Discourses — 26 October 2011

Osho speaks on Kabir, T.S. Eliot and poetry, and how the language of the heart has been forgotten…

Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains,
and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!
All seven oceans are inside and hundreds of millions of stars.
The acid that tests gold is there, and the one who judges jewels.
And the music from the strings that no one touches,
and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:
friend, listen: the god whom I love is inside.
Why should we two ever want to part?

Just as the leaf of the water rhubarb lives floating on the water,
we live as the great one and the little one.

As the owl opens his eyes all night to the moon,
we live as the great one and the little one.
This love between us goes back to the first humans:
it cannot he annihilated.

Here is Kabir’s idea: As the river gives itself into the ocean, what is inside me moves inside you.

T.S. Eliot says in Choruses from ‘The Rock’:

But it seems that something has happened
that has never happened before: though we know not
just when, or why, or how, or where.
Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say,
but for no God; and this has never happened before
that men both deny gods and worship gods,
professing first Reason,
And then Money, and Power, and what they call
Life, or Race, or Dialectic,
The Church disowned, the tower overthrown, the
bells upturned, and what have we to do
but stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards?

Yes, something has happened that has never happened before: for the first time in the evolution of human consciousness man stands alienated from God. Man stands separated from existence. Man stands lonely, with no companion, in great darkness, with no light to lead him, guide him. Man has never been in such despair, man has never been in such a state of homelessness.

T.S. Eliot is right: “Something has happened that has never happened before.” And why has it happened? How has it happened? It is difficult to pinpoint it but not difficult to understand it in a vague way. These things are not very tangible and they don’t happen in a certain moment. They happen so gradually, so slowly, that one never becomes really aware of when, where, how; but a few things can be understood.

Man had always lived with nature. To live with nature is to live with God in an indirect way, because nature reflects God in a thousand and one ways. The growing trees and the faraway call of the cuckoo and the winds in the pine trees and the rivers moving towards the ocean and the proud mountains standing in the sun and the starry night, and it is impossible not to be reminded of some invisible hands. It is impossible not to see that existence is not dead but alive. The ocean heaves, breathes; the whole existence is a growing phenomenon. It is not dead, it cannot be dead. Everything is growing.

Because of this growing experience man has remained constantly aware of some invisible, mysterious force behind it all. That force is called God. God is not a person, let me repeat, but just a presence. Still when you go deep into the Himalayas, you again start feeling a kind of reverence, awe, wonder. Again you start feeling something that was very easily available to the primitive man.

The civilized man has lost something because now we live in the manmade world where it is almost impossible to find any signature of God. How can you find God on asphalt roads? They don’t grow, they don’t breathe. How can you find God in cement structures? They are not alive! How can you find God in machines, in technology? Although it is great, even the greatest machine cannot give you the sense of the mysterious, of the miraculous. Even facing the greatest machine you cannot feel awe, you cannot feel reverence, you cannot feel like falling on your knees and praying. And if you cannot feel like falling on your knees and praying once in a while, how can God remain a part of your being? How can you remain alert, aware of the divine?

Yes, “… something has happened that has never happened before: though we know not just when, or why, or how, or where.” It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date and time when God died – at least in our consciousness – when God disappeared from our world. And with Him disappeared all poetry, and with Him disappeared all dance. With Him disappeared all that is beautiful and sacred. With Him disappeared all for which one can live and die; now we don’t have anything worth living or worth dying for. We are simply dragging our existence, burdened, seeing no point in it all, just carrying on somehow because the other alternative is suicide – that too seems pointless. To live seems pointless, to die seems pointless.

Man is facing a tremendous flood of meaninglessness for the first time. Everything seems to be utterly insignificant, and the reason is simple: without God there can be no significance, without God there can be no grandeur, without God there can be no splendor. Life can have meaning only in the context of something that surpasses life. The meaning always comes from the context; now man stands without a context. The meaning comes only when you can look upwards to something bigger than you, something greater than you. When you feel related with something greater, holier, your life has meaning. When you feel unrelated, uprooted, how can you feel meaning?

The first thing is that man has left nature and has created an artificial world of his own. That has been the most shattering phenomenon which has disrupted man, unbridged man from God and all that is implied in God: meaning, significance, majesty, love, prayer, meditation, all that is valuable, precious. Man has never been such a beggar as he is today.

And the irony is, man has never been so rich, so affluent as he is today. Both things have happened together: the inner has become poorer and poorer and the outer has become richer and richer. We have more money than any other society before, we have more medical facilities than any other society before, we have in every way more power than any other society ever had before, and still no society has ever felt such meaninglessness, no society has ever felt such a great suicidal desire, longing.

