The poem by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi is beautiful, as always. He has spoken only beautiful words. He is one of the most significant poets who are also mystics. That is a rare combination; there are millions of poets in the world and there are a few mystics in the world, but a man who is both is very rare to find.
Rumi is a very rare flower. He is as great a poet as he is a mystic. Hence, his poetry is not just poetry, not just a beautiful arrangement of words. It contains immense meaning and points towards the ultimate truth. It is not entertainment, it is enlightenment.
– The Hidden Splendor, Chapter #7
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, a Sufi mystic, simply made whirling his only method. His followers are called whirling dervishes. They whirl for hours — it is not easy. Jalaluddin Rumi himself whirled for thirty-six hours continuously, and in the whirling he became enlightened because in the whirling he got lost; only whirling remained. There was no one inside. There was utter emptiness and silence.
– Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Chapter #7
Jalaludin Rumi — insist — ‘Remember, no-self, anatta.’ Sufis call it fana — one disappears. And one should prepare for this disappearance, one should be ready — not only ready but in a deep welcome. It is going to bring great joy, because all your misery is contained in your ego. The very idea that ‘I am’ is your ignorance. The very idea that ‘I am’ creates all kinds of anxieties and problems for you. The ego is the hell.
– Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2, Chapter #1
Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, who has been loved by Sufis the most. He is the only Sufi mystic who has been called mevlana: master of masters. And he was certainly a master of masters.
– The New Dawn, Chapter #17
The words of Mevlana Rumi are immensely significant. There have been very few people who have moved and transformed as many hearts as Jalaluddin Rumi.
In the world of the Sufis, Mevlana Rumi is the emperor. His words have to be understood not as mere words, but sources of deep silences, echoes of inner and the innermost songs. He is the greatest dancer the world has known. Twelve hundred years have passed since he was alive.
His dance is a special kind of dance. It is a kind of whirling, just the way small children whirl; standing on one spot they go on round and round. And perhaps everywhere in the world small children do that and their elders stop them saying, “You will become dizzy, you will fall, you will hurt yourself,” and, “What is the point of doing it?”
Jalaluddin Rumi made a meditation of whirling. The meditator goes on whirling for hours — as long as the body allows him; he does not stop on his own. When whirling a moment comes that he sees himself utterly still and silent, a center of the cyclone. Around the center the body is moving, but there is a space which remains unmoved; that is his being.
Rumi himself whirled for thirty-six hours continuously and fell, because the body could not whirl anymore. But when he opened his eyes he was another man. Hundreds of people had gathered to see. Many thought he was mad: “What is the point of whirling?”
… Nobody can say this is a prayer; nobody can say this is great dance; nobody can say in any way that this has something to do with religion, spirituality….
But after thirty-six hours when they saw Rumi so luminous, so radiant, so new, so fresh — reborn, in a new consciousness, they could not believe their eyes. Hundreds wept in repentance, because they had thought that he was mad. In fact he was sane and they were mad.
And down these twelve centuries the stream has continued to be alive. There are very few movements of spiritual growth which have lived so long continuously. There are still hundreds of dervishes. `Dervish’ is the Sufi word for sannyas. You cannot believe it unless you experience, that just by whirling you can know yourself. No austerity is needed, no self-torture is needed, but just an experience of your innermost being and you are transported into another plane of existence from the mortal to the immortal. The darkness disappears and there is just eternal light.
– Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Chapter #11
Books on Jesus:
Come Follow To You (4 volumes in English)
I Say Unto You (2 volumes in English)
The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus (in English)
I AM A DRUNKARD. You may believe it or not, but I am a drunkard. You can look into my eyes and you can see it — I. am drunk with Jesus. And Jesus is a wine; he is not a man, he’s an intoxication. And once you have tasted of him, then nothing of this world will ever be meaningful to you. Once the meaning from the beyond enters into your life, this whole world becomes futile, immaterial, insignificant.
– Come Follow To You, Vol 3, Chapter #1
The Gospel starts in an incredibly beautiful way. No other book starts that way, no other book can start that way. The Bible is ‘the book of the books’: that is the exact meaning of the word ‘Bible’ — the Book. It is the most precious document that humanity has. That’s why it is called ‘The Testament’, because Jesus has witnessed to God in it: Jesus has become the witness to God, a testament. It is the only proof possible. God cannot be argued, but only a man like Jesus can become a proof for him.
The Gospel carries all that is beautiful in Jesus’ flowering, the Beatitudes. Those statements are the most beautiful ever made. Not even Buddha, not even Lao Tzu, have spoken that way. Buddha is very philosophic, very refined; Jesus is very plain, simple. Jesus speaks like a villager, a farmer, a fisherman. But because he speaks the way common people speak, his words have a solidity, a concreteness, a reality.
Buddha’s words are abstract; they are very very high words, philosophical. Jesus’ words are down-to-earth, very earthly. They have that fragrance of the earth that you come across when the rains have started and the earth is soaking up the rains and a great fragrance arises — the fragrance of the wet earth, the fragrance that you find on a sea beach, the fragrance of the ocean, the trees. Jesus’ words are very very earthbound, rooted in the earth. He is an earthly man, and that is his beauty. Nobody else can be compared with that beauty. The sky is good, but abstract, far away, distant.
– I Say Unto You, Vol 1, Chapter #1
Whenever a man like Jesus comes, the world is immediately divided between those who are for him and those who are against him. You cannot find a single person who is indifferent to Jesus. Whenever a Jesus-type is there, immediately the world is divided. Some are for him and some are against him, but nobody is indifferent. It is impossible to be indifferent to Jesus. If you hear the word, if you look at the Jesus, immediately you are divided: either you become a lover or you become a hater; either you fall in line or you go against; either you follow him or you start working against him.
Why does this happen? Because a man like Jesus is such a great phenomenon and he is not of this world. He brings to this world something from the beyond. Those who are afraid of the beyond immediately become the enemies — that is their way of protecting themselves. For those who have a desire, a seed hidden somewhere, who have been searching and searching and longing for the beyond, this man becomes charismatic, this man becomes a magnetic force — they fall in his love. They have been waiting for this man for many lives.
Immediately the world is divided: either you are for Christ or you are against him. There is no other alternative; you cannot be indifferent. You cannot say, “I’m not bothered”; that is impossible, because a person who can remain in the middle will become a Jesus himself. A person who can stand in the middle, in neither love nor hate, will go beyond the mind himself. You cannot stand in the middle; you will fall, you will become a ‘rightist’ or a ‘leftist’, you will be on this side or on that. He creates great turmoil — not only in individuals but in society too, on the earth; everything comes to be in a conflict, a great war starts. Since Jesus there has never been peace in the world. Jesus created a religion. He brought something into the world which created such a division, such a conflict in all minds, that he became the focus of all history. That is why we say ‘before Christ’, ‘after Christ’; he became the focal point.
History is divided, time is divided, with Jesus. He stands on the boundary. Before Jesus it is as if time was of a different quality; after Jesus time became of a different quality. With Jesus, history starts. His attitude, his approach towards the human mind, is very different from that of a Buddha or a Lao Tzu. The ultimate goal is one, the ultimate flowering is going to be one, but Jesus’ approach is absolutely different. He is unique.
– The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus, Chapter #2
Book on Joshu:
Joshu: The Lion’s Roar (in English)
Joshu is one of those exceptional people who become enlightened without any formal initiation. They are nobody’s disciple. It is a very exceptional case. But the story of Joshu is going to be very beautiful. His each statement is so poetic, so pregnant, that unless you listen in utter silence, you will miss its fragrance, its meaning, its penetrating insight into reality.
Joshu is one of the most loved masters in the Zen tradition. There have been great masters, but nobody has been loved so much as Joshu — and he deserved it. His working on people, on disciples, was so soft, so delicate, that only a poet can manage it… a great craftsmanship in carving buddhas out of the stones of humanity.
Every man is just a big rock. It needs a craftsman, a great artist, a sculptor, who with loving hands removes all that is unessential and leaves only that which is absolutely essential. That absolutely essential is our buddha.
– Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Chapter #1
JOSHU: THE LION’S ROAR — is also a milestone in the history of consciousness, a tremendously brave man who created roaring lions, buddhas of great strength and power.
He was a disciple of Nansen, but he was always a category in himself. He never became a disciple to Nansen formally; he was never initiated by Nansen; but he lived with Nansen, loved Nansen, and Nansen loved him, showered him with his love. Everybody knew that if Nansen died, he would choose Joshu to be his successor, although he was not his follower. He was such a unique person in himself, he could not follow anybody. He was a fellow traveler.
– Nansen: The Point of Departure, Chapter #10
At the age of sixty, Joshu started. You can start any time, and this has always been my feeling. Joshu lived so long — he lived one hundred and twenty years — he must have lived one hundred and twenty years, because he started at the age of sixty. And when you start meditating, you become so fresh and young, you can simply live long without any effort.
– Returning to the Source, Chapter #2
Books on Kabir:
The Divine Melody (in English)
Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language (in English)
The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty (in English)
The Guest (in English)
The Path of Love (in English)
The Revolution (in English)
The Great Secret (in English)
Suno Bhai Saadho (in Hindi)
Kahe Kabir Deewana (in Hindi)
Kahe Kabir Mai Poora Paya (in Hindi)
Kabir has said: I was searching and searching and searching, and then I got lost, and then happened the miracle of miracles. When I was not there you were standing before me. And when I was there and searching and searching, you were so far away — not even a glimpse. And now, look… I have disappeared. Searching, searching, I got lost, completely lost; my whole search absorbed me, destroyed me completely. Now I am no more… and my Lord, you are standing before me.
Kabir has said that the seeker never reaches to the sought. Man never confronts God — because unless you disappear he cannot appear, so there is no meeting-point. When you are, he is not; when he is, you are not — so how can you claim that “I know?” You are not — only then, he is. When the knower disappears, the knowledge appears; it cannot be just a wish-fulfillment.
– The Divine Melody, Chapter #2
Kabir is a nobody, a man of the masses, very poor, very ordinary, with no education at all, with no culture. And that is his rarity. Why do I call it his rarity? Because to be ordinary in the world is the most extraordinary thing. He was very ordinary — and he remained ordinary.
Kabir is really that normal person that you never come across in life, with no desire to be special. When he became enlightened, then too he remained in his ordinary life. He was a weaver; he continued to weave.
– Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language, Chapter #1
Kabir is one of the greatest revolutionaries who has ever walked on the earth. His insight is of tremendous value. If you can fall en rapport with his vision you will be enriched — you will be enriched beyond all your expectations.
– The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, Chapter #1
Kabir knows. What he is talking about is not an explanation, what he is talking about is an experience — he is sharing his joy, he is sharing something that he has known, he is singing the song about the unsung. Remember it, that whenever Kabir talks about God it is not a belief; he knows it, it is his experience. Hc is talking out of his experience, hence he can be of immense help to you.
Kabir is talking as a God-realized man, utterly drunk. His songs are songs of a drunkard drunk on the divine, small, but of immense beauty. They may not be great literature — they are not — because he does not bother about the meter and the grammar and the language. These are not composed songs, these are outpourings of his joy; a drunkard dancing, singing. You can’t expect formalities to be fulfilled. These songs are very small gems. The quantity is not the question, but the quality.
– The Guest, Chapter #1
Kabir says: I am not for renunciation. If God creates the world, the world is beautiful. If it comes out of God, it is beautiful; it cannot be a punishment, it is a reward. This is a very revolutionary statement — that the world is not a punishment, the world is a reward; that God has not thrown you into a dark and dismal cell. It is a celebration. God has loved you so much that he has created this world for you, to play with, to dance with. It is a celebration.
Kabir is not for renunciation; he’s all for celebration — one thing. The second thing: Kabir says: Life is in community. Life is a communion, so don’t try to escape from the world, and don’t try to remain in a solitary life. Because the richness is in the community; you are enriched by the community, by your relationships.
– The Path of Love, Chapter #1
Kabir is a harbinger, a herald of the future, the first flower that heralds the spring. He is one of the greatest poets of religion. He is not a theologian, he does not belong to any religion. All religions belong to him, but he is vast enough to contain all. No particular religion defines him. He is a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Jaina and a Buddhist. He’s a great beauty, a great poetry, a great orchestra.
Kabir is rare, he is a poor man. In Kabir, for the first time a poor man is recognized as a man of God. Otherwise it was a monopoly of kings and princes and rich people.
– The Revolution, Chapter #1
Before Kabir the Upanishads lose their luster. The Vedas look pitiful and second-rate before him. Kabir is singular, unique. Although he is illiterate he has succeeded in extracting the essence from the experience of his life. He is not a scholar; he has expressed this essence very briefly, not at all in great detail. His words are like seed – mantras.
– The Great Secret, Chapter #1
Kabir, THE SONGS OF KABIR. Nothing like it exists in the world. Kabir is incredibly beautiful. An uneducated man, born a weaver — to whom nobody knows — his mother left him on the bank of the Ganges. He must have been an illegal child. But it is not enough to just be legal; he was certainly illegal, but he was born out of love, and love is the real law. I have also spoken much on Kabir too, so there is no need to add anything except again and again to say, “Kabir, I love you as I have never loved any man.”
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
| Kahlil Gibran
Book on Kahlil Gibran:
The Messiah (2 volumes in English)
Kahlil Gibran… the very name brings so much ecstasy and joy that it is impossible to think of another name comparable to him. Just hearing the name, bells start ringing in the heart which do not belong to this world. Kahlil Gibran is pure music, a mystery such that only poetry can sometimes grasp it, but only sometimes.
