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Chapter 3: I am Higher

 

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ONE DAY THE KING OF YEN VISITED THE MASTER CHAO CHOU, WHO DID NOT EVEN GET UP WHEN HE SAW HIM COMING.
THE KING ASKED, "WHICH IS HIGHER, A WORLDLY KING, OR THE 'KING OF DHARMA'?"
CHAO CHOU REPLIED, "AMONG HUMAN KINGS I AM HIGHER; AMONG THE KINGS OF DHARMA I AM ALSO HIGHER."
HEARING THIS SURPRISING ANSWER, THE KING WAS VERY PLEASED.
THE NEXT DAY A GENERAL CAME TO VISIT CHAO CHOU, WHO NOT ONLY GOT UP FROM HIS SEAT WHEN HE SAW THE GENERAL COMING, BUT ALSO SHOWED HIM MORE HOSPITALITY IN EVERY WAY THAN HE HAD SHOWN TO THE KING.
AFTER THE GENERAL HAD LEFT, CHAO CHOU'S ATTENDANT MONKS ASKED HIM, "WHY DID YOU GET UP FROM YOUR SEAT WHEN A PERSON OF LOWER RANK CAME TO SEE YOU, YET DID NOT DO SO FOR ONE OF THE HIGHEST RANK?"
CHAO CHOU REPLIED, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. WHEN PEOPLE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY COME TO SEE ME, I DO NOT GET UP FROM MY SEAT; WHEN THEY ARE OF MIDDLE QUALITY, I DO; BUT WHEN THEY ARE OF THE LOWEST QUALITY, I GO OUTSIDE OF THE GATE TO RECEIVE THEM."

MAN LIVES IN A VERY UPSIDE-DOWN STATE. Hence, whenever there is an enlightened Master, his actions, his words, his behavior, all appear to the ordinary man absurd. Jesus is misunderstood for the simple reason that a man of eyes is talking to the men who are blind. Socrates is not understood for the same reason, because he is talking to people who are utterly deaf. And so has been the case with all the Buddhas of all the countries, of all the races. And, unfortunately, this is going to remain the case forever. It is something in the very nature of things.
Man is unconscious; he understands the language of unconsciousness And whenever somebody talks from the peaks of consciousness it becomes utterly ununderstandable, unintelligible. He is so far away! By the time his words reach the dark valleys of our unconscious we have distorted them to such an extent that they have no reference at all to the origin any more.
The Master looks sometimes mad, sometimes irrational, sometimes stubborn. But the only reason that he cannot behave like you, that he cannot be part of the crowd mind, is that he has become awakened and the crowd is fast asleep.
To understand a Master you have to learn great sympathy: only that will create a bridge. That's what the relationship of a disciple to the Master is. You can listen to a Master without being a disciple. You will hear the words but you will miss the meaning. You will hear the song but you will miss the music. You will hear the argument but you will miss the conclusion. You will know what he is saying but you will not be able to see where he is indicating.
To understand the significance -- which is wordless -- to understand the meaning, a totally different kind of relationship is needed. It is not that of a speaker and the audience: it is that of two lovers. It has to be a love affair; then only is there sympathy enough to have a bridge, to have communication.
And once the sympathy is there, it is not very far away from empathy. Sympathy can be transformed into empathy very easily; in fact, it changes into empathy of its own accord. Just as you sow seeds and in the right time they sprout and the spring comes and there are many flowers, sow the seeds of sympathy -- that is, initiation into disciplehood -- then soon there will be flowers of empathy.
In sympathy there is still a little distance. You can hear -- you can hear a little better than before, you can understand more clearly than before -- but still things are in a state of vagueness: more clear than before but not absolutely clear yet; in a state of twilight. The night is no more but the sun has not risen yet and it is very misty. You can see but can't decipher things accurately.
Empathy means now there is no distance any more. Now the disciple is drowned in the Master -- he has become a devotee. Now the Master is drowned in the disciple; they are not separate entities any more. They have reached the same rhythm of being, they pulsate in synchronicity.
Then there is understanding and that understanding liberates, and that understanding is immediate. You see the Master, you look into his eyes, you hear his words, you see him moving, his gestures...and they are immediately understood without any translation by the mind. The mind functions no more as a mediator. It is direct communion -- not even communication but communion.
The first step is that of a student, curious but still a spectator, far away, collecting information, knowledge. The second step is that of a disciple, no more a spectator but a participant, no more interested in knowledge but tremendously interested in knowing. And the third step is that of a devotee, utterly one with the Master, partaking of his being, drinking out of his inexhaustible source, drunk -- drunk with the divine.
Only the devotee understands absolutely, the disciple understands a little bit, the student only hears mere words.
Remember, you have to pass through these stages too. And it all depends on you: one can remain a student forever. If you keep the distance, if you are afraid to come close, you will be here and yet not here.
Come closer -- spiritually closer. Bring your beings, unafraid, closer to the Master, closer to his light. Yes, that light is not only light, it is fire too; it is going to consume you. Be consumed, because in that fire there is great hope of a rebirth.