Secondly, we have cultivated reason too much and we have become lopsided. God is a feeling, God is not a thinking. You cannot think about God because God is not an object to think about. Science thinks, religion feels. Science functions from the head, religion from the heart. And because we have become too much obsessed with the head – our whole education, our whole civilization, is obsessed with the head because the head has made all kinds of technological advances – we think that’s all.

What can the heart give to us? Yes, it cannot give you great technology, it cannot give you great industry, it cannot give you money. It can give you joy, it can give you celebration. It can give you a tremendous feeling for beauty, for music, for poetry. It can guide you into the world of love, and ultimately into the world of prayer, but those things are not commodities. You cannot grow your bank balance through the heart; and you cannot fight great wars, and you cannot make atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, and you cannot destroy people through the heart. The heart knows only how to create and the head knows only how to destroy. The head is destructive, and our whole education has become trapped in the head.

Our universities, our colleges, our schools, are all destroying humanity. They think they are serving but they are simply befooling themselves. Unless man becomes balanced, unless the heart and the head both grow, man will remain in misery and the misery will go on growing. As we become more and more hung up in the head, as we become more and more oblivious to the existence of the heart, we will become more and more miserable. We are creating hell on the earth and we will create more and more of it. Paradise belongs to the heart.

That is the second thing that has happened: the heart is completely forgotten, nobody understands that language any more. We understand logic, we don’t understand love. We understand mathematics, we don’t understand music. We become more and more accustomed to the ways of the world and nobody seems to have the guts to move into the unknown paths, the unknown labyrinths of love, of the heart. We have become very much attuned to the world of prose, and poetry has simply become non-existential.

The poet has died, and the poet is the bridge between the scientist and the mystic. The bridge has disappeared. On one hand stands the scientist – very powerful, tremendously powerful, ready to destroy the whole earth, the whole of life – and on the other hand, far and few between stand a few mystics – a Buddha, a Jesus, a Zarathustra, a Kabir. They are utterly powerless in the sense that we understand power, and immensely powerful in a totally different sense – but we don’t know that language at all. And the poet has died; that has been the greatest calamity. The poet is disappearing.

And by poet I mean the painter, the sculptor. All that is creative in man is becoming reduced to producing more and more commodities. The creative is losing its grip and the productive is becoming the goal of life.

God can be approached only through the creative. Why? – because He is the creator. If you want to know God you will have to have something similar, because only the same can meet the same. You will have to learn a little rhythm of creativity. When the musician is really in a creative mood, in a creative space, he disappears; God starts playing on his flute. Suddenly his flute is no longer in his own hands, it is in Krishna’s hands. And then the flute brings something from the beyond, something virgin, something utterly new. When the painter disappears then his hands are just instruments for God.

God is the creativity, so if you really want to enter into the world of God you will have to learn the ways of creativity – and that has disappeared. Instead of creativity we value productivity: we talk about how to produce more. Production can give you things but cannot give you values. Production can make you rich outwardly but it will impoverish you inwardly. Production is not creation. Production is very mediocre; any stupid person can do it, one simply needs to learn the knack of it.

Creativity is intelligence. The deeper you go in creativity the more meditative you become.

And the poet has died, the poet exists no more. And what exists in the name of poetry is almost prose. What exists in the name of painting is more or less insane. You can see Picasso, Dali and others – it is pathological! Picasso is a genius, but ill, pathological. His painting is nothing but a catharsis; it helps him, it is a kind of vomiting. When you have something wrong with your stomach the vomiting relieves you. It helped Picasso; if he had been prevented from painting he would have gone mad. Painting was good for him, it saved him from becoming insane, it released his insanity onto the canvas. But what about others who will be purchasing those paintings, hanging them in their bedrooms and looking at them? They will start becoming ill at ease.

It is a totally different creativity I am talking about. A Taj Mahal… just watching it on a full moon night, and great meditation is bound to arise in you. Or the temples of Khajuraho, Konarak, Puri – just meditating on them and you will be surprised that all your sexuality is transformed into love. They are miracles of creativity. They were not created by pathological people, they were created by those who had attained.

The great cathedrals of Europe – they are the longings of the earth to reach to the sky. Just seeing those great creations, a great song is bound to arise in your heart, or a great silence is bound to descend on you. Man has lost the poetic, the creative urge, or it has been killed. We are too interested in commodities, in gadgets, in making more and more things. Production is concerned with quantity, and creation is concerned with quality. The quality has disappeared and with the quality, God has disappeared – because God is the ultimate quality of creation.