You have chosen a man who is the most beloved of this beautiful earth. Centuries have passed; there have been great men but Kahlil Gibran is a category in himself. I cannot conceive that even in the future, there is a possibility of another man of such deep insight into the human heart, into the unknown that surrounds us.
He has done something impossible. He has been able to bring at least a few fragments of the unknown into human language. He has raised human language and human consciousness as no other man has ever done. Through Kahlil Gibran, it seems all the mystics, all the poets, all creative souls have joined hands and poured themselves.
Although he has been immensely successful in reaching people, still he feels it is not the whole truth, but just a glimpse. But to see the glimpse of truth is a beginning of a pilgrimage that leads you to the ultimate, to the absolute, to the universal.
– The Messiah, Vol 1, Chapter #1
There are men who have found the truth and remained silent, because they don’t know how to express it. Kahlil Gibran is just the opposite — he has not found the truth, but he is capable of expressing. And for the humanity which lives in darkness, even his poetry appears as if it is coming from the source of self-knowing.
– The Messiah, Vol 2, Chapter #5
Kahlil Gibran has written tremendously beautiful words. They come so close to Christ, to Zarathustra, to Lao Tzu, to Gautam the Buddha, and there is every possibility many people will think that Kahlil Gibran is enlightened. He may even surpass Lao Tzu and Buddha and Christ as far as expression is concerned; his expression may be far more beautiful because he is a skilled poet, a very skilled painter. He has the sensitiveness to appreciate beauty, but howsoever he is appreciating it is unconscious.
– Philosophia Ultima, Chapter #10
Kahlil Gibran in his wonderful book THE PROPHET says lovers should be like pillars of a temple — supporting the same roof, but not too close to each other. Like pillars…. If they come too close, the whole temple will fall; if they go too far away, then too the whole temple will fall. They cannot come too close; they cannot go too far. They should be like pillars of a temple, supporting the same roof.
This is the art, the knack. If you want your love to be eternal, don’t come too close, because if you come too close then the need to go far away arises. If you come too close then you trespass on each other’s freedom — and everybody needs a space of his own. Love is beautiful when it co-exists with your space; if it starts trespassing on your space then it becomes poisonous. And lovers always behave foolishly and stupidly. When they are in love they don’t listen to anything; they try to come too close and then they destroy their love. Had they been a little wiser, they would not have come too close and then they would have remained close forever.
– Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 1, Chapter #5
I want to include another book by Kahlil Gibran, JESUS, THE SON OF MAN. It is one of the books which is almost ignored. Christians ignore it because it calls Jesus the son of man. They not only ignore it, they condemn it. And of course, who else cares about Jesus? If Christians themselves are condemning him, then nobody else cares about it.
Kahlil Gibran is a Syrian from very close to Jerusalem. In fact in the hills of Syria, people — a few people at least — still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Amid those high- reaching cedars, anyone, even a fool, is bound to be amazed, mystified. Kahlil Gibran was born in Syria under the cedars reaching towards the stars. He comes very close in representing the real man Jesus — closer than the four so-called disciples who wrote the gospels. They are more gossips than gospels. Kahlil Gibran is closer, but Christians were angry because he calls Jesus the son of man. I loved the book.
The book related different people’s stories about Jesus: a laborer, a farmer, a fisherman, a tax-collector — yes, even a tax-collector — a man, a woman, all possibilities. It is as if Kahlil Gibran is asking many people about Jesus — the real Jesus, not the Christian Jesus; the real Jesus, made of flesh… and the stories are so beautiful. Each story needs to be meditated upon.
Another book by Kahlil Gibran, THE MADMAN. I cannot leave it out, although I confess I wanted to. I wanted to leave it out because I am that madman about whom he is talking. But I cannot leave it out. He talks so meaningfully, so authentically about the very innermost core of the madman. And this madman is no ordinary madman, but a Buddha, a Rinzai, a Kabir. I wonder — I have always wondered — how Kahlil Gibran could manage it. He himself was not the madman, he himself was not the enlightened one. He was born in Syria, but lived unfortunately in America.
But there are wonders and wonders, questions without answers. How did he manage? Perhaps he did not manage it himself… perhaps something, someone — what Sufis call Khidr, and Theosophists call K.H., Koothumi — must have taken possession of him. He was possessed, but not always. When he was not writing he was a very ordinary man, in fact more ordinary than the so-called ordinary man: full of jealousy, anger, passions of all kinds. But once in a while he became possessed, possessed from above, and then something started pouring through him… paintings, poetry, parables.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #9
Again and again I come back to Kahlil Gibran. I have loved him and would have liked to help him. I have even waited for him, but he is not born yet. He will have to seek for some other master in the future. THE WANDERER is my choice for this number.
THE WANDERER, by Kahlil Gibran, is a collection of parables. The parable is the oldest method of saying that which is profound; that which cannot be said can always be said in a parable. It is a beautiful collection of small stories.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #11
Books on Krishna:
Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy (in English)
Geeta Darshan (8 volumes in Hindi)
Krishna Smriti (in Hindi)
Krishna is utterly incomparable, he is so unique. Firstly, his uniqueness lies in the fact that although Krishna happened in the ancient past he belongs to the future, is really of the future. Man has yet to grow to that height where he can be a contemporary of Krishna’s. He is still beyond man’s understanding; he continues to puzzle and battle us. Only in some future time will we be able to understand him and appreciate his virtues. And there are good reasons for it.
The most important reason is that Krishna is the sole great man in our whole history who reached the absolute height and depth of religion, and yet he is not at all serious and sad, not in tears. By and large, the chief characteristic of a religious person has been that he is somber, serious and sad-looking — like one vanquished in the battle of life, like a renegade from life. In the long line of such sages it is Krishna alone who comes dancing, singing and laughing.
– Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Chapter #1
Krishna is right when he says, nainam chhindanti shastrani — “No weapon can even touch me”…nainam dahati pravaka — “And neither can the fire burn me.” He is not talking about the body, the brain, the self — they will all be destroyed — but there is something in you indestructible, immortal, eternal. It was with you before your birth and it will be with you after your birth, because it is you, your essential being.
To know it is to be free, free from all prisons: the prisons of the body, the prisons of the mind, the prisons that exist outside you.
– The Messiah, Vol 2, Chapter #2
You will be surprised that Krishna is the only great Master in the world who is known to have cheated. And Hindus call him `the most perfect Master’. He is. Rama is not that perfect; he is very afraid of cheating, he is too sincere. Sincerity is his bondage. He is not relaxed. He is perfect saint: he had denied all that is wrong — but that is seriously, and that shows that you are still taking the game very, very seriously. You are not taking it as a game.
Krishna is totally different: it is a game. He promises one day and forgets on another day. He is really liberated; his liberation is perfect, without flaw. His liberation is without flaw because he knows all is a game. When all is a game and all is a dream, then why be bothered? He is not worried and bothered. He plays it and remains unattached.
– The Path of Love, Chapter #5
Love is an infinite stillness, a state of rootedness. Krishna has called this state of rootedness sthita-pragya. Love can only happen to one whose mind has come to a standstill, it trembles no more.
– Nowhere To Go But In, Chapter #5
Krishna accepts life with all its flowers and thorns, its light and shade, sweet and sour. He accepts life choicelessly, unconditionally. He accepts life as it is. It is not that Krishna chooses only the flowers of life and shuns its thorns; he accepts both together, because he knows thorns are as necessary to life as the flowers. Ordinarily we think thorns are inimical to flowers. It is not true. Thorns are there for the protection of flowers; they are deeply connected with each other. They are united — members of each other. They share common roots, and they live for a common purpose. Many people would like to destroy the thorn and save the flower, but that is not possible. They are parts of each other, and both have to be saved.
So Krishna not only accepts politics, he lives in the thick of politics without the least difficulty.
– Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Chapter #10
BHAGAVADGITA — the divine song of Krishna. By the way ‘Christ’ is only a mispronunciation of ‘Krishna’ just as ‘Zoroaster’ is of ‘Zarathustra’. ‘Krishna’ means the highest state of consciousness, and the song of Krishna, the BHAGAVADGITA, reaches to the ultimate heights of being.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #1
Book on Kyozan:
Kyozan: A True Man of Zen (in English)
Kyozan was a very simple man — not the philosophic kind, not a poet, nor a sculptor. Nothing can be said about him except that he was absolutely authentic, honest. If he does not know a thing he will say so, even at the risk of people thinking that he has fallen from his enlightenment. But this makes him a unique master.
Zen is full of unique masters, but Kyozan’s uniqueness is his simplicity. He is just like a child. It took Isan, his master, forty years of hard work to make Kyozan enlightened. He was determined, and he said he would not leave the body until Kyozan became enlightened — though he was old enough.
Kyozan did everything that Isan said, but nothing penetrated to his very being. He was a very ordinary man. Heaven and hell, God and the beyond had never worried him. He was not a seeker in the sense every seeker is — a seeker of truth.
No, he was not seeking truth, because he is reported to have said that, “If you are seeking the truth you have certainly accepted that truth exists, and I will not accept anything on belief. So I am just seeking, searching in all directions, trying to come in tune with the universe. It may be just my fallacy, my fantasy, but I want to go without any prejudice.”
– Kyozan: A True Man of Zen, Chapter #1
Kyozan was Isan’s chief disciple, and finally was going to be his successor. He was under preparation, he was almost chosen by Isan to be his successor — undeclared, but it was known to all the disciples that Kyozan was going to be the next master. Hence Kyozan was allowed the privilege of asking all kinds of questions, because he would have to face the same kinds of questions when he became the successor.
– Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, Chapter #5
I have entitled this series, KYOZAN: A TRUE MAN OF ZEN. I have not given any speciality to him, for the simple reason that he avoided speciality, uniqueness, some higher quality. He removed himself deep into the forest just to avoid seekers. But if you have found the truth, if your innermost lotus has blossomed, wherever you go seekers will come. There seems to be an inner pathway.
The seeker may not know even where he is going. He may not be aware of his thirst, may not be aware of the truth, but he starts moving towards the master.
Mostly the master has nothing to do. He teaches you simply a different way of being graceful. He gives you a beauty that no mirror can give to you. He gives you a dignity. He declares your potential buddhahood, and unless your potential buddhahood is declared you may never think that in the innermost core you are a buddha. The master makes many devices, but the aim is the same.
– Kyozan: A True Man of Zen, Chapter #4
| Lao Tzu
Books on Lao Tzu:
Tao: The Three Treasures (4 volumes in English)
The Way of Tao (2 volumes in English)
Tao Upanishad (6 volumes in Hindi)
I speak on Lao Tzu totally differently. I am not related to him because even to be related a distance is needed. I don’t love him, because how can you love yourself? When I speak on Lao Tzu I speak as if I am speaking on my own self. With him my being is totally one. When I speak on Lao Tzu it is as if I am looking in a mirror — my own face is reflected. When I speak on Lao Tzu, I am absolutely with him. Even to say “absolutely with him” is not true — I am him, he is me.
Lao Tzu is not like Mahavir, not mathematical at all, yet he is very, very logical in his madness. He has a mad logic! When we penetrate into his sayings you will come to feel it; it is not so obvious and apparent. He has a logic of his own: the logic of absurdity, the logic of paradox, the logic of a madman. He hits hard.
To understand Lao Tzu’s logic you will have to create eyes. It is very subtle, it is not the ordinary logic of the logicians — it is the logic of a hidden life, a very subtle life. Whatsoever he says is on the surface absurd; deep down there lives a very great consistency. One has to penetrate it; one has to change his own mind to understand Lao Tzu.
So Lao Tzu is just a spokesman of life. If life is absurd, Lao Tzu is absurd; if life has an absurd logic to it, Lao Tzu has the same logic to it. Lao Tzu simply reflects life. He doesn’t add anything to it, he doesn’t choose out of it; he simply accepts whatsoever it is.
– Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 1, Chapter #1
Lao Tzu is one of those few masters who have tried to say the truth as accurately as it is humanly possible. He has made tremendous effort to bring the inexpressible to the world of expression, to bring the wordless experience within the confinement of small words.
The words we know are mundane; they are meant for ordinary day-to-day use. And the experience that happens in absolute silence is absolutely beyond them. But still it has to be expressed — if not expressed, at least hinted at.
Lao Tzu’s words are fingers pointing to the moon. Don’t cling to the fingers. Forget the fingers and look at the moon, and great insight will descend upon you.
There is no other scripture like the TAO TE CHING for the simple reason that each single word in it is immensely pregnant, not only with the unknown but also with the unknowable. Words have been used only as indicators, milestones showing the way, telling you to go ahead, not to stop there.
– Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Chapter #11
One of the greatest sayings of Lao Tzu is: The most beautiful company is when you can be with someone as if you are alone. See the insight of Lao Tzu: . . . when you can be with someone as if you are alone, when he allows you so much silence and so much freedom that you are absolutely alone, as if actually alone. His presence is not a hindrance; his presence, in fact, enhances your aloneness, enriches your aloneness.
– Guida Spirituale, Chapter #5
When I talk on Lao Tzu I say I “talk Lao Tzu,’ because from where he is talking, I am standing there. Whatsoever he says I would like to have said myself. I have never come across a single point where I can say I disagree with him.
Lao Tzu is a luxury, a let-go. Remember the “I’s” — he is a luxury, a let-go. If you can afford, beautiful. If you cannot afford, it simply creates a desire and a frustration and nothing else: a desire, of how things would be if you could take the jump. A tremendous desire arises. You feel him so near in your desire, but you cannot take the jump because the courage is not there; and, suddenly, he is so far away, like a star. Frustration falls on you.
