Listening is our basic nature. We are more or less accustomed to listening to an object, to our surroundings and to our nearest environment: body, senses and mind. But I speak today of the listening where there is nothing to listen to.
You can never think this listening, you can never objectify it, you can never fix it; and in listening there is not a listener, there’s no place for a listener, for a controller, a doer, for an enjoyer, for a sufferer. Listening is free from all furniture, from all memory. It is a non-state. In a state you go in and come out; listening is a continuum. When you are listening to your body, senses and mind, then your listening is completely open; there’s no grasping, no taking. The perceived comes directly to your openness.
One can say that every object heard brings you back to your home ground, to listening. When the perception is sustained so that the concept does not arise, then the perceived brings you back to your listening. Listening in the beginning may be understood as a brain function , but it doesn’t belong to a specific organ, an ear. So when the listening is sustained, then it becomes awareness, lucidity. Listening is constant meditation, without a meditator or an object of meditation. This may be the content of our dialogue.
We try to make homes out of houses, but in fact, home is projection – there is only a house – it feels cold. We need a home: we want something cozy, something that belongs to us, something to which we belong. Something which is an extension of our being, something which we can make part of us; something which is not just a place where you live, but which becomes alive with you. A house is a dead thing; a home is a living entity, but it is a projection.
So those who are searching for a home will find themselves frustrated again and again because they will find again and again that it turns out to be only a house. Home was their idea. It was their illusion, their hallucination. It was their poetry, their romance. They have been weaving and spinning something invisible around the house which nobody else can see – only they can see it. But it is just a mind game.
Man is born homeless, and man remains his whole life homeless. Yes, he will make many houses into homes and he will get frustrated. And man dies homeless.
To accept the truth brings a tremendous transformation. Then you don’t search for a home – because home is something there, far away, something other than you. And everybody is searching for a home. When you see its illusoriness, then, rather than searching for a home, you will start searching for the being that is born homeless, whose destiny is homeless.
There is no way to make a home. And this is a miracle: the moment that you realize that there is no way to make a home, then this whole existence is home. Then wherever you are, you are at home; because now there is no question of making a home – now there is no question of creating an illusion. You have accepted your homelessness, not with any unwillingness, any resistance, but joyously, because it is good that you are born without a home; otherwise that home will be an imprisonment.
Just think, if people were born with a home, they would be born imprisoned. To be homeless is to be free. It is freedom. It means there is no attachment, no obsession with anything outside; that you are not in need of getting some warmth from the outside, but that your warmth is within you. You have the source of warmth inside; you don’t need it. So wherever you are – without a home – you are strangely at home.
The people who are searching for a home are always getting into despair, and finally are going to feel, “We have been cheated, life has cheated us. Somehow it gave us the desire to find a home – and there is no home at all, it simply does not exist.”
We try in every possible way: one finds a husband, one finds a wife, one brings children into the world…. One tries to create a family – that is a psychological home. One makes, not a house, but tries to make it almost a living entity. He tries to make a house according to his dreams – that it is going to be a fulfillment of warmth, that in this coldness…. And it is vast, the coldness of existence.
The whole universe is so cold, so indifferent, that you want to create a small shelter for yourself where you can feel that you are taken care of, that something protects you… that it is something that belongs to you – you are an owner, not a homeless wanderer.
But in reality this kind of idea is going to create misery for you because one day you will find that the husband you have lived with, the wife you have lived with – is a stranger. Even after living together for fifty years, the strangeness has not disappeared; on the contrary, it has deepened. You were less strangers on the first day you met.
As time has passed and you have been together, you have become more and more strangers to each other, because you have come to know each other more and more – and now you don’t understand at all who the other person is. The more you have known, the less you know. It seems that the more you have become acquainted with the person, the more you become aware that your ignorance about the other is absolute… there is no way to destroy it.
Your children – you have thought they were your children, and one day you find they are not your children. You have been just a passage they have come through. They have their own lives – they are absolutely strangers. They don’t belong to you. They will find their own ways and their own lives.
Who is with you? Nobody is with anybody. You are in a crowd always, but alone. Either alone or in the crowd makes no difference: either in a home or just a wanderer – it makes no difference.
I have never had a home. When I left my father’s house for the last time, I told him, “I will not be coming back again, because this was only a commitment to my maternal grandmother. She had a promise from me that I would come back at least at the time of her death. So just to keep the promise, I have come. Now there is no longer any commitment.”
My father said, “You always say strange things – this is your home!”
I said, “That’s where we differ. Neither is it my home nor is it your home. But you continue to live in an illusion and one day you will understand that this is not home.” And I told him a famous Sufi story I have told many times.
The king heard one night the sound of footsteps, somebody walking on the roof of his palace. He could not believe it. The palace was so well guarded – how had somebody reached the top?
He shouted, “Who are you?”
And the man on the roof shouted, “You should ask it of yourself first: who are you?”
The king rushed out and called the guards to catch hold of the man, but he was not found. And the next day, again there was a stranger. But the king recognized the voice – it was the same man. And the strange behavior that he had shown the night before… to walk on the roof and then to talk in such a way, and to say to the king, ”First you should ask, who are you? You don’t even know that and you are worried about me! You do your business – I’m doing mine.”
