Osho: Players Of A Game… being extraordinary is the most ordinary

thumnail-phpIn this whole series, Osho examines a piece of poem or a story from a world culture that is spiritually meaningful. This poem is Japanese. Osho distinguishes being in the present, not being in the past, not being in the future, not desiring the present different from what it is.

Ultimately, this is the path to joy and happiness… Please read.

enshu_tenryu_boat_rides

MUSO, THE NATIONAL TEACHER,
AND ONE OF THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS MASTERS OF HIS DAY,
LEFT THE CAPITAL IN THE COMPANY OF A DISCIPLE
FOR A DISTANT PROVINCE.

ON REACHING THE TENRYU RIVER
THEY HAD TO WAIT FOR AN HOUR
BEFORE THEY COULD BOARD THE FERRY.

JUST AS THE FERRY WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE THE SHORE
A DRUNKEN SAMURAI RAN UP
AND JUMPED INTO THE PACKED BOAT,
NEARLY SWAMPING IT.

HE TOTTERED WILDLY AS THE SMALL CRAFT
MADE ITS WAY ACROSS THE RIVER.

THE FERRYMAN,
FEARING FOR THE SAFETY OF HIS PASSENGERS,
BEGGED HIM TO STAND QUIETLY.

‘WE’RE LIKE SARDINES IN HERE,’
SAID THE SAMURAI GRUFFLY.
THEN, POINTING TO MUSO,
‘WHY NOT TOSS OUT THE BONZAE?’

‘PLEASE BE PATIENT,’ MUSO SAID,
‘WE’LL REACH THE OTHER SIDE SOON.’
‘WHAT!’ BAWLED THE SAMURAI, ‘ME BE PATIENT?
LISTEN HERE, IF YOU DON’T JUMP OFF THIS THING`
I SWEAR I’LL DROWN YOU.’

THE MASTER’S CALM SO INFURIATED THE SAMURAI
THAT HE STRUCK MUSO’S HEAD WITH HIS IRON FAN,
DRAWING BLOOD.

MUSO’S DISCIPLE HAD HAD ENOUGH BY THIS TIME,
AND AS HE WAS A POWERFUL MAN,
WANTED TO CHALLENGE THE SAMURAI.

‘I CAN’T PERMIT HIM TO GO ON LIVING AFTER THIS,’ HE SAID.

‘WHY GET SO WORKED UP OVER A TRIFLE?’
MUSO SAID WITH A SMILE.
‘IT’S EXACTLY IN MATTERS OF THIS KIND
THAT THE BONZAE’S TRAINING PROVES ITSELF.
PATIENCE, YOU MUST REMEMBER,
IS MORE THAN JUST A WORD.’

THEN HE RECITED AN EXTEMPORE WAKA:
‘THE BEATER AND THE BEATEN:
MERE PLAYERS OF A GAME
EPHEMERAL AS A DREAM.’

WHEN THE BOAT REACHED SHORE,
AND MUSO AND HIS DISCIPLE ALIGHTED,
THE SAMURAI RAN UP
AND PROSTRATED HIMSELF AT THE MASTER’S FEET.

THEN AND THERE HE BECAME A DISCIPLE.

SEEKING for something, desiring for something, is the basic disease of the mind. Not seeking, not desiring, is the basic health of your being.

It is very easy to go on changing the objects of desire, but that is not the way of transformation. You can desire money, you can desire power… you can change the objects of desire — you can start desiring god — but you remain the same because you go on desiring.

The basic change is to be brought not in the objects of desire, but in your subjectivity.

If desiring stops — and remember, I am not saying that it has to be stopped — if desiring stops, then you are for the first time at home, peaceful, patient, blissful, and for the first time life is available to you and you are available to life. In fact, the very division between you and life disappears, and this state of non division is the state of god.

People come to me from all over the world; they travel thousands of miles. When they come to me and I ask, ‘Why have you come?’ somebody says, ‘I am a seeker of god.’ Somebody says, ‘I am a seeker of truth.’

They are not aware what they are asking. They are asking the impossible. God is not a thing. God is not an object. You cannot seek him. God is this whole. How can you seek the whole? You can dissolve in it, you can merge in it, but you cannot seek it. The seeking simply shows that you go on believing yourself separate from the whole — you the seeker and the whole the sought.

Sometimes you seek a woman, sometimes you seek a man. Sometimes, frustrated from the world, you start seeking the other world — but you are not yet frustrated with seeking itself.

A seeker is in trouble. A seeker is confused. He has not understood the basic problem itself. It is not that you have to seek god, then everything will be solved. Just the opposite — if everything is solved, suddenly there is god.

It happened once:

“A bookseller from south India wrote to a house in New Delhi asking that a dozen copies of the book ‘Seekers After God’ be shipped to him at once.