You will have to bring the heart back. You will have to be aware again of nature. You will have to learn to watch roses, lotuses again. You will have to make a few contacts with the trees and the rocks and the rivers. You will have to start a dialogue with the stars again. Otherwise God cannot be brought back to humanity, and without God humanity is doomed, is lost.

Yes, T. S. Eliot is right: “… something has happened that has never happened before: though we know not just when, or why, or how, or where. Men have left GOD not for other gods…”

That was very usual in the past; people used to move from one god to another. That was really very significant, it was an evolution. The God of Moses is less sophisticated than the God of Jesus, naturally; there are thousands of years between these two enlightened persons. Moses was as enlightened as Jesus, but Moses had to talk the language which could be understood by his people, and those people were very primitive. Hence Moses spoke in the language of law, commandments: do this, don’t do that. Law was his central emphasis.

By the time Jesus arrived man had evolved. Jesus talked about love, not about law. Love was his law. Now love is a higher value than law, certainly holier than law. Law is mundane. The God of the Jews was a jealous God… because we make our God in our own image. The God of the Jews was a very angry God; for small reasons he would destroy cities. A person just commits a sin – and what is sin in the ancient concept? He just disobeys a certain commandment – and God can destroy the whole town! It was a very angry, violent God.

It was not really the God that was violent and angry, it was the people. Their eyes were full of violence and anger, they could not see the real God.

Remember this: God is always the same. It was exactly the same when Moses was alive, it was exactly the same when Jesus was alive, it is exactly the same when we are alive; it will remain the same. God is always the same, but our eyes change.

Jesus could see God as love, as compassion. God was growing because man was growing. And man was changing one god for another, for a higher conception of God. Man has always been changing gods, and that’s perfectly right. When we change, how can our rudimentary ideas of God remain the same? When our eyes change everything changes.

There is a very beautiful story…

There was a great saint, Ramdas. Thousands of years after Rama walked on the earth, Ramdas was reciting his story again – after thousands of years. The way he used to tell the story of Rama was so enchanting, so magnetic, so charismatic, that it is said that Hanuman, the absolute devotee of Rama, who had seen everything with his own eyes, used to come to listen to Ramdas, of course, in disguise. He would sit in the crowd and listen, and he enjoyed it very much.

Sometimes it happens that when you are involved in the action itself you can’t see the whole thing, the perspective cannot be that big. You are involved in the thing, you are doing your thing, and there are a thousand and one things going on; you cannot be watchful of all.

Now the story was finished, completed. Ramdas was telling his disciples the story of Rama, and Hanuman was very happy, utterly glad to come, to listen. Many things that he had only heard through rumors he was listening to again from an authentic source.

But one day a problem arose. Ramdas was describing when Rama’s wife, Sita, was stolen by Ramana. He kept her on Sri Lanka in a beautiful garden; the garden was full of white flowers. Ramdas was telling that part of the story – that Ramana kept Sita in a beautiful garden which was full of white flowers.

Now this was too much, because Hanuman had visited Sita in the garden and he had not seen a single white flower; he had seen red flowers. So he stood up. He forgot that he should not interfere, that he was not expected to be there at all. He stood up and he said, “Please, everything is okay, but this information you got wrong. You change it! There was not a single white flower, all the flowers were red, bloody red.”

Ramdas said, “You sit silently! Who are you to correct me?”

In anger, Hanuman threw his blanket. He was a monkey god, so with his tail and everything he appeared out of the blanket, and he said, “You ask me who I am? I am the Hanuman about whom you are talking! And I was the man who went to the garden, and you never went, you were never there. And after thousands of years you are telling the story, and you have got some nerve! You are telling me to keep quiet! I cannot keep quiet! Change the story! The flowers were red, absolutely red!”

But Ramdas said, “Don’t be stupid! In the first place you are not expected here. In the second place, you may have gone, but I cannot change the story. I know for sure that the flowers were white.”

Now this was too much. Hanuman was an eye-witness, and this man, after five thousand years, was writing a story, and he seemed to be much too stubborn. Not only that, he called Hanuman stupid!

He said, “You be silent! Don’t be monkeyish! I know who you are – you just keep quiet!”

Hanuman said, “I cannot allow this. You will have to come with me. I will take you to Rama. Only Rama can decide now – and this has to be decided.”

