Baul Mystics



I am just a midwife

Third Question



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The third question:

Question 3


Thinking is the absence of understanding. You think because you don't understand. When understanding arises, thinking disappears. It is like a blind man groping his way; when eyes are there you don't grope for the way, you see it. Understanding is like eyes; you see it, you don't grope. Thinking is groping. Not knowing what is what, you go on thinking, guessing. Thinking cannot give you the right answer because thinking can only repeat that which is known. Thinking has no vision for the unknown.

Have you ever tried thinking about the unknown? How will you think? You can think only that which you know; it is repetitive. You can go on thinking it again and again, you can make new combinations of old thoughts, but nothing really is new.

Understanding is fresh, new. It has nothing to do with the past. Understanding is here, now. It is an insight into reality.

With thinking there are questions and questions and no answers. Even sometimes when you feel that you have found an answer, it is just because one has to decide some way or other. It is not really the answer, but you have to decide for action so some answer has to be clung to. And if you look deeply into your answer, you will see a thousand and one questions arising out of it. Understanding has no questions but only answers, because it has eyes.

Thinking is borrowed. All your thoughts are given by others to you. Watch -- can you find a single thought that is yours, authentically yours, that you have given birth to? They are all borrowed. The sources may be known or unknown, but they are all borrowed. The mind functions like a computer, but before the computer can give you any answer you have to feed it. You have to supply all the information; then it will give you the answer. That's what mind has been doing.

Mind is a biocomputer. You go on collecting data, knowledge, information, and then when a certain question arises your mind supplies the answer out of that collection. It is not a real response; it is just out of the dead past.

What is understanding? -- understanding is pure intelligence. That pure intelligence is originally yours; you are born with it. Nobody can give you intelligence. Knowledge can be given to you, not intelligence. Intelligence is your own sharpened being. Through deep meditation one sharpens one's being; through meditation one drops borrowed thoughts, reclaims one's own being, reclaims one's originality, redaims one's childhood, innocence, freshness. Out of that freshness, when you act, you act out of understanding. And then the response is total, here-now; and the response is because of the challenge, not because of the past.

For example: somebody asks you a question -- what do you do? You immediately go inside the mind and find out the answer. You immediately go into the basement of the rnind where you have collected all knowledge, and find the answer there. Then it is thinking. Somebody asks a question and you become silent; you look into the question with penetrating eyes; not into the memory, but into the question. You face the question, you encounter the question. If you don't know you say you don't know.

For example: somebody asks whether God exists or not. You immediately say, "Yes, God exists." From where is this answer coming? -- from your memory? Christian memory, Hindu memory, Muslim memory? Then it is almost useless, futile. If you have a communist memory you will say, "No, there is no God." If you have a Catholic memory you will say, "Yes, there is God." If you have a Buddhist memory you will say, "There is no God." But these answers are coming from the memory. If you are a man of understanding you will simply listen to the question, you will go deep into the question, you will simply watch. If you don't know, you will say, "I don't know." If you know, only then will you say you know. And when I say 'if you know', I mean, if you have realized.

A man of understanding is true. Even if he says, "I don't know," his ignorance is more valuable than the knowledge of the mind, because at least his ignorance, his acceptance of the ignorance is closer to truth. At least he is not trying to pretend, he is not a hypocrite.

Watch, and you will see that all your answers come from your memory. Then try to find out a way where memory does not function and pure consciousness functions. That is what understanding is.

I have heard....

A doctor stepped into the patient's room. Five minutes later he came out and asked for a corkscrew, then he went back to his patient. In another five minutes he was out again and demanded a chisel and hammer.

The distraught husband couldn't stand it any longer. He pleaded, "For heaven's sake, doctor, what is wrong with my wife?"

"I don't know yet," the doctor replied. "I can't get my bag opened."

Even sometimes when you say, "I don't know," it is not necessary that it may be coming out of understanding. It may be simply that you can't open your bag. It may be that you cannot open your memories, or you are not able to find something in the memory; you need time. You say, "I don't know"; you say "Give me time, let me think about it." What will you do by thinking? If you know, you know; if you don't know, you don't know. What are you going to think about? But you say, "Give me time, I will think about it." What are you saying? You are saying, "Give me a little, time; I will have to go into the basement of my mind and search. And there is such rubbish accumulated through the years that it is difficult to find, but I will try."

