Baul Mystics



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RELIGION is a very complex phenomenon. Its complexity has to be understood.

There are seven types of religions in the world. The first type is ignorance-oriented. Because people cannot tolerate their ignorance, they hide it. Because it is difficult to know that one does not know, it is against the ego, people believe. Their belief systems function to protect their egos. They are helpful, but in the long range they are very harmful. In the beginning they seem to be protecting, but finally they are very destructive. The very orientation is in ignorance.

Religion is light, religion is understanding, religion is awareness, religion is authenticity. But a major part of humanity remains in the first type of religion. It is simply to avoid the reality, to avoid the gap that one feels in one's own being, to avoid the black hole of ignorance.

The people of the first type are the fanatics. They cannot even tolerate that there can be other sorts of religions in the world. Their religion is THE religion. Because they are so afraid of their ignorance, if there is some other religion also then they will become suspicious, then doubt will arise. Then they will not be so certain. To gain certainty they become very stubborn, madly stubborn. They cannot read others' scriptures, they cannot listen to other nuances of truth, they cannot be tolerant to other revelations of God. THEIR revelation is the only revelation, and their prophet is the only prophet. Everything else is absolutely false. These people talk in terms of absolute, while a man of understanding is always relative.

These people have done great harm to religion. Because of these people, religion itself looks a little stupid. Remember not to be a victim of this first sort. Almost ninety percent of humanity lives in this first sort of religion, and that is in no way better than irreligion. Maybe it is worse -- because an irreligious person is not fanatic. An irreligious person is more open, at least ready to listen, ready to talk things out, ready to argue, ready to seek and inquire. But the first type of religious person is not even ready to listen.

When I was a student in the university I used to stay with one of my professors. His mother was a very devout Hindu; completely uneducated, but very religious.

One day on a cold winter night, fire was burning in the room in the fireplace, and I was reading RIG VEDA. She came by the way and she asked, "What are you reading so late in the night?" Just to tease her, I said, "This is the Koran." She jumped over me, took away the RIG VEDA and threw it in the fireplace and said, "Are you a Mohammedan? How do you dare to bring the Koran in my house!"

Next day I told her son, my professor, that, "Your mother is a Mohammedan" -- because this sort of thing has only been known to be done by Mohammedans.

Mohammedans burnt one of the greatest treasures of the world, the library of Alexandria. The library was the greatest in the ancient world. The fire continued for almost six months, the library was so big. It took six months for it to be burnt down completely. And the man who burnt it was a Mohammedan, Calipha. His logic is the logic of the first type of religion. He came with a Koran in one hand and with a burning torch in the other, and he asked the librarian, "I have a simple question. In this big library, millions of books are there...."

Those books contained all that humanity had learned up to that time, and it was really more than we know now. That library contained every information about Lemuria, Atlantis, and all the scriptures of Atlantis, the continent that disappeared into the Atlantic. It was the ancient-most library, a great preserve. Had it still been, humanity would have been totally different -- because we are rediscovering many things which had already been discovered.

This Calipha said, "If this library contains only that which is contained in the Koran, then it is not needed; it is superfluous. If it contains more than is contained in the Koran, then it is wrong. Then it has to be destroyed immediately. Either way it has to be destroyed. If it contains the same as the Koran, then it is superfluous. Why manage such a big library unnecessarily? The Koran is enough. And if you say that it contains many more things than the Koran, then those things are bound to be wrong, because the Koran is THE truth."

Holding the Koran in one hand, he started the fire with the other hand -- in the name of the Koran. Mohammed must have cried and wept that day in heaven, because in his name, the library was being burnt. This is the first type of religion. Always remain alert, because this stubborn man exists in everybody.

I was reading just the other night....

The two old codgers had equal reputations for being stubborn. When they encountered each other in situations where one had to give in, a third party usually had to settle the issue. One day the old fellows, each driving a large load of hay, met on a narrow lane. Both determined not to give an inch.

Finally one said to the other, "I am prepared to stay here as long as you want to wait." He took out his newspaper and began to read. The other filled his pipe and smoked contentedly. After half an hour of silence he leaned forward and called out to his neighbor, "Would you mind letting me read the paper when you are through?"

THIS stubborn man exists in everybody, and this is the lowest type of man. It exists in Hindus, it exists in Mohammedans, it exists in Christians, Buddhists, Jains -- it exists in everybody

And everybody has to be aware not to get caught. Only then can you rise to higher sorts of religion.

The problem with this first type of religion is that we are almost always brought up in it. We are conditioned in it, so it becomes almost normal. It looks normal. A Hindu is brought up with the idea that others are wrong. Even if he is taught to be tolerant, that tolerance is of one who knows towards others who don't know. A Jain is ABSOLUTELY brought up with the belief that only he is right; others are all ignorant, stumbling, groping in darkness. This conditioning can become so deep that you may forget that this is a conditioning, and that you have to go above it.

Mulla Nasrudin was telling a friend his future through palmistry. He said, "You will be poor and unhappy and miserable until you are sixty."