Within two days he received this reply by telegraph: NO SEEKERS AFTER GOD IN DELHI OR BOMBAY. TRY POONA.”

Of course they are all here. The seeking is a disease. Don’t make it an ego-trip… because when somebody comes and he says that he is a seeker after god, I can see the light of the ego that shows in his eyes; the condemnation of the world — that he is not a worldly man, he is a religious man. The way he says it, shows his pride — that he is not an ordinary man, not part of the ordinary run of humanity. He is special, extraordinary. He is not seeking money, he is seeking meditation. He is not seeking anything material, he is seeking something spiritual.

But to me, and to all those who have ever known, seeking is the world. There is no other-worldly seeking. Desiring is worldly. There is no other-worldly desiring. In the very desiring, the world exists. What you desire is irrelevant; that you desire is enough to make you worldly. Because all desires are from a basic fallacy — the basic fallacy that you are missing something, that something is needed. In the very first place, you are not missing anything. Nothing is needed.

The world is a nightmare because of desiring, and then nirvana becomes the last nightmare. Of course the last, because if you wake up seeking god and nirvana… if you wake up, then all nightmares disappear.

You have dropped the world. Now you seek god. Please drop god also. This will look a little irreligious; it is not.

I was reading one statement of Albert Einstein. I loved it. Somewhere he says, ‘I am a deeply religious unbeliever.’ In fact a religious person cannot be a believer. A religious person can trust, but cannot believe. Trust comes out of existential experience; belief is just a mind-trip. Belief is just of ideology, concepts, scriptures, philosophy. Trust is of life.

The moment you say ‘god’, you have used a belief. God is a belief. But life is not a belief, it is an experience. Let life be your only god. No other god is needed, because all other gods are human inventions. Einstein is true when he says, ‘I am a deeply religious person, but unbelieving, not a believer.’ What does he mean?

The quality of being religious has nothing to do with the quality of a believer. A believer believes because he desires. A believer believes because he wants to seek something. A believer believes because he cannot live life without the mind. He brings the mind always in between life and himself… as if your hand is hiding behind a glove — you touch your beloved, but not direct; your hand is hidden behind the glove. The glove touches the beloved; you touch your glove only.

A belief is like a glove; it surrounds you. You are never available to life directly, immediately.

A religious person is naked in this sense — he has no clothes of beliefs. He is simply direct, in touch with life.

In that touch, the melting. In that touch, the merging. In that touch, somewhere you are no more you. Somewhere you have become the whole and the whole has come to you. The ocean drops into the drop and the drop becomes the ocean.

Beliefs are dangerous. We go on changing beliefs. A hindu can become a mohammedan, a christian can become a hindu. Or a religious person, a so-called religious person, can become a communist; a theist can become an atheist — it makes no difference. You go on changing the glove, but the glove remains.

Can’t you see life directly? Can’t you love life directly? Is there really any need to believe in anything? Can’t you trust life?

Let me say it in this way. People who cannot trust, believe. Belief is a substitute; a false coin, a deception. People who can trust need no beliefs. Life is enough. They don’t overimpose any god, any nirvana, any moksha on top of it. There is no need. Life is more than enough. They live life.

Of course, if you have a belief, you can create a future around it. If you don’t have any belief then you don’t have any future, because life is herenow. There is no need to wait. But we go on postponing — to the very moment death comes and takes the gift back.

I was reading:

“Three men were engaged in one of those profitless conversations which involve all of us at one time or another. They were considering the problem of what each would do if the doctor told him he had only six months to live.

Said Robinson, ‘If my doctor said I had only six months to live, the first thing I would do would be to liquidate my business, withdraw my savings, and have the biggest fling on the French Riviera you ever saw. I would play roulette, I would eat like a king, and most of all I would have girls, girls, and more girls.”‘

This man must have been postponing — postponing for death. When a doctor says you have only six months to live, then…. But that too seems to be just a wish, he may not be able — because when the death knocks at the door, one is so shocked and shattered…. When death has come near you, how can you enjoy? You could not enjoy when life was close. When life is receding farther away each moment, how can you enjoy? This is again just a way of believing that if it happens, then ‘immediately I will start living’. Who is preventing you from living right now?

“The second man said, ‘If my doctor said I had only six months to live, the first thing I would do would be to visit a travel agency and plot out a world tour. There are thousands of places on earth I have not seen and I would like to see them before I die — the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat — all of them.”

Who is preventing you? Why are you waiting for death to come and then you will go and see the Taj Mahal? Will you be able to see the Taj Mahal then? Your eyes will be so filled with darkness that the Taj Mahal won’t look like a Taj Mahal. It will be impossible to see when death has come into the mind. It will make you blind. An inner trembling will overpower you. You will not be able to hear, you will not be able to see, you will not be able even to breathe. But why do people go on postponing?

