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YAKUSAN: STRAIGHT TO THE POINT OF ENLIGHTENMENT

Chapter 3: A grand approach to reality

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Yakusan

 

OUR BELOVED MASTER,
IN THE DAYS WHEN YAKUSAN WAS STILL ACTIVELY INSTRUCTING HIS DISCIPLES, RIKOH -- THE GOVERNOR OF HO-SHU AND ALSO A GREAT CONFUCIAN -- WENT TO VISIT YAKUSAN, WHOM HE GREATLY ADMIRED. YAKUSAN WAS LOOKING AT A SUTRA WHEN THE ATTENDANT MONK SHOWED RIKOH INTO THE MASTER'S ROOM. YAKUSAN DID NOT LOOK UP ON THE GOVERNOR'S ARRIVAL, BUT APPEARED ABSORBED IN WHAT HE WAS READING. AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, RIKOH, WHO HAD A HOT TEMPER, COULD NOT STAND IT ANYMORE.
HE GRUMBLED, "IT'S BETTER TO HEAR THE NAME
THAN TO SEE YOUR FACE," AND STOOD UP TO LEAVE.
IMMEDIATELY YAKUSAN SAID, "WHY DO YOU RESPECT THE EAR AND LOOK DOWN ON THE EYE?"
RIKOH PRESSED HIS HANDS TOGETHER AND BOWED DOWN. HE THEN ASKED, "COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TAO IS?"
YAKUSAN IMMEDIATELY POINTED UP AND THEN DOWN WITH HIS HAND AND ASKED, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
RIKOH SAID, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND."
YAKUSAN SHOUTED, "CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL!"
RIKOH SUDDENLY REALIZED AND FELT GREAT JOY. AND WITH HIS CONTENTMENT, HE BOWED DOWN TO YAKUSAN AND PRESENTED THIS POEM TO HIM:
"ACHIEVED FORM, IT LOOKS LIKE A FORM OF THE CRANE.
UNDER THE THOUSANDS OF PINE TREES, THE WAY OF THE TWO POLES.
I COME AND ASK TAO: NO WASTEFUL ARGUMENT.
CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL."

 

FRIENDS, the two greatest enemies of man and life are religions and the military. They have both the same orientation: life-negation.
Religions teach people to renounce life, it is a sin to rejoice in it. In an indirect way they are teaching people to be life-destructive. They are enhancing a consolation that after life, after death, you will have all the pleasures of paradise.
The military is also life-negative. Its whole function is to prepare for death. You can see the relationship: the military prepares to destroy people, and religion consoles them, "Don't be worried. The real life begins after death." Hence they have a subtle conspiracy, which is not so obvious to ordinary people.
Religions -- all the religions are included -- have done their best to destroy people's love, their life, their laughter. They have poisoned everything on the planet. If you are miserable, it is not your fault; you are programmed by the religions to be miserable. If you are criminals, suicidal, murderers, rapists, you are not responsible at all. You have been programmed to do all these things -- but in such a way that unless you have the vision of a buddha, you will not be able to figure it out.
For example, to forcibly make man monogamous is to destroy his whole joy of being with women, women's joy of being with men. A husband soon becomes a commodity, a wife soon becomes a lifelong purchased prostitute. You use each other, and to use any human being is against the dignity of humanity.
You can use things, but you cannot use human beings. And what are husbands doing? What are wives doing? And who is responsible for this? Who has created the prostitutes? To save marriage, millions of women live in the ugliest manner: by selling their bodies. It is religion.
Who has taken away your laughter, your smiling faces? Who has made you look so sad, in such despair and misery and anguish?
Sigmund Freud was right when he said that religion has been teaching against sex. It could not manage to make people against sex, but it has succeeded at least in poisoning sex. While making love you feel guilty -- and how can you rejoice when you feel guilty? If you are committing a sin you cannot rejoice. Unless love is a virtue, your birthright, it is poisoned.
Just as Sigmund Freud is right, so is Karl Marx when he says that religions are the opium of the people. They keep people drugged, drugged in fictions: in God, in heaven, in the greed for paradise and its pleasures, in the fear and paranoia of hell.

Just today I have received all the literature from the American Atheist Society. They have suffered immensely -- you will not believe it -- just as our commune suffered in America. Again, behind the government was the Christian church.
The woman who founded the Atheist Society has been jailed nineteen times without any reason -- and the American Constitution gives the freedom to choose your religion or not to choose. It is your personal affair, the state cannot interfere in it.
Her house has been burnt down by an American government agency, the CIA. Her whole library has been destroyed. She has been beaten for no reason at all. She had to escape to Hawaii just to save her life.
Slowly slowly, more and more atheists started gathering, and finally they founded the Atheist Society of America. In their literature they also mention my name. They quote me as calling Jesus a nutcase.
So the first thing I would like to tell the Atheist Society is that to be an atheist is not the right thing; you are simply a shadow of theism. If theism disappears, the shadow will disappear. Never be a shadow. Be on your own feet.
Atheists cannot stand on their own feet. If all theisms, all religions disappear, what reason will there be for atheism to exist? Atheism is simply a reaction against theism.
I would suggest to them to change the name of their society. Atheism indirectly emphasizes God by denying him. If there is no God, there is no point in denying. You don't deny things which don't exist, do you? Even to deny a thing, it has to be in existence. Even denial is an indirect way of approval.
I have watched theists and atheists, and the strangest phenomenon is that theists are rarely concerned about God.