"Then what?" asked the man hopefully.

"By that time," said Nasrudin, "you will be used to it."

That's the problem: one can become used to a certain conditioning, and one can start thinking as if it is one's nature, or as if it is the truth. So one has to be very alert and watchful to find this lowest possibility in oneself and not get caught in it.

Sometimes we go on working hard in transforming our lives, and we go on believing in the first type of religion. The revolution is not possible -- because you are trying something which is so low that it cannot be really religious. The first type of religion is just religion in name; it should not be called religion.

One man was saying to another, "My son-in-law, the doctor, has been treating a patient for yellow jaundice for twenty years. He just found out the man was Chinese."

"Ain't that something?" said the other man.

"What is terrible is, he cured him."

Twenty years treating a man for yellow jaundice -- he may be a Chinese, but how long can he protect himself? If continuously you work on yourself with a wrong attitude, your nature starts yielding. You start functioning the way you want to function. Yes, the habit can become second nature. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes first nature, and nature is completely forgotten.

The characteristic of the first sort of religion is imitation. It insists on imitation: imitate Buddha, imitate Christ, imitate Mahavir, but imitate. Imitate somebody. Don't be yourself, be somebody else. And if you are very stubborn you can force yourself to be somebody else.

You will never be somebody else. Deep down you cannot be. You will remain yourself, but you can force so much that you almost start looking like somebody else.

Each man is born with a unique individuality, and each man has a destiny of his own. Imitation is crime, it is criminal. If you try to become a Buddha, you may become an imitation Buddha. You may look like Buddha, you may walk like Buddha, you may talk like Buddha, but you will miss. You will miss all that life was ready to deliver to you. Because Buddha happens only once. It is not in the nature of things to repeat. God is so creative that He never repeats anything. You cannot find another human being in the present, in the past, or in the future, who is going to resemble you exactly. It has never happened. Man is not a mechanism. He is not like Ford cars on an assembly line; you can produce millions alike, exactly alike. Man is a soul, is individual. Imitation is poisonous. Never imitate anybody, otherwise you will be a victim of the first sort of religion, which is not religion at all.

Then there is the second type. The second type is fear-oriented.

Man IS afraid, the world IS a strange world, and man wants to be secure, safe. In childhood the father protects, the mother protects. But there are many people, millions of them, who never grow beyond their childhoods. They remain stuck somewhere, and they still need a father and a mother. Hence God is called the Father or the Mother. They need a divine Father to protect them; they are not mature enough to be on their own. They need some security.

One psychologist, Winnicott, has been working with a particular problem with small children for many years, and he has discovered many beautiful things. They are pertinent.

You may have watched small children with their teddy bear, or their toy, their special toy, or their blanket, or something that has a special personality to the child. The teddy cannot replace the teddy bear. You may say that you can find a better one, but that doesn't matter. There is a love relationship between the child and HIS teddy bear. His teddy bear is unique; you cannot replace it. It becomes dirty, it becomes smelly, rotten, but the child goes on carrying it. You cannot find a new one, a fresh one. Even parents have to tolerate it. Even they have to respect, because a child feels offended. If the parents are going to travel, they have to tolerate the teddy bear also; they have to treat it almost as a member of the family. They know this is foolish, but for the child it has significance.

What significance does the teddy bear have for the child? It is objective in a way. It is there, outside the child; it is part of reality. Certainly it is not just imagination, it is not just subjective; it is not a dream, it is there. But it is not totally there; many of the child's dreams are involved in it. It is object, objective, but much subjectivity is involved in it. For the child it is almost alive. The child has projected many things onto the teddy bear. He talks to the teddy bear, sometimes he becomes angry and throws it away, then says'I am sorry' and takes it back. It has a personality, almost human. Without the teddy bear he cannot go to sleep. Holding, hugging, he goes to sleep; he feels secure. With the teddy bear the world is okay, everything is okay. Without the teddy bear he is suddenly alone.

So the teddy bear exists in a totally new dimension which is neither subjective nor objective. Winnicott calls it 'the transitory realm': a little objective and a little subjective. Many children grow physically, but they never grow spiritually, and they need teddy bears all their lives. Your images of God in the temple are nothing but teddy bears.

So when a Hindu goes into the Hindu temple, he sees something which a Mohammedan cannot see. The Mohammedan can only see a stone statue. The Hindu sees something which nobody else can see; it is his teddy bear. It is objectively there, but not totally objective. Much subjectivity of the worshipper is projected on it; t functions as a screen.

You go to a Jain temple. You may be a Hindu, but in a Jain temple you will not feel any reverence arising in you. Sometimes you may even feel a little offended, because Mahavir, his statue, is nude, naked. You may feel a little offended. You may like to go out as soon as possible; you may not feel any respect. But then there comes a Jain with tremendous respect; it is his teddy bear, and he feels very protected.

So whenever you are in fear, you start remembering God. Your God is a by-product of your fear. When you are feeling good, unafraid, you don't bother. There is no need.