“Said the third man, ‘If my doctor said I had only six months to live, the first thing I would do would be to consult another doctor.”‘

This seems to be the most representative of all men. This is what you are also going to do. You are not going to live even then. You will try another doctor who can again give you hope, who can again give you future, who can again tell you, ‘No need to be worried — you can still postpone. No need to be in a hurry — death is far away.’ You will find, you will seek someone, who can still give you hope.

Hope is a way of postponing life.

All desiring is a way of postponing life, and all beliefs are tricks how to avoid that which is and how to go on thinking about that which is not.

God is not. Life is. Please don’t be seekers of god.

funny-pictures-cat-is-zen-master

4a9c6d467387e71084fbf92884a6cef7Nirvana is not. Life is. Please don’t be seekers of nirvana.

And if you stop seeking nirvana, you will find nirvana hidden in life itself. If you stop seeking god, you will find god everywhere… in each particle, in each moment of life. God is another name of life. Nirvana is another name of life lived. You have just heard the word ‘life’; it is not a lived experience.

Drop all beliefs, they are hindrances. Don’t be a christian, don’t be a hindu, don’t be a mohammedan. Just be alive. Let that be your only religion.

Life — the only religion. Life — the only temple. Life — the only prayer.

I have heard, a disciple came to a zen master, bowed down, touched his feet and said, ‘How long do I have to wait for my enlightenment?’

The master looked at him long, long enough. The disciple started getting restless. He repeated his question and he said, ‘Why are you looking at me so long? Why don’t you answer me?’

And the master answered a really zen answer. He said, ‘Kill me.’

The disciple could not believe that this is the answer for his enlightenment. He went to ask the chief disciple. The chief disciple laughed and he said, ‘The same he did to me also.’ And he is right. He is saying, ‘Why do you go on asking me? Drop this master. Drop this asking. Kill me. Drop all ideology. Who am l? I am not preventing you. Life is available. Why don’t you start livig? Why do you go on preparing, when and how?

This seems to be the most difficult thing for the human mind — just to live, naked; just to live without any arrangements; just to live the raw and the wild life; just to live the moment.

And this is the whole teaching of all the great teachers, but you go on making philosophies out of them. Then you create a doctrine, and then you start believing in the doctrine.

There are many zen people who believe in zen — and zen teaches trust, not belief. There are many people around me who believe in me — and I teach you trust, not belief. If you trust your life, you have trusted me. No intellectual belief is needed.

Let this truth go as deep In you as possible: that life is already here, arrived. You are standing on the goal. Don’t ask about the path.

In Franz Kafka there is a parable; It looks like zen, almost zen. Kafka says,

‘I was staying in a strange town. I was a new arrival there, and I had to catch a train early in the morning. But when I got up and looked at my watch, I was already late so I started running. When I came to the tower and looked at the tower-clock I became even more afraid that I would miss my train, because my watch was itself late. So I started running… not knowing the path, not knowing the way… and the streets were clean and deserted. It was early in the morning, a cold winter morning, and I couldn’t see anybody.

Then suddenly I saw a policeman. Hope came into me. I went to the policeman and I asked about the way, and the policeman said, “The way? Why are you asking me?”

And I said to him, “I am a stranger in this town and I don’t know the way, that’s why. Please show me the way, and don’t waste time — I am already late and I will miss the train, and it is important to catch the train.

The policeman laughed and he said, “Who can show the way to anybody else?”

The policeman said this, and he waved a hand and moved away smiling.’

Here ends the parable. It looks exactly zen. In the West they think this is surrealistic, absurd. It is not. Of course from a policeman it looks more absurd than from a zen master, but sometimes policemen can be zen masters.

Who can show you the way? — because basically the way does not exist.

You are always on the goal. Wherever you are is the goal. The way does not exist.

If you go on asking about the way, you are trying to create future again and again — and future is the nightmare.

Look. This very moment life is pouring from everywhere. A single moment of witnessing — and you will laugh at the very absurdity of asking for a path or a way or a method. Nothing is to be done.

“A woman came up to a policeman and said, ‘Oh officer, there is a man following me, and I think he must be crazy.’

The officer took a good look at her. ‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘he must be.”‘

‘Whenever you come to me asking for a way, I say within myself, ‘Here comes a crazy man again.’ If I don’t show you the path, I look hard, unkind. If I show you the path, I mislead you.

The only thing that can be done is — you should be thrown to yourself. So I have to devise ways which are not ways, which only appear to be ways. They don’t lead anywhere, because there is nowhere to go. Everybody is already there. There is nowhere to go.