So Hanuman took Ramdas on his shoulders, flew back to heaven, reached Rama, really angry, and said, “Look at this man! After five thousand years he is writing a story. About everything else I have not objected because I was not an eye-witness. And I love his story; he is a beautiful story-teller. But about things which I was involved in he is not ready even to listen to me. You tell him to change his story. The flowers were all red, and he goes on insisting that they were white. Not only that, he calls me stupid, and he tells me ‘Be quiet, and don’t disturb and don’t interfere!’ And I say again, the flowers were red! What do you say?”

Rama said, “Hanuman, Ramdas is right, the flowers were white. But you were so angry because my wife was stolen, your eyes were full of blood; hence you saw the flowers as red. You should not interfere. When persons like Ramdas say something, it cannot be changed. It is not a question of time – five thousand or fifty thousand years, it doesn’t make any difference. For a man like Ramdas there is no time. He has entered into eternity, all time has disappeared. When he is telling the story he is not only telling the story, he is seeing it too. For him there is no question of time. It is not something of the past.”

This was too much! Hanuman said, “You also were not present there! And this is being partial, unjust. It is unfair! I was present there! You had not gone into the garden, so who are you? Ask Sita; she was there, and I hope that she will not be unfair.”

And Sita started laughing and said, “Hanuman, you simply apologize. The flowers were white; you were just so angry that you could not see the white flowers. You imposed your anger, you were so blood-thirsty! You just apologize to Ramdas. And make it a point that in the first place you need not go, and if you go then keep hiding and don’t interfere. Nothing can be changed. Whatsoever Ramdas is saying is right, because he has a more aloof, distant witnessing than you can ever have. You were too much involved in it.”

That’s how it has been. When Moses talked about God, he talked about the God which the Jews of his time could have understood. When Jesus talked about God, of course, three thousand years had passed, man had grown, had come of age; it was possible to talk about love. At least a few people could understand him – not many, but a few. Hence he was crucified; because the many could not understand yet.

In the past people have been changing their god.

One of the Indian incarnations of God is Parashuram. He killed millions of people, his whole life was that of a killer. Another incarnation of God is Buddha. He was absolutely non-violent; he would not kill even an ant. Between the time of Parashuram and Buddha much water had flowed down the Ganges. Buddha brings a new concept of God, a new vision. It is the same God, but he gives you new eyes.

In the past people had been changing gods: “Men have left God not for other gods…” But in the present day something else has happened: “Man has not left God for other gods” – that would have been okay – “they say, but for no god.” Man has dropped the whole idea of God, the whole idea of a divine presence in existence, the whole idea of any meaning, the whole idea that existence is alive, conscious: And now we are standing empty and we are feeling empty.

But man cannot remain empty; it is difficult to remain empty. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so is it the case with the inner nature too. So a new phenomenon is happening: “Men both deny gods and worship gods.” They have created their own gods. They don’t worship God the Father and the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ anymore; they have changed that old trinity. They worship Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, V.I. Lenin – a new trinity. Now this is very ordinary; to worship Karl Marx or Engels or Lenin is to worship something very ordinary. And remember, whatsoever you worship you will become, because your worship is your longing deep down.

“Professing first Reason…” – and because man cannot remain empty for long, he replaced it first with reason; reason became God, the head became God. Anything that is proved by reason is truth, anything that is not proved by reason is untruth. Now this is nonsense! Reason is limited, it cannot prove many things.

For example, it cannot prove the beauty of a rose, but the beauty exists; reason is impotent to prove it. Reason cannot prove the existence of love, but love exists; reason is inadequate to prove it. If you ask reason about music it will say it is only noise. It may be arranged in such a way that it gives you an illusion of melody, but there is no melody, only noise; it cannot see the melody. Reason is blind. Yes, it has certain qualities, but only certain qualities. The whole of existence is not available to it.

And then money became God; millions of people worship money as God. And you will be surprised to know that this country, India, which goes on bragging about its spirituality, which goes on bragging that it is destined to lead the whole of humanity towards spirituality, worships money more than any other country. It actually worships! There is a festival, the Festival of Lights, Diwali, when people worship money-notes, coins; they actually worship! – money is God. In other countries they may not actually be worshipping, but the worship is there unconsciously.

And power has become a god. The politician has become the most important person in the world. The dirtiest politician is thought to be something superhuman. We have denied God, but how can we deny our emptiness? We have rejected God, and we had to stuff something in the empty space, so we stuff it with political power, with money, with reason, with race, with dialectics – if you cannot find anything else, then dialectical materialism, the philosophy of communism, fascism, nazism.

Man cannot live without religion. Man cannot live without God. If the true God is not available man is bound to create homemade gods.

“The Church disowned, the tower overthrown, the bells upturned, and what have we to do but stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards in an age which advances progressively backwards?”