Amrito from Greece is here. Because the Greek Orthodox Church was threatening me .... I was only there for four weeks on a tourist visa. I had never left the beautiful house where I was staying just by the side of the ocean, and people from all over Europe had come to be with me.
The archbishop started threatening me, and threatening the government that if they don't send me away out of Greece, immediately, he will burn down the house where I am living and my friends are staying. He will dynamite the house. This is from the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church!
The reason? -- I was corrupting the morality of the Greek youth. And no Greek youth was there! My people who were there had come from all over Europe. Perhaps half a dozen Greek sannyasins were there, whom I had already corrupted.
But he made such a fuss that the prime minister had to immediately arrest me, and ordered that I should leave the country without staying for another single moment.
And now the prime minister himself has a girlfriend. His old wife is still there -- he has not divorced her -- and he is moving publicly with his girlfriend. The difference in age is great too, and he is even going to the parliament with his girlfriend.
The French president has refused an invitation from the University of Athens to give him an honorary doctorate. He refused, saying that, "I will not come because of your prime minister."
And other countries .... The Soviet Union has refused to have anything to do with Greece unless this man divorces his wife. But there are problems: the Orthodox Church of Greece does not allow divorce. And the prime minister is afraid.
And what happened to the archbishop?
Amrito, when you go back, ask him what happened to his morality. Why is he silent? Why not dynamite the prime minister's house? He is absolutely the right person to be dynamited.
What more corruption do you want?
What do you mean by morality?
Now the archbishop is completely silent.

There is no God, hence there is no need of any atheism. You cannot deny something which does not exist.
So my suggestion to the Atheist Society of America is to call your society the Agnostic Society of America. Agnostic means one who is searching for the truth; he is on the way, he is a seeker. He is not a believer. He does not believe in theism, he does not believe in atheism -- because both are believers and both are wrong. All believers are ignorant. In what they believe does not matter. You believe in God, somebody believes in no God.
And as I was saying, I asked Amrito when I was in Greece, "How many people belong to the Orthodox Church?"
She said, "Almost ninety percent."
And I said, "How many people attend the church every Sunday?"
She said, "Not more than four percent." And who are these four percent who attend? -- old, almost-dead women, with one foot in the grave and one foot in the church.
This archbishop of Greece wanted to have a procession against me in front of my house, but he could not manage it because his whole congregation consisted of six old ladies. It would have looked so embarrassing and idiotic.
I have never heard any theist talking about God, but atheists are continuously saying, "There is no God." This being too much concerned about God is dangerous. You are more concerned than the theists. Your whole literature consists of denying, continuously denying. One sentence only would be enough.
Whom are you denying? There has never been any God.
There is no reason for anybody to be an atheist.
But to be an agnostic is a totally different world. The agnostic does not believe either in God or no God. He simply does not believe. He searches, he explores, he tries to find the truth; and unless he finds, he will remain simply non-committal, he will not believe in any system of thought.
And when he has found, there is no question of believing. He knows it! He knows the truth. Only people who do not know, believe. Those who know, simply know. There is no question of believing. Do you believe in the sun? Do you believe in the moon? You simply know, there is no question of believing.
My suggestion to the Atheist Society of America and other atheists of the world is simply to change their name and their attitude. Don't fight against fictions, you are wasting your life.
A few people are wasting their lives in worshipping fictions, a few people are wasting their lives in fighting against fictions. Both are in the same boat. Both are idiotic, both are nutcases.
The saner man searches, tries to find a way to approach first his own being, and then from that point to enter into the cosmos. Knowing the truth brings great joy and blissfulness and ecstasy.
I have never seen any theist happy, I have never seen any atheist happy. Both are two polarities of the same thing. One has taken the positive attitude, the other has taken the negative attitude, but the object of both is the same God -- the greatest lie in the world.
On one side is religion, which is death-oriented, and it has immense power of which you are not aware.
Just in America, Christianity has more land than the five biggest corporations, which are almost empires in themselves. The five biggest corporations of America have not as much money or as much land as the Christian church. And the American government, against its own constitution, protects Christianity. You cannot find out how much money the church has got. Nobody can explore or research into the matter; the government secures its secrecy.
But still a few things leak out.
Every year, in different ways, the American government goes on giving the Christian church one hundred billion dollars. And the constitution of America says that state and religion should be separate!
The churches -- not only the Christians, but all the churches of the world belonging to different religions -- have more power than any government, more money, more people supporting them. But their work is absolutely underground, you don't see it on the surface.
And all these churches make death precious and life trivial. Life is something to be renounced. Then what remains? Only death. All the religions make death precious, because beyond death open the doors of paradise.
All fictions! And the whole of humanity is being forced to live under these fictions.