I devise paths and methods just to tire you, exhaust you, so one day, in deep exhaustion, you simply drop all seeking. exhausted, you fall down on the ground… tired — tired of all ways and all methods, tired of the very seeking and the search… and suddenly a peace descends on you — the peace which is beyond understanding. And you will laugh, because it was always possible. It was because of you that it was not descending. You were running away.

All paths lead where; truth is here. All paths lead somewhere, and truth is always here. No paths can bring you to yourself.

That’s why I say try hard, so that you can be tired soon. Don’t go slow. Lukewarm you can go for lives and lives, hoping and hoping. Try hard. Try absolutely, totally, so that you can be tired — so much so that the sheer tiredness drops the whole effort, and suddenly lying on the ground you become aware of the reality that is here.

God is not a thing. God is the whole performance. You cannot catch hold of it. Nirvana is not somewhere. It is the whole performance of life.

I was reading a little story:

‘It was springtime, and a teacher said to his little pupils, ‘I saw something the other day, and I wonder if any of you have seen it. If you know it, don’t say what it is. I went out and saw it coming up from the ground about ten inches high, and on top of it was a little round ball of fluff, and if you went WOOF, a whole galaxy of stars flew out. Now what was it like before the little ball of stars appeared?’

One said, ‘It was a little yellow flower, like a sunflower, only very small.’

‘And what was it like before that?’

A little girl said, ‘It was like a tiny, green umbrella. half closed, with a yellow lining showing.’

‘Yes, but what was it like before that?’

One of them said, ‘It was a little rosette of green leaves coming out of the ground.’

‘Now, do you all know what it is?’

They roared back, ‘Dandelion!’

‘And did you ever pick dandelions?’ Most of them said yes, but the teacher said, ‘No, you cannot pick a dandelion. That is impossible. A dandelion is all these things you mentioned, and more, so whatever you picked, you got only a fragment of something or other. You can’t pick a dandelion because a dandelion is not a thing. It is a process and a performance. And, you know, everything is a process and a performance — even you.”‘

You cannot pick even a dandelion, even a small flower, in its totality because the totality is tremendous. How can you pick god? You cannot pick a small flower. God is this whole performance. All that is today is god; all that has ever been is god; all that is ever going to be is god. God is not a thing; it is a process. And so infinite and so vast — how can you seek god? It is impossible.

You can live, you can drop into this infinite ocean of godliness. And that door opens right now. There is no need to wait.

The whole zen attitude is to bring to your notice the fact that there is no effort to be made. The zen attitude is that of effortlessness. That is where it differs from yoga. Yoga is effort; zen is effortlessness.

And of course, effort can lead somewhere, but it cannot lead to the ultimate. Effort can give you a better ego, more polished, more crystallized, but it cannot give you nirvana, it cannot give you god. That is beyond effort.

When all efforts cease, in that silence, in that beautiful emptiness, in that void, whatsoever is found is god.

Then what is to be done? The question naturally arises — then what to do? Understanding, more awareness, more witnessing. Watch yourself moving, living, being. Try to understand each moment that passes by you. Become a witness.

Remember, the witnessing does not mean judgement. You are not to judge that this is good and this is bad. The moment you judge, you lose the witness. If you say this is bad, you are already identified. If you say this is good, you have already slipped out of witnessing — you have become a judge.

A witness is a simple witness. You just watch as you watch the traffic on the road, or someday you lie down on the ground and you watch the clouds in the sky. You don’t say this is good, that is bad; you simply don’t make any judgements. You watch. You are unconcerned with what is good, what is bad. You are not trying to be moral. You are not trying any concepts… a pure witnessing. And out of that, more and more understanding arises and by and by you start feeling that the ordinary life is the only life; there is no other life.

And to be ordinary is the only way to be religious. All other extra-ordinary things are ego-trips.

Just to be ordinary is the most extraordinary thing in the world, because everybody wants to be extraordinary. Nobody wants to be ordinary. To be ordinary is the only extraordinary thing. Very rarely somebody relaxes and becomes ordinary. If you ask zen masters, ‘What do you do?’ they will say, ‘We fetch wood from the forest, we carry water from the well. We eat when we feel hungry, we drink when we feel thirsty, we go to sleep when we feel tired. This is all.’

It does not look very appealing — fetching wood, carrying water, sleeping, sitting, eating. You will say, ‘These are ordinary things. Everybody is doing them.’

These are not ordinary things, and nobody is doing them. When you are fetching wood, you are condemning it — you would like to be the president of some country. You don’t want to be a woodcutter. You go on condemning the present for some imaginary future.

Carrying water from the well, you feel you are wasting your life. You are angry. You were not made for such ordinary things. You had come with a great destiny — to lead the whole world towards a paradise, some utopia.

These are all ego-trips. These are all in states of consciousness.

Just to be ordinary… and then suddenly what you call trivia is no more trivia, what you call profane is no more profane. Everything becomes sacred. Carrying wood becomes sacred. Fetching water from the well becomes sacred.