Yes, T.S. Eliot is right.

With this background try to understand Kabir’s sutras. They are of tremendous beauty.

Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains, and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!

The original is:

Is ghat antar bag-bagiche, isee men sirjanhara

Is ghat antar sat samundar, isee men nau lakh tara.

Kabir says: If you drop the mind, even for a single moment if you become pure consciousness, the difference between the inside and the outside will disappear. Then the inside will be the outside and the outside will be the inside, because the only thing that separates you from the outer is the glass wall of your thoughts. Once this is not there a miracle happens: you find the whole existence inside you. You become so vast!

Is ghat antar bag-bagiche –

Then all the gardens and all the roses and all the lotuses are within you.

… isee men sirjanhara…

And not only that – that roses are in you and stars are in you – but the One who has created them is also within you.

… is ghat antar sat samundar…

The seven seas are within you.

… isee men nau lakh tara…

… and millions of stars are within you. Once the mind is dropped the inner and outer meet and merge into each other and become one. This small body is not so small as you think, it is a temple of God.

Inside this clay jug…

If you look at it from the outside it is nothing but clay, it is nothing but dust. Says Omar Khayyam, “… Dust unto dust” – but man is not only dust. The idea has been a very persistent idea. Do you know that the word ‘human’ comes from humus? Humus means dust, the earth, clay. The word ‘Adam’ also comes from the same root; Adam means the earth. Man is made of clay if you look from the outside; if you watch him scientifically he is clay.

It is like watching poetry scientifically: then you will find words but not poetry. Poetry is something between the words, in the gaps, and between the lines, in the intervals. You need a totally different kind of sensitivity to understand poetry. Just the words are not poetry; the words are language, grammar. And what are words? – just different combinations of the alphabet. Where is the poetry? If you dissect the poetry, even the greatest poetry – of a Kalidas, Milton or Rabindranath – if you dissect it, what will you find? Only words! And if you dissect words, then just the alphabet.

It happened, a great spiritual preacher invited Mark Twain to one of his sermons. They were friends, but Mark Twain had never gone to listen to him. And the preacher wanted him to listen; he wanted him to know his art of preaching. He wanted to be appreciated by Mark Twain. When he insisted again and again, one day Mark Twain went with him. He had prepared his best sermon. He talked beautifully, he made people drunk. But he was very much puzzled and embarrassed too, because Mark Twain was just sitting in front of him absolutely uninfluenced, unimpressed.

The sermon finished. When they were returning, driving back home, for a few moments the preacher could not even gather courage to ask Mark Twain, “What do you think?” And Mark Twain didn’t say a single word. Finally, when Mark Twain was getting down from the carriage, the preacher gathered courage and he said, “At least you owe me a few words. How did you like my sermon? Even you did not like it, you can say so. But don’t keep so silent – it hurts!”

Mark Twain said, “There was no question of liking or disliking it. You are a thief! Just last night I was reading something in which each single word that you uttered this morning is written. You are a thief and nothing else!”

The priest was shocked. He said, “This is impossible, because I have not stolen from anywhere. You give me the book!”

And Mark Twain said, “Tomorrow morning I will send the book to you.”

And do you know what happened? – the following morning Mark Twain sent him a big dictionary, and he said, “You can see: each single word that you have spoken in this book.”

Poetry is not only words, poetry is something totally different. The words only create the space for the poetry to become visible. The words only create a context for the poetry to descend from the beyond.

Man’s body is not just clay, it is clay plus God. If you look from the outside it is clay, if you start looking from the inside it is the whole universe.

All seven oceans are inside,

and hundreds of millions of stars.

The acid that tests gold is there,

and the one who judges jewels.

And the music from the strings no one touches,

and the source of all water.

The original is far more beautiful, and the reason is the same as I have been talking about. The original is poetry, and it is very difficult to translate poetry from one language to another. Prose can be translated easily. Poetry cannot be translated, never adequately; something goes on missing because each language has its own nuances, its own flavor. You cannot bring that flavor and nuance to another language.

The original is:

Is ghat antar paras moti, isee men parkhanhara

is ghat antar anahad garje, isee men uthat fuhara

kahat kabir suno bhai sadho, isee men sai hamara.

Paras is a specific symbol in Eastern alchemy. Just as in the West alchemists have been searching down the ages for the secret of transforming the base metals into higher metals, into gold; they have been searching for ways and means, chemical ways, to transform the lower into the higher, the non-precious into the precious. In the East also the same search has been there, but they have a different metaphor for it. They call it paras. Paras is a stone, a miracle stone. If any base metal is touched by paras it immediately becomes gold. No other chemistry, no other chemical processes are needed, just the touch of the paras. It is a metaphor; it in fact stands for the Master. Just the touch of the Master, just the touch of his energy, immediately transforms the ignorant into the wise one, immediately transforms the darkness into light, death into immortality. Paras is a metaphor for the Master.

