Enlightenment is only the beginning; there is infinity to go for.
Enlightenment is only a door, and then there is an unending existence, an unending evolution, expansion.
The people who are unconscious, for them enlightenment is the goal; they are not aware of the fact that enlightenment is only a door. Once you have reached it, then a new kind of pilgrimage starts. Up to this door, you were an entity. Beyond this door, you will not be an entity. You will be just pure consciousness without a body, without a mind; you will be just a fragrance which will go on spreading all over existence.
And the fragrance is luminous. It is full of awareness. It knows itself and it knows the whole existence around it — not as separate, but part, a kind of at-onement. It is the universe, and the universe is it; there is no division, no duality.
Now the observer becomes the observed; the seer becomes the seen. He is both. It is difficult to explain to people who have not even thought about the door, whose lives go on like sleepwalkers, somnambulists. They live, but at the very minimum level without any intensity, without any totality.
And this calamity has happened because of a few vested interests; the priest, the politician, all those who have been in power. They never wanted man to be awake, because if humanity consists of awakened individuals, there is not going to be any Christianity. There is not going to be any Hinduism. There is not going to be any American, and Russian, any German. There is not going to be the white man and the black man; there is not going to be man the superior and woman the inferior. All these stupidities will disappear.
For the awakened man, the whole existence is one. Not only this earth, but now he is joined with the stars, too. And in his vision the smallest blade of grass is as significant and important to existence as the biggest star millions of light years away.
The priest does not want people to be awake because they can be exploited only when they are asleep. The politician does not want people to be awake; otherwise, they will not be democrats, republicans, socialists and communists.
They will be individuals intelligent and conscious enough to decide for themselves. They will not need parties and religions and cults and all their struggles and squabbles.
The vested interests have kept man almost drugged. I don’t agree with Karl Marx on any other point, but on one point I absolutely agree with him — religion is the opium of the people. On that point also I have my reservations.
First, he was only aware of Western religions: Judaism — he was a Jew; Christianity — which is an offshoot of Judaism; and a little bit of Islam — that, too, is an offshoot of Judaism. He had no knowledge about the Eastern religions: Buddhism, Jainism, Tao, Zen. They were unknown dimensions to him.
Secondly, he was not aware he could not be aware, of me and my people – we were not yet there — and a totally new quality of religion which I call religiousness. Not religion, but religiousness; no God, but godliness. I change every noun, every pronoun into a verb because existence is a verb, it is not a noun. It is continuously growing, flowing, expanding.
Now physicists say that the stars you see in the night are continuously running farther away from the center. We don’t know where the center is; we don’t know where they are going, and the speed is immense — 186,000 miles per second. With that speed, although the stars are going farther and farther away, this continuous growth needs not static things but growing things.
That’s why you will find so many contradictions in me. I have never stopped anywhere. I have been going in absolute tune with existence, wherever it leads. And if it contradicts my yesterdays, it is perfectly okay. They are dead anyway.
I am happy that I am in tune in the present moment. I am happy that I know the secret of being in the present, because time has no other tense. It is always now. And once you know the secret of being in the now, you have known the greatest mystery of existence.
But the people who are in power would like human beings to remain involved and occupied with very stupid things — communism, socialism, this party, that party, Christianity, Hinduism. The people are burdened with their own problems. They, too, are mostly created.
For example, marriage is a problem created by the priests. It is unnatural, it has not happened naturally. Now the man is being nagged by the wife; the wife is being continuously put down by the man. Then there are children. And the Pope and Mother Teresa go on telling people that these children are sent by God, so don’t use any birth control methods — that’s sin.
So people have dozens of children, thousands of worries. How to bring them up? How to educate them? We have made a world for human beings so difficult, and on top of it there is hell. If you just slip a little bit, you fall into eternal hell, for small things. And there is paradise luring you with all those things every religion condemns here on earth. And the saints are enjoying all those things there.
I have heard a story of a Zen Master. He was always teaching his disciples that celibacy is categorical. Without it, you cannot enter into nirvana, the kingdom of God. The poor disciples were trying hard to be celibate. It is really doing something unnatural, almost impossible. They were all feeling guilty. And then the Master died. His last words were, “Remember celibacy is the foundation of religion.”
After a few days, one of the disciples died, and the moment he entered paradise he was so full of joy that now he would be meeting his Master. He had been with the Master for thirty, forty years.
He saw the Master sitting by the bank of a beautiful river under the shadow of a very huge and ancient tree, with a beautiful naked woman sitting in his lap. The disciple could not believe his eyes. Still just out of old habit, he fell in the Master’s feet and asked, “What is happening? What happened to celibacy?” The Master said, “You will always remain an idiot! This is the reward for all my celibacy. Now I can enjoy as many women as I want, and here no woman grows old, no woman perspires, no woman has menstrual periods. You cannot improve upon the women that are available here. Their very body is fragrant; they don’t use French perfumes.” But the poor disciple was at a loss. It was such a shock.
This is the situation of all the religions. All the things that they deny to people here, they will give a million times more as a reward in paradise. Naturally, the poor human being is pulled: To be, or not to be? To enjoy a woman here or to wait just a few years more and enjoy as many women as you want for eternity. No marriage happens in heaven; all marriages happen in the churches. And they say that marriage is made in heaven, but in heaven there are no couples, only individuals.
The poor man is pulled apart. His fear of hell represses him; his greed for heaven represses him. With so many problems of day to day living he has no time to think of enlightenment. He has no time to think that there is anything more than this miserable world.
And this is a created situation, because only in such a situation can you keep them enslaved. You can send them to Vietnam to kill innocent people without any hate. You can send your pilots to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki within seconds without any feeling. You have turned people into robots. Millions of people around the earth are in the armies, just functioning like robots. And those who are not in the armies are also imprisoned in some kind of social, political, religious ideology. It is so difficult to find an individual who is clean, completely clean.
And that’s my whole effort: to create a complete clean human being, unburdened of the past, unburdened of any guilt, unburdened of fear and greed, unburdened of politicians and priests. Just clean, so clean that he becomes a mirror. And in that mirror, you see for the first time where the door is. In that mirror, the door reflects.
Just as our eyes are mirrors in which things reflect — we find where the table is and where the chair is because our two eyes are mirroring things around us — when a man is completely clean, silent, serene, his inner being becomes a mirror and the inward door that was always there is reflected in it. And the magnetism of the door is such that once one has seen it, there is no way to escape from it.
You start moving toward that door the way a moth moves toward a flame knowing perfectly that coming closer to the flame he is going to be burned, he is going to die. But some strange attraction, the moth is ready to die.
The same is the situation when you see the door of enlightenment for the first time. You become the moth and the door becomes the flame. You know you are going to die; but at the same time you know that you are going to be reborn on the other side.
This is resurrection.
Excerpt from The Last Testament, Vol. 1, Chapter 20
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