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Chapter 25

We are Ancient Pilgrims
(This chapter title do not exist in the new edition. Content from this chapter has been shifted to Chapter 7 titled 'Examine and Investigate' in the new edition)


You should find freedom by means of both
examination and investigation.
Don’t brag.
Don’t be consumed by jealousy.
Don’t act capriciously.
Don’t expect thanks.

This quintessential elixir of advice
by which the advancement of the five decays
is changed into the bodhi path
is transmitted through dharmakirti.

By awakening the karmic energy of previous training,
and by virtue of my intense interest,
I ignored misery and bad reputation
and sought instruction to control ego-clinging.
Now, even when I die, I’ll have no regret.

Man's greatest longing is for freedom. Man IS a longing for freedom. Freedom is the very essential core of human consciousness: love is its circumference and freedom is its center. These two fulfilled, life has no regret. And they both are fulfilled together, never separately.

People have tried to fulfill love without freedom. Then love brings more and more misery, more and more bondage. Then love is not what one has expected it to be, it turns out just the opposite. It shatters all hopes, it destroys all expectations and life becomes a wasteland -- a groping in darkness and never finding the door.

Love without freedom naturally tends to be possessive. And the moment possessiveness enters in, you start creating bondage for others and bondage for yourself -- because you cannot possess somebody without being possessed by him. You cannot make somebody a slave without becoming a slave yourself. Whatsoever you do to others is done to you.
This is the basic principle to be understood, that love without freedom never brings fulfillment.

And there have been people who have tried the other extreme, freedom without love. These are the monks, the escapists, the people who renounced the world. Afraid of love, afraid of love because it brings bondage, they renounce all the situations where love can flow, grow, can happen, is possible. They escape into loneliness. Their loneliness never becomes aloneness, it remains loneliness. And loneliness is a negative state; it is utterly empty, it is sad.

One can be a solitary, but that does not bring solitude. Solitariness is just physical aloneness, solitude is spiritual aloneness. If you are just lonely... and you will be if you have renounced the world. If you have escaped from the world out of fear you will be lonely, the world will haunt you, and all kinds of desires will surround you. You will suffer millions of nightmares, because whatsoever you have renounced cannot be dropped so easily.

Renunciation is repression and nothing else. And the more you repress a thing, the more you need to repress it. And the more you go on repressing it, the more powerful it becomes. It will erupt in your dreams, it will erupt in your hallucinations. People living in the monasteries start hallucinating, people going to the Himalayan caves sooner or later are no more in contact with reality. They start creating a reality of their own -- a private reality, a fictitious reality.

The Christian will talk to Christ. In his lonely cave he creates Christ, just so that he can have somebody there, just so that he is not lonely. And many methods of hallucinating have been developed by these monks. If you fast, hallucination becomes easier. The body becomes weaker, you start losing control over reality. The more weak the body is, the more is the possibility of hallucination. People in fever, illness, start hallucinating. The exact same rule: torture the body, weaken the body, starve the body and hallucinations will be easier.

You can have Jesus Christ or Krishna or Gautam Buddha -- great company you can have, but it is all imagination. The Hindu will never see Christ, and the Christian will never see Krishna. You will see only whatsoever you believe in, you will see only whatsoever you create by your belief; it is a projection.

It will be difficult to project it in the marketplace, because there will be so many people who will deny your projection. They will take you to the psychiatrist, they will think you have gone nuts. If you start talking to Christ in the marketplace you will end up in some hospital.

But in the Himalayan cave there is nobody else, you are free to create whatsoever you want to your heart's content. Loneliness is such a misery that one starts believing in one's own hallucinations, to have company. But this is madness.
On the one hand is the person, the worldly person, who has tried to find love without freedom and has failed. His life is nothing but a long, long slavery to many many people, to many many things. He is chained, body, mind, soul; he is not free to have even a slight movement. That is one failure; the majority of humanity is caught in that extreme.

A few escape from the world: seeing the misery, they start searching for the other extreme -- freedom, moksha, nirvana. But they become neurotic, psychotic, they start living in their own dreams. Loneliness is so much that one has to create something to be with.

Both these extreme efforts have failed. Hence humanity stands on a crossroads. Where to go? The past has utterly failed. All the efforts that we have done in the past proved wrong, led to cul-de-sacs. Now where to go, what to do?
Atisha has an important message to deliver to you. That is the message of all the buddhas, of all the enlightened people of the world. They say: Love and freedom are not separate things, you cannot choose. Either you will have to have both, or you will have to drop both. But you cannot choose, you cannot have one.
Love is the circumference, freedom is the center.

One has to grow in such delicate balance, to where love and freedom can bloom together. And they can, because in a few rare individuals it has happened. And if it has happened to only a single individual in the whole history, it can happen to every human being. It is your potential, your birthright.
Meditation is the balance.
Meditation is the bird with two wings: freedom and love.