THE second type of religion is fear-oriented. It is very ill.

It is almost neurotic -- because maturity only comes to you when you realize that you ARE alone, and you have to be alone, and you have to face the reality as it is. These transitory teddy bears are just of your imagination; they are not going to help. If something is going to happen, it is going to happen; the teddy bear cannot protect you. If death is going to happen, it is going to happen. You go on calling to God, but protection cannot come to you. You are calling nobody, you are simply calling out of fear. Maybe calling loudly gives you a certain courage.

Maybe praying...prayer gives you a certain courage, but there is no God to respond to it. There is nobody who is going to respond to your prayer. But if you have an idea that somebody is there to respond to your prayer, you may feel a little relieved, relaxed.

Once I saw Mulla Nasrudin praying very devoutly. When he had finished his NAMAJ, I asked him, "Mulla, there must be some problem; you were praying so deeply. Please answer my one question: is your prayer ever answered?"

He said, "Yes, one way or the other."

But if the prayer is answered one way or the other, what is the point of it? Yes, sometimes it coincides with facts, sometimes it does not coincide with the facts, but your prayer makes no difference to the facts. It may make a little difference in your mind, but it makes no difference in reality.

The fear-oriented religion is the religion of 'don't': don't do this, don't do that -- because fear is negative. The Ten Commandments are all fear-oriented -- don't do this, don't do that -- as if religion is nothing but avoiding -- don't do this, don't do that -- closing oneself in safety and security, never taking any risk, never moving on the dangerous path, in fact not allowing yourself to be alive. Just as the first type of religion is stupid, fanatic, the second type of religion is negative. It gives a certain stiffness, up-tightness. It is childish. It is a search for security which is nowhere possible, because life exists as insecurity. God exists as insecurity, danger, and risk.

THE key word for the fear-oriented religion is "hell', and of course, repression, continuous repression: don't do this. The second type of person is always afraid -- what to eat, what not to eat, whether to love a woman or not to love a woman, whether to make a house or not to make a house. And whatsoever you repress, you are never free of it; in fact, the more and more you are in its power. Because when you repress a thing it goes deeper into your unconscious. It reaches to your very roots and poisons your whole being.

I have heard....

An old-timer was seeing a movie for the first time. He was known to be a very religious man, a man who used to do his prayer regularly, fulfill all the duties, had never been known to get involved in any sort of problematic situations. He was, in short, a very simple man -- but not so simple inside. At one point in the feature, a bevy of shapely girls dashed across the screen. They crossed a railroad track, reached a swimming pool and began to disrobe for the plunge. They had taken off their shoes, stockings, shirts, skirts, and were beginning on...and a passing freight train sped across the screen and obscured the view. When it had passed, the next scene showed the girls frolicking in the water.

The old-timer saw the show again and again and again. At length an usher tapped him on the shoulder. "Are you not ever going home?" he asked.

"Oh, I reckon not yet for awhile," said the old-timer. "One of these times that darned train is going to be late."

Deep inside you will always carry whatsoever is repressed. You may follow the religion as ritual, but it will never become your heart.

I have heard an anecdote:

For centuries European Jews were the victims of organized persecution, called pogroms. These pogroms took place so often that Jews developed a sense of humor about them.

In a small town in Poland, soldiers broke into the house of Ostrovoski and his family. Living with him were his wife, three daughters, two sons, and his very aged and religious mother. She was known around almost as a saint.

"Line up!" shouted the sergeant in charge. "We are gonna beat up all the men and rape all the women!"

"Wait," pleaded Ostrovoski. "You can wallop me and my sons, abuse my wife and daughters, but please sir, I beg you, don't rape my mother. She is seventy-five years old and very religious."

"Shut up!" yelled the old woman. "A pogrom is a pogrom!"

Remember, repression is not a way towards freedom. Repression is worse than expression, because through expression a person is BOUND to become free one day or other. But through repression, one always remains obsessed. Only life gives you freedom. A lived life gives you freedom, an unlived life remains very attractive, and the mind goes on roaming around whatsoever you have repressed.

Smulovitz, aged eighty-three and widowed, refused to be placed in just any Miami Beach old-age home. "I won't eat anything," he declared to his son, "unless it is strictly kosher."

The son searched for weeks and finally found a place that served meals in accordance with the Jewish dietary laws. He placed his old father in the home, secure in the knowledge that his father would be eating only kosher food.

Three days later he came for a visit and learned that the old man had left and checked into the Fontainbleau Hotel. The boy rushed over to the hotel, got a key, went upstairs, opened the door, and there was his father in bed with a blonde. They were both stark naked.

"Poppa, how could you?" asked the bewildered boy.

"But look," said the old man, "I'm not eating."

People who live through rituals out of fear may avoid one thing, but they will fall into another -- because the understanding is not their own. It is just fear-oriented. It is hell they are afraid of.

A real religion gives you fearlessness: let that be the criterion. If religion gives you fear, then it is not really religion.

The third type of religion is out of greed.