The man was fighting with the guard at the gate of the palace and saying, ”I want to stay in this caravanserai for a few days.”
The guard was saying again and again, “You seem to be an absolute idiot; this is not a caravanserai!
This is the palace of the king, his home!”
And the man said, “Then I would like to see the man who lives in such an illusion.”
The king was listening: he recognized the voice. He called the guard and said, “Bring that man in.”
And he asked him, “Are you the same man who was on the roof?”
The man said, “Yes.”
“And what were you doing there?”
He said, “My camel was lost, so I was searching for it.”
He said, “You seem to be really mad! Your camel was lost on my roof? Has anybody ever heard of camels getting lost on the roofs of houses? And now you are fighting with my guard and calling my home a caravanserai! This is very disrespectful to me: I am the king, and this is my home, and you have to learn how to behave!”
And the man started laughing. He said, “Strange! You are telling me to learn how to behave, and you don’t know at all what behavior means! Because I came here once before, and I found another man in your place. He was also saying that this is his home. I had come before that too, and there was another man and he was also saying that this is his home. Now you are saying this is your home!”
The king said, “That man was my father, who has died. And the first time you came you met my grandfather.”
The stranger said, “That is what I wanted to make clear to you, that they called this their home, and then they had to leave it behind. They could not take it with them. It is a caravanserai. This is an understanding, that many people have been here who thought it was their home, and they are all gone. You will be gone when I come next time! When so many people stay here and come and go, this is a caravanserai!”
“And I also wanted to stay for a few days, so what is wrong? You will stay a few days, your father stayed a few days, his father stayed a few days, and this has been going on for centuries. But I am not illusioned: to me it is a caravanserai.”
I told my father, “One day you will also understand that this is not home, because in this world we are born and the day we are born, we start dying. You can call your homes your graves, but you cannot call them homes, because you are only dying in them, you are not living!”
And since then I have been in many houses which people thought were my homes, and I have been telling them that they were not, that there is no possibility.
It is good to understand that we are wanderers, gypsies – searching for something, certainly. But the search can either be for a home… that means some security, some warmth, some coziness, some love from the outside, from somebody else – and that is the wrong way. That is the way of the worldly man – and he always ends in misery.
A sannyasin basically recognizes the fact that the search is not for a home, the search is for: who is this being? – The being who is born homeless, and will remain always homeless.
Don’t search for the home, because there is none. Search for your self, because there is one! And finding that one, suddenly, miraculously, the whole existence becomes your home. And you don’t create it, you don’t project it, you don’t make it. Suddenly it is a revelation. You cannot believe how you have been missing it up to now. The home was always where you were.
The gypsies have a better name in the Indian language. The gypsies are basically from Rajputana in India. They got the name gypsy because they first went out of India to Egypt and from Egypt they entered Europe. It is Egypt that gave them the name gypsy – from Egypt. But they are really people from India, and in India their name is khanabadosh.
That name has tremendous beauty. It means a person whose home is on his shoulders; so wherever he goes, he is always at home. The word khanabadosh is tremendously significant: khana means “home”, badosh means “on your own shoulders”.
It is not visible, it is there, but it is revealed only to those who can find who this wanderer is, who this seeker is. Rather than going after the sought, search for the seeker. And finding the seeker, you suddenly find the whole existence is your home; wherever you are, you are at home, even in a hotel.
Because every house is a hotel and every place is a caravanserai.
So it is a question of how you look at things.
When I was in India, I was at home; when I was in America, I was at home. When I am in Nepal, I am at home. And tomorrow I don’t know where life may take me, but wherever it takes me, I will be at home. That, nobody can take away from me for the simple reason that I am not making any projection which can taken away.
Just finding yourself, you find that the whole existence is your home.
Q: You say the whole world is a mess. What is it that you’re trying to create in man, in the world?
I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you.
Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. That’s my method of meditation. It is not a prayer because there is no God to pray to. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts passing before you. Just witnessing—not interfering, not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say this is good, this is bad, you have already jumped into the thought process. It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise: you are not the mind; you are the witness, a watcher.
This process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion, because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. A moment comes when there is no thought at all. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. That is the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment when for the first time you become unconditioned, sane, a really free human being.
From The Last Testament, V.1, Chapter One
An interview with Ken Kashiwahara, Good Morning America, ABC Network USA
What is it that happens when one becomes awakened?
Nothing special, no big deal; nothing really happens. All happening stops, the world stops. The smoke from the eyes disappears; you start looking at things as they are.
Don’t make much fuss about it. Sooner or later many of you are going to become enlightened. Don’t make much fuss about it. When you become enlightened, just keep quiet. Don’t say anything to anybody – it is nothing to brag about.
When the nearsighted Nancy first met Kazantzakis, she thought he looked like a Greek god. But now that she has been fitted with contact lenses she thinks he looks like a goddamned Greek.
That’s what happens: you start seeing things as they are. Greek gods become goddamned Greeks.
Enlightenment is my true nature; there is no need to do anything.
Only when effort is completely exhausted and one feels utterly useless does grace come.
What is all this? I am confused. What should I do? Should I continue with meditation or should I just sit and let things happen?