My effort here in this buddhafield is to give you both the wings together: be loving and be free, be loving and be nonpossessive. Be free but don't become cold; remain warm, warm with love.
Your freedom and your love have to grow hand in hand, in deep embrace, in a kind of dance, helping each other. And then the total man is born, who lives in the world and is not of the world at all. Then the man is born in whom extremes meet and merge and become complementaries; then the man is rich. Just to love without freedom is to be impoverished, or just to be free without love is to live in loneliness, sadness, darkness. Freedom is needed for love to grow, love is needed so that freedom can be nourished.

My sannyasin has to remember constantly not to choose between these two. Both have to be absorbed together, digested together. Love has to become your circumference, your action, and freedom has to become your being, your center, your soul.

The first sutra:

You should find freedom by means of both examination and investigation.

Freedom can be of three types, and those three types have to be understood well. The first is freedom from, the second is freedom for, and the third is just freedom -- neither from nor for. The first, freedom from, is a reaction. It is past-oriented; you are fighting against the past, you want to get rid of it, you are obsessed with it.

Psychoanalysis tries to give you this freedom, freedom from -- from the past traumas, childhood wounds. Primal therapy is based basically on the past. You have to go backwards to free yourself from the past, you have to reach to the first primal scream, then you will be free. So freedom means -- for primal therapy, for psychoanalysis and for other therapies -- that the past has to be dropped. You have to fight with it, you have to somehow manage to disentangle yourself from the past; then you will be free.
As far as this freedom is concerned, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are not opposed to each other; they both agree. Karl Marx says one has to become free from the past, all past social structures, economic structures. His approach is political, Freud's approach is psychological, but both are rooted in the idea of freedom from.

All political reforms are reactions -- and when you react you are never free. This has to be understood. It only gives you an appearance of freedom, but it is never true freedom. Out of reaction, total freedom is not possible. Out of reaction, true freedom is not possible. And only total freedom is true freedom.

You can go against the past, but just in being against it you are caught by it from the back door. That's why it has happened again and again that with whomsoever you are fighting, you become like him. Choose your enemies very carefully, because you will be determined by them! Fighting with them, you will have to learn their strategies, obviously. You will have to learn their tactics, you will have to learn their ways. Slowly slowly, enemies become very alike -- more alike than friends.

It happened in Soviet Russia.... When the revolution came and the communists changed the whole social structure, the czar was killed, and a strange phenomenon came into existence. The people who had killed the czar turned out to be greater czars than the czars themselves. Josef Stalin proved to be far more terrible than Ivan the Terrible. Ivan is nothing compared to Josef Stalin.

And it is a natural phenomenon. I am not blaming Josef Stalin at all, I can understand what really happened. If you fight with the czar you have to learn his ways, and by the time you are the winner you have learned the ways so skillfully, so efficiently, they have become your ways. You start practicing the same on your enemies. That's why every revolution has failed. Persons change but the structures remain the same, because the idea of freedom from is basically wrong.

The second idea is freedom for; it is future-oriented. The first is political, the second is more poetic, visionary, utopian. Many people have tried that too, but that too is not possible, because future-oriented you can't live in the present -- and you have to live in the present. You don't live in the past, you don't live in the future, you have to live in the present.

Visionaries only imagine. Beautiful utopias they have imagined, but those utopias never become reality, cannot become reality.
If you react to the past, you are determined by the past. If you forget the past and look at the future, you are still driven by the past, you just are not aware of it. Looking at the future you dream beautiful dreams, but they can't change reality. The reality remains the same; dreams are very ineffective, impotent.

The first, freedom from, is a reaction. The second, freedom for, is revolution. The third, just freedom, is rebellion. It is present-oriented. The first is political, the second is poetic, the third is mystic, religious.

What do I mean when I say "just freedom"? Neither for nor against, no past, no future, just being herenow, just living moment to moment with no ideology, with no utopia.

The real sannyasin, the real mystic, is not against the past, is not for the future. He is so utterly absorbed by the present that he has no time, no energy, for the past and the future. This is how the rebel is born.
The rebel is the most beautiful phenomenon in the world. Buddha is a rebel, so is Jesus; Atisha is a rebel, so is Kabir. These are rebels. You will misunderstand them if you think of them as if they were revolutionaries; they were not. Neither were they reactionaries. Their orientation is totally different, their orientation is now, here. They don't live for any ideal, and they don't live against any ideal. They don't have any ideas; no ideology exists in the consciousness.

The sheer purity of this moment... they live it, they enjoy it, they sing it, they dance it. And when the next moment comes, they live the next moment with the same joy, with the same cheerfulness. They move moment to moment, they don't plan ahead.
That's why in the East, where mystics have been a great force, nothing like communism has happened. The idea is Western, the idea cannot be conceived to have happened in the Eastern consciousness. And nothing like future utopias -- More's Utopia or other utopias, there are so many utopian socialists -- nothing like that has happened either.

But something totally different has happened: a Buddha, an Atisha -- individuals living moment to moment in such sheer joy that their joy is contagious. Whosoever comes in contact with them is overwhelmed, starts looking at reality with new eyes. They give you a new insight into the herenow. This is "just freedom." Meditate over it.

