Sufism is not concerned with knowledge. Its whole concern is
love, intense, passionate love: how to fall in love with the whole, how to be in
tune with the whole, how to bridge the distance between the creation and the
The so-called organized religions of the world teach a kind of duality, that the creator is separate from the creation, that the creator is higher than the creation, it has to be renounced. Sufi′s don′t renounce, they rejoice. And that′s what I am teaching you here: Rejoice!
My sannyas is a way of rejoicing, not a way of renunciation.
Rumi has said:
This assembly is a Sufi assembly. You are my Sufis, the Sufis of the new age. I
am introducing you to the world of love. I am initiating you into the ways of
love . . .
One needs to be in such love that one is ready to risk all. That love is called ishq. You have all known muhabbah, the so-called ordinary love, which is just an emotion, a sentiment, superficial. One day you are in love, another day you are in hate. One day you love the person and you are ready to die for the person, and another day you are ready to kill the same person. One moment you are so nice, so beautiful, another moment you are so nasty, so ugly to the same person. This is not ishq, ishq has depht. This is only circumference.
This is just a mask; this is part of your personality. Ishq , passionate love for God, is not of the personality. It is of the essence. It comes from your center; from the very ground of your being it arises and possesses you. It is not within your control; on the contrary, you are in its control. Yes, you are drunk and you are mad.
Sufis have found ways and methods of how to create ishq. That is the whole Sufi alchemy: how to create ishq in you, how to create such a passion that you can ride on the wave of it and reach to the ultimate.
Khwajah Esmat Bokhari says¹:
We are not creating a
Kaaba here for idiots to circle, not a mosque for mobs to
clamor in. We are creating a scientific energy field, where your energies can be
transformed into their optimum potential. And when a man is really aflame with
love, God has happened. And only with the happening of God can you be contented
and can you be blissful. Only with the happening of God does misery disappear
and do hells become non-existent . . .
And when I said this is a Sufi assembly, I literally meant it.
See this silence, this grace, this benediction that is showering on you?
See this stillness? See this faqr ?
In this moment there is no ego in you, but only a pure silence. The personality has disappeared, there is only presence, and the light rises to the highest heavens. Wherever the wild ones meet, the mad ones meet, wherever there is simplicity and love, and wherever there is prayer, zikr , remembrance of God, this miracle happens. You may not be able to see it. It is happening.
I am not just teaching you about God. I am not interested in giving you knowledge about God. I am sharing my God with you; it is a sharing. I want to challenge your God which is asleep inside you, to provoke it. And that is the work Sufis have been doing down the ages: provoking the potential into the actual.
There are religions and religions, but Sufism is THE religion - the very heart, the innermost core, the very soul.
Sufism is not part of Islam; rather, on the contrary, Islam is part of Sufism. Sufism existed before Mohammed ever was born, and Sufism will exist when Mohammed is completely forgotten. Islams come and go; religions take form and dissolve; Sufism abides, continues, because it is not a dogma. It is the very heart of being religious.
You may not ever have heard of Sufism and you may be a Sufi - if you are religious. Krishna is a Sufi, and Christ too; Mahavir is a Sufi, and Buddha too - and they never heard about the word, and they never knew that anything like Sufism exists.
Whenever a religion is alive, it is because Sufism is alive within it. Whenever a religion is dead, it shows only that the spirit, the Sufi spirit, has left it. Now there is only a corpse, howsoever decorated - in philosophy, metaphysics, in dogmas, doctrines - but whenever Sufism has left, religion stinks of death. This has happened many times. This is happening already almost all over the world. One has to be aware of it, otherwise one can go on clinging to a dead corpse.(Osho - Until You Die #1)
every one of this man′s books. Don′t be afraid, I am still insane. Nothing can make me sane. But one book by
Idries Shah towers above all the others. All are beautiful, I would like to
mention them all, but the book The Sufis is just a diamond. The value of what he
has done in The Sufis is immeasurable.
Don′t interrupt, this is going beautifully.
Talking, for me, is so easy. I can even talk while asleep, and very rationally too. Good. Whenever I recognize something like this I always appreciate it. And this is beautiful - this is what you will understand if you can understand Idries Shah′s book The Sufis. He is the man who introduced Mulla Nasruddin to the West, and he has done an incredible service. He cannot be repaid. The West has to remain obliged to him forever. Idries Shah has made just the small anecdotes of Nasruddin even more beautiful. This man not only has the capacity to exactly translate the parables, but even to beautify them, to make them more poignant, sharper. I include all of his books.
People do not know where to look when they are seeking
enlightenment. As a result, it is hardly surprising that they may
attach themselves to any cult, immerse themselves in all manner of
theories, believing that they have the capacity to distinguish the
true from the false.
Nasruddin taught this in several ways. On one occasion a neighbour found him down on his knees looking for something.
