Book on Baul Mystics:
The Bauls are called Bauls because they are mad people. The word ‘Baul’ comes from the Sanskrit root VATUL. It means: mad, affected by wind. The Baul belongs to no religion. He is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian nor Buddhist. He is a simple human being. His rebellion is total. He does not belong to anybody; he only belongs to himself. He lives in a no man’s land: no country is his, no religion is his, no scripture is his.
Bauls have nothing — no scripture, not even to burn; no church, no temple, no mosque — nothing whatsoever. A Baul is a man always on the road. He has no house, no abode. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. He possesses nothing except a poor man’s quilt, a small, hand-made one-stringed instrument called AEKTARA, and a small drum, a kettle-drum. That’s all that he possesses. He possesses only a musical instrument and a drum. He plays with one hand on the instrument and he goes on beating the drum with the other. The drum hangs by the side of his body, and he dances. That is all of his religion.
The Bauls say that life is not a creation of something new, it is just unfoldment. You already have it; it just has to be unfolded, barriers just have to be removed. Obstacles just have to be put aside and your life starts unfolding. You are like a bud: when obstacles are no more there, you start flowering, your lotus opens.
The methods of the Bauls are very simple. They say that if you can dance, many blocks will disappear from your being — because when a person dances and really moves into dance, and becomes movement, then he becomes liquid. Have you not seen it? If you have seen somebody lost in dancing, can’t you see it? that he is no longer solid? He is flowing. The solidity is gone; he has become liquid. This liquidity melts the blocks. So dancing is the Yoga of the Baul; he dances for hours together. When the moon is in the sky in the night, the Bauls will dance the whole night — because for them the moon is a symbol of their Beloved, Krishna. They call Krishna ‘the moon’. When the moon is there they will dance, and they will dance madly. And this dance is not a performance. It is not for somebody else to see. If somebody sees it and watches, that’s another thing. The Baul dances for himself, for his own pleasure.
Bauls have been very extraordinary people. The word BAUL means MAD. Bauls were mad mystics. They have talked in all sorts of paradoxes; but very beautiful. They are not philosophers, they are mad poets. They are not proposing any logical thing, rather on the contrary ‘they are trying to show you something through paradox.
Bauls were great mystics of such beauty and depth that people started thinking that they were mad. So the literal meaning of the word “baul” is mad; it means: the mad mystic. Their whole life was so utterly different, so radically different from the ordinary life, that naturally they looked mad. They danced, they sang, they moved like madmen, traveling up and down the country singing songs of joy, of celebration. Naturally they looked mad, because in a world of suffering how do you conceive of celebration? In a world where everybody is miserable, the man who is dancing and has laughter in his soul looks simply out of place, outlandish, mad, stoned, not in his senses. Hence the word “baul” — it means the mad mystic.
Slowly slowly they have disappeared; very few Bauls are still alive. But the glory is gone because this country no more welcomes the real mystic. It still talks about mysticism, in fact talks much about mysticism, but its heart has become materialistic.
Books on Sufis:
When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him — his disciples — were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face became radiant, powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura.
Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt ar aura around him, but they had not known anything like this; so radiant.
He opened his eyes and he said, ‘God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace. Goodbye.’
When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face of God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you become capable of celebrating death itself, remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this ultimate.
Bayazid of Bistam, one of the greatest names amongst the Sufis.
Sufism is the path of intense love, passionate love. As Bayazid has said, “The duration of Bayazid’s life of asceticism was only three days. On the first day he renounced the world, on the second day he renounced the other world, and on the last day he renounced himself. “
Bayazid says that it is the nature of the master to change others; it is not an effort. Nothing is being done by the master, simply his presence…. And if he appears to do something, that appearance is just a trick because you cannot understand the language of nondoing. You can only understand the language of effort. So he creates a language for you. Even if you cannot understand his language, he can understand your language very well. Even if you cannot understand him, he can understand you very well.
Books on Bodhidharma:
I have a very soft corner in my heart for Bodhidharma. That makes it a very special occasion to speak about him. Perhaps he is the only man whom I have loved so deeply that speaking on him I will be almost speaking on myself.