There is no need for any psychology either, and that's why psychology has not happened in the East. There is no need to go into past traumas, and in fact even if you go into past traumas you are never free of them. Maybe you become more accepting, more understanding, but you are never free of them.

Whatsoever the founder of primal therapy, Arthur Janov, says about the postprimal man, he has not been able to create a single post-primal man. He himself is not a post-primal man. Totally free from the past, totally free from past wounds -- it is not possible. The way it is done by psychoanalysis and kindred therapies, it is not possible. The past is not there. From what are you trying to get free?

In fact, under the impact of a charismatic psychotherapist you start creating a past according to him. This happens: if you go to the Freudian you create a Freudian past, and if you go to the Jungian you create a Jungian past. Now this is a well-known fact, that the patients start creating, fantasizing, the past that is expected by the therapist. The Jungian patient starts going into past lives very easily and starts bringing great mysteries, esoteric, occult. It never happened to any patient with Freud. The Freudian patient brings what Freud expects: libido, sexual fantasies, strange sexual fantasies, incest and all kinds of sexual wounds. They never surface in Jungian psychotherapy. The primal patient starts bringing screams which may not have any reality.
But people are very obliging: if you give them an idea, they oblige you by fulfilling it. In fact the patient starts feeling very very compassionate toward the therapist -- he is working so hard, poor fellow -- so sooner or later he starts obliging. Now there are hundreds of psychotherapies in the West, and each psychotherapist becomes convinced that he is right. His patients befool him. And the same patients go to another psychotherapist and they befool the other too. The patients are playing a great game, and that is happening unconsciously.

Mind is so vast, you can always choose a few fragments which will be satisfying to a particular philosophy, to a particular psychology, to a particular therapy. Man is a vast continent, man is not a small phenomenon. It can contain many Freuds, many Jungs, many Adlers. And you can always choose -- there is so much in you that you can always find ways of choosing certain fragments which fit with the therapy you are going through.

The East has not created anything like communism, and it has not created anything like psychoanalysis, for a certain reason. The reason is that the mystic is not trying to be free from the past, the mystic is not trying to be free for something in the future. The mystic's effort for freedom, what he calls moksha, total freedom, has nothing to do with that which is no more, and has nothing to do with that which is not yet. His whole concern is this moment, this small crystal-clear moment.
And to be in this moment is to be in meditation.

To be utterly in this moment is to be in meditation.
And when meditation happens you will see two wings growing in you: one will be of love -- Atisha calls it compassion -- another will be of freedom. And they will both start growing together. This brings fulfillment. Then there is no grudge, no regret. Atisha is right; he says:

Now, even when I die, I’ll have no regret.

Life has been a fulfillment. I have known its mysteries. I have loved, I have lived in freedom, I have known all that was needed to be contented. I am utterly fulfilled. Life has been fruitful. Life has not been a wastage, it has been a constant enrichment, and I have bloomed and the lotus has opened.

To die with your inner lotus fully in bloom, to die in love, in freedom, is the proof that one has known life, is the proof that one has really lived. All others only go through empty gestures; they are not living.

You should find freedom by means of both examination and investigation.

How to find this freedom? How to find this essential core of your being? It happens in meditation. Atisha calls meditation "awareness." And awareness has to be developed; it is only a seed in you, it can become a tree. And two things he suggests will be helpful: one is examination and the other is investigation.
Examination means, never allow anything to pass your mind without observing it minutely. Socrates is reported to have said that a life is worthless if you have not lived it through examination. An unexamined life is a worthless life.

Examination is the first step: becoming alert to what passes through your mind. And there is constant traffic -- so many thoughts, so many desires, so many dreams are passing by. You have to be watchful; you have to examine each and everything that passes through the mind. Not a single thought should pass unawares, because that means you were asleep. Become more and more observant.

And the second step is investigation. First observe, examine, and then start looking into the roots. Why does a certain thing happen again and again? You become angry again and again: examination will simply show you that anger comes and goes. Investigation will show you the roots of anger, from where it comes -- because it may be, it is almost always so, that anger is only a symptom of something else which is hidden. It may be your ego that feels hurt and you become angry, but the ego keeps itself hiding underground. It is like roots of the trees: you see the foliage but you don't see the roots.

By examination you will see the tree, by investigation you will see the roots. And it is only by seeing the roots that a transformation is possible. Bring the roots to the light and the tree starts dying. If you can find the root of your anger, you will be surprised that the anger starts disappearing. If you can find the root of your sadness you will be again surprised.
First examine what is constantly there in your mind, what is being repeated again and again. You don't have many thoughts. If you examine minutely you will see that you have only a few thoughts repeated again and again -- maybe in new forms, new colors, new garments, new masks, but you have only a very few thoughts.
And if you go into it minutely you will be surprised: you have one basic thought.

Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, "First find out your main characteristic." And each person has a main characteristic -- it may be greed, it may be anger, it may be sex, jealousy, it may be something else. Find out which is the main characteristic, which is the center around which all your thoughts and moods move. If you can find the center, you have found the root.
And the miracle is that once the root is found you need not cut it, it is cut in the very finding of it. This is the inner secret of transformation.

Watch: again and again you become sad. Suddenly out of nowhere... everything was going good, and something clicks and you become sad. And again it is gone, and by the evening it is back, and so on, so forth. Why does this happen?
First examine, then investigate. By examination and investigation the quality called awareness will be born in you. Once awareness is there you have the sword which can cut all the roots of all the diseases. And once awareness is born, slowly slowly you are getting out of the past and out of the future and you are entering the present. You are becoming more present to the present. You are attaining to a kind of presence which was never there; you are becoming luminous. And in this presence, when you can feel the moment passing by, all your senses will become so pure, so sensitive, so sensuous, so alert and alive, that the whole life will take a new intensity. You will attain to a great zestfulness. The world will be the same, and yet not the same: the trees will look greener, the roses rosier, the people more alive, more beautiful -- the same world, and the pebbles on the shore start looking like diamonds and emeralds.

When awareness is very very deep-rooted, when you are present to the present, you attain to a psychedelic vision of life. That's why mystics talk of so much beauty, and you don't find it. Mystics talk of immense celebration going on, and you don't see any celebration anywhere. Mystics talk of great music, but you don't hear any music.
And the mystics are right -- a great music is passing by, but you are deaf. Great beauty is all around, but you are blind. The whole existence is celebrating this very moment, as much as it was celebrating when Atisha was alive. Existence is celebration.
But your heart is dead. Only your physical heart is beating, your spiritual heart is completely nonfunctioning. And without it you will not be able to see the celebration of life. How can you feel grateful to God if you don't see the celebration? How can you feel thankful to God if you don't see the gift? For what to be thankful? You can only be full of complaints, regrets, grudges. You can only be angry at existence. Why have you been created, why this suffering? You see only suffering, because your eyes can only see suffering. Otherwise existence is a blessing, a benediction.

The second sutra:

Don’t brag.

Atisha is really beautiful, very telegraphic. His sutras look as if he is taking quantum jumps, they seem to be unrelated. They are not; there is an inner relationship -- because when this psychedelic vision happens to you, you will start bragging. When this awareness happens to you, the last but one assault of the ego is bound to happen too. It is inevitable. You will start feeling holier-than-thou. You will start moving like a saint, you will start feeling, exhibiting, that you are not an ordinary mortal, that you are extraordinary, that you are not of this world, that you are transcendental.

And although all these things are right, Atisha says: Please don't brag. He is not saying that you are lying. All these things are true; when awareness happens, miracles start happening. Each moment becomes such a miracle, and you start soaring high, you start attaining to new peaks in everything. Whatsoever you do becomes such a delight, and wherever you move, life appears to be so divine. And you can see too, that wherever you move you bring a certain sacredness to the place. Not that these are lies; these are happening. But if you start bragging, all these things will disappear, because the ego has entered in such a subtle way, and you could not examine it and you could not investigate it.

Ego will ride on your spiritual experiences now. One has now to be very careful. The non-meditator can be careless -- he can afford to be careless, because he has nothing to lose. But the meditator cannot be careless, he has much to lose. Treasures are there now and they can be lost within a second.

When you start moving to the higher realms you can fall very easily -- and the fall is going to be great. If you fall walking on M.G. Road there is not much danger, but if you fall from Everest it is very dangerous, you may not survive at all.
So those who start moving in the world of meditation have to learn to be very careful. The path is narrow, and just by the side of the path is the great abyss. A single wrong step and you will fall -- and you will fall badly. It may take years or even lives for you to attain to the same height again. And if you fall once from a certain space, the tendency is that again you will fall from the same space; that becomes your habit.

My observation is this: that meditators learn habits of always falling from a certain stage, so whenever that state is again there, they fall. Great effort is needed to reach it again, but now it becomes a point where the mind suddenly takes the wrong step, habitually, mechanically. So it is better to be aware when for the first time you are moving high, so no habit of falling is created in you.
Don’t brag.

Spiritual experiences should not be talked about. If a great need arises in you to talk about it you can go to your master, you can share with your master. There is no danger in it, because sharing with the master is always helpful. In the first place, whatsoever you bring to the master he will make you feel that it is nothing: "Don't be stupid, this is just bullshit. Forget all about it." Even if you bring nirvana to him, he will say, "This is nothing -- throw it out! Leave it where you leave your shoes" -- even nirvana!

That is one of the secrets of the master in his work on the disciple. He will never pat your back, he will never say, "Great! You are so great, you have attained!"

Secondly, he will always make you be aware that experiences, howsoever beautiful, are still experiences. The real is not that which is experienced, but the one who experiences. His emphasis will always be towards the witness, towards the inner subjectivity, not towards the object.