It is a 'do' religion. Just as the fear-oriented is a 'don't' religion, the greed-oriented is a 'do' religion: do this. And just as the fear-oriented religion has the key word 'hell', the religion of greed has the key word 'heaven'. Everything is to be done in such a way that the world -- the other world -- is completely secure and your happiness beyond death is guaranteed.

'Do' religion or greed religion is formal, ritualistic, ambitious, desire-oriented. It is full of desires. See the Mohammedan concept of paradise, or the Christian concept of paradise, or the Hindu concept of paradise. Degrees may be different, but this is a very strange thing: all that these people say one has to deny oneself in this life, they go on providing in heaven in great quantities. You are to be celibate here just to achieve heaven where beautiful APSARAS, always young, stuck at the age of sixteen, are available. Mohammedans say, "Don't take any alcoholic beverage. But in heaven, rivers of wine! No need to be worried."

But this seems to be absurd. If something is wrong, it is wrong. How can it become good and right in heaven? Then Omar Khayam is right. He says, "If in heaven rivers of wine are available then let us practice here, because if we go unpracticed, it will be difficult to live in paradise. So let this life be a little rehearsal, so that we have the taste, and we have the capacity." Then Omar Khayam seems to be more logical. In fact, he is joking against the Mohammedan concept of paradise. It is foolish; the whole concept is foolish. But people become religious out of greed.

One thing is certain: that whatsoever you accumulate here will be taken away; death will take it away. So the greedy person wants to accumulate something which cannot be taken by death. But the accumulating idea, the desire to accumulate, remains there. Now he accumulates virtue. Virtue is the coin of the other world. He goes on accumulating virtue so he can live in the other world forever and forever, in lust.

This type of man is basically worldly. His other world is nothing but a projection of this world. He will do because he has desires, and he has ambition, and he has a power-lust, but his doing will not be of the heart. It will be a sort of manipulation.

Mulla Nasrudin and his young son were driving in the country one winter. It was snowing; their bullock-cart broke down. They finally reached a farm-house and were welcomed for the night. The house was cold and the attic in which they were invited to spend the night was like an icebox. Stripping to his underwear, the Mulla jumped into a featherbed and pulled the blankets over his head. The young man was slightly embarrassed.

"Excuse me, Dad," he said. "Don't you think we ought to say our prayers before going to bed?"

The Mulla stuck one eye out from under the covers. "Son," he said, "I keep prayed up ahead for situations just like this one."

Then things are just on the surface. Greed and fear and ignorance are just on the periphery.

These are three sorts of religions -- and they are all mixed together. You cannot find a person who is absolutely, purely of the first type or the second type or the third type. Wherever greed is, there is fear; wherever fear is, there is greed; and wherever greed and fear exist, there is ignorance -- because they cannot exist without them. So I am not talking about pure types. I am classifying simply so that you can understand well. Otherwise they are all mixed.

These three are the lowest types of religion. They should not be called religions.

Then there is the fourth type: the religion of logic, calculation, cleverness.

It is 'do' plus 'don't' religion: worldly, materialistic, opportunistic, intellectual, theoretical, scriptural, traditional. This is the religion of the PUNDITS, the learned scholar who tries to prove God through logic, who thinks that the mysteries of life can be understood through the head.

This type of religion creates theology. It is not really religion but just a very faint carbon copy of it. But all the churches are based on it. When a Buddha exists in the world, or a Mohammed, or a Krishna, or a Christ, then pundits and scholars and learned people, intellectually clever and cunning people, gather together around them. They start working hard: "What does Jesus mean?" They start creating a theology, a creed, a dogma, a church. They are very successful people because they are very logical people. They cannot give you God, they cannot give you truth, but they give you great organizations. They give you the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church. They give you great theologies, just clevernesses, nothing of the real experience; just intellectual, head-oriented. Their whole edifice is as if one is making a house of cards: a small breeze and the house is gone. Their whole edifice is such, as if one is trying to sail in a boat of paper. It looks like a real boat, the form is of a boat, but it is a paper boat. It is doomed, it is already doomed. Logic is a paper boat. And life cannot be understood through logic.

I have heard about one American:

A very wealthy American was convinced that an atomic war was just around the corner, and determined that he would survive it. He bought an acre of land in the middle of the Arizona desert and employed a labor force to build him a home five miles underground. It was to be encased in lead fifty yards thick, and equipped with its own power plant which would supply sufficient electricity to give him light, heat, and purified air for at least ten years. Frozen food, water, cigars, alcoholic refreshment, for the same period of time had to be provided, together with every conceivable aid to luxurious living. The job was completed in three years at a cost of five hundred thousand million dollars.

The proud owner went to the desert to inspect it, and a red Indian shot him in the back with an arrow.

That's how life is: you make all the arrangements and just one arrow is enough to finish you. Man is very fragile. How can man's logic understand reality? Man is so limited, his understanding is so short-sighted. No, there is no way through logic. Through logic a philosophy is born, but not real religion.

THESE four are ordinarily known as religion.