And when every act becomes sacred, when every act becomes meditative and prayerful, only then are you moving deeper into life — and then life opens all the mysteries to you. Then you are becoming capable. Then you are becoming receptive. The more receptive you become, the more life becomes available.

This is my whole teaching: to be ordinary… to be so ordinary that the very desire to be extraordinary disappears. Only then can you be in the present; otherwise you cannot be in the present.

Montaigne has written: ‘We seek other conditions because we know not how to enjoy our own, and go outside of ourselves for want of knowing what it is like inside of us. So it is no use raising ourselves on stilts, for even on stilts we have to walk on our own legs, and sitting on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting on our behind.’ Wherever you are — fetching water or sitting on the throne as a king or as a president or a prime minister — makes no difference. Wherever you are, you are yourself.

If you are miserable in carrying wood, you will be miserable in being a president, because outside things can change nothing. If you are happy being a beggar, only then can you be happy being an emperor; there is no other way.

Your happiness has something to do with your quality of consciousness. It has nothing to do with outside things.

Unless you become awake, everything is going to make you more and more miserable. Once you are awake, everything brings tremendous happiness, tremendous benediction. It does not depend on anything else; it simply depends on the depth of your being, on your receptivity.

Carry wood, and when carrying wood just carry wood — and enjoy the beauty of it. Don’t go on thinking of something else. Don’t compare it. This moment is tremendously beautiful. This moment can become a satori. This moment can become the moment of samadhi.

Fetching water, be so totally in it that nothing is left outside. Fetching water, you are not there; only the process of fetching water is there. This is what nirvana is, enlightenment is.

I am talking to you; I am not there… just enjoying a chitchat with you, gossiping with you.

Listening to me, if you are also not there, then everything is fulfilled perfectly. If you are there listening to me, watching by the corner, standing there… watching if something valuable is being said so that you can hoard it for future use, watching if something meaningful is said so that you can make it part of your knowledge — ‘it will be helpful to seek something, to be something’… then you will miss me.

I am not saying anything meaningful. I am not saying anything for any purpose in view. I am not giving you some knowledge. I am not here to make you more knowledgeable.

If you can listen to me the way I am talking to you… this moment is total, you are not moving outside it, the future has disappeared… then you will have a glimpse of satori. Remember that we are engaging here In a certain activity. This activity has to be so prayerful, so meditative, that in this activity, past is no more a burden and future does not corrupt it and this moment remains pure. This moment simply remains this moment.

Then I am not here and you are not there. Then this crowd disappears. Then we become waves of one ocean — that ocean is life, that ocean is god, that ocean is nirvana.

Nirvana is such a deep relaxation of your being that you disappear in that relaxation. Tense, you are; relaxed, you are not. Your ego can only exist if you are tense. If you are relaxed, god is, you are not.

Now the story, a very simple story. All zen stories are very simple. If you understand them, they show something. If you don’t understand them then they say nothing.

All the great masters of the world have used the parable as a medium for their message, because the parable creates a picture. It is less conceptual; it brings things more to the heart. It reveals more, says less. There is no need for the mind to intellectualize about it. The parable is there, completely clear.

MUSO, THE NATIONAL TEACHER,
AND ONE OF THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS MASTERS OF HIS DAY,
LEFT THE CAPITAL IN THE COMPANY OF A DISCIPLE
FOR A DISTANT PROVINCE.
ON REACHING THE TENRYU RIVER
THEY HAD TO WAIT FOR AN HOUR
BEFORE THEY COULD BOARD THE FERRY.
JUST AS THE FERRY WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE THE SHORE
A DRUNKEN SAMURAI RAN UP
AND JUMPED INTO THE PACKED BOAT,
NEARLY SWAMPING IT.

A DRUNKEN SAMURAI… He may not be ordinarily drunk, but a samurai is always drunk. A samurai is a man who is after power. A samurai is a warrior. A samurai is drunk with the ego. He may not be drunk ordinarily — that is not the point. He may have been drunk, but all people who are after power are drunk.

The more you are after power, the more you are unconscious, because only unconsciousness can seek power. Consciousness lives life. Consciousness does not bother about power, because what is the use of power?

The use of power is that you can live someday through it. First you collect power… maybe it is hidden in the money, or in the sword. First you prepare — power is a preparation — and then someday you will live.

… A DRUNKEN SAMURAI RAN UP
AND JUMPED INTO, THE PACKED BOAT
NEARLY SWAMPING IT.
HE TOTTERED WILDLY AS THE SMALL CRAFT
MADE ITS WAY ACROSS THE RIVER.
THE FERRYMAN,
FEARING FOR THE SAFETY OF HIS PASSENGERS,
BEGGED HIM TO STAND QUIETLY.
‘WE’RE LIKE SARDINES IN HERE,’
SAID THE SAMURAI GRUFFLY.
THEN, POINTING TO, MUSO,
‘WHY NOT TOSS OUT THE BONZAE?’