"What have you lost, Mulla?" - "My key," said Nasrudin. After a few minutes of searching, the other man said, "Where did you drop it?" - "At home." - "Then why, for heaven′s sake, are you looking here?" - "There is more light here."
This is one of the most famous of all Nasrudin tales, used by many Sufis, commenting upon people who seek exotic sources for enlightenment. Acting it on the stage was a part of the repertoire of Karl Valentin, the late "metaphysical clown" of Munich.
Idries Shah is said to have been a founding member of the Club of Rome. The former Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999), Javier Solana, is also member of the Club of Rome. Javier Solana′s mother, Nieves Hayat de Madariaga Matthews, wrote a book on Francis Bacon. In it she writes that the book was suggested by "my teacher, Osho, who thought highly of Sir Francis Bacon and gave the book his blessing."
Sanai, and his
beautiful statements. People like Sanai don′t argue, they only state. They need
not argue, their very existence is the proof; no other argument is needed. Come,
look into my eyes, and you will know that there is no argument, only a
statement. A statement is always true. An argument can be clever but is rarely
Sanai is one of my love affairs. I cannot, even though I would like to, exaggerate him. It is impossible. Sanai is the very essence of Sufism.
Sufism is an English word for tasawuf. Tasawuf means ′pure love′. ′Sufism′ comes from suf, meaning wool, and a Sufi means a person wearing a woolen robe. Sanai used to wear a black cap - a white robe and a black cap. No logic, no reason, just a mad person like me. But what can you do, these people have to be accepted as they are. Either you love them or hate them. Love or hate, they don′t give you any alternative. You can be for them or against them, but you cannot be indifferent to them. That′s the miracle of mystics. Being close to me you know perfectly well that one who comes to me becomes either a friend or a foe. Nobody can come to me and go without becoming a friend or a foe. Look! I can also compose poetry sometimes. A madman is capable of doing anything.
states without arguing about it. He simply says it is so.
You cannot ask why.
He will say:
They are of the world of stars, flowers, snow. They don′t argue.
I love Sanai. I had not forgotten him; I was not going to mention him just
because I wanted to keep him only for myself, in my heart. But in a postscript
you can even pour out your heart.
That is the way my father used to write me letters. The letter would be very short - there was nothing much to write - then he would write a P.S. Again I would wonder what he had left out of the letter, and he would say something really significant. Then the P.S. would not be enough. There would be another P.P.S. "My God," I would think, "what has he forgotten?" Again there would be something really beautiful that could not have been written in the letter. A P.S. is a more intimate phenomenon, and a P.P.S. even more so.
My father is no more, but I remember him in such moments, when I suddenly see that I am behaving just like him. When I see his picture, I know that when I too am seventy-five, God willing, then I will look just like him. And it is so good to feel that I will not betray him, that I will represent him even to my very last breath.
Devaraj (Osho′s physician) - I am not mistakenly saying Devaraj for Devageet; I mean Devaraj - you should remember it. My body functions exactly like my father′s even in its illnesses. I am proud of it. My father suffered from asthma, so when I suffer from asthma I know this body comes from my father, with all its faults, flaws and errors. He was a diabetic, so am I. He loved to talk, and I have done nothing else all my life than talk. In every way I have been his son.
He was a great father - not just because he was my father but because even though he was a father, he touched the feet of his son and became his disciple. That was his greatness. No father has done it before, and I don′t think it is going to happen again on this rotten earth. It seems impossible. The father becoming the disciple of the son? Buddha′s father hesitated; my father never hesitated for a moment.
Now it would have been very easy for Buddha′s father to become his disciple, because Buddha was what the so-called religions expect, a saint. It is very difficult for any father to become a disciple of a man like me. I am not a saint by any accepted criteria, and I am happy about it because I hate to be categorized. I will turn away from heaven itself if I see the so-called saints there. I have seen enough of them on the earth itself. I am not a saint. I am a totally different kind of man - what I call Zorba the Buddha.
Yet, knowing my notoriety, knowing perfectly well all the condemnation being thrown at me from all the so-called respectable places, he became my disciple. That is courage, immense courage. Even I was surprised when he touched my feet for the first time. I wept - in my room of course, so nobody could see it. I feel those tears still in my eyes. When he asked to be initiated I could not believe it. At that moment I was just silent. I could not say yes or no, I was simply silent, shocked, surprised. Yes, you have the right expression in your language: ′taken by surprise′ - and taken so powerfully.
of the strangest men that has ever walked on the earth, Sarmad. He was a Sufi,
and he was murdered in a mosque by order of the Mohammedan king. He was murdered
simply because of a particular Mohammedan sutra, one of their prayers. The
prayer is: "Allah la il allah - Allah, God, is the only God." And that is not
enough for them; they want something more. They want to declare to the world
that Mohammed is the only prophet of God: "Allah la il allah; mohammed bismillah.