The second enemy is the military. It prepares especially for death, it has no other function. It prepares for war and destruction. And how much money is spent on it?
Just in America, Ronald Reagan has spent two trillion dollars on military build-up. Two trillion dollars! One thousand million dollars make one billion dollars; one thousand billion dollars make one trillion dollars. One million dollars are equal to fifteen crore rupees ... The proposed military budget for this year in the US is three hundred billion dollars.
Churches own one hundred and two billion dollars worth of land. The government subsidizes the church with at least one hundred billion dollars a year.
And this is only America. The case is similar in every country -- while the people are dying of starvation. These churches talk about charity, and they are accumulating billions and trillions of dollars.
President George Bush was very angry with me because of my Rolls Royces. But my ninety-three Rolls Royces cost only five point three million dollars -- and I was not the owner of them, they belonged to different people who had donated to a trust.
George Bush, I have come to know from very intimate friends of the White House, was very much against me. Again and again he was criticizing me: "The world is poor. Why does this man have ninety-three Rolls Royces?" As he became president, a special Lincoln Continental limousine was made for him. It took three years to make it, and six hundred thousand dollars; and he forgot all about what he had been saying about me.
I want to remind him, "You have still a second-rate car." My sannyasin, Avirbhava, has a Rolls Royce here for me. It is the greatest Rolls Royce that has ever been made by the Rolls Royce company.
George Bush is going to spend thirty million dollars on his inauguration as president -- and this same fellow was talking about my Rolls Royces. And they were not mine. I don't own anything; I have enough friends around the world to take care of me.
I had allowed my friends to make a trust with those ninety-three Rolls Royces. Even the president of the Rolls Royce company came to see, because I was the greatest customer in their whole history; never before, never after, is anybody going to have ninety-three Rolls Royces!
What was the purpose of it? Because I used only one Rolls Royce; I never went to see the garage which the Rolls Royce president went to see. He could not believe his eyes: that my cars were kept in a condition that even his new cars could not compete with, because they were given out of love, and taken care of out of love.
I never went there. I was always telling the directors of my garage, Avesh and Anandadas, that sometime I would come. It was not far away, it was just near the gate of my house. I used to pass by its side twice every day, coming and going, but I never went in. That was not my interest.
My interest was something else: to provoke the jealousy of the American so-called rich. And I succeeded absolutely. Even the president was jealous, the vice president was jealous. The super-rich, Rockefeller and others, were feeling defeated. For the first time somebody had made them appear poor. That was the purpose; otherwise, what is the use? I cannot ride in two Rolls Royces simultaneously. They were all of the same model, they all looked the same from the inside -- and I was not sitting on the bonnet!

In America, three million people are dying of cold and hunger, and President George Bush is spending thirty million dollars just for his inauguration. Jimmy Carter managed his reception on only three million dollars. If Jimmy Carter can manage on three million dollars -- and that too was too much -- then why can George Bush not manage?
Has he forgotten all about me?
Now it is my turn to hit him as hard as I can.
He is a coward. He has chosen a vice president, Quayle, who is an idiot. The whole of America is talking about only one thing: Why has an idiot been chosen as a vice president?
Only George Bush and I know the reason. The reason Quayle has been chosen as vice president is as a safety measure. Nobody can shoot George Bush because they will be afraid that then Quayle will become the president. This is the strategy. Nobody would like Quayle to be the president. But this shows the cowardice of George Bush.
It is traditional in America that any intelligent president has to be shot down. George Bush need not be afraid, he is not that intelligent. A Lincoln has to be shot down, a Kennedy has to be shot down; twenty percent of the American presidents have been shot down, and they were the most intelligent ones. The idiots? Who cares! Why waste your bullet?
But cowards are cowards.
America goes on pretending that it is the same great and super-rich nation. It is no longer. You will not believe it but it has started borrowing money from poor countries, and of course from rich countries, richer than America.
Japan is now the richest country in the world. The richest man in America has only four billion dollars. The richest man in Japan has twenty-six billion dollars. Japan is one-fourth the size of America as far as land is concerned, but its land and all that land contains is worth four times more than America. America is already sliding back. It should be counted soon as a backward country.
These receptions -- wasting thirty million dollars of the taxpayers' money -- are just to boost the idea in the world that America is still rich. It no longer is, and it is going down the drain every day. Ronald Reagan has left it in debt.
Now the military is asking for one and a half trillion dollars: "Otherwise you will not be competing with the Soviet Union." George Bush is at a loss from where to get one and a half trillion dollars. And the military goes on increasing its budget, although it has the greatest budget in the world. But still it is far behind the Soviet Union. The reason: vested interests.
The Soviet Union is absolutely computerized. Its missiles will be handled by the computers. American missiles will be handled by human beings. A computer can work for one thousand people, ten thousand people -- as many as you want. Now these people are not allowing the government to set up computers because then they will lose their jobs. But missiles handled by human beings cannot compete with missiles handled by computers.
America is already a second-rate power in comparison to the Soviet Union. And it goes on pretending that it will not only fight for itself, it will protect the European continent, it will protect Panama, it will protect Mexico, this and that. America is going to protect all the world which is not communist -- that is its promise. It cannot do it, it has not the capacity.
If the Soviet Union attacks Europe, it will take ten days for America to bring its missiles to the Soviet Union or to Europe. It has missiles, but it does not have the carriers, so it will have to use old kinds of ships to get its missiles to Europe. It will take ten days. In ten days the whole of Europe will be gone. Those ships will search for Europe and Europe will not be found!
But the military experts in America go on continually bringing bigger and bigger budgets. Their experts' idea is that to keep the world in peace, you have to go on increasing military power, making more nuclear weapons. Pile them up; whether you will ever need them or not, that is not the question.
The Soviet Union is cutting its nuclear weapons, but America does not believe it. The Soviet Union invited news media people to see with their own eyes, and the news people were immensely impressed with the honest desire of the Soviet Union to avoid a third world war. Even the American news media was absolutely convinced that whatever the Soviet Union is saying, it is doing.
But the American military experts cannot believe it; it is against their vested interest. How can they believe it? To believe it means to cut the budgets.
And they have been exploiting so much money; they have become accustomed to having immense amounts of money in their hands. And it is not publicly known; the public is being told that it is a secret, a military secret. It is public money and a military secret! The American taxpayer is the most exploited in the whole world, and the most deceived.
My understanding is .... Just the other day I told the Indian prime minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, that if you say to an international gathering that there should not be any boundaries to nations, no organized religions, no differences in colors or races, the whole earth is one .... I have sent him a telegram saying that whatever you are preaching, practice it.
And I know he cannot practice it, because of the military. The military is not going to take his orders for dispersion. On the contrary, the military will take his power into their own hands rather than going to the fields, and to the orchards, and to work. The military is completely spoiled. Without doing any work they are getting the best food, the best clothes, the best houses. Why should they leave all this?
Rajiv Gandhi cannot do it. He will be thrown out of power by the military. The military cannot tolerate such things. You can talk about it, that's good -- but don't try to do anything.
Every nation is in the grip of the military and religion. Nor would religion like to be dispersed, because what will happen to its millions of acres of land, billions and trillions of dollars? No religion is going to disperse.