These small Zen stories on the surface look like just ordinary anecdotes -- they are not. They carry immense significance. Before we enter into the story, a few things have to be understood.
The other day there was a question from Satsanga. He said, "Osho, why are you not a little more diplomatic with the politicians and the priests? -- because that will save us a lot of trouble."
I can understand what he means; I can understand his worry. He would like me to be a little more diplomatic -- but a Master cannot be diplomatic. It has never been so, it is impossible. Diplomacy is cunningness, diplomacy is the art of Lying. Diplomacy is the way of persuading others without telling them the truth. Diplomacy is a game. Politicians play the game; mystics cannot play it.
A mystic is one who calls a spade a spade. He is straight, whatsoever the cost. He cannot deceive, he cannot lie, he cannot keep quiet. If he sees something he will say it, and he will say it as it is.
Gurdjieff used to say, sometimes to very prominent people, famous in some way or other -- great authors, painters, poets, politicians, the people who dominate this world, the great egoists.... He used to say to these people a very significant thing -- remember it. Suddenly he would say to them, "You have a very good facade."
Now to say to a politician, to a president of a country or to a prime minister or to a king, "You have a very good facade," is to invite trouble. And Gurdjieff lived his whole life in trouble. But there is no other way.
He also used to say, more than once.... Whenever some egoist would ask him, "Do you love me? Do you like me?" this was his answer: "For what you could be I have nothing but benevolence, but as you are I hate you -- back to your grandmother!"
This is not diplomacy: this is creating enemies.
Jesus must have been a really great artist in creating enemies because he was only thirty-three when he was crucified, and there were only three years of work because he appeared at the age of thirty. Up to that time he was with the mystery schools, going around the world to Egypt, to India, and the possibility is even to Tibet and to Japan.
Hence the Bible has no record of his years of preparation; the record is very abrupt. Something about his childhood is said, very fragmentary. And only once is he mentioned: when he was twelve years of age and he started arguing with the priests in the temple -- that's all. Then there is a gap of eighteen years... nothing is mentioned.
Now a man like Jesus cannot just live an ordinary life for eighteen years and then suddenly explode into Christhood; that is not possible. These eighteen years he was moving with different Masters, with different systems, getting initiated into different mystery schools, learning whatsoever was available, getting in tune with as many Masters as possible.
He appears at the age of thirty and by the age of thirty-three he is crucified. In three years he really did a good job! He was quick! You cannot think that he was diplomatic; he was the most undiplomatic man ever.
In fact, that's the way the awakened people behave.
What exactly is diplomacy, Satsanga?

"Daddy, what is diplomacy?" asked little Bill, just home from school.
"Well, son, it is like this," replied his dad. "If I were to say to your mother, 'Your face would stop a clock,' that would be stupidity. But if I were to say, 'When I look at you, time stands still,' that is diplomacy!"