I AM ECSTATIC because just the name of Bodhidharma is psychedelic to me. In the long evolution of human consciousness there has never been such an outlandish Buddha as Bodhidharma — very rare, very unique, exotic.
Bodhidharma reached China. He was one of the greatest buddhas of all the ages. After Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma seems to be the most precious person in the Buddhist heritage.
Bodhidharma is one of the greatest enlightened men who has ever existed, and one of the most unique amongst all the enlightened men. In many ways he surpasses his own master, Gautam Buddha.
I also forgot THE NOTES OF THE DISCIPLES OF BODHIDHARMA. When I talk of Gautam Buddha I always forget Bodhidharma, perhaps because I feel as if I have included him in his master, Buddha. But no, that is not right; Bodhidharma stands on his own. He was a great disciple, so great that even the master could be jealous of him. He himself did not write a word, but a few of his disciples, unknown because they did not mention their names, wrote some notes of Bodhidharma’s words. These notes, though few, are as precious as the Kohinoor. The word Kohinoor, do you know, means the light of the world. Noor means the light, kohi means of the world. If I had to describe anything as Kohinoor, yes, I would indicate towards those few notes by the anonymous disciples of Bodhidharma.
But who are they to decide how an enlightened or illuminated person should speak? Have they known Bodhidharma? Have they seen his picture? They will immediately conclude that an enlightened or illuminated person cannot look like that. He looks ferocious! His eyes are those of a lion in the forest, and the way he looks at you is such that it seems he will jump from the picture and kill you instantly. That’s how he was! But forget Bodhidharma, because now fourteen centuries have passed.
I knew Bodhidharma personally. I traveled with the man for at least three months. He loved me just as I loved him. You will be curious to know why he loved me. He loved me because I never asked him any question. He said to me, “You are the first person I have met who does not ask a question — and I only get bored with all the questions. You are the only person who does not bore me.”
He said, “What is that?”
We both laughed, because we both belonged to the same category of insanity. He asked me to continue the journey with him, but I said, “Excuse me, I have to go my own way, and from this point it separates from yours.”
He could not believe it. He had never invited anyone before. This was the man who had even refused Emperor Wu — the greatest emperor of those days, with the greatest empire — as if he was a beggar. Bodhidharma could not believe his eyes, that I could refuse him.
I said, “Now you know how it feels to be refused. I wanted to give you a taste of it. Goodbye.” But that was fourteen centuries ago.
|Buddha (Gautama, the Buddha)|
Books on Buddha:
I love Gautama the Buddha because he represents to me the essential core of religion. He is not the founder of Buddhism — Buddhism is a byproduct — but he is the beginner of a totally different kind of religion in the world. He’s the founder of a religionless religion. He has propounded not religion but religiousness. And this is a great radical change in the history of human consciousness.
Before Buddha there were religions but never a pure religiousness. Man was not yet mature. With Buddha, humanity enters into a mature age. All human beings have not yet entered into that, that’s true, but Buddha has heralded the path; Buddha has opened the gateless gate. It takes time for human beings to understand such a deep message. Buddha’s message is the deepest ever. Nobody has done the work that Buddha has done, the way he has done. Nobody else represents pure fragrance.
Other founders of religions, other enlightened people, have compromised with their audience. Buddha remains uncompromised, hence his purity. He does not care what you can understand, he cares only what the truth is. And he says it without being worried whether you understand it or not. In a way this looks hard; in another way this is great compassion.
Buddha is one of the most important masters who has ever existed on the earth — incomparable, unique. And if you can have a taste of his being, you will be infinitely benefited, blessed.
GAUTAM BUDDHA is like the highest peak of the Himalayas, like Gourishanker… one of the purest beings, one of the most virgin souls, one of the very rare phenomena on this earth. The rarity is that Buddha is the scientist of the inner world — scientist of religion. That is a rare combination. To be religious is simple, to be a scientist is simple — but to combine, synthesize these two polarities is incredible. It is unbelievable, but it has happened.
But as far as Gautam the Buddha is concerned, I welcome him in my very heart. I will give him my words, my silences, my meditations, my being, my wings. From today onwards you can look at me as Gautama the Buddha.