Pleas guide me.
Shiv-Priyanand, if you are confused then you will have to continue meditations. Confusion is the illness: meditation is medicinal. Both the words – meditation and medicine – come from the same root. If you are confused, you will have to go on meditating. When you see the point without any confusion, then there is no need. But meditation will prepare you, meditation will force you to see the point that there is no need to do anything. Only meditation can do that.
Just listening to me… I have told you that to be natural is to be enlightened. Now you think, “So, that is great! I can sit silently and do nothing.” But can you really sit silently and do nothing? If you can really sit silently and do nothing, then this question would not have arisen. You would have sat and known and you would have bowed before me and thanked me. There would have been no question. You would have come dancing to me, not with a question and a confused mind.
If you can sit silently doing nothing, what else is needed?
That’s what Buddha was doing under the Bodhi Tree – sitting silently doing nothing… and then it happened. That’s how it happened to me! That’s how it always happens!
But not to do is not so easy. Because you have become so accustomed to doing something or other, even sitting will be a doing to you. You will have to force yourself in a yoga posture and you will sit strained, still, in control, holding, trying to sit silently and not do anything – and boiling within, to do a thousand and one things, and thousands of thoughts will clamor around, will distract you.
Can you just sit and do nothing? That is the ultimate. That’s what nirvana is, samadhi is.
It can happen; just listening to me also it can happen, but great intelligence is needed then. Then, simply, you have seen the point – that to be natural is all. Then where is the confusion? From where can it come? Then what is the confusion? You have seen it, or you have not seen it. If you will sit silently, you will walk silently, you will eat silently, you will talk silently. You will become a non-doer, you will become a natural being.
But if you have not seen it, then you will need a few more crazy things; you will have to go through them. Those meditations will force you to see the point. Either you see just by listening and sitting by my side, or you will have to see the hard way.
Buddha meditated for six years, and meditated intensely, totally. Then this realization arose in him: “What am I doing? Trees are perfectly happy, birds are perfectly happy – what am I doing? And these trees are not meditating, and these birds have never thought about meditation, and they have not read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and they don’t do yoga asanas and they don’t chant any mantras. And the whole existence is so tremendously ecstatic! What am I doing standing on my head and fasting and all that nonsense?”
He saw it, but six years it took for him to see this. And he was no ordinary man. He was tremendously intelligent. It took six years for him to see the point. But the moment he saw it, he relaxed under the Bodhi Tree. He fell asleep and the next morning he was awakened. Not only physically he opened his eyes – spiritually his eyes were opened. Next morning when he opened his eyes, he was totally a different man – the real man had arisen. And just a glimpse of the real man, says Ikkyu, and you are in love. And the moment he saw his real man, he started living a life of compassion and love. There was no other way now, no choice. He became a natural man.
So, if you feel confused, then go on meditating. Meditation is not for enlightenment: meditation is for confused people. Meditation does not lead you to enlightenment; it simply makes you fed up with your confusion. Just see the point: meditation is not a way to enlightenment – it is just a way to get rid of confusion. And when there is no confusion, enlightenment comes of its own accord.
Meditation’s work is negative. It takes things away from you. It does not give you anything; it simply goes on taking things away from you. Anger disappears, greed disappears, desire disappears, and you start losing whatsoever you had. You become every day poorer and poorer.
That’s what Jesus means when he says: Blessed are those who are poor in spirit.
Anger is not there, greed is not there, ambition is not there. Slowly, slowly, chunks of your being are cut from you. And one day suddenly nothing is there – or, only nothing is there. That very moment, light penetrates. All those things greed, anger, passion, lust, hatred, ambition, ego – they were hindering the path. They were not allowing the light to penetrate in you. They were functioning like a rock between you and God. All those removed… suddenly God enters into you and you enter into God.
If you understand me, there is no need for any meditation. But if you don’t understand me… to understand me meditation will be needed. Then go on doing it.
I understand your confusion, your trouble. You can do it only if it leads to enlightenment. That’s what your problem is. You have not said it so clearly, but that’s exactly where the problem is. You can do it if I emphasize that it will lead you to enlightenment – that I cannot do, because that is not true. You want me to promise you so that you can go on doing meditation. You want me to hypnotize you, you want me to go on supporting your desires, your goals, that you want to become enlightened, that you want to become natural… now look at the whole absurdity of becoming natural! How can one become natural? Natural you are! All becoming will lead you towards unnatural structures.
Becoming cannot bring you to being natural. Becoming means becoming unnatural.
Natural you are, but you want me to support you because you cannot sit silently. You cannot sit, really; you need something to think about, something to do. You want some goal. And if I take the goal away you ask, “Then why should I do meditation if it is not needed?” It is still needed. Needed, not for enlightenment – needed just to destroy this constant restlessness in your mind.
It is like this: if you live in a room with closed doors the sun will not penetrate, although opening the door is not creating the sun. By opening the door you don’t create the sun – the sun is there. But by opening the door, you become available to the sun. Meditations are just like opening the door.
So right now if you sit, you will be sitting in confusion, and the confusion will grow more and more if you sit. You will gather it; it will become almost impossible to bear it. And you will have to go to the movie or to the radio or the TV or to the club – you will have to go somewhere.