Meditate, and become free from this basement. It is not that the basement is not useful; it can be used. But it should not become a substitute for your understanding.

A man of understanding looks into things directly. His insight is direct, but he can use all his accumulation to help the insight to reach you. He can use all his accumulation to make everything that he is trying to convey to you clear. But that which he is trying to convey is his own. Words may be borrowed, language may be borrowed -- has to be borrowed -- concepts may be borrowed, but not what he is trying to convey to you. The container will come from the memory, but the contents will be his insight.

And of course, a man who has no understanding is continuously a victim of so many thoughts, because he has no one insight to give him a center. He has a crowd of thoughts, unrelated to each other, even diametrically opposite to each other, contradicting each other, with deep antagonism towards each other. He has a crowd -- not even a group, not even a society, but a mob of thoughts buzzing inside the mind. So if you go on with your thinking too far, one day you will become mad. Too much thought can create insanity.

In primitive societies madness is rare. The more civilized a society is, the more people go insane. Even in civilized societies, more people go insane who work with their intellects. This is unfortunate but this is a fact: that more psychoanalysts go mad than in any other profession. Why? -- too much thinking. It is very difficult to manage so many contradictory thoughts together. In managing them, your whole being becomes unmanaged, becomes a chaos.

Understanding is single, understanding is central. It is simple; thoughts are very complex.

A henpecked husband visited a psychiatrist and said he had a recurring nightmare.

"Every night," he said. "I dream I am shipwreck with twelve beautiful women."

"What is so terrible about that?" asked the psychiatrist

"Have you ever tried cooing for twelve women?"

That was his problem: how to 'coo' twelve women Even to coo one woman is difficult.

Thinking is like cooing for thousands and thousands of women around you. One naturally goes mad. Understanding is very simple: you are married to one insight, but that insight works like a light, a torch. Wherever you focus your torch, mysteries are revealed. Wherever you focus your torch, darkness disappears.

Try to find your hidden understanding, and the way is to drop thinking. And to drop thinking two are the possibilities: either meditation or love.

The second: 'reaction and response'.

Reaction is from the thoughts and response is understanding. Reaction comes from the past; response is always in the present. But ordinarily we react -- we have everything already ready inside.

Somebody is doing something and we react as if button has been pushed. Somebody insults you -- you be come angry. That has happened before. It has been happening the same all the while. It has become almost like a button: somebody pushes it, you become angry. There is not a single moment of waiting, not a single moment where you look at the situation -- because the situation may be different. The person who is insulting you may be right. He may have simply revealed a truth to you; that's why you feel insulted. Or, he may be absolutely wrong, or he may be nasty person -- but you have to look into the person. If he is right, you have to thank him because he has shown some thing to you -- he has shown compassion towards you. He has been friendly by bringing a truth to your heart. Maybe it hurts, but that is not his fault. Or, he is simply stupid ignorant: not knowing anything about you he has blurted something out. Then there is no need to be angry; he is simply wrong. Nobody is worried about something which is absolutely wrong. Unless it has some truth in it, you are never irritated by it. You can laugh at it, at the whole absurdity of it. It is ridiculous.

Or, the person is nasty and that is his way. He is being insulting to everybody. So he is not doing anything to you in particular; he is simply being himself -- that's all. So in fact, nothing is needed to be done. That man is that type.

Somebody insulted Buddha. His disciple Ananda asked him, "I was getting very angry and you kept quiet. You should have at least allowed me; I would have put him right." Buddha said, "You surprise me. First he surprised me, now you surprise me. Whatsoever he was saying is simply irrelevant. It is unconnected with us, so why get into it? But you surprise me more: you have become very annoyed, you look angry. This is foolish. To punish oneself for somebody else's error is foolish. You are punishing yourself. Cool down. There is no need to be angry -- because anger is fire. Why are you burning your own soul? If he has committed some mistake, why do you punish yourself? It is stupid"...but we react.