Buddha says: Meditation is enough to solve your problems, but something is missing in it — compassion. If compassion is also there, then you can help others solve their problems. He says: Meditation is pure gold; it has a perfection of its own. But if there is compassion then the gold has a fragrance too — then a higher perfection, then a new kind of perfection, gold with fragrance. Gold is enough unto itself — very valuable — but with compassion, meditation has a fragrance.
Even I myself could not believe that I had not included Gautama the Buddha’s DHAMMAPADA. Gautam Buddha was sitting there silently in the last row. I love the man as I have loved nobody else. I have been speaking on him throughout my whole life. Even speaking on others I have been speaking on him. Take note of it, it is a confession. I cannot speak on Jesus without bringing Buddha in; I cannot speak on Mohammed without bringing Buddha in. Whether I mention him directly or not that’s another matter. It is really impossible for me to speak without bringing Buddha in. He is my very blood, my bones, my very marrow. He is my silence, also my song. When I saw him sitting there I remembered. I cannot even apologize, it is beyond apologizing.
Books on Chuang Tzu:
Chuang Tzu is a rare flowering, because to become nobody is the most difficult, almost impossible, most extraordinary thing in the world.
Chuang Tzu says that the real, the divine, the existential, is to be attained by losing yourself completely in it. Even the effort to attain it becomes a barrier — then you cannot lose yourself. Even the effort to lose yourself becomes a barrier.
Chuang Tzu says: Even the distance of a hair is enough, and heaven and earth fall apart. Just the distance of a hair — not much at all, almost negligible — but it is enough to separate earth from heaven. When even that much difference is not there, one is enlightened.
Chuang Tzu is very rare — in a way the most unique mystic in the whole history of man. His uniqueness is that he talks in absurdities. All his poems and stories are just absurd. And his reason to choose absurdity as his expression is very significant: the mind has to be silenced. With anything rational, it cannot stop; it goes on and on. Anything logical and the mind finds nourishment through it. It is only the absurd that suddenly shocks the mind — it is beyond mind’s grasp.
Chuang Tzu is one of my love affairs, and when you talk about someone you love you are bound to use extremes, exaggerations, but to me they don’t sound like that. I could give the whole kingdom of the world to Chuang Tzu for any single parable that he wrote — and he wrote hundreds. Each is a SERMON ON THE MOUNTAIN, a SONG OF SOLOMON, a BHAGAVADGITA. Each parable represents so much, and so richly, that it is immeasurable.
Book on Dadu:
He was called Dadu, which means the brother. He was so loving that people forgot his real name and simply remembered him as Dadu, the brother. There are thousands of songs that Dadu sang, but they were not written down by him, they were collected by others, just like a gardener collects flowers long fallen.
“Dadu was the most beautiful flower”
Books on Daya:
THE SONGS OF DAYA. She was a contemporary of Meera and Sahajo, but she is far more profound than either of them. She is really beyond numbers. Daya is a little cuckoo — but don’t be worried…. In fact in India the cuckoo is called koyal, and it does not have the meaning of being nuts. Daya is really a cuckoo — not nuts, but a sweet singer like the Indian koyal. On an Indian summer night, the distant call of the cuckoo; that’s what Daya is… a distant call in the hot summer of this world.
Translated from BIN GHAN PARAT PHUHAR
Diogenes is one of the most loved human beings, as far as I am concerned. As far as the world is concerned, he is one of those who are destined to be condemned for their behavior, for their ideas. And Diogenes particularly, because he is so unique.
It is said of Diogenes, a man of the same caliber as Bodhidharma …. If they had met, it would have been a great meeting. Diogenes was in Greece. He lived naked; he had such a beautiful body that to hide it behind clothes would have been a crime. It is perfectly good to hide an ugly body behind clothes but a beautiful body needs to be available for anybody who wants to see the beauty, the proportion. Diogenes was one of the most beautiful men. Even when Alexander the Great met him, he felt a little embarrassed — although he was a world conqueror, compared to Diogenes he was utterly poor.
I am reminded of Diogenes, a beautiful Greek philosopher, mystic — and a mystic of a rare quality. He was a contemporary of Aristotle, and he was as much against Aristotle as I am, so I have a certain friendship with Diogenes.