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 5, Chapter #4
If we wish to understand Lao Tzu, we shall have to set aside our mode of thinking. If we approach Lao Tzu with our view-point, our words, our preconceived notions, it will be difficult to decide whether he is right or not. Set aside your views and concepts. Then only will you understand him. Then you shall be able to judge whether he is right or wrong, but not before that. Just to comprehend is an obstacle because our manner of thinking is one thing and Lao Tzu’s is just the opposite. It is as if we discern things by our sense of touch whereas he uses his eyes and sees Or as if we use our eyes and he uses his ears. Then the language becomes different.
– The Way of Tao, Volume 2. Chapter #19
| Lieh Tzu
Book on Lieh Tzu:
Tao: The Pathless Path (2 volumes in English)
I REJOICE in Lieh Tzu — he is one of the most perfect expressions for the inexpressible.
Truth cannot be expressed: that inexpressibility is intrinsic to truth. Thousands and thousands of people have tried to express it — very few have succeeded even in giving a reflection of it. Lieh Tzu is one of those very few; he is rare.
So the first thing to be understood about Lieh Tzu: he is not a theoretician, he will not give you any theory; he will simply give you parables.
Lieh Tzu is not a theologian either; he does not talk about God. He TALKS GOD, but he does not talk about God. Whatsoever he says comes from the source, but he does not TALK ABOUT the source let it be very clear to you. There are two types of people: one who talks about God, he is the theologian; one who talks God, he is the mystic. Lieh Tzu is a mystic. The man who talks about God has not known God. otherwise why should he ‘talk about’? The ‘about’ shows his ignorance. When a man talks God he has experienced. Then God is not a theory to be proved, disproved no; then God is his very life: to be lived.
– Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, Chapter #1
Lieh Tzu was one of the masters of the school of Lao Tzu, one of the enlightened disciples of Lao Tzu. And Lieh Tzu was not an ordinary master, not concerned with your small problems, your actions, not concerned with small teachings. Lieh Tzu was concerned only with the ultimate. He had many disciples.
– The Grass Grows By Itself, Chapter #2
I say to you that when Lieh Tzu says ‘I know’, he knows. And his ‘I know’ means exactly the same as when the Upanishads say ‘I don’t know’. His ‘I know’ means exactly the same. It means exactly the same as when Socrates says ‘I don’t know a thing’. By saying ‘I don’t know a thing’ Socrates is denying the ‘I’. But by saying ‘I know’ as a simple fact, as an ordinary fact, with no claim, Lieh Tzu is doing a far greater miracle because — listen to it — sometimes a pretender can pretend and say ‘I don’t know’ in the hope that you will think that he knows. Because the Upanishads say so and Socrates says so, a pretender can say ‘I don’t know’ and hope that you will think that he is a knower, that he is another Socrates. Mind is very cunning. So remember one thing: if a mind is simple, humble, and simply states the fact, then that is the truth — whatsoever the fact.
– Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 2, Chapter #11
THE BOOK OF LIEH TZU. Lao Tzu I mentioned, Chuang Tzu I mentioned; Lieh Tzu I forgot, and he is the very culmination of both Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Lieh Tzu is the third generation. Lao Tzu was the master, Chuang Tzu was the disciple. Lieh Tzu was the disciple of a disciple, perhaps that is why I forgot him. But his book is immensely beautiful and has to be included in the list.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #2
In Zen monasteries they have been laughing and laughing and laughing. Laughter becomes prayer only in Zen, because Mahakashyap started it. Twenty-five centuries ago, on a morning just like this, Mahakashyap started a new trend, absolutely new, unknown to the religious mind before — he laughed. He laughed at the whole foolishness, the whole stupidity. And Buddha didn’t condemn; rather, on the contrary, he called him near, gave him the flower and spoke to the crowd.
– A Bird on the Wing, Chapter #10
Mahakashyap was a rare being in his own right; there is every possibility that even without Buddha he would have become a Buddha. It would have taken a little longer, maybe he would have taken a little more time, but it seems almost certain that he would have become a Buddha even without Buddha.
– Come Follow To You, Vol 1, Chapter #5
Buddha died in Mahakashyap’s lap; his head was in Mahakashyap’s lap. That was a rare phenomenon, because Buddha had ten thousand disciples present at that moment. Amongst those ten thousand at least one hundred were enlightened. Why was Mahakashyap chosen? The question went around, “Why has Mahakashyap been chosen?”
Sariputta, another enlightened disciple of Gautam Buddha, said, “He is the only one who has become a master but has not left his discipleship. The remaining ninety-nine have become masters and forgotten about discipleship. He is richer; he is a disciple and he is a master. He has much more than anybody else present here.”
And it is not surprising that Mahakashyap became the source of one of the greatest traditions, which is still alive — Zen, which has given to the world more enlightened people than anything else.
– The Osho Upanishad, Chapter #17
But nobody would have conceived that this small stream arising in a silent man like Mahakashyap would become the world’s most purified and essential religiousness. But Mahakashyap has the quality of humbleness — so humble that he drops even the idea of enlightenment, of truth. Certainly, he has experienced something in the presence of his master: he is ready to forsake everything — truth included. If Gautam Buddha is going to hell, he would like to go to hell; he is not interested in going to heaven.
– The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter #3
Books on Mahavira:
Mahavir Vaani (2 volumes in Hindi)
Jin Sutra (2 volumes in Hindi)
Mahavir Meri Drishti Mein (in Hindi)
Mahavir Ya Mahavinaash (in Hindi)
Jyo Ki Tyo Dhaari Dinih Chadariya (in Hindi)
Effort is the way for Mahavira. Even to mention the word `let-go’ is to support laziness. `Mahavira’ is not his name; his name was Vardhamana. He is called Mahavira because his attitude and approach is that truth has to be conquered. It is not a love affair, it is a war. And Mahavira has won the war; that is why he is called the great warrior. `Mahavira’ means the great warrior.
– Beyond Enlightenment, Chapter #14
Jainas have given a name to Mahavira which is very lovely. The name is: nirgrantha, the knotless one. Whenever Buddha refers to Mahavira he always calls him nirgrantha natputta, that son of the Natha family, that boy born in the Natha community, who became knotless; whose knots were cut, opened.
This word nirgrantha is very valuable. Brahma, the absolute one, is knotless, and we are full of knots — that is the only difference.
– Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter #7
This word, ICCHANTIKAS. It means people who are one-dimensional, who know only one aspect of truth.
And opposite to icchantikas are people like Mahavira and the Jaina tirthankaras; they are called ANICCHANTIKAS, people who look from every aspect of the truth. Mahavira was so deeply rooted in the attitude of being multidimensional that he was the first man in the whole history of mankind to bring in the theory of relativity.
It took twenty-five centuries for the West.
Only Albert Einstein, through a very different path as a scientist, brought the same message, the same philosophy of the theory of relativity. Mahavira says that whatever you say is only relative. He was so much in his theory of relativity that he never made a single statement about anything — because any single statement will only show one aspect. What about other aspects?
He found that every truth has seven aspects. So you ask him one question and he will answer with seven answers, and those seven answers will be contradicting each other. You will come back from meeting Mahavira more confused than you have ever been — and he was the most clear person who has ever walked on the earth. But his approach was multidimensional.
– Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, Chapter #8
The East became aware that more people have become enlightened on a fullmoon night; in fact, almost all except one, Mahavira.
He became enlightened on the no-moon night, amawas. The fullmoon night is called purnima — the moon has become perfect, purna. And the no-moon night is when there is no moon at all, absolute darkness. Except Mahavira, nobody has become enlightened on amawas, no-moon night. Mahavira’s name was not Mahavira — Mahavira means a great warrior. His name was Vardhaman. But because he became enlightened on amawas, no-moon night, he proved that he could go against the current. It was natural for everybody to become enlightened on the fullmoon night, but this fellow Mahavira tried to go against the normal order of things, and still managed to become enlightened.
He certainly did something unique which never happened before and never happened afterwards. So it is perfectly right to call him Mahavira, a great warrior. A very strong man … otherwise it is almost impossible for anyone to become enlightened on the no-moon night.
– I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here, Chapter #6
Mahavira, as far as I understand, was such a beautiful man — perhaps in the whole history of men there has never been such a proportionate body with such an exquisite beauty. I don’t accept the Jainas’ idea that he is an ascetic, that’s why he is naked. No. My own understanding is that he loves beauty, and he is so beautiful that any clothing on him will simply destroy his beauty. Naked, he is just pure beauty.
I don’t think Mahavira is an extremist. I simply conceive that the man is so beautiful he does not need clothes; and he is so healthy that the changing seasons make no difference to him. It is because of his health and his beauty.
– Light on the Path, Chapter #11
JIN SUTRAS — The Sutras of the Conqueror. Jin is a beautiful word, it means conqueror: one who has conquered himself.
I have spoken of these sutras in many volumes, but they are as yet untranslated into English. One thing I would like to say: that I include the JIN SUTRAS in the postscript.
Nobody has been so silent as Mahavira, nor as naked. Only silence can be so naked. Remember, I am not saying nude, I am saying naked. Both words are totally different. ‘Nude’ is pornographic; ‘naked’ is just utterly open, vulnerable, uncovered. A child is not nude, but only naked. Mahavira in his nakedness is so beautiful.
It is said that he never spoke his sutras to anyone; only the intimate ones sitting by his side heard these sutras within themselves. They simply heard. It is one of the most miraculous things…. There was an inner circle of eleven intimate disciples around Mahavira, and when they all simultaneously heard the same word, then they thought that the word was worthy to be recorded, although Mahavira had not said anything openly, but in some subtle way, through a vibe.
The JIN SUTRAS were written in a totally different way from any other book in the whole world. The master remained silent, and eleven disciples simultaneously hear — emphasize the word simultaneously — the same word, then they record it. That’s how the JIN SUTRAS were born. What a birth for a book! One cannot conceive of a more beautiful beginning, and they certainly contain the highest light man is capable of, and the whole science of conquering oneself.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #6
Mansoor has become an eternal light, for the simple reason that he was killed, brutally killed — yes, chopped into parts. Jesus’ death compared to Mansoor’s looks very human, compassionate. Mansoor was killed part by part. First his legs were cut off, then his hands, then his eyes were taken out, then his tongue was cut out, then his head was cut off — in parts, in pieces.
But Mansoor became the most precious name in the whole Sufi tradition; and the tradition is rich: Bahauddin, Jalaluddin, Hassan, Rabiya, Mansoor’s own master, Junnaid, and thousands of others who have become enlightened.
These two traditions in the world have created the most enlightened people: one is Zen, born out of Buddha’s insight, and another is Sufism, born out of Mohammed’s insight. These two traditions have created the greatest light in the world. But you cannot find a single name in Zen compared to Mansoor, for the simple reason that no Zen master was chopped up, killed, crucified.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 7, Chapter #4
Mansoor has a beauty as far as his words are concerned, a tremendous poetry, far superior to the KORAN.
– From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter #35
Sufi mystics, Al-Hillaj Mansoor…. I love the man very much. There have been many mystics, and there will be many mystics, but I don’t think anybody will have the same taste as Al-Hillaj Mansoor. He was rare in every sense.
– The Messiah, Vol 2, Chapter #13
Somebody asked al-Hillaj Mansoor, the greatest mystic ever, ‘What is the ultimate in Sufi experience?’ Al-Hillaj said, ‘Tomorrow, tomorrow you will see what the ultimate in Sufi experience is.’ Nobody knew what was going to happen the next day. The man asked, ‘Why not today?’ Al-Hillaj said, ‘You just wait. It is going to happen tomorrow — the ultimate.’ And the next day he was crucified. And when he was crucified he shouted loudly for his friend who had asked the question. He said, ‘Where are you hiding in the crowd? Now come on and see the ultimate in Sufism. This is what it is.’
If you start living in God you become intolerable to the so-called society. The society lives in hypocrisy. It cannot tolerate truth. Truth has to be crucified. It can love the Church but it cannot love Christ. It can love the Vatican pope but it cannot love Jesus. When Jesus is gone then it is good — you can go on worshipping him. When Mansoor is gone you can go on talking about him. But when he is there he is a fire. Only those who are ready to be consumed by the fire will be ready to fall in love with Mansoor.
– Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, Chapter #1
This man, Mansoor, became a man of unique individuality. Wherever he went he was immediately recognised; it was impossible to miss him.
– Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2, Chapter #3
There is a saying of Mansoor: “Death is impossible for me, because I have accepted it.” It will be so, it is so. Death exists because of your fear of death. It cannot exist it you accept it, if you are ready to meet it, to invite it and embrace it.
– The Eternal Quest, Chapter #13
I saw one of the most beautiful fellows. I have talked about him, but not mentioned him in the list of fifty, the arbitrary list. The name of the man is al-Hillaj Mansoor. Al-Hillaj has not written a book but only a few statements, or rather declarations. People like al-Hillaj only declare, not out of any egoism — they don’t have any ego, that’s why they declare, “ana’l haq!”
Ana’l haq! is his declaration and it means “I am God, and there is no other God.” Mohammedans could not forgive him; they killed him. But can you kill an al-Hillaj? It is impossible! Even while they were killing him he was laughing.
Somebody asked, “Why are you laughing?”
He replied, “Because you are not killing me, you are killing only the body, and I have said again and again that I am not my body. Ana’l haq! I am God himself.” Now these men are the very salt of the earth.