Meditations are cathartic. They throw all the rubbish that you contain inside. They simply cleanse you. They open the doors, they open the eyes – the sun is there. Once you are available, it starts penetrating you.
Then you will never say, “I became natural.” You will say, “I was natural. The problem was not how to become natural – the problem was how not to go on becoming unnatural.”
The deeper into myself, the more alone I feel. There is only nothingness. And sometimes, looking into your eyes, I get the same feeling of a vast emptiness.
If it is natural—if being alone is basic, the very essence of my being—then how could the illusive idea of becoming one, of falling in love with somebody eternally, come into being in the first place? And why is it so painful to become aware that it is an illusion? Please clear my doubts.
You are the doubter and you are the doubt. There is no other doubt. First, when you say, “The deeper into myself, the more alone I feel,” if you have really been falling deeper you will feel aloneness but you will not feel “I am alone,” because then there are two things, I and aloneness. Then you are not alone. Then there is the experiencer and the experienced, the observer and the observed. Then you are not alone; the other is there—the experience is the other.
When you really fall deep into yourself, you will not find yourself; that is the whole thing to understand. It is only on the surface that the waves exist. If you go deeper into the ocean you will not find waves, or can you? How can you find waves in the depth? They exist only on the surface; they can exist only on the surface. They need winds to exist.
The ‘I’ can exist only on the surface because it needs thou, the wind of the thou to exist.
When you go deeper into yourself the winds are no longer there, thous are no longer there. How can there be ‘I’? I and thou exist in a pair, they are never divorced. Yes, you will find aloneness, but not I-ness. And aloneness is beautiful. Let me remind you again, the word alone means all one. That’s how it is constructed—all one. On the surface you are separate from all. In fact on the surface you are lonely because you are separate from the all. In the depth, when you have disappeared, there is no distinction between you and all. All is one, you are no longer, aloneness is.
You say, “The deeper I fall into myself the more alone I feel.” You must be imagining that you are falling deeper into yourself. The mind can go on playing games. It can play the game of being alone, it can play the game of being in prayer, it can play the game of being in meditation, but if ‘I’ remains then you can be certain it is a game, nothing real has happened. That’s why again the desire for the other will arise.
The ‘I’ cannot exist alone. It needs the other to support it, to feed it, to nourish it. It will bring you back to the other. That’s why when you are lonely you start thinking of your beloved, of your friend, of your mother, father, this and that, a thousand and one things.
You create imaginary ‘thous’. If a man is put in isolation for more than three weeks he starts talking to himself. He creates the whole dialogue. He himself is divided in two—I and thou. He becomes two so the game call be played. ‘I’ cannot exist separate from ‘thou’.
“The deeper I fall into myself, the more alone I feel.”
No, you must be feeling lonely. Never use these two words as synonymous. Loneliness is negative, aloneness is positive. Loneliness simply means you are missing the other. The other is absent; there is a gap in you. Aloneness means you are present; there is no gap in you. You are full of presence, you are utterly there. Loneliness is the absence of the other; aloneness is the presence of your eternal being.
You say “there is only nothingness.” No, if there is only nothingness then there is no problem. If there is only nothingness and nobody to know it, nobody to feel it, then there is no problem. Then from where comes the doubt? How can the doubter arise? No, you are there. That nothingness is bogus because you are there. How can it be nothingness? It is just your idea.
This used to happen in my family when I was a child. I was so lazy—I am still—I was so lazy, utterly lazy, that my family lost all hope with me. By and by they started forgetting about me, because I would never do anything. I would sit in the corner and just sit, either with closed eyes or with open eyes, but I was so absent to them that by and by they became oblivious to me.
Sometimes it would happen that my mother would need something from the market, vegetables or something, and I would be sitting in front of her and she would say, “Nobody seems to be present here.” She was just sitting in front of me and talking to me, “Nobody seems to be here. I want somebody to go and fetch vegetables from the market.” And I was sitting in front of her and she said, “Nobody is here.”
I was counted as nobody. Even if a stray dog would enter in the house I would allow it. I was sitting at the gate and the dog would enter and I would watch. And my mother would come rushing out and she would say, “nobody is here to prevent this dog” — and I was sitting there! By and by they had accepted that I was as if not. But that does not make much difference; I was there. I had seen the dog coming, I was hearing their words. I knew I could manage to go to the market-place and fetch vegetables for her. And I would laugh at the whole idea — that she went on saying that nobody was there.
That’s what is happening to you. You are there, and you say nothingness is. You are oblivious of yourself, you don’t take note of yourself, otherwise you are there. If you are not there, who is saying that nothingness is? Then there is nothingness when you are not there, then there is pure nothingness. In that purity is nirvana, enlightenment. That is the most valuable place to be, the most spacious place to be. It is the space everybody is searching for, because it is unlimited, infinite. And its purity is absolute. It is not polluted by anything; even you are not there. There is light and there is consciousness, but there is no ‘I’. ‘I’ is like ice, frozen consciousness. Consciousness is like melted ice, liquid, or, even better, even the water has evaporated, has become invisible.