I am reminded of Diogenes. I love this fellow Diogenes for the simple reason that he does not claim any authority from God. He does not give any orders and commandments and disciplines to others. He used to live naked — not for any religious reasons, not to get to heaven; he was not concerned about heaven and hell at all. He lived naked, because, he said, “That’s how I was born. Nature wants me to be this way. Why should I be otherwise? I am going to be just natural.”
Book on Dionysius:
Dionysius is one of the greatest Buddhas ever. And whenever the Eastern scholar by any chance, if at all, comes across a person like Dionysius, he starts thinking that he must have borrowed from the East. That seems to be a tacit assumption: that the East has some monopoly over spiritualism. Nobody has any monopoly. East or West cannot make any difference in man s spiritual growth. Jesus could become a Buddha in Jerusalem, Lao Tzu could become a Buddha in China, Dionysius could become a Buddha in Athens. There is no need to borrow from anybody.
Dionysius is a rare man: living with stupid Christianity and its rigid organization, being a bishop and still being able to reach to the ultimate peaks of consciousness is something worthy of praise.
The fourth name is Dionysius.I have spoken about his statements, which are only fragments noted down by his disciples, but I have spoken on him only to make it known to the world that people like Dionysius should not be forgotten. They are the real people.
The real people can be counted on your fingers. The real person is one who has encountered the real, not only from the outside as an object, but as his own subjectivity. Dionysius belongs to the great world of the buddhas.
And the problem with Dionysius is that professionally he is a theologian and spiritually, existentially, he is a mystic — which very rarely happens. I have never come across another case like Dionysius, not at least in the Western history of thought. In the East it has happened a few times that the same person was a mystic and a theologian, and whenever it happens in the East the same problem arises. The language is of the theologian, and in the language, in the thick forest of words, the truth is lost.
But the truth is valuable and has to be saved. That’s why I decided to speak on Dionysius. I was aware that I cannot like the way he speaks, his expression — I hate it! But I love the truth that he wants to express.
DIONYSIUS has to go through all this unnecessarily. I feel sorry for the man. I have a deep love for the man, and many times reading his statements I have wondered… It must have been an accident that he was born in the West; he belonged to the East. In the East he would have flowered fully.
My approach is Dionysian, I am a disciple of Dionysius: Live and love life. Enjoy this occasion as deeply as possible, as totally as possible, and out of this living experience you will grow. A maturity will come to you; you will ripen and you will carry the fragrance with you. That fragrance is heaven. Nobody goes to heaven — those who go to heaven, they have to carry their heaven in their heart. Nobody goes to hell — those who go to hell, they have to carry their hell in their heart.
Book on Dogen:
Before I explain Dogen to you, let this be the introduction, because this is what he is trying to say: that everything passes and yet there is something that never passes; that everything is born and dies and yet there is something that is never born and never dies. And unless you get centered into that eternal source you will not find peace, you will not find serenity, you will not find blissfulness, you will not find contentment. You will not feel at home, at ease in the universe. You will remain just an accident, you will never become essential.
Dogen is a very unique genius. He is saying, “You may be aware of your buddhahood or not aware of your buddhahood — don’t be worried. When the right time and the right season come you will blossom into a buddha.” Just wait … wait intelligently, wait without desire; enjoy waiting, make waiting itself a blissful silence, and whatever is your birthright is bound to flower. Nobody can prevent a bird from flying, nobody can prevent a cuckoo from singing, nobody can prevent a rose from blossoming. Who is preventing you from becoming buddhas? Except you, nobody is responsible for it.
Dogen, a Zen master, used to say, when he felt hungry he would say, “It seems the universal feels hungry through me.” When he would feel thirsty he would say, “The existence is thirsty within me.” This is what this meditation will lead you to. Then everything disperses from your ego and becomes part of the universe. Then whatsoever happens, happens to existence itself; you are no more here. Then there is no sin, then there is no responsibility.
Gurdjieff perhaps was the first man from the East who penetrated into the Western consciousness. He was a very strange man, and he passed through strange experiences and learned on his own, without any master. He moved in many monasteries, in many groups, and never belonged to any one, but collected fragments of forgotten teachings. And he was of tremendous intelligence, to join all those fragments and make a system out of them which can certainly transform man.
George Gurdjieff is one of the most significant masters of this age.