Somebody sees great light -- and it is really a great rejoicing when you see inner light. You don't walk on the earth; you are so delighted you lose all weight, gravitation no longer functions on you. You feel as if, if you want, you can fly.
But if you go to the master he will say, "So what? This happens to everybody. This is nothing special, others are doing far better. This is only an experience, and experience means something outside. Remember the experiencer, remember the one who is experiencing the light. You are not it: you are the witness of it. Yes, light is there, but you are not it. You are the one who has seen the light. Remember the seer."

Masters are great artists in pulling legs. You may go standing upright and they will pull your leg and you will fall flat on the ground. And the next time when some great spiritual experience happens, you will be afraid even to go to the master and tell about it. This is very essential.

And the third thing: there are things which, if you talk about them, if you start exhibiting them, the energy that is needed to nourish them starts moving into exhibiting them.

The seed needs to be hidden in the soil. It should not be brought out again and again; if you bring it out you will kill it. And these spiritual experiences are like great seeds. The disciple has to learn the art of keeping secrets. This is one of the very essential parts of being with a master: the capacity to keep secrets.

I have heard: a man was in search of a master who has attained to the ultimate secret. He went to many but was frustrated finally, disappointed. Then he heard that far away, deep in the desert, there is an old man who has attained to the ultimate secret, but to persuade him is very difficult; he does not accept disciples easily.

This man was challenged. He sold all that he had and traveled to the desert. It took three years for him to reach there. Utterly tired, weary of the whole search... many times he had decided to turn back, but it was against his ego, the ego of the seeker -- "What will people say? Back home they will laugh and they will say, 'We had told you so before!'"
So he persisted, persevered, and finally reached. Yes, the old man had something; it was so apparent, it was so transparent. He had seen many masters, but all bogus, hocus-pocus; this man had something. He looked into the eyes of the old man and he saw such depth as he had never seen.

The old man was sitting under a tree, and the whole vibe around the tree was so immense that the man was overwhelmed. He started feeling drunk. He fell at the feet of the old man and said, "I have come to find the ultimate secret. Can you tell it to me?"
And the master said, "Then for three years you will have to be silent, not a single word has to be uttered. Serve me for three years in absolute silence. If you can manage that, then I can tell you the secret, because the secret has to be kept SECRET. If you can manage silence for three years, that will be an indication that you are capable of keeping something within yourself."
The man agreed. Those three years were really long, almost like three lives... desert, nobody else, just this old man, and silence -- the silence of the desert, the silence of the old man, and three years. It appeared as if many many years had passed. When the three years were over, the man asked, "Now, sir, three years are over. Tell me the secret."

The master said, "Now you have to make a promise that you will never tell this secret to anybody -- never, NEVER. An absolute promise is needed."
The man said, "I promise! I promise to you, I promise to God, with my whole heart, that never will I reveal this secret to anybody."
The old man started laughing. He said, "That's good. So what do you think, if you can keep it a secret for your whole life, cannot I? This is the promise that I have given to my own master: I cannot reveal it! But I will tell you one thing," he said. "The same thing happened with my master. Three years I had remained silent, and it was as long as it has been long to you. And then the day came, and I was so happy that for three years I had kept silent. Exactly the same thing happened! I asked him about the secret and he said, 'Promise that you will never reveal the secret to anybody.' I promised, and he laughed the way I have laughed, and he said, 'So what do you think, if you can keep it a secret, cannot I?'

"So in fact there is no secret. The whole art is of keeping it; it is not a question of the secret. My own understanding is that the same has been happening again and again. This must have happened with my master and his master, and so on, so forth. There seems to be no secret, but we have learned a lot by keeping it!"

See the point: if you can keep a secret... whether the secret is worth keeping or not, that is not the point. Whether there is a secret or not, that is not the point. The master may have whispered in your ear that "Two plus two is four: now keep it a secret." That will do -- it is not a question of what it is, the question is can you keep something inside you?

Just the other night I was telling Radha, "Now you have to keep this a secret." I have not told any secret to her, but she has promised. "Yes," she said, "I will keep it." I told her, "You are a gossip, one of the greatest gossipers in the commune, so you have to keep it a secret." And she has promised. I don't know what secret she has promised for, but now she has to keep it! The art is in keeping it.
Don’t brag.

Don't exhibit. A natural tendency of the mind is to exhibit. And when you have something special -- for example, you can read somebody's thoughts -- it is very natural to go and show it to people.

Once a Mohammedan young man was with me for many years -- a very stubborn fellow -- and whatsoever I gave him to do, he would put his whole energy into it. Then one day it happened that he started reading people's thoughts. It was very difficult for me to keep him silent about it. And this is trespass, to read anybody's thoughts; it is entering into his privacy.
Because I told him to keep it to himself, never to practice it, he kept it. Out of keeping it a secret and not exhibiting and not practicing it, another quality arose out of it: he became able to put a thought in your mind very easily without your knowing.