Yes, you would like me to be a little more diplomatic; that will save a lot of trouble. But that will save you also from truth, remember. Truth brings many troubles. It is bound to be so because people live in lies, and when you bring truth into the world, their lies, their lives rooted in lies, react. A great antagonism is bound to happen. And people as they are, in their unconsciousness, cannot live without lies.
Friedrich Nietzsche is right. He says, "Please, don't destroy people's lies, their illusions, because if you destroy their illusions they will not be able to live at all; they will collapse." They will not find anything worth living for. They live because of the illusions; the illusions keep on giving them hope. They live in the tomorrow which never comes. They live in their ambitions which are never fulfilled; but whether fulfilled or not, through those ambitions and desires and illusions and expectations and hopes they can drag their lives up to their graves. If you destroy their illusions, they may simply drop dead here and now because then there would be no point in living.
And whenever you think of suicide, remember, why are you thinking of suicide? Some hope has turned sour, some expectation has turned into a frustration, some desire has proved futile. You have become aware; even in your unawareness a little ray of awareness has penetrated you. You have seen, maybe only for a moment, a glimpse, just like lightning in the dark night. For a moment all was light and you have seen that the way you are living is false and there is no fulfillment if you live in a false way. Immediately the idea of suicide arises in you.
More and more people are committing suicide today, more than ever. More people commit suicide in the West than in the East. It looks very strange, very illogical. It should not be so, because in the East people are starving but they don't commit suicide. In the West they have all that man has always desired. People have two houses -- one in the city, one in the mountains or on the seabeach, in the country. They have two-car garages...and all kinds of gadgets that technology has made available.
For the first time, the West has succeeded in being affluent, but more people are committing suicide there than in the East. Why? -- for the simple reason that the East can still hope and the West is becoming aware that there is no hope. When you don't have something you can hope for it; when you have it, how can you hope any more? The thing is there and nothing has happened through it. You have the money, you have a good wife, children, husband, prestige, respectability -- and suddenly you become aware in this affluence that deep down you are hollow, poor, a beggar and nothing else. The whole effort of achieving all these things has failed. Things are there, but no fulfillment has happened through them. This is the cause of more suicide in the West.
In the West, too, more Americans commit suicide than anybody else because they are the most affluent, they are the most in a state of shock: "All the hopes for which we have lived for centuries are fulfilled, and yet nothing is fulfilled." And this is going to be so more and more: more and more people will commit suicide.
Friedrich Nietzsche is correct: the ordinary man cannot live without illusions. Don't take his illusions away from him!
And the Master does exactly that: he tries to take your illusions away. He creates a situation in which, ordinarily, you would commit suicide. But if you are fortunate enough to have a communion with a Master, the same situation creates sannyas. It is the same situation, the SAME crisis!
This is my observation: that true sannyas happens only when you have come to the verge of suicide. When you see that the outside world is finished, then there are only two alternatives left: either commit suicide and be finished because there is nothing to live for any more, or turn in. "The outer world has failed, now let us try the inner": that is sannyas. Sannyas and suicide are two aspects of the same coin. If you are focused and obsessed with the outside, then suicide; if you are a little loose, flexible, then sannyas.
But a Master cannot be diplomatic. He has to create this crisis in which suicide is possible -- and also sannyas, also transformation, also a new birth. But a new birth is possible only when you die to the old, when you die to the past.

Cynthia's fine figure had been poured into a beautiful form-fitting gown and she made a point of calling her date's attention to it over and over again through-out the evening.
Finally, over a nightcap in his apartment, he said, "You have been talking about that dress all evening long. You called my attention to it first when we met for cocktails, mentioned it again at dinner, and still again at the theater. Now that we are here alone in my penthouse, what do you say if we drop the subject?"

This is diplomacy! But Masters simply call a spade a spade. Their truth is utterly nude; whether you like it or not is not the point. They cannot compromise with your likings. If they start compromising with your likings they can't be of any help to you. To compromise with you means to compromise with your sleep, your unconsciousness, your mechanicalness. To compromise with you means to stop waking you up. That is not possible.
Hence, Satsanga, I cannot be diplomatic. Moreover, I am not British.
Just the other day I was talking about poor Anurag's mother -- a perfect British lady! -- but she was not here, just as expected. She had been here only once in many weeks. She simply goes on sitting in the hotel, utterly bored -- as every British person is bored! Poor Anurag -- I call her "poor" because she is going through something really horrible. Now I have to call it horrible, I can't be diplomatic! She arranged so that her mother could listen to the tape, and after she listened to the tape Anurag asked her, "What do you think of it?" She said, "Dear, I fell asleep."
This is diplomacy!
People listen only to that which they want to listen to; otherwise they fall asleep. At least they can think of a thousand other things, and that too is a kind of sleep because they are no longer listening.
I have to be hard! I have to be as hard as possible because your sleep is deep and it has to be shattered. I have to hit your head with a hammer, otherwise you are not going to wake up. For centuries you have been asleep; sleep has become your nature. You have forgotten what awareness is, what to be awake means.