The fifth, sixth and seventh are the real religions. The fifth is the religion based on intelligence; not on logic, not on intellect, but on intelligence. And there is a lot of difference between intellect and intelligence.

Intellect is logical; intelligence is paradoxical. Intellect is analytical; intelligence is synthetical. Intellect divides, cuts into pieces to understand a thing. Science is based on intellect, dissection, division, analysis. Intelligence joins things together, makes a whole out of parts -- because this is one of the greatest understandings: that the part exists through the whole, not vice versa. And the whole is not just the sum of the parts, it is more than the sum.

For example, you can have a rose flower, and you can go to a scientist, to a logician. You can ask him, "I want to understand this rose flower"; what will he do? He will dissect it, he will separate all the elements that are making it a flower. When you go next you will find the flower gone. Instead of the flower there will be a few labelled bottles. The elements have been separated, but one thing is certain -- there will not be any bottle on which will be the label 'beauty'.

Beauty is not matter and beauty does not belong to parts. Once you dissect a flower, once the wholeness of the flower is gone, beauty is also gone. Beauty belongs to the whole, it is the grace that comes to the whole. It is more than the sum. Then only parts are there. You can dissect a man; the moment you dissect, life disappears. Then you know only a dead body, a corpse. You can find out how much aluminium is there and how much iron and how much water (eighty percent or something); you can find the whole mechanism the lungs, the kidneys, everything -- but one thing is not there: life. One thing is not there that was the most valuable. One thing is not there that we wanted to understand really, and everything else is there.

Now even scientists are becoming alert that when you take blood out of a man's bloodstream and you examine it, it is no longer the same blood. Inside the bloodstream of the man it was alive, throbbing with life. Now it is just a corpse. It cannot be the same because the gestalt has changed. You can take the color of the rose flower from it, but is it the same color? It looks the same but it cannot be the same. Where is that fragileness? Where is that aliveness, that throb of life? When it was in the rose flower it was in a totally different arrangement and life was present. It was full of presence; God was there beating in its heart. Taken out, the part is there but you cannot say the part is the same. It cannot be because the part exists in the whole.

Intellect dissects, analyzes. It is the instrument of science. Intelligence is the instrument of religion; it joins together. Hence, the greatest science of spirituality we have called Yoga. Yoga means the methodology to join. Yoga means to put things together. God is the greatest totality, all things together. God is not a person, God is a presence, the presence when the total is functioning in a great harmony -- the trees and the birds and the earth and the stars and the moon and the sun and the rivers and the ocean -- all together. That togetherness is God. If you dissect, you will never find God. Dissect a man; you cannot find the presence that was making him alive. Dissect the world; you cannot find the presence that is God.

Intelligence is the method to join things together. An intelligent person is very synthetical. He always looks for a higher whole, because the meaning is always in the higher whole. He always looks for something higher in which the lower is dissolved and functions as a part, functions as a note in the harmony of the whole, gives its own contribution to the orchestra of the whole but is not separate from it. Intelligence moves upwards, intellect moves downwards. Intellect goes to the cause.

Please follow it; the point is delicate.

Intellect goes to the cause; intelligence goes to the goal. Intelligence moves into the future, intellect moves in the past. Intellect reduces everything to the lowest denominator. If you ask what love is, intellect will say it is nothing but sex -- the lowest denominator. If you ask what prayer is, the intellect will say it is nothing but repressed sex.

Ask intelligence what sex is, and intelligence will say it is nothing but the seed of prayer. It is the potential love. Intellect reduces to the lowest; it reduces everything to the lowest. Ask intellect what a lotus is, and it will say it is nothing, just an illusion; the reality is the mud -- because the lotus comes out of the mud and again falls back into the mud. The mud is the real, the lotus is just an illusion. Mud remains, the lotus comes and goes.

Ask intelligence what mud is, and intelligence will say, "It is the potentiality of being a lotus." Then mud disappears and millions of lotuses flower.

Intelligence goes to the higher and higher and the higher, and the whole effort is to reach to the ultimate, to the pinnacle of existence. Because things can be explained only through the higher, not through the lower. You don't explain through the lower, you explain away. And when the lower becomes too important, all beauty is lost, all truth, all good. Everything that has any significance is lost. Then you start crying, "Where is meaning in life?"

In the West, science destroyed every value and reduced everything to matter. Now everybody is worried about what is the meaning of life, because meaning exists in the higher whole. See, you are alone; you feel, "What is the meaning of life?" Then you fall in love with a woman; a certain meaning arises. Now two have become one -- a little higher. A single man is a little. Lower than a couple. A couple is a little higher. Two things have joined together. Two opposite forces have mingled, the feminine and the male energies. Now it is more of a circle.

That's why in India we have the concept of ARDHANARISHWAR. Shiva is painted as half woman and half man. The concept of ARDHANARISHWAR says that man is half, and woman is half. When a man and woman meet in deep love, a higher reality arises: certainly greater, more complex, because two energies are meeting.