According to George Gurdjieff, only a few people live eternally, most people are just experimental. They are born, they do all kinds of stupid things, and the final stupidity — they die. But they don’t leave even a trace in the world of eternity. Only very few people, like Gautam Buddha, achieve to the eternal. And because of these few people, the fallacy has come into being that everybody has an eternal being: Buddha achieved it, Mahavira achieved it, Bukko achieved it. Gurdjieff’s logic was, because these few have achieved it, people think everybody else has it — just he has not discovered it.
I forgot to say something about Gurdjieff and his book ALL AND EVERYTHING — perhaps because it is a very strange book, not even readable. I don’t think there are any living individuals except me who have read from the first page to the last. I have come across many Gurdjieff followers, but none of them had been able to read ALL AND EVERYTHING in its totality.
It is a big book — just the opposite of the ISA UPANISHAD — one thousand pages. And Gurdjieff is such a rascal saint — please allow me this expression, rascal saint — he writes in such a way that it becomes impossible to read. One sentence may go running on for pages. By the time you come to the end of the sentence you have forgotten its beginning. And he uses words he made up himself, just like me. Strange words… for example when he was writing about kundalini, he called it kundabuffer; that was his word for kundalini. This book is of immense value, but the diamonds are hidden among ordinary stones. One has to seek and search.
I have read this book not once but many times. The more I went into it the more I loved it, because the more I could see the rascal; the more I could see what it was that he was hiding from those who should not know. Knowledge is not for those who are not yet capable of absorbing it. Knowledge has to be hidden from the unwary, and is only for those who can digest it. It has to be given only to those who are ready. That’s the whole purpose of writing in such a strange way. There is no other book stranger than Gurdjieff’s ALL AND EVERYTHING, and it certainly is all and everything.
Gurdjieff wrote this book MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN as a memoir. It is a tremendously respectful memory to all those strange people he had met in his life — Sufis, Indian mystics, Tibetan lamas, Japanese Zen monks. I must mention to you that he did not write of them all; he left many out of the account for the simple reason that the book was going to be in the marketplace and it had to fulfill the demands of the market.
I don’t have to fulfill anybody’s demands. I am not a man who worries at all about the market, hence I can say that he left out the really most remarkably significant people from his account. But whatsoever he wrote is still beautiful. It still brings tears to my eyes. Whenever something is beautiful my eyes fill with tears; there is no other way to pay homage.
MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN is a real book. A few of the people Gurdjieff mentions are still alive; I have met a few of them myself. I am a witness to the fact those people are not fictitious, although I cannot forgive even Gurdjieff for leaving out the most remarkable people he met.
There is no need to compromise with the marketplace; there is no need to compromise at all. He was such a strong man, I wonder why he compromised, why he omitted the really important people. I have met a few people that he omitted from the book, who themselves told me that Gurdjieff had been there. They are very old now. But still the book is good — half, incomplete, but valuable.
Books on Gorakh:
Gorakh is the first link of a chain. Through him a new type of religion was born. Without Gorakh, there could be no Kabir, no Nanak, no Dadu, no Vajid, no Farid, no Meera — without Gorakh none of these are possible. The basic root of all of them is in Gorakh.
Gorakh made many discoveries within man for the inner search, more perhaps than anyone else has made. He has given so many methods, that in terms of methods Gorakh is the greatest inventor. He pushed open so many doors for going into man’s inner being, he created so many doors that people got caught in them.
Gorakh says I teach death, the death I passed through and became awakened. It was the death of sleep, not of me. The ego died, not me. Duality died, not me. Duality died, and non-duality was born. Time died, and I met the eternal. The small constricted life broke, and the drop became the ocean.
Another mystic, Gorakh, a tantrika, a man so versed, so efficient in all the methods of Tantra that anybody in India who knows many businesses is known as doing gorakh-dhandha. Gorakh-dhandha means ‘in the business of Gorakh’. People think one should stick to one’s own business. Gorakh moved in all directions, in all dimensions.
Gorakh’s full name was Gorakh-nath. It must have been given by his disciples, because nath means lord. Gorakh has given all the keys possible to enter into the inner mysteries. He has said everything that can be said. He is, in a way, a full stop.