And you say: “And why is it so painful to become aware that it is an illusion?”—the other. It is painful because the ‘I’ starts dying. To recognize the other as the illusion, to recognize love as illusion, is very hard, because then the I starts dying. If you drop the ‘you’, the ‘I’ cannot exist. And you don’t know the beauty of dropping the ‘I’. And you ask: “If it is natural—if being alone is basic, the very essence of my being—then then how could the illusive idea of becoming one, of falling in love with somebody eternally, come into being in the first place?”
It came only because of that—because aloneness is basic, essential. The Hindu scriptures say that God was alone. Just think; just visualize God alone and alone and alone for eternity. He became fed up with his aloneness, it was monotonous. He wanted to have a little play. He created the other and started playing hide-and-seek.
When you are tired of the play, when you become fed up with the play, you become a Buddha again. You again drop your toys. They are created by you, the value is imagined by you; you have put the value on them. The moment you withdraw your value they disappear, you are again alone.
The Hindu concept is tremendously valuable, significant. It says God was alone, it became monotonous, and he created the world, the other, just to have a little chitchat with the other, to have a little dialogue. Then again and again one comes and feels tired and bored with the other, disappears into oneself, again reaches to one’s nothingness and becomes a god.
You are all gods who are deceiving themselves. It is your choice. The day you choose not to be this way you will be free. It is your dream. Because of aloneness, because aloneness is the essential quality of your being, the other has been created.
You just try it, go for a few weeks to the mountains and sit alone and you will feel very good. Everybody is tired of relationship and fed up and bored. Go to the mountains and sit silently and you will feel so beautiful, but after three or four days, five days, seven days, three weeks, you will start thinking of the other. Your woman again starts being attractive to you. You forget all the nastiness and all the nagging. You forget all that she has been doing to you, you completely forget all. She is again beautiful, she is again lovely, she is again fantastic, mm?—you put value again.
Then you have to come down from the mountains to the plains, and for two or three days with the woman things are going beautifully — a new honeymoon and after two or three days things become difficult again, and again you start thinking how to meditate, how to be silent. This is how you go on. Just watch your consciousness and its fluctuations and through it you will know the whole process of existence, because you are a miniature existence.
The pendulum of consciousness goes on swinging between meditation and love, between aloneness and togetherness. And because all the religions of the world up to now have been either of love or of meditation, they were fragmentary, they were not total. I am giving you the total religion. I am not choosing.
For example, Buddha had chosen meditation. He gives you the love for meditation, no other love. He teaches you only to be alone, absolutely alone and nothing else. It is good, it is tremendously good for people who are tired and fed up with the world.
He was tired and fed up with the world. He was a king, he was not a beggar. He was tired of women. His father had brought all the beautiful girls from the kingdom for him. He had one of the most beautiful harems. If you get all the beautiful women of the world in your house, how long will you be able to live there? Just think of it: one is more than enough. Now all the beautiful women of the kingdom were there. It must have been maddening. If he escaped, it is no wonder. All the pleasures were arranged for him, every kind of pleasure was arranged for him. If he became fed up, it is no wonder. He moved to the other pole. The other was too much. He escaped into the jungle, he became alone.
There are religions which are religions of meditation — Buddhism, Jainism. There are religions which are religions of love—Christianity, Mohammedanism. And this has to be understood. Jesus is a poor man, so is Mohammed. This can’t be accidental. Mahavira is a king, so is Buddha. The two kings have given to the world the religion of meditation, and the two poor people of the world have given the religion of love.
The poor cannot be fed up with the other. The poor has not had that much of the other.
The poor hankers for the other. The other may be the woman or money or power or prestige or God; it makes no difference — the other is needed.
Christianity and Islam are both religions of prayer, love—love for God, prayer for God.In Buddhism, in Jainism, there is no place for God at all because there is no place for the other. Aloneness is enough. In Jainism and in Buddhism there is no existence of anything like prayer, the word has not been heard; they know only of meditation. Christianity knows nothing of meditation. These are not accidental things; they show something about the founders.
I am giving you a total religion, a religion which allows both. When you are feeling tired with the other, move into meditation, swing into meditation. When you are feeling tired of aloneness, swing into love. Both are good. Both are contradictory, but through contradiction great joy arises. If you have only one you will not have that kind of richness. The one can give you silence or can give you great joy, but both can give you something infinitely precious, incomparable. Both together, they can give you a silent ecstasy, a peaceful joy. At the innermost core you remain utterly silent, and on the periphery, the dance. And when silence dances or silence sings, that is the richest, the peakest of peaks. Hence my insistence for both.
George Bernard Shaw once at a party was sitting alone at the edge of the room. His hostess came over to him and inquired solicitously, “Aren’t you enjoying yourself?”
Shaw replied, “That’s all I am enjoying.”
He has hit upon a great truth, a great insight is there: one’s self is all anyone can enjoy.
Life starts taking the quality of silence. But if you can enjoy only yourself and never the other then you will miss the other dimension. One should be capable of enjoying oneself and the other too. That’s what I call the whole man, the holy man.
How to go through the journey of Four Bodies – Part 1
It is possible that people don’t know about this journey at all and that all the bodies have their own qualities and nature. To awaken the bodies means to enter them. Soon as the first body is purified you enter the next body. Bodies wake up systematically in a sequence, they are joined together. All bodies get over one by one, and then they all collapse.