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF MEN, and the Master behaves differently according to the type. The highest type is the man who has tasted the joy of no-mind. The Master behaves with that type of man in a totally different way, because he knows he will understand.
The state of no-mind is the highest state. You are at the peak when you are in the state of no-mind, when you are absolutely silent, when nothing stirs within you, no idea, no thought, when the mind has ceased to create noise, the constant noise. The mind is chattering so much that it won't allow you to hear anything. When the mind's chattering ceases, for the first time you become aware of the music of your own being. And for the first time you also become aware of the music that this existence is.
When such a man approaches a Master, the Master behaves in a totally different way -- because he knows whatsoever he does he will be understood. Communion is possible because there is no barrier.
The second type of man is the man who lives in between, between the first and the third. He has a meditative mind -- not a no-mind yet, but a meditative mind. That is, he is on the way. He has learned how to be a little silent, a little more harmonious than others. The noise is there, but it is a distant noise; he has been able to detach himself from it. He has created a little distance between himself and his mind; he is no more identified with the mind. He does not think, "I am the mind." The mind is there, still chattering, still playing old tricks, but the man is a little alert not to be a slave of the mind. The mind has not left him, but the mind is no longer so powerful as it ordinarily is.
In the state of no-mind, the mind has left; the mind has become tired. The mind has come to realize that "This man has gone beyond -- beyond my powers. Now this man cannot be exploited any more. This man has become utterly unidentified with me. He will use me but I cannot use him."
The second type of man, who is in between, sometimes falls back into the old pattern, is USED by the mind, sometimes gets out of the old pattern. It is hide-and-seek. Mind is still not absolutely certain that it has failed; there is still hope, because once in a while the man starts listening to the mind, becomes again identified. The distance is not great; the mind is very close. Any moment -- any moment of unconsciousness -- and the mind takes over, starts bossing over him again.
This is the second type of man: the meditative man, who has known a few glimpses of the eternal. Just as you can see the Himalayas from thousands of miles away...the snow-covered peaks in the early morning sun in an open sky, unclouded sky, can be seen from thousands of miles away. That is one thing; and to be on the peak, to abide there, is quite another.
The first type of man ABIDES in no-mind. The second type of man has glimpses only -- of tremendous value of course, because those glimpses will pave the way so that he can reach the peak. Once you have seen the peak, even from thousands of miles away, the invitation has been received. Now you cannot remain in the world at rest, in the old way. Something starts challenging you, something starts calling you forth. An adventure has taken possession of you: you HAVE to travel to the peak. It may take years, maybe lives, but the journey has started. The first seed has fallen into the heart.
The Master behaves with the meditative man in a different way, because with the first, communion is possible, with the second, communication is possible.
And then there is the third type: the man who lives identified with the mind, with the ego, with whom even communication is not possible, with whom there is no way to relate.
This word "identification" is beautiful. It means to make something an entity, to entityfy the "id"; that is the meaning of identification. When YOU become the mind you have become a thing; you are no more separate. You have fallen in sleep. This is what is called metaphysical sleep. You have lost track of your own self. You have forgotten your reality and you have become one with something which you are not. To become one with something that you are not is identification; and to be that which you are is dis-identification.
The first man lives in disidentification. He knows he is not the body, he is not the mind. He simply knows he is only awareness and nothing else. The body goes on changing, the mind goes on changing, but there is one thing in you which is unchanging, absolutely unchanging; that is your awareness. It was exactly the same when you were a child and it will remain exactly the same when you are an old man. It was the same when you were born and it will be the same when you die. It was the same before your birth, it will be the same after your death. It is the ONLY thing in existence which is eternal, unchanging, the only thing that abides.
And only this eternal awareness can be the true home, nothing else, because everything else is a flux. And we go on clinging to the changing; then we create misery, because it changes and we want it not to change. We are asking for the impossible, and because the impossible cannot happen we fall into misery again and again.
The young man wants to remain young forever; that is not possible. He will have to become old, the body will have to become old. And when the body is old he will be miserable. But awareness is the same. The body is just like the house; awareness is the host. Deep down within your body and mind complex there is a totally different phenomenon constantly happening. It is neither body nor mind; it is something that can observe body and mind both. It is pure observation. It is the witnessing soul -- SAKSHIN. The first type of man knows that he is unidentified with all that is changing. He is centered in his reality. The third type of man is obsessed with something which he is not. In fact, the majority of people belong to the third type. The third type is metaphysically ill. If you ask the awakened one, then the third type is mad, insane. To think yourself something which you are not is insanity.

A man went to a psychiatrist and said, "Doctor, you will have to help me. I can't help thinking that I am a dog. I even chew bones, bark, and lie on the mat in the evenings."
Said the psychiatrist, "Just lie on that couch...."
"I am not allowed to!" he cried.

But this is the situation of the ordinary humanity. Somebody has become a Hindu, somebody has become a Mohammedan, somebody has become a Christian. Somebody is Indian, somebody is Chinese, somebody is Italian. These are all identifications. Somebody thinks himself white, somebody thinks himself black. Somebody thinks himself a man and somebody is identified with being a woman. These are all states of deep unconscious slumber.
If you are not the body, how can you be a man or a woman? If you are not the body, how can you be white or black? If you are not even the mind, how can you be Christian or Hindu? If you are only awareness, then you are only awareness and nothing else.