Books on Hakim Sanai:
HAKIM SANAI: THIS NAME IS AS SWEET to me as honey, as sweet as nectar. Hakim Sanai is unique, unique in the world of Sufism. No other Sufi has been able to reach to such heights of expression and such depths of penetration. Hakim Sanai has been able to do almost the impossible.
THE HADIQA is the essential fragrance of the path of love. Just as Sosan has been able to catch the very soul of Zen, Hakim Sanai has been able to catch the very soul of Sufism. Such books are not written, they are born. Nobody can compose them. They are not manufactured in the mind, by the mind; they come from the beyond. They are a gift. They are born as mysteriously as a child is born, or a bird or a rose flower. They come to us, they are gifts.
Sanai, and his beautiful statements. People like Sanai don’t argue, they only state. They need not argue, their very existence is the proof; no other argument is needed. Come, look into my eyes, and you will know that there is no argument, only a statement. A statement is always true. An argument can be clever but is rarely true.
Sanai is one of my love affairs. I cannot, even though I would like to, exaggerate him. It is impossible. Sanai is the very essence of Sufism.
Sufism is an English word for tasawuf. Tasawuf means ‘pure love’. ‘Sufism’ comes from suf, meaning wool, and a Sufi means a person wearing a woolen robe. Sanai used to wear a black cap — a white robe and a black cap. No logic, no reason, just a mad person like me. But what can you do, these people have to be accepted as they are. Either you love them or hate them. Love or hate, they don’t give you any alternative. You can be for them or against them, but you cannot be indifferent to them. That’s the miracle of mystics.
A very fundamental thing. Sanai says: IF YOU KNOW YOUR OWN WORTH you need not be worried what others think about you, whether they accept you or reject you. If you are worried about others’ rejection and acceptance, that simply shows one thing — that you don’t know your own worth, that you don’t know your own being, that you don’t know God resides in you, that you are an abode of the divine.
Book on Heraclitus:
I have been in love with Heraclitus for many lives. In fact, Heraclitus is the only Greek I have ever been in love with. Heraclitus was like Gautam Buddha or Lao Tzu or Basho. The Greek soil was absolutely not good for him. He would have been a great tree in the East: millions would have profited, millions would have found the way through him.
Heraclitus is a really rare flowering, one of the most highly penetrating souls, one of those souls who become like Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas. Try to understand him. It is difficult; that’s why he is called Heraclitus the Obscure. He is not obscure. To understand him is difficult; to understand him you will need a different type of being — that is the problem. So it is easy to categorize him as obscure and then forget him.
For Heraclitus, fire became the symbol — and fire is really a beautiful symbol. Heraclitus says fire is the basic substance of life. It is! Now physicists agree with Heraclitus. They agree that electricity is the base of all existence, that everything is nothing but modes of electricity. Heraclitus says it is fire. What is the difference? And fire is a more beautiful word than electricity. Fire gives a sense of more aliveness than electricity does, fire is more wild than electricity. When you say electricity is the base, it looks as if the universe is somehow mechanical because electricity has become associated with a mechanism, and then God looks like an engineer — but electricity is fire.
Hindus have called this basic element PRANA, vitality — but vitality is fire. When you are vital, alive, you are fiery, aflame. Henri Bergson has called the base of all, elan vital, just like prana. Those who have been seeking, somehow or other they come near fire. Deep down this existence is fire. Fire is life.
Heraclitus is innocent: he simply says you, “This is the thing: the abyss is here. Jump!” He does not persuade you; he does not seduce you. He simply says, “This is the fact. If you want to jump, jump; if you don’t want to jump, go away.” And he knows that to make steps is useless because finally one has to take the jump.
There is no one, I repeat, who can be put in the same category as Heraclitus. He is just far out — dangerously awakened, unafraid of the consequences of what he was saying.
Book on Hyakujo:
“Hyakujo was the direct heir of Ma Tzu and became most well known for his establishment of the first truly Zen monasteries and his treatise on sudden enlightenment.
To understand Hyakujo, the first thing is to understand that enlightenment can only be sudden. The preparation can be gradual, but the illumination is going to be sudden. You can prepare the ground for the seeds, but the sprouts will come suddenly one day in the morning; they don’t come gradually. Existence believes in suddenness. Nothing is gradual here, although everything appears to be gradual; that is our illusion.”