Al-Hillaj Mansoor has not written any book; just a few of his declarations have been collected by his lovers and friends. I will not even say followers, because men like al-Hillaj don’t even accept followers, imitators — they only accept lovers, friends.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #6
Marpa is one of the greatest tibetan mystics… one of the rare geniuses. You cannot count more than ten of his equal in the whole world.
– Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle, Chapter #13
Marpa is one of the greatest Tibetan mystics… He was one of the very very rarest beings in the whole history of human consciousness… like Buddha, like Jesus, of that calibre and of immense profundity. Read, meditate over his sayings: they will give you great insight.
– Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, Chapter #23
It is the great work of Marpa, the Tibetan mystic. Even his followers don’t read it; it is not meant to be read, it is a puzzle. You have to meditate over it. You have just to look at it and then suddenly the book disappears — its contents disappear, and only the consciousness remains.
Marpa was a very strange man. His master Milarepa used to say, “Even I bow down to Marpa.” No master has ever said that, but Marpa was such….
Somebody once said to Marpa, “Do you believe in Milarepa? If so then jump into this fire!” Immediately he jumped! People ran from all sides to extinguish the fire knowing that Marpa had jumped into it. When the fire was put out they found him sitting there in a buddha posture laughing hilariously!
They asked Marpa, “Why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am laughing because trust is the only thing that fire cannot destroy.”
This is the man whose simple songs I count as the tenth — THE BOOK OF MARPA.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #4
Marpa became a great master. His teacher’s name is not known. Marpa managed to transform the whole of Tibet to the path of the Buddha.
So sometimes it has happened that the teacher may not know, but if the disciple trusts, his trust can create miracles.
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #15
Book on Ma Tzu:
Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror (in English)
“Ma Tzu was a very strange master — you have heard about him. He walked just like an animal on all fours; he never stood up on his legs — not that there was any problem, not that he was hunchback. He just walked on all fours because he said that is the most relaxed position. It is, because man is standing almost despite nature. No animal stands on two legs, because when you stand on two legs your heart has to pump against gravitation towards the head. This cuts your life in half.”
– God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Chapter #1
“Ma Tzu moved on all fours just to go beyond mind and be in tune with nature. Everybody laughed. They said, “This is strange!”
And he looked like a tiger. He had such shiny eyes that he would look at you like a tiger. The disciples who gathered around Ma Tzu were men of great courage, because he used to jump on people, beat them. Ma Tzu devised beating and slapping and jumping on people as methods of meditation! You won’t believe it, but he managed to make more people enlightened than even Gautam Buddha, because he had found a secret in it.”
– God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Chapter #7
“Ma Tzu belongs to the second category, of very creative and inventive masters. He never repeats himself. In every situation he will bring a new device; he will function just as a mirror. And whatever comes spontaneously out of his empty heart, he will use it as a vehicle of dhamma.
This type of master is very rare, because you don’t know whether a method is going to succeed; you don’t know what will be the outcome. You are simply trusting in your own heart, that your heart cannot let you down. This is an immense trust in one’s own enlightenment and awakening — that whatever comes out of your illumination is going to succeed, there is no question about it. Hence a man like Ma Tzu has a tremendous freedom.
Other masters have thousands of methods given by the tradition, and they choose one of them; but it is a dead device, even though success seems to be more certain.
With Ma Tzu success is not the point; success is the last point in the journey. All those masters in the first category are looking at the success — the method must succeed. And because the method has been used again and again, and has been successful, why bother to look for a new method? Their emphasis is on the end, the success.
Ma Tzu’s method, his approach, is totally different. It depends on the first point of the journey, from where the arrow comes. If it is coming from your empty heart, then there is no need to bother about success. That is no more the question for Ma Tzu. His whole life he invented thousands of methods, according to the person confronting him. And he had tremendous success.”
– Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Chapter #6
Book on Meera:
Pad Gungroo Bandh (in Hindi)
Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo (in Hindi)
Meera became enlightened, and danced and danced. Her whole life she danced from one village to another, singing songs of God, of love. And Buddha became enlightened and became utterly silent, quiet, still. It is not an accident that the first marble statues made were of Buddha — he looked like a marble statue, he sat like a marble statue. Now, you cannot make a marble statue of Meera; it is impossible. She is so volatile. She is more like a river than like a marble rock. You cannot make a statue of Meera — it will be a falsification because the statue will not be able to dance. And without dance, there is no Meera. Meera’s statues can only be made by fountains, not by marble rocks. Yes, in a fountain it is possible to make a statue of Meera, but it has to be dynamic, it has to be a dance.
Meera is crazy in her own way. And these people are never repeated. All enlightened people are simply unique.
– The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, Chapter #2
MEERA LOVED GOD IN THE FORM OF KRISHNA, STILL SHE ATTAINED. Yes, she loved God in the form of Krishna, but Meera’s love is the love of a perfect human being. She has no need, she does not want anything from Krishna; she simply goes on giving. She has a song to sing, she sings. She has a dance to dance, she dances. She has nothing to get, she only gives. And she gets a thousandfold — that is another thing, but she has nothing to get.
– Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2, Chapter #3
A Meera dancing: she is not aware that she is dancing — she has become the dance. There is no gap. She has surrendered her ego completely. There is dancing — she is not aware; she is completely lost in it. When you are absorbed totally then you are in surrender — absorbed totally. But only the ego can be absorbed — only the ego! And when the ego is absorbed, the Self is there in its total purity.
But that is not the concern. On the path of surrender that is not the concern! Meera is not concerned with awareness, with consciousness — no. She is concerned with being completely unconscious in the Divine dance or in the Divine song — with being lost totally in it.
– The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1, Chapter #16
Meera’s SONGS; they are the most beautiful ever sung by any man or any woman. It is impossible to translate them.
Meera says: “main to prem divani — I am madly in love, so madly loved that I am mad, mad, mad!” Perhaps this may give you a little hint what kind of songs she sang. She was a princess, a queen, but she renounced the palace to be a beggar on the streets. Playing her veena she danced in the marketplace, from village to village, town to town, city to city, singing her heart out, pouring herself totally. I have spoken of Meera in Hindi; someday some madman may translate what I have said.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
Translated from MAINE RAM RATAN DHAN PAYO
Meera herself IS devotion. You won’t find systematic argument. Fixed logic is not found there. There lightning has struck the heart.
In Meera, found nowhere else, is a natural expression of love. There have been other devotees, but they all pale before Meera; they become the background. Meera’s star is a very bright, shining star.
So don’t listen to Meera logically, intellectually. Meera has nothing to do with logic and intellect. Listen to Meera with feeling, with devotion. Look with the eye of trust. Push aside logic, leave it to crawl along the bank. For a little while, let yourself go completely mad with Meera. This is the world of the mad. This is the world of lovers. Only then can you understand, otherwise you will miss.
– Early Talks, Chapter #9
|| Mulla Nasruddin
Books on Mulla Nasruddin:
Almost every book of Osho captures Mulla Nasruddin in all its humorous ways
BELOVED OSHO, DID MULLA NASRUDDIN BECOME ENLIGHTENED?
He must have — because if he is not enlightened then nobody can be.
Mulla Nasruddin is a Sufi figure, one of the oldest figures of Sufi anecdotes, and he shows whatsoever I have been saying here: that the world is a cosmic joke — he represents that. He is a very serious joker, and if you can penetrate him and understand him, then many mysteries will be revealed to you.
Mulla Nasruddin illustrates that the world is not a tragedy but a comedy. And the world is a place where if you can learn how to laugh you have learned everything. If your prayer cannot become a deep laughter which comes from all over your being, if your prayer is sad and if you cannot joke with your god, then you are not really religious.
Sufis are very playful; they created Mulla Nasruddin. And Mulla Nasruddin is an alive figure, you can go on adding to him — I go on adding.
Nasruddin must have attained enlightenment, or he is already an enlightened figure, there is no need to attain. I go on using him just to give you a feeling that to me religion is not serious.
– Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter #13
Mulla Nasruddin is not a person; he is the whole humanity. He is you; he is you, all together. Whatsoever you can do, Mulla can do more stupidly. He is perfect! Whatsoever any human being can do, he can do more perfectly. He is your stupidity. And if you can understand it you will laugh and you will weep also. You will laugh at the ridiculousness of it and you will weep that that ridiculousness is yours. When you laugh at Mulla Nasruddin, remember, you are laughing at yourself. He just brings you face to face with whatsoever you are, so that it can be encountered.
Mulla Nasruddin is not new; he’s an old Sufi device. There are stories which are one hundred, two hundred, even three hundred years old, around Mulla Nasruddin. He is an old device.
There have been many claims to whom Mulla Nasruddin belongs. The Russians say he belongs to them. They have a gravestone which proves that he belongs to them. Iranians say he belongs to them. Arabs say he belongs to them. In Bukhara, they have a place dedicated to Nasruddin’s memory.
He has been all over the world. In fact, wherever there is stupidity, there is Mulla Nasruddin. He belongs to all; nobody alone can claim him.
And I say that he is still alive. He may have died in one country but he is resurrected in another. Many times, I myself have seen him dying and the next day he knocks on my door. It is impossible. It seems he cannot die. He is human stupidity.
But if you look deep into the stupidity you will see the wisdom also. In all his stupidities there is a germ of hidden wisdom.
– The True Sage, Chapter #8
Mulla Nasruddin! He is not a fictitious figure, he was a Sufi and his grave still exists. But he was such a man that he could not resist even to joke from his grave. He made a will that his gravestone will be nothing but a door, locked, and the keys thrown away into the ocean.
Now this is strange! People go to see his grave: they can go round and round the door because there are no walls, there is just a door standing there, no walls at all! — and the door is locked. The man Mulla Nasruddin must be laughing in his grave.
I have loved no one as I have loved Nasruddin. He is one of the men who has brought religion and laughter together; otherwise they have always stood back to back. Nasruddin forced them to drop their old enmity and become friends, and when religion and laughter meet, when meditation laughs, and when laughter meditates, the miracle happens… the miracle of all miracles.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #8
WHAT IS THE MOST STUPID THING MULLA NASRUDIN EVER DID?
He is always doing greater stupid things than before. His every act is unique, incomparable. If you look into it you will think that this is the best; but when the next act comes it is something absolutely new, something tremendously great.
Read about Mulla Nasruddin and try to understand him. Make it a meditation. It has been, for centuries, a Sufi meditation.
Sufi teachers used to give Mulla Nasruddin jokes to their disciples to think and ponder and meditate. Because whatsoever he says has meaning in it; whatsoever he does has meaning in it. They are not ordinary jokes — remember. I don’t tell them to you just to make you laugh. No, they are not mere jokes; they are pointers. You should not just laugh and forget them; you should make them a part of your understanding. And then you will see Mulla Nasruddin arising many times within yourself — acting, behaving. And then you will be able to laugh. And if you can laugh at yourself, you have laughed for the first time.
– The True Sage, Chapter #8
Nagarjuna is a great philosopher, one of the greatest of the world. Only a few people in the world, very few, have that quality of penetration that Nagarjuna has. So, his way of talking is very philosophical, logical, absolutely logical.
Nagarjuna is one of the greatest disciples of Buddha, and one of the most penetrating intellects ever. Only very few people — once in a while, a Socrates, a Shankara — can be compared with Nagarjuna. He was very, very intelligent. The uttermost that the intellect can do is to commit suicide; the greatest thing, the greatest crescendo that can come to the intellect is to go beyond itself — that’s what Nagarjuna has done. He has passed through all the realms of intellect, and beyond.
– The Heart Sutra, Chapter #2
Nagarjuna was one of the greatest mystics India has given birth to. He realized his infinite being, the world dissolved. Then followers came, and followers are always carbon copies, bound to be unless they try to penetrate the reality themselves and don’t take their Master’s word on trust.
The Master’s word simply inspires, provokes, helps, but it should not be taken on trust, otherwise it will become a philosophy. YOU have to realize it. And when YOU realize, only then can you say, “Yes, the Master was true.”
– Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter #3
There has been a great man in India, a very rare being: men like him you can count on your fingers. His name was Nagarjuna. He has contradicted everything. He has debated against everything. He has criticized all theories. And people were puzzled. They would ask: Okay, whatsoever you say is okay, but what is YOUR standpoint? He would say: I don’t have any standpoint. I am here just to destroy theories, I don’t have a theory to replace them with. Whatsoever is your theory — Come! And I will criticize it and destroy it. But don’t ask for a substitute because I have none. You become empty, that’s perfect, there is no need to do anything.
– Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 3, Chapter #5
Nagarjuna was one of the great masters India has produced — of the caliber of Buddha and Mahavir and Krishna. And Nagarjuna was a rare genius. Really, on the intellectual level there is no comparison in the whole world; such a keen and penetrating intellect rarely happens.
– Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, Chapter #16
The chronological time is arbitrary. In the West Zeno proved it long before. In the East Nagarjuna proved it so deeply that he has never been refuted. In fact Zeno and Nagarjuna, two persons, have remained irrefutable. Nobody can refute them; their arguments are so deep and absolute. Zeno and Nagarjuna say that the whole concept of time, chronological time, is absurd.
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 9, Chapter #7
Nagarjuna, a disciple of Buddha, has written a shastra called, MOOL MADHYAMIC KARIKA. This book has no equal in the world. Naturally, for it is next to impossible to find, again, a person like Nagarjuna. He has proved in this book that nothing exists. Neither you nor I, nor the mundane world — nothing is.