I have heard....

One man was saying to one of his friends, "To please my wife, I have given up smoking, drinking, and playing cards."

"That must make her very happy," said his friend.

"No, it has not. Now, every time she begins to talk to me, she can't think of anything to say."

People live mechanical,-robot-like lives. If your wife has been continuously nagging you to stop smoking, and you think that she will be happy if you stop, you are wrong. If you smoke she is unhappy, if you stop smoking she will be unhappy, because then she will not find any excuse to nag you.

One woman has said to me that she doesn't want her husband to be perfect. I asked, "Why?" She said, "Because I love nagging." If the husband is perfect what are you going to do? You will be simply at a loss.

Watch yourself, watch others, and see how they are behaving in a mechanical way: unconscious, like somnambulists, sleepwalkers.

Reaction is of the mind; response is of the no-mind.

Belief and faith? -- again the same: belief is of the mind, of the thinking; faith is of no-mind, of awareness, understanding.

It happened in a hillside village: the hunter said to his guide, "This seems to be a very dangerous cliff. It is a wonder they don't put up a warning sign."

"They had one up for two years," the native guide admitted, "but no one fell over so they took it down."

Belief is blind -- you believe because you have been taught to believe -- but it never goes very deep because it has no understanding of the situation. It is just a superfluous tag, just something added to you. It has not grown from you, it has not been a growth. It is just borrowed, so it never penetrates your being. A few days you carry it, and then seeing that it is useless, nothing is happening, you put it aside. There are Christians who are not Christians; there are Hindus who are not Hindus. They are Hindus only because of those beliefs that they have never used, those beliefs that have never been given any respect by them. They think they are Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, but how can you be a Mohammedan if you have not lived your belief?

But belief cannot be lived. If one starts becoming more alert, watching life, responding, then by and by a faith arises. Faith is yours; belief is somebody else's. Drop beliefs so that faith can arise. And don't be satisfied with beliefs, otherwise faith will never arise.

Sympathy and compassion....

The same; the questioner has asked the same thing again and again.

Sympathy is of the mind: you feel somebody is in trouble, somebody is in misery; you think somebody is in misery and you have to help. You have been taught to help, to be of service, to be dutiful, to be a good human being, to be a good citizen, to be this and that. You have been taught; you feel sympathy. Compassion has nothing to do with your teachings. Compassion arises as an empathy, not as a sympathy. Compassion arises when you can see the other person as he is, and when you can see him so totally that you start feeling him. You start feeling in the same situation.

It happened: A few people were beating a fisherman. Ramakrishna was moving from one bank to another of the Ganges, near Dakshineshwar. On the other shore a few people were beating a man. Ramakrishna was in the middle of the stream. He started crying and weeping, and he started shouting, "Stop, don't beat me!" People who were sitting around him, his disciples, could not believe what was happening: "Who is beating you? Who can beat him?" They said, "What are you saying, PARAMAHANSADEVA? Have you gone mad?" He said, "Look! They are beating me there on the other side." Then they looked; a few persons were beating a man, and Ramakrishna said, "Look at my back." He uncovered his back -- there were marks, blood was coming out. It was impossible to believe. They went, they rushed to the other shore, caught hold of the man who was beaten. They uncovered his back: exactly the same marks.

This is empathy -- putting oneself into somebody else's place so totally that what is happening to him starts happening to you. Then compassion arises. But these states are all of no-mind.

Communication and communion....

Communication is of the mind: verbal, intellectual, conceptual. Communion is of no-mind, of deep silence; a transfer of energy, non-verbal; a jump from one heart to another -- immediate, without any medium.

The basic, most essential thing to remember is -- because it divides your life, it divides the whole world into two worlds -- that if you are looking through a screen of thoughts, then you live in one world: the world of belief, thinking, sympathy. If you are looking with clean eyes, unclouded eyes, your perception has a clarity: pure, just seeing into things as they are, not projecting anything upon them. Then you have understanding, then you have meditation. Then the whole world changes. And the problem is that mind can deceive you. It creates sympathy. It creates pseudo coins: for compassion it creates sympathy. Sympathy is a pseudo coin. For communion, it has only communication, which is a pseudo coin. For faith, it has belief, which is a pseudo coin.