Now this little Zen story:
ONE DAY THE KING OF YEN VISITED THE MASTER CHAO CHOU, WHO DID NOT EVEN GET UP WHEN HE SAW HIM COMING.
THAT IS STRANGE! First: now it has become almost impossible for a president or a prime minister or a king to go to a Master, because they think they are powerful people. Why should they go to these poor people? What can they give to them? Values have changed.
Within these two thousand years, man's values have gone through immense change. In the ancient days, the highest man was not the one who had power but the one who had renounced power. And it seems significant that the one who has renounced power should be thought higher; it is a very ordinary desire to be powerful. The man who has been able to renounce power has attained to a certain inner integrity. He has dropped a very ordinary ambition; he has become extraordinary.
In those days, kings used to go to seek advice, to search for light, to sit at the feet of somebody who had attained.
This king must have heard of Chao Chou. He went to see him. This shows a totally different priority. It is very difficult now; it is difficult because man has become more materialistic. His mind is too much concerned with what you have rather than with what you are. In the ancient days the value was not in your possessions but in your being. The value was not in your things, not even in your knowledge -- because that too is a possession -- but in your being, in your sheer being, in the purity of your inner core. You may have nothing....

Alexander had gone to see Diogenes -- a naked man who had nothing. But it is beautiful to remember that even Alexander the Great had the guts to go to Diogenes, the naked FAKIR. For what had he gone? Alexander's generals, his prime minister, his ministers, were all against it. They said, "For what are you going there? That man has nothing!"
Alexander said, "I know it, that that man has nothing; that's why I am going to see him, because I have heard he has a tremendous rootedness, a great centeredness -- and I want to see a centered man. I am just fragmentary, I have no center. I don't know what it is to have a Center and I want to see a person who has a center. He possesses nothing on the outside, but he possesses himself -- and that is the real possession."
ONE DAY THE KING OF YEN VISITED THE MASTER CHAO CHOU, WHO DID NOT EVEN GET UP WHEN HE SAW HIM COMING.
And Chao Chou did not get up. That would have been normal, expected. When the king comes to see you, you have to get up and receive him; it is just a formality.

I have heard that Chuang Tzu, a Taoist Master, used to be in the service of the King of China. Then he left the service. After a few years the king came to hear that Chuang Tzu had become enlightened, so he went to see him.
Chuang Tzu was a man of great manners, formality, because he had been one of the most important men in the court of the king. So the king was expecting the same court manners. When he reached Chuang Tzu, he was playing on his flute, both his legs spread underneath a tree, leaning against the tree. He continued to play on the flute with legs spread.
The king stood there, could not believe his eyes. He said, "Have you gone mad or something? Have you forgotten all court manners?"
Chuang Tzu laughed and he said, "I was showing those manners because I was still hankering for respectability. Now I don't hanker for anything, so why should I care? You may be the king, you may be the beggar -- it is all the same to me. Because now I have no desires any more, it does not matter whether the king comes to me or the beggar."
The king was immensely impressed; he understood the point. All those court manners were nothing but ways of buttressing the king.
You buttress somebody, and then in response he buttresses your ego. It is a mutual kind of arrangement. You say good things about others and they say good things about you. Both are being formal because both want to hear good things about themselves.
Chuang Tzu said, "Now it is up to you, whatsoever you think. You can think I have gone mad, you can think I have fallen from grace. Who cares?"

Exactly the same happened with Chao Chou: he did not even get up when he saw the king coming. But this king must have had a totally different quality from the king who visited Chuang Tzu. Even Alexander was offended by Diogenes' behavior, because Diogenes was lying down naked on the bank of a river in the sand. It was early morning -- must have been a morning like this, very cool -- and he was taking a sunbath. He didn't get up; he remained lying down, taking a sunbath.
Alexander was a little embarrassed -- how to start talking with this man? Not finding anything else, he said, "I have come to see you -- I am Alexander the Great. Can I be of any help to you?"
Diogenes said, "Look, if you are really great, you need not go on declaring it. That simply shows a very stupid mind. That shows only a very small mind, egoistic. To declare yourself great simply means you are suffering from an inferiority complex!
"And the second thing: I don't need anything, but if you really want to help me you can do one thing -- just stand aside, because you are blocking the sun."
That was all that Diogenes asked from Alexander the Great: "Stand aside, don't come in the way of the sun and me."
But Alexander could not understand Diogenes. Of course he was impressed, but in a totally different manner. He was impressed by the powerful presence of Diogenes -- it was as if the whole bank was full of his presence, as if he was creating a Buddhafield. Although he was armored, although he was not at all interested in mysticism, he was impressed.