Then a child is born; now there is a family -- more meaning. Now the father feels a meaning in his life: the child has to be brought up. He loves the child, he works hard, but work is now no longer work. He is working for his child, for his beloved, for his home. He works, but the hardness of the work has disappeared. He is not dragging it. Tired of the whole day, he comes home dancing. Seeing the smile on his child's face, he is tremendously happy. A family is a higher unit than the couple, and so on and so forth. And God is nothing but the communion of all, the greatest family of all.

That's why I go on calling these orange people my family. I would like you to disappear in the whole. I would like you to be so absorbed in the whole that you remain individual, but you become part of a greater unity, bigger than you. Meaning arises IMMEDIATELY whenever you become part of a greater unity.

When a poet writes a poem, meaning arises -- because the poet is not alone; he has created something. When a dancer dances, meaning arises. When a mother gives birth to a child, meaning arises. Left alone, cut from everything else, isolated like an island, you are meaningless. Joined together you are meaningful. The bigger the whole, the bigger is the meaning. That's why I say God is the biggest conceivable whole, and without God you cannot attain to the highest meaning. God is not a person; God is not sitting somewhere. Those ideas are just stupid. God is the total presence of existence, the being, the very ground of being.

GOD exists wherever there is union; wherever there is Yoga, God comes into existence. You are walking alone; God is fast asleep. Then suddenly you see somebody and you smile; God is awakened, the other has come in. Your smile is not isolated, it is a bridge. You have thrown a bridge towards the other. The other has also smiled, there has been a response. Between you both arises that space I call God -- a little throb. When you come to the tree and you sit by the side of the tree, completely oblivious to the existence of the tree, God is fast asleep. Then suddenly you look at the tree, and an upsurge of feeling for the tree and God has arisen.

Wherever there is love, God is; wherever there is response, God is. God is the space; it exists wherever union exists. That's why I say love is the purest possibility of God, because it is the subtlest union of energies.

Hence the insistence of the Bauls that love is God. Forget God, love will do. But never forget love, because God alone won't do.

Intelligence is discrimination, understanding. Truth is the key word, sat. The man who moves through intelligence moves towards SAT, truth.

Higher than intelligence is the sixth type of religion. I call it the religion of meditation.

Meditation is awareness, spontaneity, what the Bauls call SAHAJA MANUSH, the spontaneous man. Freedom -- it is non-traditional, it is radical, revolutionary, individual. The key word is CHIT, consciousness. Intelligence is still the highest form of intellect, intelligence is the purest form of intellect. The ladder is the same. Intellect is going downwards on the same ladder, intelligence is going upwards, but the ladder is the same. In meditation the ladder is thrown. Now, no more movement on the same ladder, neither upwards nor downwards. Now, no more movement, but a state of no-movement inside, a drowning into oneself, a sinking in.

Intellect is other-oriented; intelligence is also other-oriented. Intellect cuts the other, intelligence joins the other, but both are other-oriented. So if you understand rightly, the first four types of religion I don't call religion. They are pseudo-religions. Real religion starts with the fifth type, and that is the lowest, but REAL. The sixth type of religion is that of meditation, consciousness, CHIT. One simply moves into oneself. All directions are dropped, all dimensions dropped. One simply tries to be oneself, one simply tries just to be. That is where Zen exists, in the sixth type of religion. The very word 'Zen' means DHYANA, meditation.

Then comes the highest type of religion, the seventh: the religion of ecstasy, SAMADHI.

Just as the fifth type has the key word SAT, truth, and the sixth type, the religion of meditation, has the key word CHIT, consciousness, the seventh. the highest, has ANAND, bliss, ecstasy. That is the key word: SAT-CHIT-ANANDA, truth, consciousness, ecstasy.

The Bauls belong to the seventh type -- joy, celebration, song, dance, ecstasy -- ANAND. They make meditation tremendously joyful -- because a person can be meditative and can become sad. A person can be meditative and can become very silent and may miss bliss. Because meditation can make you silent, absolutely still, but unless dance happens in it, something is missing. Peace is good, peace is very beautiful, but something is lacking in it; bliss is lacking. When peace starts dancing it is bliss. When peace becomes active, overflowing, it is bliss. When bliss is enclosed in a seed it is peace. And when the seed has sprouted, not only that, but the tree has bloomed and the flowers have come and the seed has become a bloom, then it is SAMADHI. That is the highest type of religion.

Peace has to dance and silence has to sing. And unless your innermost realization becomes a laughter, something is still lacking. Something still has to be done.

That's where the Bauls enter. Their religion is that of ecstasy. Now the song for today:









The man that breathes, and the man that lives beyond... between these two there is a third man, the link: body, psyche, and soul. Or, you can use the Christian Trinity -- God, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Body is THE MAN THAT BREATHES. By breathing, the body is alive. The breath goes into your body; it gives PRANA, vitality, to your body. Without breath the body would disappear, because without breath the body would be disconnected from the atmosphere. The atmosphere is continuously pouring its own being into your being. Exhaling, inhaling -- atmosphere is continuously keeping you alive, flowing, streaming. "The body," Bauls say, "is the first man."