Bonzae means a zen priest, a zen monk.

The story is beautiful. If politicians were allowed, then they would not like religious people on the earth at all. They would kill them, they would toss them out of the boat — because the only danger for the politician is the religious consciousness. The more people become religious, the more politics loses lustre.

The politician is after power, and the religious man is not after anything. The religious man wants to live herenow, and the politician is always preparing for some future — future which never comes. The politician is always after some utopia, chasing it… after some dream. It never comes. All political revolutions have failed — failed utterly — because you go on sacrificing for the future, sacrificing the present for the future. And if the present is destroyed, from where is the future to come? It is going to be born out of the present.

You go on murdering the present in the hope that someday a beautiful future will be born out of it.

A beautiful future can be born only if the present is lived beautifully.

Politicians are always against religious people. If they are not, that simply means religious people are not religious people. Then religious people are also playing politics — in the name of religion. Christianity, islam, hinduism — all politics in the name of religion.

A really religious person wants to live herenow. He is not worried about the future and he is not trying to bring any revolution in the world, because he knows there is only one life and there is only one revolution and there is only one radical transformation — and that is one’s own being.

He wants to love, he wants to live, he wants to pray, he wants to meditate. He wants to be left alone; nobody should disturb. He does not want to interfere in anybody’s life and he does not want that anybody should be allowed to interfere in his life. And the whole politics is nothing but this — interfering in others’ lives. Maybe you pretend that you are interfering for their sake… but you are interfering in people’s lives.

The story is beautiful. Out of all persons the samurai said; ‘Why not throw this bonzae out of the boat? It is much too crowded.’

‘WE’RE LIKE SARDINES IN HERE,’
SAID THE SAMURAI GRUFFLY.
THEN, POINTING TO MUSO,
‘WHY NOT TOSS OUT THE BONZAE?’
‘PLEASE BE PATIENT,’
MUSO SAID, WE’LL REACH THE OTHER SIDE SOON.’

Ordinarily we should expect him to become angry, but he simply says. Please be patient. The other shore is not very far away.

It is a very symbolic sentence. A religious person remains patent, because he sees, he continuously understands, that this life is not worth being impatient about — the other shore is continuously coming close. Nothing is worth being impatient. Patience is more paying, gives you more of life. Becoming impatient means you will miss this moment. You will become restless.

He said, Don’t be worried. It is a question of a few moments. No need to throw me or anybody else; no need to create any conflict. The other shore is coming close by. We will reach the other side soon.

This is the whole attitude of a religious person. He is not worried about trivia. Somebody has stolen his money. He is not worried about it; it doesn’t matter. Somebody has insulted him — it does not matter.

It matters only to people who are not living life. Then ordinary, useless things, meaningless things, become very meaningful. A person who is living his life totally is so happy with it he is not disturbed. Whatsoever happens on the periphery makes no difference to the center. He remains the center of the cyclone.

‘WHAT!’ BAWLED THE SAMURAI, ‘ME BE PATIENT?
LISTEN HERE, IF YOU DON’T JUMP OFF THIS THING
I SWEAR I’LL DROWN YOU.’

A politician, a power-oriented person, cannot be patient. The more impatient he is, the more possibility of succeeding in the world of power and politics. He cannot be patient, because time is running fast. Only a religious person can be patient, because he has come to know the quality of eternity. Paradoxically, the religious person knows that this life is going to end, but underneath this life there is a life which never ends. Paradoxically he knows this time is going to end in death but hidden beneath this time is eternity.

If you enter life you enter eternity. If you remain on the surface you remain in time. Time is impatience.

Look. In the West people are more time-conscious and of course more impatient. In the East people are not so time-conscious; naturally they are not so impatient.

Time brings impatience.

Christians are more impatient than hindus because hindus have an idea of rebirth and christians don’t have any idea of rebirth. Only this life… such a small life seventy years — almost one-third is lost in sleep. By the time one becomes a little aware half of the life is gone and then in small things — earning the bread making a house working for the children the wife — the life is gone. One becomes impatient.

How to live more in such a small time? The only way the West has found is to go on increasing speed — the only way. If it used to take one day to travel travel in five minutes so that you can save time. This too great a hankering for speed is part of impatience. You can save time but then you don’t know what to do with that time. You use it in saving more time… and this goes on and on.

Impatience is a feverish way of living. One should relax. Once you relax the time disappears and eternity reveals to you its own nature.

‘WHAT! ME BE PATIENT? LISTEN HERE, IF YOU DON’T JUMP OFF THIS THING I SWEAR I WILL DROWN YOU.’