Whatsoever he would like to put in your mind, you would immediately act accordingly. He became a kind of Delgado, and without any electrodes. He discovered it suddenly....

I had sent him for a journey; he was sitting on a bus, and just the idea, just the idea, suddenly came in his mind: if he can read people's thoughts, cannot he put a thought in somebody's mind? out of nowhere?
Because I had not told him anything about it, he tried. He just tried with the person who was sitting in the seat ahead of him: "Fall down from your seat" -- and the man fell down! He himself was shocked, but then he thought it may be just a coincidence, the man was just going to fall down. So he tried on another, and again it happened. He became so afraid, and the idea started torturing him: "Why not take the whole bus down the hill?" He had to stop the driver and get down from the bus in the middle of the journey.

He came back to me and he said, "This is very dangerous. I tried on two persons; it worked, and then the idea came to me, 'Why not try with the whole bus?'"
If you enter into the world of meditation, these are small things which start happening. Avoid them, never use them, never exhibit, and don't talk about them -- because if you talk, people will say, "Now show some proof." If you talk about them they will ask for the proof. Then you will start practicing them and soon you will lose the energy.

The energy is needed for inner nourishment. When something is growing in you the whole energy has to be turned into manure. Don't use it outside in any way. The best way to begin is: Don’t brag.

The third sutra:
Don’t be consumed by jealousy.

Now, you will be at a loss to find the relationship, but it is there. Atisha is saying that you may not brag but others may brag; then jealousy will arise. Others may start showing their spiritual powers, and by showing their spiritual powers they may be worshipped by people, respected by people, thought to be great saints. You are holding a secret in your heart, and you know you can do greater miracles than they can do. They are being worshipped by people, and nobody knows anything about you, you are just a nobody. Jealousy may arise, and if jealousy arises, that is the negative part of bragging. Then, sooner or later, you will start bragging.

One more point to be understood.... It happens that when for the first time a meditator attains to some psychic energy, some psychic power, the tendency, a natural tendency, is to exhibit it. And if he exhibits, sooner or later he will lose the power. Then a great problem arises: he cannot do it now, but now he has respectability. He is worshipped and people expect him to do miracles. Now what is he going to do? He will have to turn to magic, he will have to start learning tricks, to maintain his prestige.

That's what happened to Satya Sai Baba and people like that. The first things that they had done were real, the first few experiments that they had done were not phony. But then the energy disappears. And by that time you have become famous, and people start gathering, foolish people, stupid people, and they expect you, and your whole ego depends on your exhibition.
Now the only possible alternative is to learn magic tricks so that you can go on maintaining your prestige. If you brag, sooner or later you will become a victim of magical tricks. You will have to learn, and deceive people.

Don't be jealous, because if you are jealous it will be impossible for you to keep the secret long.

And the fourth:
Don’t act capriciously.

Don't irritate people unnecessarily by pretending to be holier than others, by pretending to be saintly, by pretending to be special. Don't irritate people, don't act in such ways. Why? -- because difficulties are going to arise on their own, so don't, please, add to them.

Your very presence is going to create troubles for you, so at least avoid as much as possible irritating people. If you pretend to be holier, then you will create competitors. If you pretend that you are special, then there will be others who will deny. Argumentations will arise, unnecessary controversies, enmities.

Atisha is saying this for a very special reason. The special reason is that the very presence of a person who has some spiritual quality is enough to create trouble for him, because blind people don't like people with eyes. Those who have lived always in darkness don't like people who bring light to them, they hate them -- because the presence of a man of light is insulting, it makes them feel inferior.

And this happens of its own accord, so please don't in any way do anything to enhance it more. Even if you keep everything secret, a few people are going to know about it. Its presence is such that a few people are bound to find you. Even if you escape to the Himalayas, a few people are bound to search and seek you out, because there are seekers. There are people who are very sensitive, there are people who have been looking for lives for something to happen in their life. You will become known. There is no need to brag, there is no need to be jealous. Try to hide yourself as much as you can; still you will become known.

You cannot hide a light underneath a bush; it will show. You cannot hide a light, it will radiate. And once seekers start gathering around you, and disciples come and devotees come, the society at large is going to be very irritated with you, the society is going to be angry with you. The society will try to destroy you and your whole work and your whole commune.
Why? -- because you are undermining the society, you are cutting its very roots. It lives in ambition, and you are teaching a non-ambitious life. It lives in Machiavellian ways, and you are teaching the ways of the Buddha. It lives through jealousy, violence, possessiveness, and you are teaching love. You are undermining its very foundation, you are destroying its very roots. It cannot forgive you, it will take revenge. So it is better to be very cautious.
Don’t expect thanks.

It is natural, when you attain closer and closer to God, it is very natural to feel that people will be thankful to you. You are bringing a gift to them, the greatest gift there is, the gift of God. It is very natural to feel that people will be thankful to you. Don't expect it; expect just the contrary, that people will never be able to forgive you. The greater the gift you bring to them, the greater will be their anger. They will crucify you, they will poison you -- expect things like that.