Then there is a beyond which needs no breathing, which is eternally there, which needs nothing. That is the God of the Bauls. They call the essential man ADHAR MANUSH. And between the two is the psyche, the mind, or call it heart. Bauls call it heart; the Holy Ghost. It exists as a link.

The whole work has to be done in the psyche. On one pole of it exists the body, on the other pole, God. The whole work of discipline, of SADHANA, has to be done in the psyche. That is what meditation is all about.









The Bauls say that just worship won't do, but WORSHIP KNOWINGLY. The body has to worship the psyche, and the psyche has to worship the unseen. This is what they mean by 'worship knowingly'. Let your body follow your psyche, your heart, let your body follow your feelings, and let your feelings follow the unknown, the unseen. Then you are a worshipper. Then worship is not an ordinary ritual that you do in the temple; then worship is something that you do in your own being. That is your real temple.





And the Bauls say it is a LEELA, a sport. These three are running, chasing each other: the body, the psyche, and the soul.



This word LEELA, sport, has to be understood. It is uniquely Eastern. In the West never has a concept like that ever arisen. In the West the concept of God is that of a worker, not of a player. The concept of God is of a creator, and the creation seems to be very serious. But the concept of LEELA is of fun, play. In the East we have known that God is not serious, and religion need not be serious. God is the greatest player; He is in a great play.

As a painter plays with the brush and the paint and the color on the canvas, out of play something arises. The painting can be done in two ways: you can be very serious about it -- but then you will be just a technician. You may do it perfectly well, but it will lack something: it will lack spirit. That is the difference between a technician and an artist. An artist has no plan. He simply sits before the canvas and starts playing. He is more childlike. Out of his play something arises. That is the best way to understand modern painting.

Modern painting is more Eastern than Western. Picasso is more Eastern than Western, because he is playing. That's why it is very difficult to understand modern painting. Classical painting is very simple to understand. It reproduces life exactly, it is a replica. It is more like photography -- mechanical. Modern painting is very difficult to understand. It is as difficult to understand as the flowers. Somebody asked Picasso -- seeing his painting he asked, "What does it mean?" Picasso said, "Nobody goes to the plants and asks, and nobody goes to the birds and asks,'What do you mean?' Why do you come to me, and me alone? Go to the plants and ask the flowers 'why?'"

A great LEELA goes on.

BOTANISTS have become aware of something very rare and meaningful. They have become aware that insects play with flowers and imitate flowers; they deceive flowers. Butterflies imitate flowers and deceive flowers. And on the other hand, flowers imitate insects and butterflies, and the play goes on. Lizards imitate rocks, and rocks imitate lizards. The great play continues, hide-and-seek.

LEELA is a beautiful concept. It relaxes you tremendously, absolutely. If God is in LEELA, then don't be serious and don't keep long faces; there is no need. Become more playful. Life is a sport. Look at life with the eyes of play, non-seriously. The difference is tremendous.

You go on a street to your office; then you have a totally different mind -- tense, ambitious, worried, stressed. On the same route you go for a morning walk -- the road is the same, the trees are the same, the birds are the same, the sky is the same, you are the same, the people passing are the same. But when you go for a morning walk you have no stress, no tension, because you are not going anywhere in particular. It is just a morning walk -- you are enjoying it, you are playful.

Prayer is a play. So if you go to the temple and you become very serious, you will miss the temple. Go to the temple to laugh, go to the temple to enjoy, go to the temple to celebrate.

The Bauls sing,

I have no knowledge

of my own self.

If for once

I could know what I am,

the unknown would be known.

God is nearby

and yet far away --

like the mountain hiding

behind my streaming hair.

I travel distant towns

of Dakar and Delhi

constantly searching,

but circling round my own knees.

God is alive

in my living form.

Only purity of heart

will lead me to Him.

The more I study

the wisdom of the Vedas,

the more I am bewildered.

I am blind

in spite of my eyes.

Only purity of heart

will lead me to Him.

God is alive

in my own living form.

Never in my life

did I once face the man

who lives in my own little room.

My eyes blinded

by the weight of storms

can see nothing, even when He stirs.

My hands fail

to reach His hands

as He is forever engaged

with the world.

I keep silent when they call Him

the word of life,

and the water

and the fire

and the earth

and the air,

while no one is sure.

Could I ever wish to know

anyone else?

I do not yet know

my own little room....

THE Bauls say if you can know your own little room, you will know all -- because He is there. He is in the body as the breathing man. He is in the psyche as your intelligence, awareness, meditation. And He is beyond you. Move slowly: let the body follow feeling, let the feeling follow the unknown. Don't move through knowledge, move through feeling, and then you will be in tune with God.

He does not dwell

in the complex of stars,

nor in limitless space.

He is not found

in the ethical scriptures

or in the texts of the Vedas.

He lives beyond

the existence of all.

The man is here,

in his form without form

to adorn the hamlet of my limbs

and the sky above

in the glow of his feelings,

the platform of spontaneous matter.