– The Way of Tao, Volume 2, Chapter #9
Nagarjuna’s MULA MADHYAMIKA KARIKA. I don’t like Nagarjuna very much; he is too much of a philosopher, and I am anti-philosophic. But his MULA MADHYAMIKA KARIKA, his KARIKAS for short…. MULA MADHYAMIKA KARIKA means the essence of the path of the middle — the essential middle path. In his KARIKAS he has reached the profoundest depths of which words are capable. I have never spoken on it. If you want to speak on the essential, the best way is not to speak at all, just to be silent. But the book is tremendously beautiful.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #4
Books no Nanak:
The True Name (2 volumes in English)
Ek Omkar Satnam (in Hindi)
The founder of Sikhism, Nanak, was one of those beautiful people for whom I have immense love. He was a simple man. He had just one disciple, and that too because he loved to sing. All his teachings were delivered in singing, spontaneous singing — not like a poet composing — and his disciple would play on a simple instrument just to give some music to what the Master was saying.
– From Personality to Individuality, Chapter #11
Nanak attained God by singing to him; Nanak’s quest is very unusual — his path was decorated with songs. The first thing to be realized is that Nanak practiced no austerities or meditation or yoga; he only sang, and singing, he arrived. He sang with all his heart and soul, so much so that his singing became meditation; his singing became his purification and his yoga.
Whenever a person performs any act with all his heart and soul, that act becomes the path. Endless meditation, if halfhearted, will take you nowhere; whereas just singing a simple song with all your being merged in it, or dance a dance with the same total absorption and you will reach God. The question is not what you do, but how much of yourself you involved in the act.
Nanak’s path to supreme realization, to godliness is scattered with song and flowers. Whatever he has said was said in verse. His path was full of melody and soft, filled with the flavor of ambrosia.
– The True Name, Vol 1, Chapter #1
Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, his songs. He roamed around the known world of his day with a single follower, Mardana. Mardana means manly — ‘the really brave’. To be a follower one has to be brave. Nanak used to sing while Mardana played on his sitar, and that’s how they roamed around the world spreading the fragrance of the ultimate. His songs are so beautiful, they bring tears to my eyes. Just because of his songs a new language was created. Because he wouldn’t listen to any grammar, any rules of language, regulations, he created Punjabi just by his songs. It is a tremendously strong language, just like the sharp edge of a sword.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
GURU GRANTHA has compiled the sayings of ten living masters, ten enlightened ones. I say that no other book can be compared to it. It is incomparable. Nanak says, “Ek omkar satnam — only one thing is true, the name of the inexpressible.” In the East we call it omkar, om — only that is true. The sound of the soundless… the silence that pervades after the sound has left…ek omkar satnam.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #7
Nanak, a great mystic, who founded the religion of Sikhism. He traveled far and wide. And he was more generous in his attitude; he allowed anyone who wanted, to be in his world. Even Mohammedans entered it, Hindus entered it; all kinds of people from different religions became part of it. The man had tremendous charisma.
– The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter #28
Book on Nansen:
Nansen: The Point of Departure (in English)
Nansen is one of the most famous zen masters. Many stories are told about him; one I have been telling you many times. I will repeat it again, because stories like that are to be repeated again and again, so that you can imbibe them
These stories — they are a nourishment.
– And The Flowers Showered, Chapter #11
After Bodhidharma, Nansen is a new point of departure. He opens Zen to a wider variety, he gives Zen more dimensions. It is no more a small stream, but becomes an ocean.
When a man like Nansen lives in a temple, then the rafters and the tiles also become something divine, something sacred, but not sacred against the secular. Nansen has joined the earth with the sky.
My love for Nansen is immense because of this understanding that the earth and the sky are not separate — are not separateable. And both should be enjoyed.
I have called this series NANSEN: THE POINT OF DEPARTURE. From the past spirituality Nansen is a tremendous departure, accepting secular and sacred as together, one — two aspects of one reality.
– Nansen: The Point of Departure, Chapter #1
Nansen is a meeting of Buddha and Lao Tzu, the meeting of Buddhism and Taoism, and Zen is the meeting of all that is beautiful in Buddha and all that is beautiful in Lao Tzu. That’s why there is nothing like Zen, because two streams, tremendously powerful, tremendously beautiful, utterly of the Unknown, came to a meeting. There has never been such a meeting.
Zen is absolutely earthbound. Buddha is like the sky, and Lao Tzu is like the earth, and where earth and sky meet, there is Zen. This Nansen is the meeting of the earth and the sky. Buddha is like wings, and Lao Tzu is like roots, and this Nansen is like a tree with both roots and wings. Rare reality — the earth, the solid earth, meets the inner sky.
– Returning to the Source, Chapter #3
Nansen was one of the greats. I count him with Gautam Buddha, Mahakashyap, Bodhidharma, Joshu, Hyakujo. There have been thousands of masters, but Nansen will still stand out with his own beauty, uniqueness. He became so well known to the people that the very mountain where he had a small cottage is now called Mount Nansen.
– This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen, Chapter #3
Book on Narada:
Bhakti Sutra (in Hindi)
“A musician, a poet, and a very beautiful man, Narada, who always, even while moving, continued to play on a very simple musical instrument — and remember, the more simple the instrument the more difficult it is to create great music out of it. He used to carry a simple instrument, an ektara — a one-stringed sitar. It is easy when there are many strings to create music, because you can create different notes on different strings. The ektara has only one string — that is the meaning of ektara. Ek means one; tara means string. It has become almost the symbol of Narada. You will not find a statue or a painting of him without his ektara.
He was a master musician, and a great poet — and perhaps the only man in India who knew the hilariousness of existence, who used to laugh….”
– The Messiah, Vol 1, Chapter #20
“That’s why the second book I choose is Narada’s BHAKTI SUTRAS.
His sutras begin with “athato bhakti jigyasa — now the inquiry into love….” To inquire into love is the greatest exploration, the greatest inquiry. Everything else falls short, even atomic energy. You can be a scientist even of the caliber of Albert Einstein, but you don’t know what real inquiry is unless you love. And not only love, but love plus awareness… then it becomes inquiry into love, the most difficult task in the world.
Let me repeat, it is the most difficult task in the world — love with awareness. People fall in love; people become unconscious in love. Their love is only biological, it is gravitation. They are pulled down towards the earth. But Narada is talking about a totally different love: love as meditation, as awareness. Or in scientific terms, love as levitation, against gravity. Leave gravitation for the graves; levitate, arise! And when one starts rising to love, flying towards the stars, that is athato bhakti jigyasa.”
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
“It is reported of Naropa, one of the greatest Tibetan mystics ever born…. He was a very absurd personality. I say “absurd” because he would do things no one would expect of a master. He was found in a pub drinking.
Someone said, “Naropa, what are you doing? You are enlightened, you have achieved the goal, and you are drinking?”
Naropa said, “This is a game. And when it is a game, I do not care this way or that. Once I have come to know that I am the eternal within, why be afraid of this alcohol? Why be afraid?”
I say “absurd personality” — but he is saying that this is alcohol and that whatsoever is created by alcohol is a dream. He is not saying this is reality; he is saying this is a dream. He said, “I am not obsessed for or against. It happened that a friend invited me and I didn’t want to say no. A friend invited me. For him this is real, for me this is a dream. But this is a dream for me, not for him. Why be bothered? It will be difficult for him.”
– The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter #7
“There was a mystic in Tibet called Naropa. Many people used to come to him and they were puzzled, because it was well known that he was totally merged in the divine and they never heard Naropa ever remembering God’s name. His disciples often asked Naropa, “People say that you are merged in the divine, but how come you never remember God?” Naropa is said to have replied, “How am I to remember when I never forget? And the day I start remembering God, know that Naropa has fallen. The day I remember, the day I call God’s name, you may understand that Naropa has fallen, that he has forgotten and has fallen asleep. When I do not fall asleep, when I never forget God, how am I to remember then?”
– Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter #3
|| Omar Khayyam
One great Sufi poet, Omar Khayyam, has written in his RUBAIYAT, his world-famous collection of poetry: “I am going to drink, to dance, to love. I am going to commit every kind of sin because I trust God is compassionate — he will forgive. My sins are very small; his forgiveness is immense.”
When the priests came to know about his book — because in those days books were written by hand, there were no printing presses…. When the priests discovered that he was writing such sacrilegious things, that he was saying, “Don’t be worried, go on doing anything you want because God is nothing but pure compassion and love. How much sin can you commit in seventy years of life? — in comparison to his forgiveness, it is nothing.”
He was a famous mathematician too, renowned in his country. The priests approached him and said, “What kind of things are you writing? You will destroy people’s religiousness! Create fear in people, tell people that God is very just: — if you have committed a sin, you will be punished. There will be no compassion.”
Omar Khayyam’s book was burned in his day. Whenever a copy was found, it was burned by the priests, because this man was teaching such a dangerous idea. If it spreads among human beings and everybody starts rejoicing in life, what will happen to the priests? What happen to the saints? What will happen to their mythologies of hell and heaven and god? All will disappear in thin air.
At least with me, Omar Khayyam is one of the enlightened Sufi mystics, and what he is saying has immense truth in it. He does not mean that you should commit sin. What he means simply is that you should not feel guilty. Whatever you do — if it is not right, don’t do it again. If you feel it hurts somebody, don’t do it again. But there is no need to feel guilty, there is no need to be repentant, there is no need to do penance and torture yourself.
– The Hidden Splendor, Chapter #11
The songs of Omar Khayyam were translated by Western writers, but were not correctly understood. Edward Fitzgerald, who did an admirable rendering of Khayyam’s songs, was not a Sufi. He took the word `wine’ literally, for example. He also took the word `lover’ literally, and did the same with `wineshop’. He read the Rubaiyat and tried to understand it with the help of a dictionary. Omar Khayyam was a Sufi fakir, a Sufi saint. When he speaks of wine he is speaking of the wine about which Kabir is speaking:
AND I’M DRUNK WITH BOUNDLESS YOUTH.
Omar Khayyam is speaking of this too. The wineshop is the temple, the lover is the master, the guru, and the wine is none other than the wine of God. Fitzgerald made a great mistake when he translated the songs of Omar Khayyam literally, and many people in the West thought Khayyam was a drunkard and had written these songs in praise of wine.
Many adaptations of the Rubaiyat were made from these translations of Fitzgerald’s and were published all over the world, and so the wineshop of Omar Khayyam became world-famous. This was a great blunder on Fitzgerald’s part. But this was bound to happen, because to understand an enlightened person it is necessary to be enlightened oneself. To understand a madman one must be mad, so if you wish to understand an enlightened man you will have to become enlightened yourself. The sign-language used by a dumb person can only be understood by another who is dumb. Fitzgerald did not realize this. If Omar Khayyam were to return to the world he would not be so displeased with anyone as he would be with Edward Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald made Khayyam’s name famous throughout the world, but he did it in a very wrong way.
– The Great Secret, Chapter #3
I also forgot the RUBAIYAT. Tears are coming to my eyes. I can apologize for forgetting everything else but not the RUBAIYAT. Omar Khayyam… I can only cry, weep. I can only apologize with my tears, words won’t do. The RUBAIYAT is one of the most misunderstood and also one of the most widely read books in the world. It is understood in its translation, it is misunderstood in its spirit. The translator could not bring the spirit to it. RUBAIYAT is symbolic, and the translator was a very straight Englishman, what in America they would call a square, not hip at all. To understand RUBAIYAT you need a little bit of hip in you.
The RUBAIYAT talks of wine and women and nothing else; it sings of wine and women. The translators — and there are many — are all wrong. They are bound to be wrong because Omar Khayyam was a Sufi, a man of tasawuf, a man who knows. When he talks of the woman he is talking about God. That is the way Sufis address God: “Beloved, O my beloved.” And they always use the feminine for God, this should be noted. Nobody else in the world, in the whole history of humanity and consciousness, has addressed God as a woman. Only Sufis address God as the beloved. And the ‘wine’ is that which happens between the lover and the beloved, it has nothing to do with grapes. The alchemy which happens between the lover and the beloved, between the disciple and the master, between the seeker and the sought, between the worshipper and his God… the alchemy. the transmutation — that is the wine. RUBAIYAT is so misunderstood, perhaps that is why I forgot it.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #2
Books on Patanjali:
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega (10 volumes in English)
Patanjali: Yoga Sutra (4 volumes in Hindi)
“Yoga is pure science, and Patanjali is the greatest name as far as the world of yoga is concerned. This man is rare. There is no other name comparable to Patanjali. For the first time in the history of humanity, this man brought religion to the state of a science: he made religion a science, bare laws; no belief is needed.”
“Patanjali is rare. He is an enlightened person like Buddha, like Krishna, like Christ, like Mahavira, Mohammed, Zarathustra, but he is different in one way. Buddha, Krishna, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed no one has a scientific attitude. They are great founders of religions. They have changed the whole pattern of human mind and its structure, but their approach is not scientific.
Patanjali is like an Einstein in the word of Buddhas. He is a phenomenon. He could have easily been a Nobel Prize winner like an Einstein or Bohr or Max Planck, Heisenberg. He has the same attitude, the same approach of a rigorous scientific mind. He is not a poet; Krishna is a poet. He is not a moralist; Mahavira is a moralist. He is basically a scientist, thinking in terms of laws. And he has come to deduce absolute laws of human being, the ultimate working structure of human mind and reality.