But this King of Yen must have been of the first type far higher than the king who visited Chuang Tzu and far higher than Alexander. He understood it.
THE KING ASKED, "WHICH IS HIGHER, A WORLDLY KING, OR THE 'KING OF DHARMA'?"
Why did he ask this question? You will be surprised to know that he asked it just to see whether Chao Chou showed any so-called humility or not.
The religious people always go on showing humbleness: "I am nothing, I am nobody." And if you look into their eyes, their eyes are saying just the opposite. If you watch their behavior, it is always a projection of holier-than-thou. They go on saying, "We are nothing," and they go on in a subtle way, in a diplomatic way, proclaiming, "We are saints."
THE KING ASKED, "WHICH IS HIGHER, A WORLDLY KING, OR THE 'KING OF DHARMA'?"
CHAO CHOU REPLIED, "AMONG HUMAN KINGS I AM HIGHER; AMONG THE KINGS OF DHARMA I AM ALSO HIGHER."
THE REAL MAN OF ZEN IS NOT HUMBLE in the ordinary sense of the word. He simply says whatsoever is the case. This is the case! Chao Chou is simply stating a truth. He is not saying anything about himself, remember. He is simply stating a fact: "THIS state -- this state of no-mind in which I am -- is higher, higher among human kings and higher among Kings of Dharma also -- because it is the highest state."
Once Ramakrishna was given a painting by a great painter -- a painting of Ramakrishna himself, a portrait. Ramakrishna took the painting, bowed down to the painting, touched the feet -- his own feet, it was his own portrait! The painter was puzzled: "Is that man really mad?" The disciples were puzzled.
One disciple asked, "Paramahansadeva, what are you doing, touching your own feet?"
Ramakrishna said, "Right! You should have reminded me before. I should not do such a thing. What will people think? They will think I am mad! But the truth is, I completely forgot that this is my picture -- I could only see the ultimate state of consciousness. This is a portrait of SAMADHI, not of Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna is irrelevant! It could have been Buddha's picture, it could have been Krishna's picture, it could have been Jesus' picture. It is just an accident that it is mine. It doesn't matter.
"But the painter has been able to catch hold of something very subtle; he has been able to depict something which is indescribable. And I could not resist myself -- I had to bow down, I had to touch the feet."
Remember, when Chao Chou says:
"AMONG HUMAN KINGS I AM HIGHER; AMONG THE KINGS OF DHARMA, I AM ALSO HIGHER..."
he is not talking about himself, not at all. He is talking about the ultimate state. He is no more, so who is there to be humble? See the point: there is nobody to be proud, there is nobody to be humble. Those are all games of the ego -- to be humble or to be proud.
The real man is neither proud nor humble; he simply is not. Then whatsoever he says has no reference to his personality. He is only a mirror; he reflects the ultimate. Chao Chou is talking about the ultimate. He has become one with the ultimate. And the king understood it.
HEARING THIS SURPRISING ANSWER...
The answer is really surprising. When you go to saints, they don't talk like that.
Once I was invited to a religious conference. Three hundred saints were invited from all over the country. I was puzzled why they invited me, because I am not a saint. It seems by some mistake....
They had made a great platform for all three hundred saints to sit together, but they were not ready to sit on the same platform, at the same height, with others. Nobody was ready! They all wanted a little higher place than the others. Now, that was impossible! How can you manage three hundred people, everybody asking for a little higher place than the other? So the stage was for three hundred people, and thousands of people had gathered to listen, but each saint talked to the people -- sitting alone on that big platform.
It was impossible to even bring them together. And if you talk to them they will all say, "We are just dust and nothing else. We are humble people, servants of God, servants of humanity."
Even once a year some of them would wash the feet of a poor man -- all formality! But they could not sit on the same platform. One of those three hundred saints had brought his own golden throne and he wanted to sit on his golden throne. Now the others were very angry. They said, "This cannot be allowed! If he sits on a golden throne, then we also need golden thrones of the same height."
Can you see what kind of people these are? Are these saints or monkeys? Even monkeys are not so stupid! I have seen them just sitting in trees, on the same branches, enjoying themselves. Nobody is worried about who is higher, who is lower.
But if you talk to these saints...and they all addressed the audience, and with great humbleness. Pious egoism! Religious egoism! And the pious, religious egoism is far more dangerous than any other. All their behavior, all their talk, is only a beautiful facade, a cultivated phenomenon. Because people respect humbleness they are pretending to be humble -- in order to be respected. You see the strategy and the cunning ways of the ego? And these are the people who have reduced the whole of religion to formality.
HEARING THIS SURPRISING ANSWER...
It was really surprising -- surprising because ordinarily the religious people don't talk like that. The king must have expected that he would say, "I am nobody. I am just dust under your feet. I am the servant of humanity, just a servant of God. I am here to serve others."
But he simply said, "No. I am higher than the human kings and I am higher than the Kings of Dharma too." He simply stated the fact. In fact, he is showing great respect to the king. By saying the truth he is saying, "I understand that you can understand."