No white man is going to accept the Negro as his equal, although there is nothing special about being white.
The actual truth is .... When God was making human beings, first he cooked them too much; that's why the Negroes are so black. Seeing the Negroes, he became afraid. Out of fear, he then half-cooked them; that's how white people are -- half-cooked people. Then he remained in the middle: that's how Indians are -- neither white nor black, perfectly cooked!
But there is no need to feel any superiority or inferiority. You can see it on every beach in America and Europe: what God has left half-cooked, people are cooking themselves! It is such a hilarious scene ... thousands and thousands of people, particularly women, lying almost naked, burning themselves -- completing the job that God has left undone.
I don't like people when I see their faces sunburnt, it looks ugly. But it is loved very much by the white people. I cannot conceive whether they have any sense of beauty, any aesthetics .... If you are half-cooked, be happy, there is no harm in it. Why torture yourself?
All the beaches have become torture places where people are burning and torturing themselves. And that torture won't last: within two, three weeks, four weeks, it will disappear. Again you have to go to the beach.
And fat women .... You cannot figure out where the mouth is, where other things are -- everything is scattered on the beach. Clothes keep you tight. If everybody becomes loose, it is an ugly scene.
They say, these religious people, that in hell you will be burnt for eternity in fire. The white people will enjoy it, they will get really sunburnt!
But nobody is going to change his attitude. Jews will keep on thinking they are the chosen people of God. After four thousand years of constant misery, they still continue to think that they are the chosen people of God. Four thousand years have not convinced you?
The Nordic Germans go on believing they are the chosen people of God. Has the second world war not proved anything to you?
The intelligent young people have understood. My sannyasins ... the greatest number are Germans, the second Japanese, the third Italians. These were the three countries together with Adolf Hitler. It is not a coincidence, it is simply intelligence. They have understood that they are living in a mad society; it is better to get out of it, find some place where no such stupid ideas are maintained.
Their coming to me is coming to a saner place, where no distinctions are maintained. Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior.
Races will not drop their ideas.
Armies will not be ready to disperse.
Religions will not drop their hold on millions of people.