Even matter, the body, is spontaneous. That is his platform. The man is here!

If you fail to recognize

your own heart,

can you ever come to know

the great unknown?

The farthest away

will be nearest to you

and the unknown within your knowing.

Fill up your home

with the world abroad,

and you will attain

the unattainable man.

Open your heart to the skies, to the unknown, to the unfamiliar. Don't move with knowledge, because knowledge means that which you have already known. That's why the Vedas won't help. Veda means knowledge; the very word 'veda' means knowledge. It comes from a root VED, which means 'to know'. Hence, the Bauls' continuous criticism of the Vedas. Knowledge is not going to help.

Move into the unknown, wait for the unknown to knock at your door. You simply wait -- alert, expectant, ready to receive, with a feeling heart, and being playful.











A very significant secret: between the doors of birth and death, stands yet another door... that door is what we call love. Have you watched? Between birth and death there is nothing else to happen but love. If you miss love between birth and death, you have missed the whole opportunity of life. You may gather knowledge and you may gather valuable stones, and you may gather money and prestige and power, but if you have missed love, then you have missed the real door.

The first door, the door of birth, is simply an opportunity to move through the second door, the door of love. Between birth and death is love. In fact, life exists only to give an opportunity to love and be loved. If that is missed, all is missed. If that is not missed, then even if you have missed all, nothing is missed. And this door of love is REAL death. The other death that will come in the end is not real, because you will survive it. You will be reborn again. As death follows birth, so birth follows death. They are two aspects of the same coin. But if you move into the door of love, then you die, and you die so totally that then there is no birth for you, and of course, no death. Love is the real death because the ego disappears completely.

In ordinary death the body disappears, ego remains, and that carries you into new lives. That is the whole thread of rebirth. Once that thread is broken and the root is cut, you disappear from the world of matter, from the world of the visible into the world of the invisible, the beyond, the other shore.









That is what Bauls call the real door of death.



If you can die before dying, that is, if you can pass through the door of love, if you can die living, then there is no death for you. Then you have become deathless, then you are immortal, then you are a God. Then you are no more part of the material world where bodies are formed and where bodies are de-formed. Then you are no more into the world of forms, of creation, destruction; you are beyond. That beyond is already in you.

The man is here. It is right now, in this moment, here. But you will have to pass through the alchemy of love, otherwise you will never know it.

The Bauls sing,

Reaching for reality

is lame talk

to describe the goal

of the lover-worshipper.

He will attain

the great unattainable.

Stare at the face

of the invisible one

bearing the nectar of love.

How can I capture the man

who is not to be caught?

He lives on the other bank

of the river,

and the skin of my eyes

screens my sight.

The body screens your sight. If you become too identified with the body, it becomes a barrier, Reverse the process: let the body follow the heart, not the heart the body. If the heart has to follow the body, body becomes a barrier. Then you cannot reach the other shore. If the body follows the heart, the body becomes the boat.

Where is the home

of the moon?

And what makes

the cycle of the days

wander, encircling

the moving nights?

The lunar eclipse

in the night of the full moon

is known to all.

But no one enquires

about the blackened moon

on the darkest night

of the month.

He who is able

to make the full moon rise

in the sky

of the darkest night,

has a right to claim

the glory of the three worlds --

the heaven, the earth and the other spheres.

"He who is able to make the full moon rise in the sky of the darkest night"...that is their description of love.

A LOVER is capable of creating life out of death; he can do the miracle. He can make the moon rise in the darkest night. That's why there is a fear about love. I have observed thousands of people trembling whenever they are on the threshold of love, afraid. Why does so much fear come out of love.

Erich Fromm has written a beautiful book in which he says that love seems to be one of the most risky things, one of the most dangerous. And there is tremendous fear in humanity about love. People talk about love; they may be talking just to deceive themselves. Their talk may be just a substitute to give them a feeling that they are lovers. But people are afraid of love. It gives fear, because love is death. Your ego has to be dropped completely, utterly effaced. It is suicide. Fear is natural, but if you are courageous enough and you can pass through it, if you can carry the cross of love on your shoulders, resurrection is certain. The moment ego is dropped, you are born.

He who knows

the essence of love,

fears none.

Devoted only

to love's own form,

alive before his eyes,

his home is in

happiness itself.

Lulling lust

by lust alone

he raids the heart of the God

that churns all hearts,

finding himself

in perennial love.

Let your heart be a caring home

for the man of your heart.

Focus your vision

through the eye-black of loving.

He will be floating

on the mercurial mirror.

Hours wither like broken games

on the playground of the earth.

Abandon search

and join the carnival of love.

Abandon search

and join the carnival of love....

The Bauls say just intellectual search, seeking, is not going to help. "Join the carnival of love": that is what prayer is, that-is what worship is.

Be ecstatic, joyful, celebrating, singing, dancing. Let God be allowed to be playful through you. Let playfulness be your only prayer. Let joy be your only worship.


Next: Chapter 6, Now Is Not Part Of Time, First Question


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