First is the isthool sharir (gross body), it will be awakened by hatha yoga – pranayama and yoga. A full-forced hatha yoga will get you entry to the first body. Second body is the bhava sharir, it is awakened by mantra yoga. The day your wakefulness towards the mantra is so absolute that it is mastered, you’ll enter the second body. The third body is sookshma sharir, one cannot enter this body without the bhakti yoga or devotion, when you live the full dimension of devotion with the remembrance of the supreme, filling up the supreme in each breath, then the whole culmination of devotion rises in you and you enter the third body. The Fourth body is manas sharir, it is awakened with raj yoga. It is a way of being a witness sakshi.
Work has to be done on the First body because of the way it is now, it needs to be made free from lethargy. Sleep and eating will be reduced as a result. If one is fond of too much eating, then he is below the first body, which is an animal body. You are roaming with the reservoir of sleeping energy, you have become dense and are not transparent. With the Hatha Yoga, whole of hidden energy will burst out and you’ll be out of the gravity, denseness will be gone and fluidity will be there, in this fluidity will occur mantra yoga.
Dynamic, Kundalini and Nadabrahma meditations come under hatha yoga, if these meditations done 4-6-8 months vigorously or if for a year or two, one can enter the first body and for the first time will experience the inner self not the outwardly self.
Everyone has to go through the Mantra yoga, today too there is a lot of importance of the mantra. Chant anything – Ram or Om or Om Namah Shivaye or Om Osho Namaye or Osho or your own name, but chant with such concentration, wakefulness and understanding that you become the mantra yourself. Chanting om mantra is the best because Om is a complete word, this word is rounded and doesn’t have corners and doesn’t prick. Ram is also good (not the Dashratha’s Ram) Practicing mantra will let you have control over the speech, you’ll understand the mystery of your speech.
Third body is awakened with devotion or Bhakti Yoga, this phase will definitely arrive, and you will become a Meera. Devotion is the result of pure sentiments. Devotion makes you the Supreme’s person, Supreme will accept you. If you have not lived the devotion, you cannot practice the witnessing sakshi. If the devotion is pure, witness will occur. The thoughts will be pure in witnessing.
Fourth body is awakened with raj yoga. In the raj yoga, you have to be a witness every moment, witness to every happening, there is nothing else here except for witnessing and it’ll happen on its own. Witnessing doesn’t occur to anyone because the previous three levels are bad and the unconscious catches you so quickly that you cannot become witness to thoughts, emotions or anything. If all three levels of yours are not awakened, how will you go for the journey to the fourth one? You will turn schizophrenic, you’ll fall sick, whoever tries practice for the fourth or the fifth’s body directly will become neurotic.
For the fifth body, you don’t have to do anything, it becomes the body of the supreme, the body of the soul atmik. If this journey starts, there is no other journey left after this because now you are not there. You are only four bodies, in the fifth one you are finished, the ego completely departs.
You have to go through the four bodies, the ego will be crystallized only with this sequential journey. The practice has to start from the first body, where you are now.
After Hatha Yoga, the mantra will come to you. It will be revealed to you but the most difficult is to enter the first body, people remain standing out of it.
If the hatha yoga is completed you’ll definitely enter the mantra yoga because hatha yoga will throw you into the mantra yoga. When mantra awakens, there will occur such a devotion within you that you’ll want to worship pebbles and stones, will want to touch everyone’s feet. The ego that satisfies will become the nature of the soul, it will dissolve into the witness. People begin wakefulness hosh from here in the fourth body.
If any delusion has set in about your practice then reverse the practice, go back to the first step, complete it to move to the next bodies. I’m pointing to all the friends if the practice has not been fruitful then there is a mistake, and the mistake is that the beginning has not been proper. Everyone has to check within – who needs to start with what body and then start it, i have told the Sutras and the way is this. It is not possible that the practice does not fructify when one has walked through the sequence, it will, it is my guaranty.
How to know what body we are in? – Part 2
It is the quality and the nature of the bodies – If you have come back into the first body, there is lethargy. As it purifies, lethargy will be reduced, sleep and hunger will go down. If you are in the second body, which is a body of mind, here is the distortion of the sentiments, you know it, the crooked thoughts like – killing someone, robbing someone, having sly intentions. Distorted sentiments means to ‘take away than to give’. If this distortion is persistent then your second body has not been purified. Only mantra can purify it. Now you fall back and will practice more for the first body to go to the second body, going up and down like this will go on. When you’ll be crystallized in the first one then only you’ll be free from it, and then you won’t have to come back to it.
Once free from the second body you won’t need the Mantra practice again, free from third body, devotion will be over, no need of any devotional sentiment. In fourth the witnessing will take birth and in the fifth, the soul will be born in you.
Hatha yoga will throw away all the lethargy because lethargy and religion have got nothing do with each other, a lethargic person cannot be on a religious journey. Then mind is very fickle, mind carries a lot of distortions, which goes away with the mantra yoga because all the fickleness will be drunk by the mantra. Thoughts will be stopped, they all will be collected and absorbed in the mantra. And you will have full control over your speech.