I have sent the telegram to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Let us see what he can do.
He will come up against all the powers which he has never thought would oppose him. Right now they are with him, but if you start dispersing armies, throwing away your armaments ....
And I don't think he himself has said that consciously, because on one hand he is making India a nuclear country -- India is already producing nuclear weapons -- and on the other hand he is talking about disarmament, de-nationalization. He does not see the contradiction.
You are so poor, and you are trying to be a member of the nuclear club. It is such a costly affair for a poor country, that for one nuclear missile millions of Indians will have to die. At this cost, you can become a member of the club of those countries which have nuclear weapons.
Right now there are only five countries in the club. India will be the sixth. By the end of this century there will be twenty-five countries having nuclear weapons. The whole energy is going towards producing death.
Such a love for death, and such a hate for life?
That's why I say it is an insane world. You have to be aware -- at least individually you can drop all death-orientation. And the only way to drop it is to love life, to love love, to love laughter, to rejoice -- not in a paradise after death, but here now. Before death destroys, you have to find the eternal in you.
That eternal can be found only by rejoicing people, loving people, compassionate people, silent people; not people who are against life, they can never find the source.
It is such a simple arithmetic. If you are against life, as all the religions are and all the militaries are, then how can you go deeper into life to find the source, the roots in the cosmos?
I want you, my people particularly, to be life-affirmative, against destruction. They have to be creative in their small ways. Maybe they create poetry, music, dance; maybe they create a small garden with flowers. Inside they have to find their buddha. The more people find the buddha in their innermost being, the more secure is this beautiful planet earth.
In this whole universe, the scientists can only guess that there may be some planets somewhere which have life on them. But this is all guesswork, there is no valid evidence. In this vast universe, only this small earth is full of life.
The whole universe in a way is dead. Nothing green, no river has been found on any planet, on any star; no mountains, no thick forests. No birds fly in their skies, no cuckoos sing songs, no peacocks dance with their psychedelic-colored feathers.
There is no sign of any human beings anywhere else in the whole universe.
This is the glory of this small planet. It is a very small planet, but strangely of a tremendous glory and splendor. It is a miracle!
In this whole universe, only this earth has greenery, only this earth has humanity. Only this earth has the possibility for human beings to rise to the ultimate peak of being buddhas. This is our only security, otherwise religions and armies are going to destroy the only place where life exists, where consciousness has grown, where a few people have touched the ultimate eternity, where a few people have reached to the very center of existence and found the ultimate significance and meaning of life.
It is not just a question of five billion people dying; it is a question of the whole universe becoming without life, without consciousness. It is a tremendous problem.
You are responsible for such a great work.
Your meditation is not only for you. It is creating a certain milieu around the earth to help people become more creative, more life-affirmative, more in tune with existence, more sane ... and more in the present.

The sutra:
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
IN THE DAYS WHEN YAKUSAN WAS STILL ACTIVELY INSTRUCTING HIS DISCIPLES, RIKOH -- THE GOVERNOR OF HO-SHU AND ALSO A GREAT CONFUCIAN -- WENT TO VISIT YAKUSAN, WHOM HE GREATLY ADMIRED.
It is very easy to admire a master from far away, looking into his sermons. It is very difficult to face a master, and particularly for a man who was a great Confucian scholar. He could not see the contradiction.
Confucius is not a master, he knows nothing of meditation. He is just a moralist, a thinker who makes rules, regulations on how to behave in a more gentlemanly way. His concern is social, social convenience. He is not concerned at all with your spirituality; he is a materialist, a socialist.
Rikoh, although he was a governor, could not see the contradiction that to admire Yakusan, a Zen master, is very contradictory to Confucian scholarship.
But that's how people are living -- in all kinds of contradictions. They don't have the eyes and the clarity to see that their life is a contradiction, that they say something, and they believe something and they do something else. And they never see their confused life. They think beautiful thoughts but their actions are ugly, because their beautiful thoughts repress their ugly thoughts. Those ugly thoughts and desires find some way to assert themselves from the back door.
You are all sitting on volcanoes, centuries old, ready to burst any moment. Just a small provocation is needed. Your morality is not even skin deep. Just a little scratch and out comes the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the ape. Your humanity is very thin.
To understand the contradiction is to get beyond it. Rikoh must have been a very confused man. Intellectuals are bound to be: they live in the mind, and the mind has no power over the body.
Just try this small experiment: move your earlobes. Try with your mind, however you want to, just to move your earlobes, and you will find it is absolutely impossible.
I have come across only one man, and he was a freak of nature -- because there are no nerves in the earlobes so you cannot move them. This young man was my class fellow; now he is a doctor. By a freak of nature, his earlobes have some nervous system; he can manage any way you say. You cannot believe it.
Have you ever thought why you cannot move your earlobes the way you move your hand?
Mind has no control over the body, and the people who live in the mind start moving far away from the wisdom of the body. They start making intellectual systems for life, and life does not believe in your intellect. It has its own built-in program.
The intellect may be convinced that you should be celibate, but the body is not convinced, and intellect has no way to convince the body. There has never been a single man who was celibate, except those who are impotent. But the impotent man is not celibate.
Have you ever observed a simple phenomenon? No impotent person, and there are many, has contributed anything to the world, to its evolution. No impotent man has been a great painter, or a great dancer, or a great musician, or a great poet, or a great mystic. No impotent man has been a buddha.
The reason is simple. Our life energy is equal to our sex energy. They are not two things. The impotent man has no energy at all; how can he be creative? All creative people are oversexual.
Nobody says such truths to you, and I am bound to be condemned by the masses because I am saying that every creative person is oversexual, has to be!
Average human beings are average sexually; their sexuality is finished by creating a dozen children. To create poetry you need more energy than just the productive. To create a great dance, to be a great musician, a painter, a sculptor, you will need something extra; you will need something overflowing that the average man has not. The average man is finished with the children, then he lives his whole life like a spent cartridge!
The mystics, the buddhas, are the most sexual people in the world, for the simple reason that unless you have too much energy, overflowing, you cannot enter into the center of your being. It needs tremendous force! And it is the same energy, whatever name you give to it.

The governor, Rikoh, admired Yakusan very much. It is very easy to admire from far away, because then you are only hearing stories from people. You have never encountered a Zen master. The real encounter has a totally different effect. Because he admired Yakusan, he went to see him.
YAKUSAN WAS LOOKING AT A SUTRA WHEN THE ATTENDANT MONK SHOWED RIKOH INTO THE MASTER'S ROOM. YAKUSAN DID NOT LOOK UP ON THE GOVERNOR'S ARRIVAL, BUT APPEARED ABSORBED IN WHAT HE WAS READING.
A master is always total in whatever he is doing; he may be chopping wood ....