Even Jesus was not expecting that so much torture was going to be done to him, that so much suffering was going to be created for him. From the cross he shouted to God, "Have you forsaken me? Why? Why is this happening to me? What wrong have I done?" Deep down somewhere he was not expecting that crucifixion was going to happen.

Atisha is very clear in his advice to his disciples:
Don’t expect thanks.

On the contrary, expect that people will be angry, irritated, revengeful, they will become antagonistic to you. Hope for the best and expect the worst. If they don't kill you, be thankful to them.

A disciple of Buddha was going to spread his master's word. Buddha asked him, "Where will you be going, in what direction, to what province?" And he said that he was going to a remote corner of Bihar -- it was called Sukha -- "because no other disciple of yours has ever gone to that part."

Buddha said, "Before you decide, answer three questions. First, do you know the people of that province are very violent, easily irritable, murderous? It is dangerous to go to them, that's why no other disciple has even thought of going to them. If they insult you, and they are going to insult you, how are you going to respond? What will happen in your heart?"

And the disciple said, "You know perfectly well what will happen in my heart, because you know my heart, because you are my heart. Why such unnecessary questions? But because you ask, I have to answer. If they insult me, deep down in my heart I will feel thankful to them that they only insult me; they could have beaten me."

Buddha said, "Now the second question. They will beat you, you are going to be beaten. Then what will happen to you? Then what will you think?"

The disciple said, "You know perfectly well. I will be thankful to them, because I will think they are only beating me when they could have killed me."
Buddha said, "Now the third question. They can kill you. And if they kill you, what will happen to you? What will you think in your heart?"

The disciple said, "You know perfectly well, you are unnecessarily asking me. But because you ask, I have to answer. If they kill me, while I am being killed I will be thankful, because they have given me a beautiful opportunity, the greatest challenge."
Can you be thankful even to those who are killing you? The greatest challenge!
"I will be thankful to them because they are killing me and taking my life away from me -- a life in which I may have committed some wrong. Now there is no possibility; I will never commit any wrong. A life in which I may have fallen from my awareness... now they are taking that life away from me, I cannot fall from my awareness any more. I will be thankful to them, utterly thankful, because when somebody is being killed, if he can remain alert, that is his last life, he will not be coming back to the earth. I will think they are my friends, they are delivering me from bondage. I will always remember them with tremendous gratitude in my heart."

Buddha said, "Now you can go wherever you want, because wherever you go you will be able to radiate my energy. You will be able to share my love and my compassion and you will be able to make people alert, aware. You are ready."

Atisha says: Don’t expect thanks. On the contrary, be thankful if something wrong is being done to you. That is natural; you should know well, you should expect it. If it doesn't happen, that is a miracle. If Jesus is not crucified, if Socrates is not poisoned, if Mahavira is not beaten again and again, if many efforts and attempts are not made on Buddha's life, that will be a miracle. These things have to be expected. That's how the greater part of humanity lives -- in darkness, in such darkness; from their darkness you cannot expect more.

This quintessential elixir of advice by which the advancement of the five decays
is changed into the bodhi path is transmitted through dharmakirti.

The original master is Gautama the Buddha, but Atisha's master is Dharmakirti. The disciple never forgets the master, even when he himself becomes enlightened. Then too his gratitude remains; in fact it grows, it becomes total, absolute. Atisha remembers his master Dharmakirti. It was Dharmakirti who told him to go to Dharmarakshita to learn something more, and it was Dharmakirti who told him, "After Dharmarakshita you go to Yogin Maitreya to learn something more." But he was following the guidance of his master, Dharmakirti.

Dharmakirti is one of the very famous Buddhist masters. Many of his disciples became enlightened. Atisha is only one of his disciples, but the most famous. He says:
This quintessential elixir of advice…….
"This nectar that I have poured into the previous sutras has nothing to do with me. I am not the author of these sutras. These truths were transmitted to me from my master, and they were transmitted to my master from his master. Originally they come from Gautama the Buddha. "These sutras are not mine," he is saying. "They don't have my signature on them, I am just a vehicle, a medium, transmitting whatsoever has been given to me. I am instrumental."

See the egolessness of the person, and remember it. And what is the quintessential elixir of this whole advice? That is how to transform the five decays into the bodhi path. What are the five decays?

Meditate on two states. One is the state of sleep in which the greater part of humanity is. People are living like somnambulists; mechanical is their life, unconscious is their behavior. They are not aware who they are, they are not aware what they are doing, they are not aware where they are going. Their life is accidental, a driftwood.

In this state also, bodhichitta -- buddha consciousness, or christ consciousness, or krishna consciousness, whatsoever name you choose, you can choose -- exists. Even in those people who are perfectly asleep, not even a glimpse of awareness, bodhichitta exists, the buddha consciousness exists, but it is covered in rubbish. And the rubbish comes from five senses -- the eyes, the ears and the other senses.