All this will go on naturally, nature works up till the fourth body. Sometimes accidentally too people reach the fourth body, after meditation for four days if the journey has been over for the last bodies. The journey of the last life carries only up till fourth body. The fifth body has no such play of the last birth, its practice will only be in the present life. If in this life all your four bodies are purified, if the Raj Yoga has fructified, the old journey will be added and continued in this life. If its the journey of the fifth body then this birth will be the last one, you won’t take a birth again. If there still a journey, it will be in an esoteric way, where there is no need to take up a body.
People become deities Devatas, and live on their deity’s plane Dev yoni. Their journey goes on by helping many people and they are full of compassion. For all of us also there is continued support from some or the other esoteric plane, we cannot do it alone.
On the journey for the fifth body, up till fourth the nature will create obstacles. After fifth all obstacles will be removed because now you have been caught by some esoteric support. Now whatever happens here you won’t be scared, wherever you fall, you’ll rise. This is the state in the fifth body.
After this nothing can be talked about because there are many esoteric talks.
Our understanding cannot go beyond fourth body, the Manas Sharir. There are reasons for that, it is most difficult that someone leaves the first platform, generally the whole life is spent and gets over at the very first platform. There is no progress beyond the gross body. If one is not a practitioner, the understanding to go beyond the gross body won’t be born in him. In the practice we understand the gross body and enter into it. The difference between a practice and non-practice is that when there is any pain one experiences the other body otherwise not, but a practitioner experiences another body without any pain or problem arising.
What is the crisis of the questioner’s here is crisis of everyone, actually the journey to the fourth body remains as it is. it is not that you have gone above any of the bodies, these are four levels of only one body, like a building has four floors. And you have believed the fourth floor to be the last one, but there is a journey beyond it. If any practitioner returns in the practice means he hasn’t gone beyond the fourth body.
First he needs to accept that he goes to the fourth floor and its roots are in the first floor because the building is one, so he goes to the fourth floor and comes back to the first one. This works on the grace, when you are on the first, you get the grace of second and so on, when on fourth you get grace of fifth, when the practitioner cannot understand this and thinks he has reached and there is no further destination. The day this is felt he will fall down because the journey is still on.
If feels there is nothing left to cover and this is fourth and the last destination, so you’ll have to come down from the fourth because you are in the momentum still.
Question : Why does the energy move in circles?
Baba: The manner of practice is that the steps below have to be broken, if you have lived the first body properly, it should be finished, because you have lived it, used it and now it got captivated (taken over) by the next body, then you have lived the second and second got captivated by the third and so on, when this happens then what remains to go back to, in circles? If you are going round in circles it means that you are still left with all four bodies, you go from first to fourth and from fourth to first, your energy is moving in circles otherwise the energy does not move like this.
There is a lack of wakefulness, dedication and faith, there is a lack of practice. One has to look at the first body in a complete wakefulness. Journey from the first to fourth body happens naturally also. But man falls off only when he has not wound up all the bodies. When you are stable in the fifth all these bodies will be wrapped up.
In five bodies there are actually only four, fifth is something else, it is a union of these four. In the fifth body the practitioner is steady, he develops compassion, amiability, love and many other qualities will take birth. Why will he go down now? He will go on to compassion. He will be full of love for the entire cosmos, from every child to ant to mountains. Now the course of his energy will be in a different flow.
Up till fourth body, no one has a center, you are falling rising and falling. When all four bodies rise and dissolve into the fifth body then for the first one finds a center. Then you are crystallized in yourself, and there you cannot experience yourself as a person, no matter how hard the world tries you don’t perceive yourself to be a person because there is no notion to be a person is left anymore. There is only one notion, the notion of the totality. You become the whole samashti, not a person. Then there are journeys of the whole, there is a play of the cosmos after the fifth body – the cosmic body brahma kaya and then the nothingness shunyata.
The role of ego ahankaar in the practice – Part 3
This is the story of many practitioners. If this journey is not carried out in a well-organized way, being on fourth body they feel as if they have reached the sixth or fifth, now they come down, go up and then come down, this irony remains with such practitioners.
There is a huge role of ego (ahankaar) here, an amazing role. A worldly person doesn’t have such a strong ego, really a worldly person has no ego at all. The person who hasn’t touched the fourth body, ego hasn’t touched him only. Your ego lives in many pieces in the worldly life, there is neither ego nor determination in the world. This kind of ego is ready to bow down anywhere, ready to compromise anywhere, anyone can lure your ego for a little money. Is this called an ego? This is no ego, no one is an egoist here and I’ll excuse a worldly person for it. Position, wealth etc. is a cheap ego.
A real egoist is a saint, why is he an egoist, because there can be no journey without an ego. What happens with a saint is the ego begins to experience contentment, because it starts to become integrated. A worldly person’s ego is scanty and scattered. Try and understand what I’m saying here, the ego for the first time births in a saint.
Ego is not a bad thing, it is the ego only that we need to unify, integrate.
In the world, the one who is earning wealth, one in politics, one for a designation, all are trying to crystallize in the ego, get integrated in it, but even after a lot of efforts this doesn’t happen to the people in the worldly quests, ego doesn’t get crystallized, it happens to a very few men but then a derangement starts to set in. Don’t understand it wrongly.