It is said about Rinzai, the great master who brought Zen from China to Japan .... He had a beautiful monastery and just near the gate he was chopping wood. Winter was coming soon; he was getting ready for the winter. He was so absorbed in chopping wood, when a man entered the gate. Seeing a vast monastery he wondered where he was going to find the master, Rinzai. He had heard so much about him.
Seeing one man chopping wood, he asked him, "Can you tell me where I can find Master Rinzai?"
Rinzai looked at the man. For a moment there was silence, and then he just indicated with his finger, "There! As far as I know, Rinzai lives in that hut." He was so absorbed, he forgot that he was Rinzai. The man went.
Then he had a second thought: "My God! I am Rinzai, and the poor fellow has gone in search of me!" So he ran, he went into the hut from the back, sat in the master's position.
The man knocked. Rinzai said, "Come in." The man looked at him: he was the same man, still perspiring.
The man said, "But where is Master Rinzai?"
He said, "I am Master Rinzai."
The man said, "Don't deceive me. I have just seen you at the gate chopping wood."
Rinzai said, "That's right. At that time I was not Master Rinzai, but just a woodcutter, totally a woodcutter. That's why I forgot and I showed you the way. Then I remembered, and I had to run -- you can see I am perspiring; I had to run by the back way and come quickly before you reached here. Now I am Master Rinzai. What do you want?"
The man was very puzzled. He could not believe it. What to say of this man: whether he is just a woodcutter pretending to be Rinzai or he IS Rinzai and was cutting wood?
He said, "I will come some other day. You have confused me completely."
Rinzai said, "I have not confused you, you have always been confused. I have brought it to the surface. Come some other time, but remember, I am doing all kinds of things. Sometimes I am carrying water from the well. Don't ask me where Master Rinzai is; at that time I am just a water carrier."

A Zen master is basically total in his action. Nothing is left behind. So when Yakusan was reading the sutra, he was totally there. He did not even look to see who had entered. It was not that he was insulting or humiliating the governor -- he had not even raised his eyes, he had no idea that the governor had entered. He went on contemplating the sutra, its significance, its implications.
YAKUSAN DID NOT LOOK UP ON THE GOVERNOR'S ARRIVAL, BUT APPEARED ABSORBED IN WHAT HE WAS READING. AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, RIKOH, WHO HAD A HOT TEMPER ....
Now, what kind of Confucian is this? That's what I mean by skin-deep morality.
A great Confucian scholar who has learned all the manners and etiquette and morals, and a man in the high post of governor -- but he forgot it all. Just because Yakusan did not pay any attention to him for a few seconds, his hot temper came to the surface.
The Confucian cannot dissolve anger, no moralist can help you to dissolve anger; they only teach you to repress. Go on repressing greed, anger, jealousy, and they will all accumulate inside you and will become a strong force. Just a slight provocation ....
And Yakusan was not provoking consciously, he was simply reading his sutra. But even that, the governor felt, is insulting: "I am no ordinary person, I am a governor and he is just a beggar." Zen masters are beggars.
"A beggar! -- and he has not even looked at me, what to say about standing up and receiving me and bowing down. He knows no manners! He is a wild type of man." He became very angry. He could not stand it anymore.
HE GRUMBLED, "IT IS BETTER TO HEAR THE NAME THAN TO SEE YOUR FACE," AND STOOD UP TO LEAVE.
IMMEDIATELY YAKUSAN SAID, "WHY DO YOU RESPECT THE EAR AND LOOK DOWN ON THE EYE?
You have heard of me and you respected me. And now you have seen me and you are angry and you are going in anger. Why do you prefer the ear to the eye?"

A very significant question. The eye gives you eighty percent of your experiences, and the remaining four senses, only twenty percent. That means that each sense other than the eye gives you only five percent of your total experience, while the eyes give you eighty percent.
But people are very much believers in the ear. You believe any kind of rumor, you never bother to check. You believe any kind of lie, you never try to find out; "First I should understand whether there is any truth in it." Who wants to take that much care?
People live in lies; and they have only heard, they have not seen anything. Have you seen God? And the whole world believes in it, just because you have heard. And the people you have heard it from, have you asked them, "Have you seen God?" They have also heard. Go on searching; you will never find a man who has seen God. You will find, century after century, people who have heard. Who created the rumor?
I have always loved a small story ....