A politician cant be patient. You cannot think of Lenin or Hitler meditating. It would be a sheer wastage of time.

When you come to me from the West and you start meditating it is really a miracle. It is against all the conditioning that you have gone through. When you go back nobody will be able to understand what has happened to you… just wasting time — because time has to be used. It is already too short. Life is short and so many desires to be fulfilled. Why waste it in sitting with closed eyes and watching the navel? Do something before life is gone. If you live on the surface, you will remain impatient. If you enter deeper into the stream, you will come to feel that this life is not all, and the periphery is not the total. And the waves belong to the ocean, but the ocean itself is not only the waves — hidden just underneath the waves of time is the ocean of eternity.

A religious person can be patient, can be infinitely patient, because he knows nothing begins and nothing ends.

THE MASTER’S CALM SO INFURIATED THE SAMURAI
THAT HE STRUCK MUSO’S HEAD WITH HIS IRON FAN,
DRAWING BLOOD.

And it happens. If the master had been angry, the samurai could have understood the language — his own language — but because the master remained silent… not only silent, absolutely patient… this infuriated him very much.

If somebody insults you and you remain silent, as if nothing has happened, the person will get more angry; he will get angrier. If you had been angry he could have understood it, but he cannot understand the silence. In fact, in your silence he feels very much insulted. In your silence you become a tower, a height. In your silence he becomes like a worm, a very small thing. That hurts.

Jesus has said, ‘if somebody slaps your right cheek, give him the left also.’

Nietzsche commented on this, saying, ‘Never do this, because this will insult the other person more. Rather, hit him hard. He will respect that more. At least you accept him as your equal.’

And Nietzsche is also right. He has a very penetrating eye.

A religious person… his very presence infuriates the politician. And when he is insulted and he takes it easily, as if nothing has happened, that drives the other person almost mad.

That’s how they crucified Jesus. The priests, the politicians, the power-addicted people, they could not tolerate this humble and simple man. He was not doing any harm to them. In fact he was teaching people harmless things. He was teaching them to become innocent like children. He was teaching them ‘blessed are the meek’. But they became infuriated. They had to kill him, because his very presence became very humiliating to them. Such a tower, such a peak, a pinnacle of love, compassion, humbleness — they could not tolerate him.

MUSO’S DISCIPLE HAD HAD ENOUGH BY THIS TIME,
AND AS HE WAS A POWERFUL MAN,
WANTED TO CHALLENGE THE SAMURAI.
‘I CAN’T PERMIT HIM TO GO ON LIVING AFTER THIS,’ HE SAID.

A disciple is a disciple. He has yet not understood. He is still in the same ego. Maybe he has become religious, but the ego continues.

If somebody says something against me, you will feel angry. Now your ego is attached to me. If somebody says that this man is nothing, you become angry. Not because you are too much concerned with this man, but because if this man is nothing and you are following this man, you are even worse than nothing. It hits the ego. If you follow me I must be the greatest master in the world. You are following me — how can you follow me if I am not the greatest master in the world?

Remember, that is again a game of the ego. You will try to prove that ‘my master is the greatest master in the world’. It is not a question of the master. How can you be a follower of a lesser master? Impossible. You — and a follower of a lesser master? That’s not possible.

‘I CAN’T PERMIT HIM,’ said the disciple, ‘TO GO ON LIVING AFTER THIS.’
‘WHY GET SO WORKED UP OVER A TRIFLE?’
MUSO SAID WITH A SMILE.
‘IT’S EXACTLY IN MATTERS OF THIS KIND
THAT THE BONZAE’S TRAINING PROVES ITSELF.
PATIENCE, YOU MUST REMEMBER,
IS MORE THAN JUST A WORD.’

It is a great experience. Now this is the moment to be patient and to enjoy it. This fellow has given a beautiful opportunity to be patient. Be thankful to him. He has given a challenge. But don’t let that challenge become a challenge for your ego. Let that be a challenge for your patience. The same situation — but you can use it or you can be used by it.

If you are used by it you are an unconscious man. Then you react. All reaction is unconscious.

If you are conscious you never react. You act. Action is conscious reaction is unconscious.

Reaction means that that man became the master of the situation: he pushed the button and you became angry. You became a puppet in his hands. But if you remain patient, if you smile, suddenly you are out of the vicious circle of unconsciousness.

Use situations and then you will come to see that even enemies are friends and even darkest nights will bring beautiful dawns. And when there was anger thrown at you you will see compassion arising in you. These are the rarest moments. And you will feel thankful and grateful to the person who created the situation.