Remember it -- mind tries to substitute. You are lacking something? -- mind tries to substitute it. Be very alert, because whatsoever mind can do is going to be false. Mind is the great falsifier, the greatest deceiver there is. It helps, it tries to console you, it gives you something.

For example: if in the day you have fasted, in the night you dream of foods, resting in great hotels, or being invited to the palaces of the kings and eating beautiful food. Why? -- the whole day you have been hungry, now it is difficult to sleep because of hunger; the mind creates a substitute, a dream. Have you not watched?

In the night your bladder is full and you would like to go to the bathroom, but sleep will be disturbed -- the mind immediately creates a dream that you are in the bathroom. Then you can go on sleeping. It gives you a substitute. The substitute is conciliatory; it is not real -- but for the time being it helps.

So beware of mind's consolations. Seek reality, because only reality can fulfill. Consolations will only post-pone; they can never be fulfilling. You can eat as much food as you like in the night in your dream, you can enjoy the fragrance of it, the taste of it, the color of it, everything, but it is not going to be nourishing. The one thing that is not going to happen: it cannot nourish. Belief can give you the whole fragrance of faith, the taste, the color. You can enjoy it but it will not nourish you. Only faith can nourish.

Always remember: that which nourishes you is real, and that which simply gives you a consolation is very dangerous. Because of this consolation you will not seek the real food. If you start living in dreams and you don't eat real food, then by and by, you will dissipate, disappear, become dry, and you will be dead.

So take immediate action: whenever mind is trying to give you a substitute, don't listen to it. It is a great salesman, a great seducer. It convinces you, and it says, "Those things are very cheap. Faith is very difficult to find because you will have to risk your life; belief is very easy, very cheap. You can get it for nothing." In fact, so many people are ready -- if you accept their belief they are ready to give you something more with it: become a Christian, become a Hindu, become a Mohammedan. People are ready to give you a great welcome and respect, respectability. Everything is available; just accept their belief. Belief is not only cheap, it can even bring many more things with it.

Faith is dangerous, never cheap. You will have to put your whole life at stake. It needs courage, but only a courageous person can be religious.


Next: Chapter 3, What is there, is there


Energy Enhancement          Enlightened Texts         Baul Mystics           The Beloved



Chapter 2


  • Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 1
    The word 'Baul' comes from the Sanskrit root VATUL. It means: mad, affected by wind. The Baul belongs to no religion. Dance is his religion; singing is his worship. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 1, I ALWAYS YEARN TO BE HERE, BUT WHY, ON SEEING YOU, AM I FILLED WITH AWE? at

  • Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 2
    The word 'Baul' comes from the Sanskrit root VATUL. It means: mad, affected by wind. The Baul belongs to no religion. Dance is his religion; singing is his worship. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 2, WHEN YOU WERE A ZEN MASTER TELLING US TO CHOOSE OUR PATH AND STICK TO IT, I FELT SURE THAT MY PATH WAS OF THE HEAD, THAT I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO SURRENDER TO ANYONE. NOW, AFTER ONE LECTURE ON THE BAUL MYSTICS, I FEEL LIKE A LOVESICK SCHOOLGIRL. HOW TO CHOOSE A PATH WHEN YOU HAVE NONE? HOW TO BE A LIGHT UNTO MYSELF WHEN YOUR LIGHT DAZZLES ME EVERY MORNING? at

  • Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 3
    The word 'Baul' comes from the Sanskrit root VATUL. It means: mad, affected by wind. The Baul belongs to no religion. Dance is his religion; singing is his worship. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. Baul Mystics, Vol. 1 The Beloved Chapter 2: I am just a midwife, Question 3, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FOLLOWING: THINKING AND UNDERSTANDING, REACTION AND RESPONSE, BELIEF AND FAITH, SYMPATHY AND COMPASSION, COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNION? at





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