HEARING THIS SURPRISING ANSWER, THE KING WAS VERY PLEASED.
Reading this sentence for the first time, you will be a little surprised why the king is pleased. He should really be displeased because this man is trying to prove himself higher than everybody -- not only than him but than other saints also. He is saying, "I am greater than the Kings of Dharma."
But he was pleased. Why? -- for the simple reason that this man understands that the king can understand -- and more respect than that cannot be shown. He has said the truth as it is, naked, utterly naked, trusting that here is a man who will be able to understand. There is no need to compromise; there is no need to come down; there is no need to talk in a language that HE can understand. You can say the truth as it is and still you can hope that he will understand.
Chao Chou must have seen that this man had attained something of the no-mind.
And whenever you come before a Master, just a look is enough and he knows you through and through, to the innermost core. He becomes immediately acquainted with you; no other introduction is needed. He can see whether you are asleep or awake. He can see whether you are pretending or real. He can see whether you are pseudo or authentic. He can see where you are.
Every evening people come to see me; they come to touch my feet. Touching my feet has nothing to do with me; that is just an excuse for them to bow down, to surrender. Any other excuse will do. If you can manage you can bow down to a tree, and immediately you will see a great uprising in yourself, a great uplift.
There are a few fools also. They will touch my feet, but they are only following a formality. There are a few other kinds of fools who will come to touch my feet but will not even be able to do it formally. They will just sit there like rocks. I touch their heads not to offend them, otherwise it is not worth it because it is meaningless. If they are not surrendering, my touch cannot reach their hearts, my energy cannot stir their hearts. If they are sitting like rocks, they are just touching my feet in a pseudo way. Touching their heads is futile. Still I touch, just not to hurt them unnecessarily. And they will not understand even that. You can hit only when somebody understands.
Now Chao Chou has hit the king as hard as possible by saying, "What are you? I am higher than all the kings, of this world and the other world." He has hit him hard -- must have see the immense capacity of the man to understand. And that's why the king is very pleased: he was not hoping that he would be respected so much.
Do you see the point? It is not an ordinary anecdote. When you read it, it looks ordinary; when you go deep into it meditatively, you will find subtle nuances, subtle turns. Just this single phrase -- THE KING WAS VERY PLEASED -- is of immense importance. What is there to be pleased about? The man has hit him like anything! But there is something to be pleased about, because he thought him worthy enough to hit; he thought him worthy enough to say the truth as it is. He belongs to the first category.
THE NEXT DAY A GENERAL CAME TO VISIT CHAO CHOU, WHO NOT ONLY GOT UP FROM HIS SEAT WHEN HE SAW THE GENERAL COMING, BUT ALSO SHOWED HIM MORE HOSPITALITY IN EVERY WAY THAN HE HAD SHOWN TO THE KING.
AFTER THE GENERAL HAD LEFT, CHAO CHOU'S ATTENDANT MONKS ASKED HIM, "WHY DID YOU GET UP FROM YOUR SEAT WHEN A PERSON OF LOWER RANK CAME TO SEE YOU, YET DID NOT DO SO FOR ONE OF THE HIGHEST RANK?"
NOW THE ATTENDANT MONKS can see only the outer shell. The general is of a lower rank, the king is of a higher rank -- they can only see the outer side. And they must have been puzzled: "Why did Chao Chou behave in such a hard way with the king and why did he behave in such a soft way with the general?"
CHAO CHOU REPLIED, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. WHEN PEOPLE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY COME TO SEE ME, I DO NOT GET UP FROM MY SEAT..."
There is no need, because the highest quality people have no egos; that's why they are of the highest quality. If they have no egos, there is no need to stand up or to show great respect to them. That will be futile, meaningless. That will simply show that you don't understand.
"WHEN PEOPLE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY COME TO SEE ME, I DO NOT GET UP FROM MY SEAT; WHEN THEY ARE OF MIDDLE QUALITY, I DO; BUT WHEN THEY ARE OF THE LOWEST QUALITY, I GO OUTSIDE OF THE GATE TO RECEIVE THEM."
THE WAYS OF THE MASTERS ARE STRANGE! And to be with a Master is to be with a mystery. A Master is a mystery: he lives on the earth and yet he is not part of the earth. He is in the body and he is not the body. He uses the mind and he is not the mind. He is in time but he belongs to the beyond, to eternity. He is as alive as you are, but in a totally different way because he knows there is no birth, no death. He has gone beyond life and death; he knows life eternal.
From the outside he is just like you -- hungry he eats, thirsty he drinks, tired he sleeps -- just like you. But in his innermost core he is totally different because he is in a totally different world, in a totally different space.
And to understand his inner world you will have to grow into your own interiority; that is the only way. You can understand only so much. If you move deep into yourself you will understand the Master in a deep way. The deeper you move inside, the deeper you will understand the Master. To understand the Master you will have to go deeper into yourself. When you have reached the innermost core of your being you will know the Master in his absolute perfection. Otherwise, you will misunderstand.
Now, even the attendant monks could not understand.
CHAO CHOU SAID, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."
It is VERY simple!
"WHEN THE PEOPLE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY COME TO SEE ME, I DO NOT GET UP FROM MY SEAT..."
"In that way I show my respect to them. I say to them, 'I have seen that you have known something of the no-mind, that your ego is no more a solid phenomenon, it is no more substantial; that you don't hanker for respect. That's why I am not showing you the formal respect. I know that you have gone beyond the form and beyond the formal.'"
We live in the form and in the formal; we change everything into a formality. Love becomes marriage. Christ becomes the church. Buddha is reduced to stone statues. Great truths become ordinary scriptures to be worshipped. We are really very skillful in reducing every higher thing to the lowest possible. We bring everything to our level.
Rather than going to the level of the Buddhas, of the Masters, we bring the Masters, once they have left the world.... Of course, when they are alive you cannot bring them to your level; they live without any compromise. You have to surrender to them. But once they are gone, then it is very easy: you can make their statues and temples and you can worship them, and everything becomes formal -- Sunday religion -- comfortable, convenient, but meaningless.