‘WHY GET SO WORKED UP OVER A TRIFLE?
IT’S EXACTLY IN MATTERS OF THIS KIND
THAT THE BONZAE’S TRAINING PROVES ITSELF.
PATIENCE YOU MUST REMEMBER
IS MORE THAN JUST A WORD.’

Patience is a great experience a great existential experience.

THEN HE RECITED AN EXTEMPORE WAKA:
‘THE BEATER AND THE BEATEN:
MERE PLAYERS OF A GAME
EPHEMERAL AS A DREAM.’

This is what witnessing is all about.

If you can become a witness in a situation, suddenly you are out of it, no more part of It. If you lose your witnessing, even in a dream you become part of It.

You go to the movie, you watch the movie. You are just a watcher there, but sooner or later you forget all about your being a watcher — you become part of the story. You smile, you cry, you weep, you become angry, you become agitated — and there Is nothing on the screen, just shadows passing, but you have lost the witnessing. You are almost identified now. You are part of the story now. Then even shadows passing on the screen become realities.

Just the opposite happens: if you stand by the side of the road and simply watch people passing, suddenly you will see real persons have become ephemeral, shadows on the screen.

The whole thing depends on you. If you are identified, an unreal thing becomes real. If you are unidentified, even a real thing becomes unreal.

A man who comes to know what witnessing is, for him this whole life is nothing but a big dream, a big drama.

‘THE BEATER AND THE BEATEN:
MERE PLAYERS OF A GAME
EPHEMERAL AS A DREAM.’

This is one of the greatest insights the East has achieved — that life, life that you know as life, is ephemeral, illusory, maya. It is not real.

There is another life. If you become aware, then you enter the temple of reality. Unawareness allows you only to live in a dream.

WHEN THE BOAT REACHED SHORE,
AND MUSO AND HIS DISCIPLE ALIGHTED,
THE SAMURAI RAN UP
AND PROSTRATED HIMSELF AT THE MASTER’S FEET.
THEN AND THERE HE BECAME A DISCIPLE.

First, if you remain silent when the situation was ordinarily demanding anger, if you remain patient when the other was expecting impatience and trouble, he will be infuriated, he will be hurt, humiliated. He would like to take revenge — you are playing god to him.

But if you continue, if you are not tempted and you remain in your silence, in your tranquility, you remain centered and rooted in your being, sooner or later the other is going to relax. Because silence is such a power, silence is such a transforming force, silence is so alchemical… it is the only magic in the world… the other is bound to be transformed.

Just wait a little. Don’t be in a hurry. The other will take a little time. Give him opportunity.

The samurai ran, fell at the feet of the master.

THEN AND THERE HE BECAME A DISCIPLE.

Whenever you come against something like this — a real patience, a real substantial silence — deep down something is touched in your heart also. Deep down you are no more the same. Something real has penetrated like a ray of light into your darkness.

The world is transformed by people who live in this world as if this world is just a dream. People are changed, transfigured, by those who live in this world unconcerned, indifferent to trivia… who live a life of inner centering, who live in the world but don’t allow the world to enter them, who live in the world but the world does not live in them, who remain untouched, who carry their silence everywhere — in the marketplace they remain in their inner temple… nothing distracts them from their being.

These people become catalytic agents. These people bring a totally new quality to human consciousness. A buddha, a jesus, a krishna, a mohammed — they bring another world into this world.

That is the meaning of the hindu word ‘avatar’. It means they bring god into the world; the god descends through them. A vision… they become windows. Through them you can have a vision, a glimpse of something that is beyond.

One of the most influential writers, authors and thinkers. of the West was Aldous Huxley. He was very much in tune with the eastern idea of inner centering. He was one of the western minds who penetrated very deeply into the eastern attitude towards life. It is said that when a Californian brushfire destroyed a lifetime’s possessions, Aldous Huxley felt only an unexpected freedom.’I feel clean,’ he said.

He had a really beautiful collection of rare antiques, rare books, rare paintings — the whole life’s possession — and the whole possession was destroyed in a fire. Looking at the flames, he could not believe it himself that he simply felt unburdened, a sense of freedom. Disturbed not at all; on the contrary, a sense of freedom — as if the fire had been a friend. And later on he said, ‘I feel clean.’ This is the eastern attitude.

If you are centered, nothing can be destroyed. No fire can destroy your centering. Not even death is capable of distracting you.

And this centering is possible only if you start living each moment meditatively, fully alert, aware. Don’t move like an automaton. Don’t react like a mechanism. Become conscious. Collect yourself more and more so that a crystallized consciousness continuously illuminates your inner being, a flame goes on burning there and it lights wherever you move. The path, the way, whatsoever you do, it lights it.
This inner flame, this inner light is there, potentially there… like a seed. Once you start using it, it sprouts. Soon you will see — the spring has come and it is blossoming and you are full of the fragrance of the unknown and the unknowable. God has descended in you.

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