By chance, by some mistake a journalist, after dying, reached the pearly gates. Saint Peter opened his window and looked down, and he asked, "Who are you?"
The man said, "I am a journalist. Open the door."
Saint Peter said, "A journalist? Our quota is full. We had a quota for twelve journalists, but that has been full since eternity because there is no news happening in paradise. Everything is calm and quiet. All the saints are sitting on their clouds, playing on their harps, singing `Alleluia!'"
What news can there be? No stealing, no murder, no suicide, no rape, nothing. So only the first issue of the newspaper had appeared -- that was in the very beginning when God made the world. That was the only news. Since then those twelve journalists had been just sitting uselessly.
"So please, you go to the other door in front."
The journalist looked at the other door. He said, "That is the door to hell. I don't want to go to hell; I want to first inspect heaven."
Saint Peter felt pity for the man. He said, "I will do one thing: I will give you twenty-four hours. You go in. If you can convince any journalist amongst the twelve to go to hell, then you can remain here and he can go to hell. Our quota will remain twelve. If you cannot convince anybody, then after a day you will have to go."
The journalist said, "That's enough. Twenty-four hours -- that's enough."
He went in and started talking to everybody who met him saying, "In hell they have brought the latest machinery for printing, a great new newspaper is going to be published. They are in need of journalists, editors, sub-editors."
He talked to the saints; they didn't care much, but the journalists became alert. They said, "Really?" He continued on around heaven, and after twenty-four hours he went to see whether anybody had left, or he had to go.
Seeing him coming, Saint Peter locked the door. Saint Peter said, "You cannot go. All the twelve have gone, you convinced them!"
He said, "My God, all the twelve? Then I want to go."
Saint Peter said, "You created the rumor."
He said, "That's true that I created the rumor, but if twelve journalists have believed it, who knows, the rumor may be true! Just open the door, I am getting suffocated!
"And anyway, twenty-four hours in heaven is more than enough. Nothing is happening here. All rotten saints, and just doing only one thing: sitting on their small clouds, floating, and playing on their harps, `Alleluia!' I don't want to do this anymore. You just open the door. Anyway I am not supposed to be in heaven."
Saint Peter said, "It is up to you. Because we don't need journalists, you can go -- but don't come back."
He said, "Who is going to come back? The rumor must have some truth in it."
Saint Peter laughed: "I have never seen such an idiot. You created the rumor and now you say that it must have some truth!"
The journalist said, "Yes, my whole life I have been doing it. What is the purpose of a journalist? To create rumors. But I have never been so convincing. That means the rumor has some truth in it. I am convinced myself because those twelve were convinced, and they were all ancient, experienced journalists. If they have left, I am going."

People believe whatever they hear.
Every Buddhist scripture ... they were not written by Buddha, they were not written while he was alive; they were written after he died. Then a great meeting of all the enlightened disciples, five hundred in all, reported whatever they had experienced with Buddha. But everybody reported that "I HAVE HEARD Buddha saying such and such a thing."
Every scripture of Buddha begins with "I have heard ..." because those people were authentically true. They had heard Buddha, but to hear is one thing and to experience is another. That was their honesty, sincerity.
Yakusan said, "It is better to hear the name, you said, Governor, than to see the face?
WHY DO YOU RESPECT THE EAR AND LOOK DOWN ON THE EYE?"
What is he saying? He is saying, "If you had seen me totally absorbed in my work, utterly -- nobody was left behind, only the sutra resounding in the nothingness of my being -- if you had silently watched and witnessed, you would have got something immeasurably valuable.
"But you were so full of opinions, which you had heard, that your eyes were blind; you could not see. Your ears overpowered your eyes. If you had seen me in that position of absolute meditation ... I was not, only the sutra was. In my utter silence and absence, the sutra was resounding just like a bell ringing, the sound disappearing into silence.
"If you had just witnessed, putting all your opinions and admiration aside -- because that is only heard, that is not your experience. You missed a chance, a great chance. You have never seen a man so absorbed that he does not look even at the governor."

There is a beautiful temple in Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, Krishna's name is Vitthal. There is a story behind the name. Vitthal means "Sit down!"
There was a great lover of Krishna. He had almost become absolutely absent as far as he himself was concerned. He had opened all his doors for Krishna to come in. Krishna for him was the name of the cosmos.
There is no problem, you can call the cosmos by any name, just don't get into a misunderstanding. By naming it Krishna, you may start thinking it has a personality, that it is an individual. But the man was not at all confused about it. His name for the cosmos was Krishna.
His old mother was almost dying and he was massaging her feet. It was a cold night. The story is beautiful. Now it becomes a parable; up to now, it may have been factual.
Seeing that his devotee was serving his mother so totally -- he has forgotten to eat, to drink -- Krishna came to help. He stood behind him, but the man was so absorbed in massaging the feet of his mother he did not look behind him, although he had heard somebody come -- the footsteps.
Krishna had to declare himself: "I have come to help you!"
He said, "I am enough to serve my mother." But he did not look at Krishna. There was a brick lying by his side. He just threw the brick behind him, without looking up, and said to Krishna, "Sit down on the brick till I am finished."
Because he told Krishna, "Sit down on the brick," in Maharashtra Krishna is called Vitthal -- Vitthal means "Sit down!" -- and they have a beautiful temple in which a brick is preserved, and Krishna is sitting on the brick.
I am not concerned with the mythology, I am concerned about the man's total absorption, his absolute immersion in the act he was doing. Even if God comes, he says "Sit down! You will have to wait." He does not look behind him.
Even God cannot create a disturbance in a meditator, what to say about a governor.
I have loved the story, although it seems to be mythological because there is no Krishna to come, it is all imagination.
But my concern is not Krishna, my concern is the man who was so deeply involved in serving his almost-dead mother. In the morning she was dead. He was still massaging her feet when he found that she was dead.