One Hell's Angel remarked to another, "I don't see you at the gang bangs any more. What happened?"
"I got married," said his buddy.
"No shit, man," said the first cycler, "is legal tail any better than the normal kind?"
"It ain't even so good," said the new groom, "but you don't have to stand in line for it."

It is comfortable, it is convenient -- the legal tail! And man is more interested in convenience than in truth, more interested in comfort than in truth, more interested in security than in transformation.
If that is your state too you are going to miss me, because my interest is not security; I will force you more and more into insecurity. My interest is not convenience; I will force you more and more into rebellion. My interest is only one: truth, because it is truth that liberates; everything else becomes a bondage.

THE HIGHEST QUALITY MAN immediately becomes a devotee. The middle quality man immediately becomes a disciple. The lowest quality man remains for years, for lives, just a student.
Look into yourself, where you are. Don't be just a student here. This is not a school; in fact, the whole process is one of de-schooling. I am not teaching you anything; I am here to help you be transformed. I am not giving you a dogma or a creed or a religion; I am not interested in all these things. I simply want to give you that which you already have -- it has only to be provoked.
You have to become attuned to me, in deep accord, one with me. Only then will you be benefited. Great benediction can be yours, great blessings can be yours, but you will have to come out of your small prisons, out of your small minds, out of your small egos. And you will get only that which you deserve, which you are worthy of. I can go on showering diamonds on you, but if you don't understand what a diamond is you will go on collecting colored stones.
And people are really so asleep that they don't know what they are doing and they ask for wrong things. They ask for respect, they ask for some nourishment for their egos.
Many people write letters to me -- newcomers -- saying, "Why in your ashram isn't a little more love shown to us newcomers? Why does everybody seem to be a little aloof, a little cool? Why don't people seem to be interested in newcomers? We come here to find love, warmth."
In fact, behind these words -- "love," "warmth," etcetera -- all that they are hankering for is some kind of respect, some kind of ego nourishment. That's why people will look cool, people will look aloof.
We are not interested in helping your egos because we don't want to create greater hells for you. You are already in suffering -- you have suffered enough. We want to pull you out of your egos. Just a small thing can hurt, just a very small thing. And we have managed things in such a way that there are many things which are bound to hurt your egos. Unless you are ready to drop them you will escape from this place sooner or later.
Only those who are ready to drop their egos will become part of this commune. And this commune is happening after many centuries. There have been Masters with a few disciples.... My effort is to bring such a revolution that the whole consciousness of humanity is affected by it. Just individual enlightenment is not enough. We have to start a process of enlightenment in which thousands of people become enlightened almost simultaneously, so that the whole consciousness of humanity can be raised to a higher level because that is the only hope of saving it.
Otherwise, these twenty years are going to be fatal. Either we will succeed in transforming the consciousness of the whole of humanity and bring it to a higher level -- at least to the second level, a meditative mind, for millions of people, and for thousands of people to the first grade, the no-mind.... If we can do it, that is the only possible way to save humanity. Otherwise, in the hands of foolish politicians so much power has come that ANY moment the third world war can start, and that will destroy the whole of humanity. And all the work of the ages, of all the Buddhas, will be simply destroyed.
Krishna, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Pythagoras, Socrates: these people have worked hard to create this garden. And now we are getting ready to burn it totally.
Before it is too late...wake up! At least move to the second state of mind -- meditative mind -- then the first will become easy. Being with me don't be of the third, because that is not really being with me. Only the second is a little bit with me and is on the way to being totally with me. But remember, the goal is to be of the first: no-mind is the goal.
From mind to no-mind is the revolution of sannyas.

 

 

Next: Chapter 4: Dying Into the Master, Question 1

 


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