Is ghat antar paras moti…

Within you exists the miracle stone. If you know how to use it everything will become gold, everything will be transformed into diamonds.

… isee men parkhanhara…

And the one who can recognize this miracle stone is also present in you. You are not to ask somebody else. Your own witnessing self, your own pure consciousness, is the one who knows already where the precious stone is hidden in you. You just have to discard the garbage of the mind, the garbage that has been given to you by the society. You have to be just alone in yourself. When the mind drops all contents given by the society, the witness arises in you.

… isghat antar anakad garje..

And deep within you there is a music which is not created by anybody, which is not created by hands, which is not produced on any instrument. There is a special name for it; it is called anahad. When you play on a guitar it is called ahad, because you strike on the strings with your fingers.

Ahad means striking. It is created out of conflict, there is a little aggression in it, there is struggle. The musician is struggling to create music on the instrument, there is a kind of fight. But in the innermost recess of your being there is neither instrument nor musician, but music is there, without the musician and without the instrument.

Zen people call it ‘the sound of one hand clapping’. The Christian mystics call it ‘the soundless sound’. It is a silence and yet it is musical silence.

Again, these words of T.S. Eliot will be significant:

At the still point of the turning world.

Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards;

at the still point where the dance is.

But neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered….

Except for the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

The still point… There is a point within you where nothing ever moves – no movement from or to, no stirring, no sound created by any instrument. Nobody is there, just stillness, but that stillness is the dance and that stillness is the music. It is called anahad.

… is ghat antar anahad garje, isee men uthat fuhara…

And the moment you have heard that music, a great fountain bursts forth, of joy, of bliss. You become a rejoicing, you become a dance yourself, you become a song yourself. Then your life is religious – not like the so-called saints, sad, pious and ugly. The really religious person is one whose mere wells have started flowing, who has become a fountain of joy, of song and dance and celebration.

And the music from the strings no one touches,

and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:

friend, listen: the god whom I love is inside.

Kabir says: “If you want the truth…”

Truth cannot be imposed upon you, it cannot be forced upon you. Unless you desire and long for it, unless you spread your hands, unless you are ready to receive it with great longing, intensity, unless longing becomes a fire in you, it cannot be given to you. No Master can give it to you, but you can take it. If your fire is enough it will be transferred to you. It is a transmission beyond scriptures.

“If you want the truth,” Kabir says, “I will tell you the truth.” I am ready to tell you, I am ready to share my truth, my experience with you. But friend, you will have to listen. Just hearing won’t do, you will have to listen.”

Listening is totally different from hearing. Hearing, anybody who is not deaf can do. Listening is a rare art, one of the last arts. Listening means not only hearing with the ears but hearing from the heart, in utter silence, in absolute peace, with no resistance. One has to be vulnerable to listen, and one has to be in deep love to listen. One has to be in utter surrender to listen.

“…friend, listen: the god whom I love is inside.”

Kabir says: I have found Him within myself. I searched for Him everywhere, and all search was nothing but frustration. Then I looked within and He was there, laughing, smiling at all my stupid search. It was so ridiculous that I was searching for the one who is already present within me.

… kahat kabir suno bhai sadho, isee men sai hamara.

In this ordinary body of clay, God resides. Hence don’t be against the body; notwithstanding what your foolish saints go on saying to you, don’t be against the body. Love it, respect it, it is the temple of God. It may be clay in the eyes of the scientist, but in the eyes of the mystic God has chosen it to be His abode.

Why should we two ever want to part?

Mohi-tohi lagi kaise chute…

The original says: We have fallen in such love that now it cannot be broken. We have fallen into each other so deeply that we cannot be separated. No sword can cut us apart, it is impossible.

Mohi-tohi lagi kaise chute…

Now even if somebody wants and tries to separate us, it is impossible. Even you cannot separate us. I am no more, only you are. Whom can you separate from whom?

Why should we two ever want to part?

The translation misses, it misses the point. It is not a question of “Why should we two ever want to part?” No, even if we want, there is no possibility of parting. The mystic, once he knows that God is within, has gone beyond the point of parting. There is no possibility of any divorce any more. He is really married. And the marriage is not formal, the marriage is like a welding. He is welded with God – not only wedded but welded. He has become one, just like the river disappears into the ocean – how can you separate it? Just as the milk becomes one with the water – how can you separate it?