The senses go on pouring into you all kinds of impressions from the outside. Whatsoever you see immediately reaches inside, whatsoever you read reaches inside, whatsoever you hear reaches inside. And your bodhichitta is like a diamond covered with layers and layers of impressions. This is one state.

Whatsoever these five senses bring to you is going to be taken away by death, because whatsoever comes from without, death will disconnect you from it. It can never become part of you, it remains apart. It remains a foreign element in you, it never becomes your nature.

The second state is of the awakened one, the buddha, the enlightened one, who is absolutely alert. A transformation happens in him. He also has five senses, but now his five senses function in a totally different way. His five senses start pouring his compassion to the outside world.

To the person who is asleep, the five senses bring only impressions from the outside. To the person who is awake, these same five senses start pouring his love, his energy, his compassion, into the world.

When bodhichitta is discovered, when inner consciousness is known, you are no more a beggar. You don't take anything from without. On the contrary, you become an emperor, you start pouring your being into the outside world; you beautify it, you become a blessing to it. This is the transformation.

If you are alert, you will give something to the world, you will be a giver. Remember, the more you give, the more you have -- because the more you pour into the world, from the unknown sources of existence more and more goes on flowing into you. You are connected with the oceanic. The bodhichitta is the door of the oceanic. That ocean is God. From that ocean springs go on flowing into you. You just share.
Jesus says, "Those who save will lose, and those who lose will save."

Share, and you will have more. Give, and you will get from the beyond. The transformed person is continuously giving. He has so much to give, he is overflowing.

This quintessential elixir of advice by which the advancement of the five decays
is changed into the bodhi path is transmitted through dharmakirti.
"My master, Dharmakirti," Atisha says, "has given me this secret of transforming the energies, their direction. Now the five senses are no more accumulating unnecessary rubbish which is going to decay and stink. But now they have become passages of an overflowing divine energy."

By awakening the karmic energy of previous training, and by virtue of my intense interest, I ignored misery and bad reputation and sought instruction to control ego-clinging.
He is saying: "I could find Dharmakirti only because of my past searches. For lives I have been searching."

And the same I say to you: You are not new people, you are ancient seekers. Otherwise, there are people living in the neighborhood who have not even seen me, and who will never see and who will never hear, and who will never know what is happening here. Just living a few feet away, and they will not know that something of immense value is happening here!
And you have come from far, faraway corners of the world. You must have been seeking for many lives. You have gathered a certain energy that knows where the buddhafield is, and you are attracted towards that buddhafield. You know where the magnet is.

By awakening the karmic energy of previous training....
He said, "It must have been because in my past lives I have been disciplining myself in many ways, that I must have gathered a certain karmic energy, that I could find the master, that I was fortunate enough to find the master."
and by virtue of my intense interest...

... my passionate desire to know the truth. Only two things are needed: energy to seek, and passionate interest to put that energy into a certain direction.
I ignored misery and bad reputation....

When you come to a master, and the master is REALLY a master, the society will be against you, the society will create misery for you. You will have to suffer many kinds of things -- bad reputation.
I ignored misery and bad reputation....
"It must have been because of my past karmic energy, it must have been because for many lives I have been seeking and searching."

Everybody is an ancient pilgrim.
I ignored misery and bad reputation....

It is very difficult to ignore misery and bad reputation. Now for my sannyasins I am creating a thousand and one kinds of difficulties. The world will be against you: wherever you will go, you will have a bad reputation, mm? Just to be associated with me will be enough for people to condemn you, ridicule you, think of you as if you are mad or something.

Only those who are real seekers will be able to ignore all this misery and bad reputation. Those who are just curious, they will not be able to do it. Only the fortunate ones, only the courageous ones, only the true seekers, will be able to ignore everything, will be able to sacrifice everything, will be able to stake everything.

Once you have come in contact with a living master, then all else is meaningless; then everything can be staked, it can be easily sacrificed.
and sought instruction to control ego-clinging.
"I dropped the people, I ignored what they say. Instead, I poured my whole energy into one thing: how to drop this idea of ego, how to drop ego-clinging."

All these sutras are nothing but the whole science of destroying ego. Once the ego is no more there, once you are no more separate from existence, once you don't think yourself separate from existence, immediately you are enlightened. Here the ego disappears; there God appears -- immediately, instantly.

Now, even when I die, I’ll have no regret.

I hope my sannyasins will also be able to say that one day.
Now, even when I die, I’ll have no regret.

It is possible only if bodhichitta is attained. It is possible only if you have come to know your innermost essential core -- that it is not personal, that it is universal; that it is not mortal, that it is immortal; that it has nothing to do with time and space, that it is eternity itself.

Amritasya Putrah: we are sons of immortality.
Once you have known it, life is not a regret.
Life is a blessing, a benediction.

Meditate on Atisha, listen to his advice; it is of immense value. It is not a philosophy, it is a manual to discipline yourself, it is a manual of inner transformation. It is the book that can help you grow into wisdom. I call it The Book of Wisdom.

Enough for today.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 09:56