What is this universe made of, besides this silence which I don’t know and with which the sages are overflowing?
Nivedano, this universe is certainly made of silence. But the silence is not dead, it is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a temple. It is alive! It is a song without words.
It has gestures… in a thousand and one ways those gestures show what this universe is made of. Look at the roses, look at the lotuses, look at the birds on the wing. Look at the stars and the trees and the mountains. These are all gestures of silence.
It is the dance of silence, this whole existence. It takes unique forms, it melts from one form into another form, but silence is its fundamental constituent.
These words you listen to, they are not saying anything. Just gestures of silence, alive. You have asked a beautiful question: “What is this universe made of besides this silence which I don’t know…?” How can you know the silence? You can be the silence, but you can never know it.
For knowing, a distinction, a distance is needed. You have to be the knower and the silence has to be the known.
You are also made of silence.
It is just that you have not looked deep enough into your own being. Then it is not a question of knowing, it is a question of being.
And you are saying, “… the silence which I don’t know and with which the sages are overflowing.” You are also overflowing. Only you are intrigued with all kinds of stupid things, so you remain unaware of your overflowing silence. Sages drop all nonessential things and then only the silence remains – and the overflow of it.
The whole world is flooded with silence.
Now even the scientists are turning into mystics because they are saying that stars disappear into black holes, symmetrical to our death. We also don’t know the dark tunnel of death. But scientists have also observed that not only do old stars simply disappear, new stars are continuously being born. And stars are not small things. The idea has entered into the scientific world that everything arises out of nothing and finally collapses back into the nothing to rest. Perhaps it may arise again…
It looks illogical – how, from nothing, can the whole existence with such variety come out? But it is not a question of logic. What can I do? It is the way things are.
And to make it logical we have made things unnecessarily idiotic. We could not conceive how this world, this universe, can come out of nothingness. We created a fictitious God to console our hearts and our logic: “God created the world.” That gives a little satisfaction to mediocre minds.
Those who are a little more intelligent will find the question remains the same: From where does god come? Finally you have to accept the fact that out of nothingness, God comes. Why bring in poor God unnecessarily? Then he gets so many hits – for centuries he has been hammered by all sides.
There is no problem. From nothing, everything comes.
For example, I am speaking to you and I am fully aware from where these words are coming: they are coming from my nothingness. I don’t find any other place from where they are coming.
Nothingness is not nothing.
Nothingness is all. And to recognize nothingness as all, as an experience, is the only way to find your unity with the universe. In life, in death, there is no fear. You have been here many times and then rested. Rest is needed, one gets tired. Every day you work and in the night you rest, hoping that in the morning you will wake up again.
I know a man who does not go to sleep and keeps the whole house awake, knocks, and asks people, “Are you asleep?” Now if they answer, their sleep is disturbed. If they don’t answer, he will shake them: “What happened, are you asleep?”
I was a guest in that family and everybody said, “Somehow, this man is driving us crazy. Neither he sleeps nor he allows anybody else to have a restful night.”
I said, “What is his logic?”
They said, “He used to be a professor of logic, and you cannot argue with him because he says ‘What is the guarantee that if I go to sleep I will wake up? I will not go to sleep.’ And he quotes ancient Upanishads which say that death is like sleep.”
I talked to the man. I said, “Death is certainly like sleep. And sleep is such a restful period; after every day you need a small period of rest. After your whole life, you need a longer period of sleep.
“You have been here – where else can you be? This is the only universe there is. So when you are rested, you can wake up again, fresh, rejuvenated. Don’t be worried about death. Death is a tremendous relaxation into the universe, into its nothingness.”
Only a meditator can understand. As his meditation becomes deeper, he comes to explore the whole world of nothingness within himself. But it is a nothingness to be rejoiced in – so restful, so peaceful, so cool. So alive, so overflowing….
Nivedano, you will have to enter into your nothingness. That is the only real temple.
Gautam Buddha, in his tremendous compassion, said to his disciples, “If you meet me on the way, while you are going deeper into yourself, cut my head immediately! I should not become a barrier.
Your nothingness should remain absolutely yours; it cannot be shared, cannot be divided.”
You have to go in absolute aloneness. Just the very idea of being totally nothing brings a shower of flowers. Just being alone, utterly alone, brings such a fresh breeze, such fragrance. But the experience is a million times more than you can conceive of with the mind.
If this world needs anything, it is an experience of nothingness. Not an experience of a God, not an experience of a Jesus Christ, not an experience of Gautam Buddha. It needs only one experience: of a purity, uncontaminated, unpolluted even by the presence of anybody else—a pure presence, of your own being.
To me, that is the liberation. To me, that is the ultimate flowering of your being. Your eyes will show it, your hands will indicate it, your dance may become the part of the overflow. You will be a transformed human being.
And at this juncture of time we need millions of transformed beings who can fill the whole world with joy, with roses of consciousness. With the light of awareness, with music of the soul. Because only that can prevent the idiotic politicians from destroying this world.
Perhaps you may have not noted: destruction also gives a certain power. Just as creation gives a tremendous well-being, a dignity… those who cannot be creative have all become destructive – in the name of politics, in the name of religion, in the name of education.
I want my sannyasins to stand against the whole ugly past of humanity. Only then can we see a new sunrise, a new world overflowing with love. Otherwise, we have come to the point where the greatest criminals of the world are joined together to destroy it. They may destroy it in the great names of democracy, equality, communism, socialism, but these are just names. Behind is the reality that these uncreative people are taking revenge against those who have created. They could not be a Mozart, they could not be a Wagner, they could not be a Michelangelo. At least they can be an Adolf Hitler. They can be in some way destructive because they could not convert their energies into creativity.
Only a man of inner silences becomes a creator. And we need more and more creative people in the world. Their very creativity, their very silence, their very love, their very peace will be the only way to protect this beautiful planet.
Yes, Nivedano, this existence consists only of silence and laughter.
One day, Jesus wakes up in a bad mood. He is feeling depressed and lethargic. In fact, a typical Monday-morning feeling. He wanders around heaven looking for someone to cheer him up and finally arrives at the Pearly Gates where Saint Peter is interviewing the new arrivals.
Suddenly he sees an old man with a long white beard whose face looks familiar. He goes up to him. “Excuse me sir,” says Jesus, “but your face seems familiar. I am sure we have met. What did you do on earth?”
The old man smiles. “As a matter of fact,” he says, “I am a carpenter and lived a full and happy life until my son left home and became world famous. I never saw him again.”
Jesus looks at him with astonishment and says with delight, “Dad!”
The old man opens his eyes wide and rushes forward with outstretched arms, crying, “Pinocchio!”
Little Ernie accompanies his parents to a nudist beach for the first time. After looking around for a few minutes, Ernie asks his father why some men have big ones and some men have small ones.
Rather than go into a long explanation, his father replies, “The men that have big ones are smart and the men that have small ones are stupid.”
Accepting this explanation, Ernie goes off to explore the beach. Time passes and he finally comes across his father again, “Have you seen your mother, son?” asks his dad.
“Yes,” says Ernie, “she is behind the bushes talking to some stupid guy who is getting smarter by the minute.”
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