Just as the leaf of the water rhubarb lives floating

on the water,

we live as the great one and little one.

Jaise kamalpatra jal basa, aise tum sahib ham dasa…

The lotus leaf has been a symbol of great importance. Down the ages it is impossible to find a mystic who has never talked about it. All the Buddhas have talked about it; they had to talk about it because it represents something so significant that it cannot be ignored. It represents the very essence of sannyas.

The lotus leaf has one thing of great importance about it: it lives in water, it floats on water, but the water cannot touch it. In the night dewdrops gather on the lotus leaf, but they remain separate; just like pearls, separate. They cannot touch the lotus leaf. The lotus leaf remains untouched in the water, remains in the water and yet aloof, distant, faraway.

That’s how the mystic lives, the sannyasin has to live: in the world and yet not of the world.

Jaise kamalpatra jal basa, aise tum sahib ham dasa…

Kabir says: I am living in this world, but this world is not my Master. YOU are my Master. I am living in this world because this is what you want me to do; I am simply following your orders. I am living in this world because I am just a slave of your love, I am just a shadow to you. I have no interest in the world: I am not after money, I am not after power, I am not after prestige. But if you want me to be in the marketplace then it is perfectly okay. If you want me anywhere, I am ready to go there.

There is a story in Buddha’s life:

One day one of Buddha’s sannyasins was passing through a street where he had gone to beg. The most beautiful woman of that town, the prostitute of the town, fell in love with the monk. She came down out of her house and requested the monk to come and reside with her. And soon the rainy season was coming so the prostitute said, “Why don’t you stay with me during the rainy season? – because monks have to stay somewhere. For four months, during the rainy season, monks don’t move, so you will have to stay somewhere, you will have to find some shelter – why not with me?”

He said, “Perfectly okay. I will just have to ask my Master, ask his permission. If he says yes, tomorrow morning I will be present at your door.”

The prostitute could not believe the way the monk said it so simply, as if there was no problem! He said, “Perfectly okay. I have to stay somewhere. I was going to ask somebody to give me shelter for four months, and this is a gift from you! I just have to ask my Master; it is just a formal request because that is the way. I have to tell him that a certain woman has requested that I stay with her. Can I stay with her?”

Other monks heard about this, and of course they were jealous. It was impossible to tolerate. This was too much! But they waited – they waited because they thought Buddha would absolutely say no, categorically would say no. A sannyasin, and staying with a prostitute?!

And when the monk asked Buddha, Buddha looked at the monk and said, “Perfectly right! You can stay with her.”

Now others stood up and they said, “This is not fair! And do you see the risk? This is a young man, and that woman is almost a magician. Even great kings are trapped by her, and this young man is almost innocent. She is not interested in giving him shelter, she has become lustful towards his beautiful body. And you say yes?”

Buddha said, “You wait! We will decide who is right after four months. Let him go and let him stay with the woman.”

Those four months looked very long for the other monks. It was really difficult to wait, and they knew that Buddha was going to be proved wrong – for four months living with that woman? She could not leave this monk, she would seduce him; it was absolutely certain.

And after four months the monk came back and touched Buddha’s feet. The others said, “Now tell the truth – what happened?”

And the monk said, “Just wait a few minutes, because the woman is coming and it will be better to hear it from the horse’s mouth herself.”

And the woman went and she touched Buddha’s feet, and she asked to be initiated into sannyas.

Buddha said, “Why?”

She said, “I tried to seduce him, but I failed. He seduced me! He seduced me into sannyas! For four months I tried every possible way, but he remained like a lotus leaf. I would dance naked around him and he would meditate! I have never failed in my life, this is the first time. For the first time I am impressed by a man, for the first time I have encountered a man! Up to now I had seen only slaves. They may have been great kings but they all touched the dust of my feet. This is the only man I have seen who remained like a lotus leaf. I tried every possible way – good food, beautiful room, beautiful clothes, beautiful bed, every possible comfort for him – and he would never say no! – but I failed. I could not distract him. And he used to laugh at me. I would dance my most cherished dances and I would start throwing my clothes away, waiting, now some lust might arise in his eyes – but never! He would laugh and giggle, and he would say, ‘What are you doing? And it is too cold, you may catch cold!’ He has transformed me. Now I would like to become the same, a lotus leaf.”

Jaise kamalpatra jal basa, aise tum sahib ham dasa…

You are my Master, I am your shadow; wherever you go I go. If you take me into the world, perfectly okay. If you take me out of the world, perfectly okay. I can only say yes. Every dance is your dance. Who am I to say no?

