go to sleep. We will decide by ourselves."

All divisions are workable, life remains one. The path and the goal and the stages, they are just to help you, so don't take them dogmatically and don't take them literally. These seven stages are just to help you, to give you a view of the whole path. When you have understood forget that they are seven. But until you have understood follow the division. When you have understood forget the division -- it is one progression, one flow.

And thirdly: "Does this happening occur suddenly and unexpectedly?"

Both things can be said. It cannot be predicted, so it happens suddenly. Nobody can say when it will happen. My own disciples go on asking me, "When? Give the date, the day, the month, the year!" And I have to go on lying to them. I go on saying, "Soon!" Soon doesn't mean anything. And soon is a beautiful word, because I need never change it. Whenever you ask I will say, "Soon!"

The happening is unpredictable because it is so vast a phenomenon. And it is not mechanical, it is not mathematical, so you cannot conclude about it. And it is very mysterious; when it has happened, only then you know that it has happened. So in a sense, because it is unpredictable it is always sudden. Even you don't know when it will happen. Suddenly one day when it has happened you become aware that it has happened. Not even a single moment before will you be aware that this is going to happen. You will become aware only when it has happened already. Then you will feel that you are no more the same, the man who was there has disappeared and a new man is there in his place -- somebody new. You are unacquainted, you cannot recognize yourself. There has been a gap, the old continuity has been broken and something new has come into its place.

Even your master cannot predict it. He may become aware that something is going to happen, but he cannot predict it. There are problems -- because even the prediction will change the whole situation. This is the problem, even the prediction will change it. If I become aware that something is going to happen to you tomorrow morning, I cannot say it because that will change the whole situation. If I say, "Tomorrow morning this is going to happen," you will become tense and you will start expecting and you will start waiting. You will not be able to sleep in the night. Then the whole thing is finished, then it is not going to happen tomorrow morning.

Even if your master becomes aware... because there are signs that show that something is going to happen. Your master can see that you are pregnant, he can feel, but it is not such a fixed affair that within nine months the child will be born. You may take nine years, you may take nine lives, you may not take even nine days; even nine moments may be enough. It depends, and it depends on such multidimensional things that nothing can be said. And if something is said, the very assertion will change the whole situation. So the master has to wait, just watch and not say anything.

In this sense it is sudden, but in another sense it is not sudden, because you have to make efforts for it, you have to prepare. You have to prepare the ground, you have to open the doors. The guest may come suddenly, but if your doors are closed he may come and go back. So you have to open the doors, you have to clean the house, you have to prepare food for the guest -- you have to be ready. You have to watch and wait at the door -- any moment the guest can come.

Jesus goes on telling one anecdote many times. Once it happened, a great landlord went on a journey. He told all his slaves and servants, "Be alert constantly. Even in the night the house must be ready because I can come any moment. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at midnight -- any moment I can come, and my house must be ready, waiting for me. So twenty-four hours you have to watch and wait. Don't go to sleep!"

And so the servants had to wait and watch. There was no difference between day and night -- the master could come any moment.

Jesus used to say, "Your master also can come any moment -- you have to be ready. And if you are ready, your readiness also becomes a factor for his coming soon. If you are completely ready he may come back from midjourney. If your whole being is calling him, inviting him, he may come this very moment."

The happening can happen any moment if you are ready. It is sudden because unpredictable; it is sudden because you cannot plan, calculate; it is sudden because it is not mechanical. But still you have to prepare for it, you have to be ready for it, and you have to do much before it can happen.

It is just as if you sow a seed in the ground. You prepare the ground and sow the seed -- the right seed in the right season in a right place -- and then wait. The sprouting will be sudden, you cannot determine it. You cannot say that on Monday morning the sprout will be there. It may not be, it may be, because millions of factors are working. Now scientists say that even music helps. If somebody is dancing and singing near that ground where you have sown the seed, it may help the seed to sprout quickly. If the moon is rising it will help the seed to sprout soon. If the moon is declining it will take more time.

You may not be aware that fullmoon night is different from any other night. More children are born on fullmoon night, more than on any other night. The highest number of children born is on the fullmoon night, and the lowest number is on the no-moon night. That factor goes on working; the whole constellation goes on working -- every star is a factor. Even a beggar sitting there near your house and singing will help. If somebody passes, sad, miserable, the seed is affected; that sadness hinders.

There are millions of factors, unpredictable, complex, mysterious -- but still you have to prepare everything. So don't wait for the sudden. "Sudden" doesn't mean that you need not do anything and it will happen any moment, suddenly. You will have to prepare, and then too it will happen suddenly. Your preparation will help, but it cannot plan, it cannot force.




Next: Chapter 9, The Means is the End: Third Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Vedanta Vedanta: Seven steps to Samadhi



Chapter 9



Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Vedanta Vedanta: Seven steps to Samadhi




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