Yakusan is saying, "You should trust your eye more than your ear. You should put aside all opinions, prejudices, and clean your eyes. Let them be mirrors to reflect the reality."
RIKOH PRESSED HIS HANDS TOGETHER AND BOWED DOWN.
He saw the point. He was an intelligent man -- of course not a meditative person, but he could see the point that he had missed and he had misbehaved. Coming to the Zen master and getting hot tempered and angry was not the right manner, even according to Confucius in whom he had believed.
RIKOH PRESSED HIS HANDS TOGETHER AND BOWED DOWN. HE THEN ASKED, "COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TAO IS?"
Tao is the Chinese word for truth, for existence, for dharma, for buddha -- the ultimate reality that cannot be translated into words. Tao is a beautiful symbol. It does not mean anything, it simply indicates. It is an arrow on a milestone. It says go on, you are on the right path, don't stop unless you reach to the very end.
Rikoh asked, "What is Tao?"
YAKUSAN IMMEDIATELY POINTED UP AND THEN DOWN WITH HIS HAND AND ASKED, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
With his hand he had shown everything -- the highest ultimate peak of consciousness and the deepest depth of consciousness -- the whole span of consciousness from the depth, the abysmal depth, to the ultimate height which ends nowhere, it simply goes on and on and on. He had shown the vertical process.
You have to understand it. We move in time horizontally. The child becomes young, the young man becomes old, the old man dies; from the cradle to the grave we move in a horizontal line. Time is horizontal, truth is vertical. Meditation is vertical; it does not move horizontally, it moves vertically.
You have seen the cross of Jesus -- but Christians don't understand the meaning of the cross. The cross shows both the lines: the horizontal line, the hands of Jesus, and the vertical line, his head down to his feet. There is a crossing point where the vertical crosses the horizontal. That point you find in meditation. That I have been calling your center.
Once you have found that point, you know. A door opens upwards and a door opens downwards. For the first time your vision becomes vertical, time ceases. You start moving into timeless eternity. Mind ceases, because thinking is horizontal. You start moving into no-mind.
Unfortunately, Christians completely missed the meaning of the cross. Even the pope just hangs a golden cross around his neck, not seeing the utter stupidity of it. Jesus was not hanged on a golden cross, and he was not hanging the cross around his neck. He was hanged on the cross. If the pope really wants to be the representative, then the only way is to help him to be hanged on a wooden cross. Only then will he be a representative. A golden cross, and so small, and such a big Polack ....
Christians have not understood the significance of the cross. It shows the two lines in existence: one line is of time and mind, and one line is of no time, no mind -- and that is your truth, when you start moving vertically.
YAKUSAN IMMEDIATELY POINTED UP AND THEN DOWN WITH HIS HAND AND ASKED, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
RIKOH SAID, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND."
YAKUSAN SHOUTED, "CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL!"
What does he mean? He says that everything is in its place ... what is there to understand or not to understand? Everything is in its place. The clouds are in the sky and water is in the well. Nothing is wrong anywhere. The buddha is in its place; you may be aware of it or not, that is another point, but he has not moved out of you even for a single moment for a morning walk.
Tao means everything is exactly where it should be. Nothing has to be improved, nothing has to be changed. Everything has to be allowed to be as it is, relaxed, at rest, and the whole existence becomes a celebration.
RIKOH SUDDENLY REALIZED AND FELT GREAT JOY.
The moment he heard Yakusan shouting,
"CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL!,"
he understood the symbolic message. Nothing has to be done, just watch. Clouds are in the sky and the water is in the well. Be a witness.
No effort is needed to become a buddha. No effort is needed to realize Tao. Just witness. Everything is in its place. Nothing has ever gone wrong.
This is a very strange but very grand approach to reality.
RIKOH SUDDENLY REALIZED AND FELT GREAT JOY. AND WITH HIS CONTENTMENT, HE BOWED DOWN TO YAKUSAN AND PRESENTED THIS POEM TO HIM:
"ACHIEVED FORM, IT LOOKS LIKE A FORM OF THE CRANE.
UNDER THE THOUSANDS OF PINE TREES, THE WAY OF THE TWO POLES.
I COME AND ASK TAO: NO WASTEFUL ARGUMENT.
CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL."
Very beautifully he says,
"I COME AND ASK TAO."
He is saying, "I have not asked about Tao, now I understand. I have asked Tao himself." Yakusan is Tao, is in this moment just a pure witness, utterly at rest.
"I COME AND ASK TAO: NO WASTEFUL ARGUMENT,"
-- no argument from the master, no effort to convince. Just a simple indication of a vertical existence, from high up to the very abysmal depth, and the whole existence is yours. No wasteful argument.
He simply says,
"CLOUDS ARE IN THE SKY; WATER IS IN THE WELL."
And everything is understood.
Rikoh touched the feet of the master in deep gratitude.

Basho wrote:
A QUICK, LIGHTNING FLASH!
TRAVELING THROUGH THE BLACKNESS
THE NIGHT HERON CALLS.

The night heron calls -- a quick lightning flash traveling through the darkness.
That's how it happened to Rikoh. Yakusan managed a quick lightning flash, passing through all darkness like the night heron calls, and then there is the utter silence of deep gratitude.

 

 

Next: Chapter 3: A grand approach to reality, Question 1

 


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