“Hyakujo introduced another thing: Zen monasteries. Before him there were Zen temples — small groups of people living in those temples, meditating, reading scriptures. But he introduced a new thing, the monastery, where people were absolutely devoted to a single-pointed goal: to become the buddha. No scriptures, no rituals… the whole energy has to be poured into a single direction: to discovering your intrinsic nature. And why monasteries? When there are thousands of people together, going into the unknown, it is easier for you, because you know that although you are going alone into your own space, thousands of others are also going into the same space on their own. You are not absolutely alone. Secondly, a monastery creates a certain atmosphere. That was the greatest contribution of Hyakujo.”
This gesture by Hyakujo is the greatest sermon delivered in the whole history of mysticism. Just to prepare his people he used to say, “Go and work in the field. You cannot work with the trees and with the grass and with the roses for long without yourself becoming as silent as they are.”
This series of talks is entitled THE GREAT PEARL, HYAKUJO, WITH THE HAIKUS OF BASHO. Hyakujo is immensely expressive and knows what he is doing and how to bring people to the unknowable.
Book on Isan:
The title of the series is ISAN: NO FOOTPRINTS IN THE BLUE SKY. He was as great a master as one can be, but has left behind him neither great scriptures nor great commentaries. Isan functioned exactly as Buddha had said an authentic master would — to disappear in the blue sky like a bird, leaving no footprints.
Why this idea of leaving no footprints? It has great implications in it. It means a great master does not create a following; he does not make a path for everybody to follow. He flies in the sky, he gives you a longing for flying, and disappears into the blueness of the sky — creating an urge in you to discover what it is like to disappear into the ultimate.
Isan followed exactly what Buddha had said. He is a great master, but almost forgotten. Who remembers people who have not created great followings, who have not made organized religions, who have not chosen their successors, who have not made their religion a politics, a power in the material world? Isan did none of that. He simply lived silently. Of course thousands of disciples were attracted towards him, but it was not his fault. You cannot blame him for it — it was just the magnetic force that he had become by disappearing into enlightenment. The light shone to faraway lands and those who had eyes started moving towards a small place hidden in the forest where Isan lived. Slowly slowly, thousands of disciples were living in the forest — and Isan had not called a single one. They had come on their own.
Isan was very polite. Naturally his politeness would affect whatever happened around him. He was a very humble person, never tried to convert anybody, but on the contrary slipped deep down into the forest, so nobody came to him. He felt it a little embarrassing to be the master and degrade somebody as a follower — a very nice, very delicate personality, the personality of a poet, of a singer, of a dancer.
Choosing Kyozan as his successor, and waiting for forty years — what patience! — almost transforming a stone into a diamond. But Isan was determined to make one point absolutely clear to humanity: if Kyozan, a simple and ordinary person, not belonging to any speciality, any category, without any talent, any genius — if he can become enlightened, it will be a proof. To give this proof to humanity he chose Kyozan and worked hard on him. And the day Kyozan became enlightened, the day Isan transferred his enlightenment and the two flames became one, Isan disappeared from the world of matter, body, mind.
With J. Krishnamurti the situation is totally new. He is enlightened, and he is not orthodox — but he has gone to the other extreme: he is anti-orthodox. Anti should be underlined.
J. Krishnamurti is a beautiful man but one-dimensional, very linear, one line; he follows one track. Hence you will not find any contradictions in him. For fifty years he has been repeating simply the same thing again and again. unknowingly he has conditioned people; just by repeating the same thing again and again for fifty years he has hypnotized people. He has created a great difficulty for those people: he is not a Master himself, he cannot impart his experience — he is an ARHATA, not a BODHISATTVA — and he has prevented those people from going into search for some other living Master. He has created a real mess in many people: they would have been in search of a Master but he has prevented them. His logic is clear, appealing, very appealing to the egoist, particularly to the so-called intelligentsia, very appealing, because the so-called intellegentsia is always afraid of surrender, of dropping the ego — they are egoist people. And when he says, “There is no need to follow, there is no need to go to any Master, there is no need of any initiation,” they feel very happy. Their ego is saved but their ego is there.