Ego gets crystallized in a practitioner, the journey is not possible without the ego. It is only the ego that does the journey, I practice, and I want to know the supreme, here who is this ‘I’, who wants to know the supreme, wants to gain the supreme?
If you have ever possessed anything, then that only thing is the ego, and it is shallow, so you are suffering its pain because when ego splits, it cannot get the full fun of itself in the pieces. It is in pieces, broken, ready to bow, ready to be sold, ready to diminish, this kind of ego does not get contented.
A saint’s ago is amazingly contented and what is this contentment about? When a saint with his continuous practice reaches the fifth body, internally he starts to feel – ‘I’m a god, I’m everything”. Unless the ego can say this that ‘it is a god’, it cannot be contented. Really it has been a big play (leela), been a big journey for the ego – in the journey of the four bodies, you have given away the first body then second and when given away the fourth body a little bit, you get the fifth body in the form of ego as ‘self’ asmitaa.
But there is a tough wall in between the fourth and the fifth body. It is a wall of the ego itself. From here the dissolution will begin. The energy works up till here, energy works only as far as there is no contentment of the ego. Ego vanishes as the gap of the energy stops – this rise and fall of the energy, from first to fourth body and reverse, this is how the journey of the ego goes, all the superficial play of the ego, it keeps producing the energy in order to satisfy itself.
The integration occurs in the fifth body. In the fifth body the ego has to be crystallized, consolidate. The practitioner feels that he has reached because it is the ego that has to reach, the ego feels the contentment. In the beginning of the fifth body, there is an amazing contentment, which can be its barrier too. The journey halts for many practitioners, it takes many lifetimes for further journey. It requires a grace of Guru and the second important thing that it requires is ‘understanding’.
Now there is no game of the energy in you, rise and fall of the energy becomes a kiddish stuff, now there is nothing except for dying. When anything arrives at its full destiny it begins to be erased. This is the law of this universe; either you are into the process of building up or fading away, when the building process is over, you get into the process of fading away.
If you live with utter wakefulness, the ego builds up as far it can, will reach the role it can. There the ego experiences that it needs nothing, as if it is contented, it is out of everything but it itself is sitting still.
Here the practitioner needs to be very cautious because his ego is crystallized and others have shallow egos, others will be attracted, they will love to hear from the practitioner because they get some contentment out of people with crystallized ego, 99% do not understand this and their marketing starts off, they get into talking out. They fail to break the wall between the fourth and the fifth body. This wall is so intense that breaking is almost a death. The death of ego feels like you are going on committing suicide. The ego has to die and it has been the ego that has bought you up till here, it has made you integrated, reached you a state. The journey now has bought you as far as it could. Now after this, it is the ego that has to disappear. It can disappear.
Now the practitioner has to get into seclusion, talk to no one, no second person should know, it’s a very secret affair. If such a state has built up for someone, he should get away from the people, people will catch you, will flatter you, will get you trapped and can bring you down into the hell. This is the game of nature, it is such a beautiful state and there is a trap here too. Nature traps you in a very sweet way, it will get you to be worshiped and you feel that you have arrived. All is the game of the ego, you have crystallized it so much with the practice that you begin to in-cash it. Here the practitioner will fall, rise and fall again, will experience hell and heaven 2-4 times in a day, but the ego is crystallized enough that even after falling, it won’t stay there, he’ll rise and come back to the same place.
In a saint the same ego gets intensified, gets crystallized and the same ego when erased within you, becomes the soul. The ego departs, melts and the soul will manifest. So long you take the juice out of the ego, the soul keeps sleeping in it. It’s not anything different, believe ego is a sleeping soul, not any other thing. That’s why it has so much power in it. When it starts to crystallize, the man gets specific vibrations around him, the aura abhamandal changes. The ego crystallizes for a worldly man too, but there remains a demand in a worldly man’s ego, so that ego is impotent. But an abstainer sanyasi is an ultimate egoist, it sparkles in their eyes and it should sparkle because their ego has crystallized so much that no one can defer from what they say.
Stronger the practice more the rise in intensity, this intensity has its own beauty. If there is no intensity, there will be no jump, when anything that comes into its completeness, starts to erase. This is natural.
Those who are experiencing rise and fall in the practice, they need to be very watchful. If they collect even four followers for themselves, the followers can spoil the whole life-work for a practitioner. The soul is nourishing like being in the womb. You have to walk very carefully in the ego, like a pregnant woman walks. You need to be alert completely towards yourself, towards your ‘I’. Now your ‘I’ is not an ordinary ‘I”, it is very strong, and you should not have any association with it. Whenever ‘I’ appears you must stand away from it completely, do not take juice out of it and here the ‘I’ is most juicy, because in journeys of four bodies in many lifetimes it has turned absolute now, after millions of years. This can be a fortune and misfortune both.
Once the practitioner crosses the 5th body, he is not there anymore, there is only the soul and the soul gets on to the journey to supreme, it fades away and dissolves into the supreme. Here, there is a thick wall of void shunaya, not material but an incredible wall.
-Baba Purnanand Bharati
Translation from a Hindi Discourse on Baba’s Telegram group