And if you follow Patanjali, you will come to know that he is as exact as any mathematical formula. Simply do what he says and the result will happen. The result is bound to happen; it is just like two plus two, they become four. It is just like you heat water up to one hundred degrees and it evaporates. No belief is needed: you simply do it and know. It is something to be done and known. That’s why I say there is no comparison. On this earth, never a man has existed like Patanjali.”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Chapter #1
“Patanjali is absolutely scientific. He says we are not related with means; there are a thousand and one meanS. The goal is the truth. Some have achieved it through God, so it is okay — believe in God and achieve the goal, because when the goal is achieved you will throw your belief. So belief is just instrumental. If you don’t believe, it is okay; don’t believe, and travel the path of belieflessness, and reach the goal.
He is neither theist nor atheist. He is not creating a religion, he is simply showing you all the paths that are possible and all the laws that work in your transformation. God is one of those paths; it is not a must. If you are godless, there is no need to be non-religious. Patanjali says you can also reach — be godless; don’t bother about God. These are the laws and these are the experiments; this is the meditation — pass through it”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Chapter #2
“PATANJALI IS THE GREATEST scientist of the inner. His approach is that of a scientific mind: he is not a poet. And in that way he is very rare, because those who enter into the inner world are almost always poets, those who enter into the outer world are always almost scientists.
Patanjali is a rare flower. He has a scientific mind, but his journey is inner. That’s why he became the first and the last word: he is the alpha and the omega. For five thousand years nobody could improve upon him. It seems he cannot be improved upon. He will remain the last word — because the very combination is impossible. To have a scientific attitude and to enter into the inner is almost an impossible possibility. He talks like a mathematician, a logician. He talks like Aristotle and he is a Heraclitus.”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, Chapter #1
Books on Pythagoras:
Philosophia Perennis (2 volumes in English)
“Pythagoras is not at all bothered about any university in the world, for the simple reason that he is not a routine scholar; he is an original seeker, and he is ready to go anywhere. He traveled all his life to find people who may have had a little glimpse and may be able to impart something to him. He was collecting pieces, and he managed beautifully.
But Greeks don’t talk about him because he is not talking about Greek philosophy; he is bringing foreign ideas, strange ideas from Alexandria, from Nalanda, from Takshila — he is almost not a Greek. They are not interested in what he is bringing, although what he is bringing has nothing to do with Greeks or Indians or Egyptians. But he is ignored — one of the most significant men, utterly ignored.”
– Beyond Psychology, Chapter #30
“PYTHAGORAS REPRESENTS THE ETERNAL PILGRIM for PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS — the perennial philosophy of life. He is a seeker of truth par excellence. He staked all that he had for the search. He travelled far and wide, almost the whole known world of those days, in search of the Masters, of the mystery schools, of any hidden secrets. From Greece he went to Egypt — in search of the lost Atlantis and its secrets.”
“Pythagoras was the first man to try the impossible, AND he succeeded! In him, East and West became one. In him, yin and yang became one. In him, male and female became one. He was an ARDHANARISHWAR — a total unity of the polar opposites. Shiva and Shakti together. Intellect of the highest caliber and intuition of the deepest caliber. Pythagoras is a peak, a sunlit peak, and a deep, dark valley too. It is a very rare combination.”
“PYTHAGORAS IS THE FIRST EXPERIMENT in creating a synthesis. Twenty-five centuries have passed since then and nobody else has tried it again. Nobody else before had done it, and nobody else has done it afterwards either. It needs a mind which is both — scientific and mystic. It is a rare phenomenon. It happens once in a while.”
“Pythagoras is not a monotheist; he does not believe in one God. He says: All the peoples of the world and all their approaches are true. And he KNOWS it, because he has followed many many paths; almost all existent paths Pythagoras followed many many paths; almost all existent paths Pythagoras followed. And he always reached the same peak.
There are many paths by which to reach the peak. The mountain has many paths, but they all reach the same peak. You can go from the south or from the north or from the east or from the west… you can follow a very rocky track, or you can follow a very different track. There are many alternatives.
Pythagoras knows truth is one, but he does not say it. Truth is one UNSAID. Once you say it, then please don’t use the singular; then it is better to use the plural. The Vedas say: Truth is one, but wise people have described it in many ways.”
– Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1, Chapter #1
“For Pythagoras, science is a search for truth in the objective world and religion is a search for truth in the subjective world — and philosophy is a search for the truth. So science and religion are like two hands or two wings. They are not opposites but complementaries. And the world would be better if we were reminded of it again.
The church, the temple and the lab need not be enemies. They should exist in a kind of friendship. Man will be far richer then. Now, if he chooses science he becomes rich outside and goes on becoming poorer and poorer inside. If he chooses religion, he becomes rich inside, but goes on becoming poorer and poorer on the outside. And both are ugly scenes.”
“HEALTH TO PYTHAGORAS, HAS TWO ASPECTS TO IT. One is the physical, the other is the spiritual. The body is your temple — don’t neglect it. Your foolish, stupid ascetics have been telling you to neglect it — not only to neglect but to destroy your body. Pythagoras is not an asCetic: he is a man of understanding.
He says: Respect, don’t neglect, your body. If your body is neglected, you will not be able to find the inner harmony — because if the body is harmonious it helps to attain to inner harmony. Take every care of your health, of your body; love it, respect it, it is a great gift. It is a miracle! a mystery.”
– Philosophia Perennis, Vol 2, Chapter #1
|| Rabindranath Tagore
“Rabindranath Tagore is the very heart of this country. He is the most contemporary man, and yet the most ancient too. His words are a bridge between the modern mind and the ancientmost sages of the world. In particular, GITANJALI is his greatest contribution to human evolution, to human consciousness. It is one of the rarest books that has appeared in this century. Its rarity is that it belongs to the days of the UPANISHADS — nearabout five thousand years before GITANJALI came into existence.
It is a miracle in the sense that Rabindranath is not a religious person in the ordinary sense. He is one of the most progressive thinkers — untraditional, unorthodox — but his greatness consists in his childlike innocence. And because of that innocence, perhaps he was able to become the vehicle of the universal spirit, in the same way as the UPANISHADS of old are.
He is a poet of the highest category, and also a mystic. Such a combination has happened only once or twice before — in Kahlil Gibran, in Friedrich Nietzsche, and in Rabindranath Tagore. With these three persons, the whole category is finished. In the long history of man, it is extraordinary…. There have been great poets and there have been great mystics. There have been great poets with a little mysticism in them, and there have been great mystics who have expressed themselves in poetry — but their poetry is not great. Rabindranath is in a strange situation.”
“Rabindranath never went to any temple, never worshiped any God, was never, in a traditional way, a saint, but to me he is one of the greatest saints the world has known. His saintliness is expressed in each of his words.”
– The Golden Future, Chapter #26
“Rabindranath Tagore, although he belongs to this century, echoes thousands-of-years -old longings and dreams of the East. He belongs to the seers of the UPANISHADS. He is the only man this century has produced whose words can be compared to the five-thousand-year-old UPANISHADS.
Those UPANISHADS were songs of the first seers of humanity, but it is a strange fact that truth remains the same. Everything changes, but the truth is eternal. Five thousand years of distance, but whatever Rabindranath sings, appears to be coming from the days of the UPANISHADS, of those days of humanity’s childhood — so innocent and so pure.”
– The Razor’s Edge, Chapter #7
“Sufis are one of the best products of all the religions. There is no comparison. And in Sufism there is no one compared with Rabiya al-Adabiya. She is at the very top. One of the great Sufis was Hassan. He was a very respected saint.
I am reminded of one incident…. Just to make it clear to you, Rabiya is far above even the great masters.”
– The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter #17
“I have told you about the Sufi mystic woman, Rabiya al-Adabiya. She is a rare woman, in the sense that very few women have reached to that height. She belongs to the category of buddhas. Naturally, she was thought to be a little outlandish, a little eccentric, a little insane.”
– Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, Chapter #8
“She is a Sufi; her name is Rabiya al-Adabiya. Al-Adabiya means ‘from the village of Adabiya’. Rabiya is her name, al-Adabiya is her address. That’s how the Sufis named her: Rabiya al-Adabiya. The village became a very Mecca when Rabiya was still alive. Travelers from all over the world, seekers from everywhere, came searching for Rabiya’s hut. She was really a ferocious mystic; with a hammer in her hand she could have broken anybody’s skull. She actually broke many many skulls and brought out the hidden essence.”
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
|| Ram Krishan Paramhansa
“Ramkrishna attained to his first SAMADHI, to his first satori, by seeing a row of cranes against the black clouds. He was very young, must have been thirteen. He was sitting by the lake of his town, it was cloudy, dark clouds were gathering, the beginning of the rain, and suddenly a row, many white cranes against the black clouds. Almost like lighting they were there and they were gone, and he attained to his first SAMADHI. For days he was drunk with the unknown, he danced, sang. His town’s people, his family thought he had gone mad. But he was so happy.”
– The First Principle, Chapter #9
“I have heard one story about Ramkrishna: One day he said to his disciples, “I will tell you everything today and will not keep anything secret.” He described clearly the centers and the corresponding experiences up to the heart and throat, and then pointing to the spot between the eyebrows he said, “The supreme self is directly known and the individual experiences samadhi when the mind comes here. There remains then but a thin transparent screen separating the supreme self and the individual self. The sadhaka then experiences….” Saying this, the moment he started to describe in detail the realization of supreme self, he was plunged in samadhi and became unconscious. When the samadhi came to an end and he came back, he tried again to describe it and was again in samadhi; again he became unconscious. After repeated attempts Ramkrishna broke into tears, started crying, and told his disciples that it is impossible to speak about it.”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 9, Chapter #3
“It is said about Ramkrishna that he was much too interested in food; in fact obsessed. That is very unlikely. Even his wife, Sharada, used to feel very embarrassed; because he was such a great saint, only with one flaw — and the flaw was that he was much too interested in food. He was interested so much that while he was giving satsang to his disciples, just in the middle he will say, “Wait, I am coming,” and he will go to look into the kitchen, what is being cooked. He will just go there and ask, “What is being prepared today?” and then will come back and start his satsang again.
His closest disciples became worried. They said, “This doesn’t look good, Paramhansa. And everything is so perfectly beautiful — never has there walked such a beautiful and perfect man — but this small thing, why can’t you drop it?” He will laugh and will not say anything.
One day his wife Sharada insisted too much. He said, “Okay, if you insist, I will tell. My prarabdha is finished; and I am just clinging with this food. If I drop that I am gone.”
The wife could not believe this. It is very difficult for wives to believe in their own husbands — even if the husband is a Paramhansa it makes no difference. The wife must have thought that he is befooling, or he is trying to rationalize. Seeing that, Ramkrishna said, “Look, I can see that you are not trusting me, but you will know. The day I am going to die, just three days before that day, three days before my death, I will not look at the food. You will bring my thali in, and I will start looking in another direction; then you can know that only three days more am I to be here.”
That too was not believed; they forgot about it. Then, just three days before Ramkrishna died, he was resting, Sharada brought his thali, his food: he turned over, started looking at the other side. Suddenly the wife realized, remembered. The thali fell from her hands, she started crying. Ramkrishna said, “Don’t cry now. Now my work is finished; I need not cling.” And exactly after three days he died.”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 8, Chapter #1
|| Raman Maharishi
“One of the most beautiful men of this century was Maharishi Raman. He was a simple man, uneducated, but he did not accept the ideology, the religion in which he was born. When he was only seventeen years of age he left his home in search of truth. He meditated for many years in the hills of Arunachal in south India, and finally realized himself.
After that his whole teaching consisted only of three words, because those three words had revealed to him the whole mystery of existence. His philosophy is the shortest. What are those three words? Whoever came to him — because as he became slowly slowly known, people started coming to him from all over the world — his whole teaching was to sit silently and ask only one question: “Who am I?” and go on asking that question.
One day the question will disappear, and only you will be there. That is the answer.”
– From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter #24
“There are many people who have followed Maharishi Raman. His teaching was very simple — he was a simple man, uneducated, not learned. He had escaped from his home when he was only seventeen. He escaped because his father died. When the whole family was weeping and crying, and the neighbors were preparing to take the dead body to the funeral pyre, nobody noticed that Raman had disappeared.
The experience of the death of his father became a tremendous revolution in Raman’s mind. He was only seventeen, the only son of a poor family, and he escaped to the mountains. He remained his whole life on the mountain of Arunachal where he did nothing but just sit and watch inside. He never asked anybody anything. He had no master, he had nobody to guide him, but just sitting silently watching his own mind, he transcended his mind and he came to know himself.
And by knowing himself he came to know the ultimate bliss — the ecstasy that surrounded Gautam Buddha, the enlightenment that was radiating from Mahavira, the joy, the dance of all those who have awakened. So whoever was asking him, “What are we supposed to do?” he had only one answer his whole life: “Meditate on `Who am I?'”
– The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Chapter #5
“Maharishi Raman attained to enlightenment through death. He was only seventeen or eighteen and suddenly he felt he was dying. He was doing meditations; he must have unknowingly hit his hara. He was so absorbed in his meditation that he had left home and escaped and was sitting near a temple. The temple was dirty as indian temples are; there were flies and dogs everywhere. He was sitting there, hungry for many days, and all over his body were flies. Dogs were barking and children playing nearby — the indian village scene.
And then suddenly he felt that he was dying, but he accepted it. It was okay: if one was dying, one was dying. He relaxed into death; his body fell down. A crowd gathered and they thought that this boy was dead. And what was happening inside was of tremendous value, ultimate value. Ramana saw his body disappearing. That’s where you came very close to. But he accepted and you rejected. Then he saw his mind disappearing — but he accepted it. And then a smile came over his face. The body disappeared, the mind disappeared and he was still there! Nothing had died! So he opened his eyes and laughed!”
– Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There, Chapter #2
Book on Rinzai:
Rinzai: Master of the Irrational (in English)
“Rinzai has a special place just as Bodhidharma has. Bodhidharma introduced Zen to China from India, and Rinzai introduced Zen to Japan from China. These two were key figures in creating a whole new approach to reality. You will see, at some points, it is so difficult not to say that this man has certainly seen the original face. He is not philosophizing, although his words are that of a philosopher.”
“Rinzai is counted as a great philosopher in the Japanese history of philosophy. He should not be, but his words give the impression that he is a philosopher. I want to say that he is a mystic who does not know the language of the mystics. He is a mystic who knows the language of philosophy, and then everything becomes unnecessarily pompous.
– The Language of Existence, Chapter #9
“One Zen monk, Rinzai, used to say: This man, Buddha, was never born, he never walked on this earth, he never died — he is just a dream. And every day he would go to the temple and bow down before Buddha’s statue!
Then somebody said: Rinzai, you are just mad! Every day you go on insisting that this man was never born, never died, never walked on this earth, and still you go to the temple and bow down.
Rinzai said: Because this man was never born, never walked on this earth, never died, that’s why I go and bow down.
The questioner persisted, saying: We can’t follow you. Either you are mad or we are mad, but we cannot follow — what do you mean?
And Rinzai said: The birth of this man was just a dream to him. Walking on this earth was just a dream to him. Death was not real to him — just an end to a long dream. And this man, the center of his being, remained beyond birth, beyond death.”
– My Way: The Way of the White Clouds, Chapter #12
“Rinzai is one of the most beautiful masters. He had more enlightened disciples than any other master. His very air was that of enlightenment. His eyes were those of any awakened buddha. Those who had eyes to see and ears to hear, those who were sensitive enough to feel the fragrance of the man, immediately understood. He is in the crowd but not of the crowd. He looks just like a human being, but he has gone far beyond. He radiates his beyondness.”
– One Seed Makes the Whole Earth Green, Chapter #1
“There is a story about Rinzai. He was living with his master for almost twenty years, and one day he came and sat in the seat of the master. The master came; he looked at Rinzai sitting in his seat. He simply went and sat where Rinzai used to sit. Nothing was said, but everything was understood. Everybody was puzzled — “what is happening?” Finally Rinzai said to the master, “Are you not offended? Have I insulted you? Have I shown ungratefulness in any way?”
Master laughed. He said, “Now you have become a master. You have come home; from the student to disciplehood, from disciplehood to devotion, and from devotion to mastery. I am immensely pleased that now you can share my work. I need not come every day now; I know somebody else is there with the same aura, with the same perfume.”
– The Osho Upanishad, Chapter #1
“Rinzai managed to transform the whole fabric of the Japanese consciousness. He did more than anybody else. He brought new dimensions into meditation. It is unbelievable but he managed to transform everything into meditation. For example archery… Now, nobody can think that archery can be a meditative act; but Rinzai maintained that every act, if you do it with full awareness, just as a witness, not as a doer, becomes meditation.”
– Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Chapter #1
Books on Sahajo:
Showering Without Clouds (in English)
Bin Ghan Parat Phuhar (in Hindi)
“Just a few days ago, I was talking about a woman saint, Sahajo. She says: ‘JAGAT TARAIYA BHOR KI’ — the world is just like the last star in the morning. Go on looking. Just a moment before it was there, and a moment after, it is not there. The last star in the morning, disappearing, disappearing, continuously disappearing.”
– The True Sage, Chapter #3
“Sahajo. She says: ‘I can leave God but I cannot leave my Master, because God has only given me this world, the bondage. My Master has given me freedom, has given me God himself. I can leave God, but I cannot leave my Master. I can renounce God, but I cannot renounce my Master.’ A very significant assertion. A great statement of love. And understanding!”
– The True Sage, Chapter #7
“Sahajo. Even the name is poetic, it means ‘the very essence of spontaneity’. I have spoken on Sahajo, again in Hindi because English does not allow me to be so poetic. I don’t see much poetry in the English language, and what I see in the name of poetry looks so unpoetic that I wonder why nobody rebels against it.”
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #5
“In Sahajo, woman appears in utter purity. Man and woman are two dimensions. And if you clearly understand the difference between the two, the songs of Sahajo will be clear to you. Don’t try to understand them as a man. Just forget who you are, otherwise your conditioning will create the barrier.
Sahajo was a sannyasin, a celibate. She didn’t have a family. The world didn’t attract her. She left everything at the master’s feet. Those feet were her home, those feet were her family. Here is her total acceptance of God.
And I would not ask of Sahajo that she should be in a family, should become a wife, a mother. If she had asked me, I would have said, “Do whatever you feel like. Don’t force anything on yourself.”
Her celibacy was not forced… because nobody ever saw Sahajo in misery. She was always happy, ever-blossoming like a flower. Nobody could find a reason for there to be any other direction to her life than what she had chosen. That was her direction.
It is said that the fruits are the proof of the tree; then the achievement of a life is proof of the life. If Sahajo attained the ultimate bliss in her life, it means she lived life as she should have. If she could be ecstatic, if her lotus could blossom, then it is the proof that the way she lived was right; otherwise the flower could not have blossomed.”
– Early Talks, Chapter #9
“The sun represents the warrior. The sun is hot energy; the sun is violent energy. The moon represents the meditator, the mystic; it is cool energy. It is the same energy, remember — it is the same energy, it is not a different energy. But passing through the moon the sunrays become cool; that is the miracle of the moon, the alchemical change that happens through the moon. The moon simply reflects sunrays; it is a mirror. But just by passing through the moon a radical change happens: the rays which are hot, violent, become silent, cool, peaceful.
The sun represents the warrior, the fighter, the soldier. The moon represents the sannyasin, the meditator, the mystic.”
“And when the moon is there in the night it is far easier to meditate. The full-moon night is the best for meditation. Many people who have become buddhas have attained their enlightenment on the full-moon night, even Buddha himself. It may have been a coincidence, but it is significant to remember: he was born on the full-moon night, he became enlightened on the full-moon night and he died on the full-moon night. Something in the full moon seemed to be synchronizing with his energy.”
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11, Chapter #7
“Night, and particularly moonlit nights, have been found to be very supportive to meditation. Now even science suspects that the moon has a certain effect on the mind; because most of the people who go mad, go mad on a full moon night, hence the word `lunatic’. It comes from luna, the moon. Another word is `moonstruck’ ….
More people commit suicide on the full moon than at any other time and more people have become enlightened on the full moon than at any other time. Science has its own reasons …. The moon is really a part of the earth. Some four billion years ago a great chunk of the earth separated from the earth. All our great oceans are because of that chunk; deep valleys were left for rain to fill and they became the oceans.
The moon has one sixth the gravitation of the earth, because it is one sixth the size. That means that gazing at the moon, you slowly, slowly become more light, the gravitation is less on your being. That is the scientist’s explanation. And you can see the effect on the seas, because they are holding the place of the moon … where the moon used to be once. That’s why on the full moon there are great tides. In the human body there is eighty percent water, ocean water with the same chemicals. Just as tides arise in the ocean, something arises in the human being. If he is on the right track perhaps he may become enlightened.”
– Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Chapter #2
“The moon and the sun are symbols of the inner alchemy. The moon means the feminine inside you, and the sun means the masculine inside you. Moon is intuition; sun is reason. Moon is yin; sun is yang. This is the Indian terminology for yin and yang. Moon is peace, silence; sun is energy, vitality. Moon is death, sleep, dream, imagination; sun is awakening, life, logic.”
– Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language, Chapter #3
“The moon is a symbol of dreaming, of hallucinating. That’s why mad people are called lunatics — they live in the moon, they live through the moon. The moon is your dreaming faculty, the moon creates fantasies in you — it is unreal, imaginary.”
– Take It Easy, Vol 2, Chapter #12
“The moon is beautiful; why? — because for centuries you have been indoctrinated that the moon is beautiful. For centuries poets have been singing about the moon, for centuries people have believed — now it has become engrained. Of course there are a few things which happen with the moon: it is very soothing, you feel calmed down, and the light of the moon gives a mysterious aroma to the whole nature; it gives a sort of hypnosis, you feel a little sleepy and awake and things look more beautiful; it gives a dreamlike quality to the world — that’s why we call madmen, lunatics. The word “lunatic” comes from the word “luna,” the moon. They have gone mad, moonstruck.”
– Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter #8
“The moon has become symbolic in Zen because of Gautam Buddha. Gautam Buddha was born on a full-moon night, he became enlightened on a full-moon night, and he died on a full-moon night. Because of this coincidence the moon has become a symbol of Buddha.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, you are the moon, the buddha.”
– Turning In, Chapter #2
“Since humanity came into existence every child has longed to reach to the moon. Every child has tried, but the difference must be understood deeply. The effort of a child is beautiful. The moon is so beautiful. It is a poetic effort to touch it, to reach it. There is no ego. It is a simple attraction, a love affair. Every child falls in that love affair. If you can find a child who is not attracted by the moon, what type of child is that?
Moon creates a subtle poetry, a subtle attraction. One would like to touch it and feel it; one would like to go to the moon.”
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, Chapter #2
“The feminine energy has to be released. That can bring balance. The moon has been neglected too much, the sun has become too prominent. The moon has to be brought back to life. And with the moon is not only the woman: with the moon is all poetry too, all aesthetics, all love, and all that belongs to the heart, comes from the moon. All that is intuitive feeds on the moon.
Remember this. And in each being, man or woman, both energies exist — the sun and the moon. The emphasis has to be towards the moon. We have leaned too much towards the sun; it is destroying us. Just to keep balance we have to lean to the opposite direction, and slowly slowly one has to be exactly in the middle — the moon in one hand, the sun in the other, but both equal. I declare man and woman equal, not because of any political reason: I declare them equal for some existential reason. They have to be equal, otherwise life will be destroyed.”
– The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment, Chapter #27
“Just do one thing: the next time the full moon is due, start this three days before. Go outside in the open sky, look at the moon and start swaying. Just feel as if you have left everything to the moon — become possessed. Look at the moon, relax and say to it that you are available, and ask the moon to do whatsoever it wants. Then whatsoever happens, allow it.
If you feel like swaying, sway, or if you feel like dancing or singing, do that. But the whole thing should be as if you are possessed — you are not the doer — it is just happening You are just an instrument being played upon.
Do this for the three days before the full moon, and as the moon becomes fuller and fuller you will start feeling more and more energy. You will feel more and more possessed. By the full moon night you will be completely mad. With just one hour’s dancing and madness, you will feel relaxed as you have never been before, mm?”
– Nothing to Lose But Your Head, Chapter #7
“I have said that we are affected by the moon and the stars. I also wish to say that the moon and the stars are affected by us, because influence comes from both directions. Whenever a man like Buddha is born on the earth, the moon may not realize that it is because of him that storms are not arising on its surface — that because of Buddha, storms are subsiding. The moon is affected and the sun is also moved. When spots occur on the sun and storms arise, disease spreads throughout the earth.
When a person like Buddha is born on the earth and a current of peace is flowing, and the pillar of consciousness grows strong, and the deep beauty of meditation moves over the earth, then too a storm spreads throughout the sun — a storm of peace, bliss and consciousness — because all is joined together.”
– Hidden Mysteries, Chapter #5
Books on Shiva:
The Book of Secrets (5 volumes in English)
The Great Path (in English), Translation of hindi book Shiva Sutra
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (2 volumes in Hindi)
Shiva Sutra (in Hindi)
“Yes, there is great meaning. And it is the same Shiva who has given one hundred and twelve methods of meditation to the world. It is very rare that a man exhausts the whole of science single-handedly. Shiva is one of those geniuses. As far as meditation is concerned, in these thousands of years nothing has been added to those one hundred and twelve methods. They are exhaustive.
Shiva has taken note of every possibility. He has not left any corner, any space, any dimension in which you can discover a new method. Certainly no other genius in the whole humanity can be compared to this strange man.”
– From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter #11
“In India we have pictured Shiva as Ardhanarishwar — half-man, half-woman. That is the only symbol of its type all over the world. Shiva — half is man, half is woman; half Shiva and half Parvati, his consort. Half the body is of man and half of woman: Ardhanarishwar, half-man, half-woman. That is the symbol. Lovers join together but on the surface they remain two. Shiva is one, the body is two — half comes from Parvati, half he contributes. The body is two, on the surface the banks are two; in the depth the souls have mingled and become one.”
– Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter #11
“Shiva’s temples are found everywhere. No other deity is worshipped as much as Shiva. In every village, in every lane you will find a Shiva temple. Under trees you will find stones that are revered as Shiva. This is because with Shiva the world comes to an end. He is the deity of death, and hence worthy of worship. Brahma gives birth to the world, Shiva destroys it. India’s keenest desire was always how to be rid of samsara, how to attain liberation. Therefore we find Shiva temples abounding.”
– The True Name, Vol 2, Chapter #5
“Shiva, and his book VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA. I have spoken about it. It is very small, only one hundred and twelve sutras. You can easily write it on one page of a book, or at the most two pages. I have spoken on it in five volumes, thousands of pages — THE BOOK OF THE SECRETS. I cannot say any other book exists as condensed as VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA — the book of Shiva. Each sutra is a method unto itself.”
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #6
“Socrates is a mystic — not believing in God, not believing in any belief, not teaching an organized religion; but on the contrary giving absolute importance to the individual, and helping the individual to find his own life source. That is the true therapy. “To know thyself” is the condensed meaning of therapy. The function of the therapist is not to teach you who you are, but to create situations in which you start discovering yourself.”