Now the ego even has the support of Krishnamurti, and all his arguments will be used by the ego. And that’s what has happened to thousands of people who have listened to him. He has not been a blessing, because of his linear logic.
In the ancient days people like Krishnamurti used to remain silent. That was the way of the ARHATA — because he knows that he cannot impart, he has no skill, he remains silent. He does not go around the world telling people, that “I cannot impart and nobody else can do it either.”
AN ENLIGHTENED person can never be wrong. Neither J. Krishnamurti is wrong, but he never considers the situation in which you are. He considers only the space in which he is, and that freedom is part of enlightenment.
The enlightened person has reached the highest peak of consciousness; his abode is on Everest. Now it is his freedom to speak according to the peak, the sunlit peak where he is, or to consider the people who are still in the dark valley, who know nothing about the light, for whom the peak of the Everest is only a dream, only a perhaps”. This is the freedom of the enlightened person. Krishnamurti speaks in terms where he is.
I speak in terms where you are, I consider you, because if I am speaking to you, you have to be taken in consideration. I have to lead you towards the highest peak, but the journey will begin in the dark valley, in your unconsciousness. If I talk about my experience, absolutely inconsiderate of you, I am right, but I am not useful to you.
The death of an enlightened being like J. Krishnamurti is nothing to be sad about, it is something to be celebrated with songs and dances. It is a moment of rejoicing.
J. Krishnamurti’s THE FIRST AND LAST FREEDOM. I love this man, and I hate this man. I love him because he speaks the truth, but I hate him for his intellectuality. He is only reason, rationality. I wonder, he may be a reincarnation of that goddamned Greek Aristotle. His logic is what I hate, his love is what I respect — but his book is beautiful.
But Jabbar was saying something through his gibberish. He was saying, “All that we can say about existence is gibberish.” He was very much in tune with existence.
It seems unbelievable that he had one thousand disciples. Sitting by his side, when he was silent they would be silent; when he would go into gibberish, they would go into gibberish — and nearabout twenty-five people became enlightened. Not a word was said by Jabbar, nothing was heard by anybody.
But gibberish has been thought to be one of the methods used by enlightened people. You will be surprised to know that the word, the English word, gibberish, is not English, it is Arabic; and it comes from an enlightened man, Jabbar. Jabbar was certainly an enlightened man, but he spoke so fast that his words would run over each other. It was impossible to make any sense out of what he said because there were no full stops, no commas, no indication of where the sentence began and where it ended. Jabbar simply did not believe in all these mannerisms.
It is because of Jabbar that people started calling his language gibberish, but by and by the word gibberish became completely disassociated from Jabbar. Nobody would think that the English word gibberish is from a Sufi word and has come from a man who was enlightened. Gibberish, in the East, is thought to be a way of enlightened people. They are saying to you: Nothing can be said through words. You will have to understand something besides the words.
Jabbar started really talking nonsense. He would use sounds, words… nobody could follow what he was saying. Everybody was free to have his own interpretation. The followers of Jabbar were many — because when the master cannot be understood, it is very easy for the disciples to follow him, because then they can interpret.
For example, if you had asked Jabbar, “Do you believe in God?” he would have said, “Hoo hoo!” Now, it is up to you to find out what “Hoo hoo!” means. The very clever one will think it is the last part of Allah-hoo, that the master has given only a hint, and so on, so forth.
Or he will do something absurd. You ask, “What is God?” and he may stand on his head immediately. Now it is up to you to figure it out — and everybody is clever in figuring out things. Somebody will think he had given the indication that everything is topsy-turvy, so whatsoever you have been thinking up to now has to be put upside down. Some disciples even started reading the scriptures backwards!
But Jabbar must have been a very unique man. It is very unfortunate that there was no way of recording in those days; otherwise whatever he was saying could have become one of the holiest scriptures. Nobody would have been able to understand it — but you don’t have to understand anything, you have just to be silent, you have just to be absent.
So any way, either singing or dancing, whatever makes you absent, immediately you will be filled with God’s presence. Suddenly you will become aware of your own inner light.
Some of these thoughts may make sense. But don't count on it.
Steve Buttry, Dearly Departed Husband, Father and Grandfather. Former Director of Student Media, LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication
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