This is the ultimate meaning of sannyas: not renunciation but rejoicing.

John says in the ACTS – it is the last night before Jesus is to depart from his disciples – “He gathered us all together, and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing a hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring, holding one another’s hands, and himself standing in the midst said: Answer Amen unto me….

Glory be to thee, Father.

And we, going about in a ring, answered him: Amen.

Glory be to thee, Word: Glory be to thee, Grace. Amen.

Glory be to thee, Spirit: Glory be to thee,

Holy One. Amen.

We praise thee, O Father; we give thanks to thee,

O Light, wherein darkness dwelleth not. Amen.

The word ‘amen‘ means, “Yes God, yes! If you want us to die, yes! If crucifixion is your will, yes! Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

That’s what Kabir is saying. He is saying: I am just a shadow to you. Wherever you go I will go. I have no desire of my own. How can I have any desire of my own? I am not, you are.

As the owl opens his eyes all night to the moon,

we live as the great one and little one.

Jaise chakor takat nis chanda, aise tum sahib ham banda…

Chakor is a poetic metaphor. Chakor is a water bird, not exactly an owl; you can call him a water-owl. It is not found in the West, hence there is no word for it in the English language. Chakor is a bird which is very fascinated by the moon. When the full moon is in the sky he cannot sleep the whole night. He goes on looking at the moon, the whole night he is focused on the moon. It may not be exactly true, it may be just poetically true. Maybe chakor has some other reason – maybe his neck is made in such a way that he cannot look anywhere else! But he has become a poetic metaphor of significance: that is the way the lover looks at the beloved, the devotee looks at the deity, the disciple looks at the Master.

Jaise chakor takat nis chanda…

Just like the chakor who goes on looking at the moon the whole night…

… aise tum sahib ham banda…

… just like that I go on looking at you.

In fact, when you have recognized Him within you, wherever you look you look at Him, because He is everywhere.

This love between us goes back to the first humans:

it cannot be annihilated.

… mohi-tohi adi-ant ban ayi, ab kaise lagan durai…

Kabir says this love has been going on from the very beginning, and it is going to go to the very end. There is no possibility of its being annihilated; it is the eternal love.

God is the eternal goal. Consciously or unconsciously, we are searching for Him. And the day we stop searching for Him we become miserable, our life becomes darkened, we lose the star that was keeping us moving. Our life becomes stagnant, it is no more a flow. And when there is no God there is no glow either.

Here is Kabir’s idea: As the river gives itself into the ocean, what is inside me moves inside you.

Kahe kabir hamara man laga, jaise sarita sindh samai.

Just as the river moves into the ocean and becomes the ocean, exactly like that something has happened within me.

Kahe kabir hamara man laga, jaise sarita sindh samai.

My own being has disappeared, my own private existence is no more there. I have become just a part of you, a part of the total. I have become an organic unity with you.

And the moment you become an organic unity with God your life becomes an orgasmic joy, joy and joy and joy! Your whole life becomes a sheer blissfulness from this end to the other end.

Sydney Carter says:

They cut me down and I leapt up high;

I am the life that’ll never, never die.

I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

I danced in the morning

When the world was begun,

And I danced in the stars and the moon and the sun,

And I came down from heaven

And I danced on the earth,

At Bethlehem I had my birth.

Dance then wherever you may be;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be.

I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he….

The invitation from God is constantly there:

“And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,

I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.”

Those who are ready to accept the invitation, those who are ready to open the door when God knocks on the door, those who are ready to let Him in, their lives become a dance, a dance of utter beauty. You can also rejoice. You can miss if you are stubborn, if you are closed, if you are not available.

You are free to be miserable, remember. Misery is your own choice. You have chosen it that way, hence you are miserable. You can drop it instantly, right now, this very moment, herenow… just a shift of gestalt.

Don’t be a separate entity. In fact you are not; it is only an illusion that you think that you are separate. You are not to lose anything but your illusion of separation, and the dance begins.

And unless the dance begins, life remains futile. And He is always ready, inviting, calling you forth, “Come! Come follow me! Come, be in dance with me! Come, let me dance in you! Come, like a river comes to the ocean!”

Kahe kabir hamara man la8a, jaise sarita sindh samai.

I have disappeared just like the river disappears in the ocean. And the day I disappeared was the greatest day. The day I died was the beginning of real life.

One has to be ready to die, only then does eternal life become available. It is yours, and just for the asking. Gather courage, and don’t go on missing the dance of life.

Osho, The Guest, Ch 7