– From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter #36
“I must remind you of Socrates’ last statement on the earth. He said, “When I was young I thought I knew everything. I bragged, because I could argue better than anybody else. When I became a little more mature, I realized that there were many things I didn’t know, I was simply bragging. And because others could argue against me they thought I must be knowing, because my argument was weightier. And as I went on, slowly slowly it became clear to me that I know nothing. Let this be my last statement on the earth: that I do not know.”
Socrates had become a child again, but he had risked all his wisdom, philosophy, his great intelligence, all his arguments, his whole life’s effort of winning against opponents in debates, discussions. He had become the topmost intelligent man in Greece. But he had the tremendous courage to say, “I know nothing.””
– From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter #6
“Socrates was punished by his society. People like Socrates are bound to be punished, because they are individuals and they don’t allow anybody to dominate them. He was given poison. He was lying in the bed and the man who was going to give him poison was preparing it. The sun was setting — that was the right time. The court had given the exact time, but the man was delaying in preparing the poison. Socrates asked the man, “Time is passing, the sun is setting — what is the delay?”
The man could not believe that somebody who is going to die is so particular about the right time for his own death. In fact, he should be thankful for the delay. The man loved Socrates. He had heard him in the court and seen the beauty of the person: he alone had more intelligence than the whole of Athens. He wanted to delay a little more so Socrates could live a little more. But Socrates would not allow him. He said, “Don’t be lazy. Just bring the poison.”
– From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter #8
“Socrates had never done anything that you could say was done out of arrogance, or out of anger, or out of jealousy. He was not standing for any public post, he was not interested in any power politics. He was not a man of anger at all.
The story is that his wife — she must have been really a monster, but sometimes it happens that such nice people as Socrates get such monster women. It is strange, but perhaps there is some balance. Perhaps only Socrates could stand that woman; no other man I think could have lived with her for even a single day. She used to beat Socrates and he would simply sit.”
– From Personality to Individuality, Chapter #19
“Socrates is a giant, a Himalayan giant. His every word is immensely meaningful. He said, “I am not going to leave Athens. Without me, what will Athens be? You kill me — that will make Athens immortal.” And those idiots could not understand what he was saying. He was speaking the truth: it is because Socrates was poisoned in Athens by Athenian people that Athens has become immortal.”
– From Personality to Individuality, Chapter #29
“Socrates is one of the persons I love the most. And coming here I feel tremendously joyous, because it is the same air Socrates must have breathed, the same land he must have walked, the same people with whom he must have talked, communicated with.
To me, without Socrates Greece is nothing. With Socrates, it is everything. The day Athens chose to poison Socrates, it poisoned the whole Greek spirit. It has never again been to the same heights. Twenty-five centuries have passed, but not a single man has been able to reach to the same glory, to the same light, the same insight.
Killing Socrates, Greece committed suicide. And it can be seen easily. If they had listened to Socrates rather than poisoning him, and dropped their conditionings, which he was asking them to do, Greece would have been at the very top of the world today in intelligence, in consciousness, in the search for truth.”
– Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chapter #1
“Subhuti lived in the crowd — nobody even knew his name — and when this news came that flowers were showering on Subhuti everybody wondered, ‘Who is this Subhuti? We never heard about him. Has it happened by some accident? Have the gods chosen him wrongly?’ — because there were many who were higher in the hierarchy. Subhuti must have been the last. This is the only story about Subhuti.”
“Buddha had thousands of disciples. Subhuti was just one of them, nothing special about him. Really nobody knows much about Subhuti, this is the only story about him. There were great disciples, well known, famous — great scholars, princes. They had big kingdoms, and when they left them and renounced and became disciples of Buddha, they had a name around them. But flowers didn’t shower on them. Flowers chose this Subhuti who was just one of the disciples, nothing special about him.”
“But Subhuti is rare, extraordinarily rare. Even though the gods shouted around him, whispered in his ears, and the flowers were showering on him like rain, he didn’t bother. He simply kept silent. They said, ‘You have spoken, you have given a discourse!’ He listened without coming back. They said, ‘You have not spoken, we have not heard. THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS!’ There was no ego saying, ‘The true happiness happened to me. Now I have become enlightened’ — otherwise he would have missed at the last point. And immediately flowers would have stopped showering, if he had come back. No, he must have closed his eyes and he must have thought, ‘These gods are mad and these flowers are dreams — don’t bother.’
The emptiness was so beautiful that now nothing could be more beautiful than that. He simply remained in his sublime emptiness — that’s why blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain. Now they were not falling a few here and a few there, now they were showering like rain.
This is the only story about Subhuti, nothing is said about him anymore. Nowhere is he mentioned again. But I tell you the flowers are still showering. Subhuti is no longer under any tree — because when one becomes really, totally empty, one dissolves into the universe.”
– And The Flowers Showered, Chapter #1
“Buddha had a disciple named Subhuti. Buddha was a very fortunate Master: he had TREMENDOUSLY potential disciples. A few of them were really rare beings. Subhuti is one of those rare beings who was just on the verge of Buddhahood. Just one step more and he would be a Buddha. He was coming home, every moment coming home, closer and closer to the center where ego disappears and God is born, where you die and the whole is born, when the part disappears into the whole, when the cosmos takes place and then you are no more a separate entity, trembling, afraid of death. Then you are part of this eternal play of existence. He was just on the verge. He was one of the MOST silent of Buddha’s disciples. He was so silent that the scriptures say that he had almost become absent. He would come and nobody would take note of him. He would pass and nobody would become aware that he had passed. He was a very silent breeze…”
– The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2, Chapter #5
|| Ta Hui
Book on Ta Hui:
The Great Zen Master Ta Hui (in English)
“Ta Hui means the “Great Master of Wisdom.”
Only at the last moment it seems he attained enlightenment, just before he died, but then he did not say anything except a small verse. So I have called him “The Great Teacher” — and he was certainly a great teacher. He influenced millions of people; he was a great leader in the sense that anybody who came in contact with him was immediately intellectually convinced. But he had no presence, and he had no inner silence. It seems that only at the last moment he attained the goal, he completed the journey.”
“The great Zen teacher Ta Hui comes from the same lineage as Bodhidharma. He was born four hundred years after Bodhidharma had left for the Himalayas, to disappear into the eternal ice, the eternal silence there.
I have called Ta Hui the great Zen teacher — not a master… it has to be explained to you clearly. The master is one who is enlightened. but sometimes it happens that the master may be enlightened, but is not articulate enough to give expression to what he has known. That is a totally different art.
The teacher is not enlightened, but he is very articulate. He can say things which the master, although he knows, cannot bring to words. The teacher can say them, although he does not know.”
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #1
“But Ta Hui was certainly a great teacher, because he collected… he went to dozens of enlightened masters. He was so young when he was initiated into monkhood, and he gathered like a bee gathers honey from thousands of flowers. So on the one hand he is very rich; he has brought so much honey from different flowers. But on the other hand he is very poor; he has not contributed anything from his own being. But I am happy that at least in the end, at the very end of his life, he became enlightened. His small verse is certainly of great beauty:”
“Ta Hui himself became enlightened just a minute before he was dying. Death can be of immense help, it can be a blessing in disguise, because now there is no future, no tomorrow. You cannot say, “Today I am busy, tomorrow I will meditate.” You have to drop all business. Now the only significant thing to be done is to be alert and aware, get rid of all your past, and move into death — innocent, clean, clear, unburdened. Then your very death becomes the entry into the divine. Then you are not dying; you are entering into eternal life.”
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #3
“The so-called teachers like Ta Hui go on saying things, and among so many things, once in a while there may be one arrow hitting the target. But my concern is to show you how humanity has been deceived by teachers. Ta Hui was honored by the emperor of China as a great Ch’an master, a great Zen master, and he has been accepted as a great Zen master since then. When the emperor honored him with the title, who is going to dispute it?”
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #4
“Ta Hui is a strange fellow, but he represents all those people who try to find their self-nature by intellectual effort. The problem with these people is that they have a good intellect. They can grasp words from masters, they can repeat them; they can deceive people and they can be deceived themselves.”
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #7
Books on Tilopa:
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding (in English)
Sahaj Yog (in Hindi)
“Something about Tilopa before we enter into this beautiful phenomenon. Nothing much is known about Tilopa, because nothing in fact can be known about such persons. They don’t leave a trace, they don’t become a part of history. They exist by the side, they are not part of the main traffic where the whole humanity is moving; they don’t move there. The whole humanity moves through desiring, and persons like Tilopa move into desirelessness. They simply move away from the main traffic of humanity where history exists.
And the more away they go from the traffic, the more mythological they become. They exist like myths, they are no more events in time. And this is as it should be, because they move beyond time, they live beyond time — they live in the eternity. From this dimension of our common humanity, they simply disappear, they evaporate. The moment when they are evaporating, only that moment we remember, that much they are part of us. That’s why nothing much is known about Tilopa, who he is.”
– Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter #1
“Tilopa is difficult to comprehend, but Tilopa is rare. Patanjali’s understanding is common — that’s why there is so much influence of Patanjali all through history. People like Tilopa have simply disappeared without leaving any trace on the human mind, because they couldn’t find affinity with you.”
– Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter #6
“But Tilopa is incomparable. Jesus is nothing…. The tantra masters are simply wild flowers, they have everything in them. You must have seen Bodhidharma pictures; if you have not seen, look again — so ferocious that if you meditate on Bodhidharma’s picture in the night, alone, you will not be able to sleep: he will haunt you. It is said of him that once he looked at anybody, that man would have nightmares continuously. He would haunt him; the very look, so ferocious. When Bodhidharma or Tilopa spoke, it is said their speaking was like a lion’s roar, a thundercloud, a tremendous waterfall — wild, fiery.
But if you wait a little and don’t judge them too soon, you will find within them the most loving of all hearts. Then you will feel the music, the melody in them. And then suddenly you will realize that they have not denied anything; they have absorbed everything, even ferociousness. A lion is beautiful, even its ferociousness has a beauty of its own. You take the ferociousness out of a lion and he is just a stuffed lion, dead.”
– Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter #5
“A Tilopa knows no trembling, no fear, and he never goes to pray to God, “Protect me”; he is protected. What is his protection? Understanding is his protection. He has lived all, he has moved to the farthest corner into evil, and he has lived the divine, and now he knows both are two aspects of the same. And now he is neither worried about good nor worried about bad; now he lives a loose and natural, simple life, he has no predetermined concepts. And he is unpredictable.”
– Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter #10
Books on Zarathustra:
Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance (in English)
Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet (in English)
“Zarathustra balances Jesus. Zarathustra is the only person out of all the religious founders who is in deep love with life. Perhaps that is the reason why the followers of Zarathustra are the smallest minority in the world. They live here in Bombay, mostly; Bombay is their whole world. Just a few fragments maybe live in Khandala and Lonavala, but Poona is the end; beyond it, you will not find any follower of Zarathustra. And nobody thinks them religious — because they love life, they enjoy life.”
– The Messiah, Vol 2, Chapter #14
“Zarathustra, amongst all the religious founders, is the only one who is life-affirmative, who is not against life, whose religion is a religion of celebration, of gratefulness to existence. He is not against the pleasures of life, and he is not in favor of renouncing the world. On the contrary, he is in absolute support of rejoicing in the world, because except for this life and this world, all are hypothetical ideologies. God, heaven and hell, they are all projections of the human mind, not authentic experiences; they are not realities.”
– Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Chapter #1
“Zarathustra would like your life to be a garden where birds sing, where flowers blossom, where trees dance, where the sun comes with joy. Zarathustra is absolutely for life, and that is the reason why he does not have many followers. The poisoners, the destructive people, have millions of followers. And a unique teacher and a unique mystic whose whole message is love and life, has got the smallest religion in the world.”
– Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Chapter #2
“Zarathustra is the most potential man the world has ever known. It has known great men, and many of them, but they were in a certain way still understandable. They used your language, they used your prejudices. Rather than giving you a new light they have supported you as you are. You call them great because they have supported you, they have made you comfortable with yourself. Zarathustra creates discomfort, discontent, because without a great discontent the superman is not possible. Your other great men have been teaching you to be contented, to be desireless.
Zarathustra teaches you a divine discontent, and a longing for the stars. And I agree with him absolutely, that unless you have a longing for the stars, you cannot grow, and you cannot become your true self; you cannot achieve your potential to its fullness. Hence, listen to his words, not just as words, but as seeds.”
– Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Chapter #13
“Zarathustra is not a priest, he is a scientist of the soul. His religion does not consist in worshiping, his religion consists in transformation — the symbol of his religion is fire. The symbol of fire is significant, it is the only thing that defies gravitation. It does not go low-wards; it always goes upwards.”
– Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Chapter #18
“Zarathustra denies God as a creator, but he is willing to accept God as the ultimate creation of human consciousness. To avoid misunderstanding, he calls this ultimate evolution of consciousness “the superman.” Superman is his God. But he does not come at the beginning, he comes at the very crescendo, in the end. He is not your master and your lord, he is your evolved form, refined form. Hence another thing has to be remembered: Zarathustra cannot believe in one God. There are millions of beings, they are all evolving, and there will be millions of gods; because each life has the seed, the potential, to become a god.
Zarathustra brings a total revolution in the concept of God and religion. Now religion is no longer a worship or a belief; now religion becomes the greatest creative act of man.”
– Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet, Chapter #1