God is the only God, and Mohammed is the only prophet of God."
Sufis deny the second part, that Mohammed is the only prophet of God. That was the sin of Sarmad. Obviously nobody can be the only prophet; nobody absolutely can be the only one - neither Mohammed, nor Jesus, nor Moses, nor Buddha. Sarmad was killed, murdered, butchered, by the Mohammedan king of India, in conspiracy with the Mohammedan priests. But he laughed, and said, "Even after my death I will say the same thing: Allah la il allah - God is the only God."
The great mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, where Sarmad was killed, is still standing, a monument to this great man. He was killed in a very inhuman way: just his head was cut off. His head rolled down the steps of the Jama mosque. The thousands who had gathered there heard the head rolling down the steps clearly shouting, "Allah la il allah - God is the only God...."
I don′t know whether the story is true or not, but it must be. It has to be. Even truth has to compromise with a man like Sarmad. I love Sarmad. He has not written any book, but his statements have been compiled and the most significant is: God is the only God, and there is no prophet, there is no one between you and God. There is no mediator, God is immediately available. Just all that is needed is a little madness and a lot of meditation.
I was going to say something then, but I will not say it... it is unsayable. It has never been said before, and I should not say it either.
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.
I am sorry, I forgot about him completely. That is not good of me. But, al-Hillaj, you should understand my difficulty. I have read more books than you may have heard of. I have read more than one hundred thousand books. Now, to find only fifty out of them all is really a difficult job. I have chosen only a few, and naturally I have had to leave out many, with tears in my eyes. I would have liked to choose them too... but I put you on record in the postscript.
Another Sufi mystic,
Junnaid, the master of al-Hillaj Mansoor. Al-Hillaj became world famous
because he was murdered; hence Junnaid fell into shadow. But the few sentences,
fragments, that have survived from Junnaid are really great. Otherwise how could
he have produced a disciple like al-Hillaj Mansoor? Only a few stories, verses
and statements remain, all of them fragmentary. That is the way of the mystic:
he does not even bother to connect them into a whole. He does not make a garland
of flowers, but only heaps them. It is up to you to choose.
Junnaid said to al-Hillaj Mansoor, "What you have known, keep it to yourself. Do not shout ana′l haq! so loudly. If you say it, you will say it in such a way that nobody can hear you."
Everybody has been unjust to Junnaid. They thought he was a little afraid. It is not so. It is easy to know the truth, it is easy to declare it; it is immensely difficult to keep it in your heart undeclared, unpronounced. Let those who want to come to the well of your being, to your silence.
Farid, the Sufi mystic, a contemporary
of Kabir, Nanak and others. I love him. In his songs he calls himself Farida. He
always addresses himself, never anybody else. He always starts, "Farida, are you
listening? Farida, be awake! Farida, do this, do that!" In Hindi, when you use
the name Farid it is respectable. When you use the name Farida it is not
respectable; one only calls the servants in that way. Farid calls himself Farida
of course because he is the master; the body is the servant.
The great king Akbar used to come to Farid to listen to his songs. Akbar once received a gift, a very precious gift, a pair of golden scissors studded with diamonds. Gudia would have loved them - any woman would. Akbar also loved them, so much so that he thought they would be a good present for Farid. He came and gave the precious scissors to Farid. Farid looked at them, turning them this way and that, then returned the gift to Akbar saying, "This is of no use to me. If you want to give something to me as a gift, bring a needle."
Akbar was puzzled. He said, "Why a needle?"
Farid said, "Because the function of scissors is to cut things into pieces, and the function of a needle is to join pieces together. My function is not that of the scissors, it is that of the needle. I join things together, I synthesize."
Farid would not have agreed with Sigmund Freud, nor with psychoanalysis, because psychoanalysis is the golden scissors, going on cutting everything to pieces. He would have agreed with Assagioli and psychosynthesis. Join, put things together, to oneness. Do you see my tears? They are for Farid... Farida... yes, for Farida. There can be no homage for him. He will understand the tears, not the golden scissors. Alas, could Akbar have fallen to the feet of Farid and wept, that would have been the real gift to the master.
Farid has not written a book, but his songs have been written down by his people. His songs are tremendously beautiful, but you have to listen to them sung by a Punjabi. He lived in the Punjab, and his songs are in Punjabi, not even in Hindi. Punjabi is very different from Hindi. Hindi is mild, the language of a businessman. Punjabi is like a sword, the language of a soldier. It is so penetrating. When you hear Farid′s songs sung in Punjabi your heart starts breaking.
When I used to travel in the Punjab, I used to ask people, "Can you sing Farid for me?" - and once in a while I found a singer who was ready, who knew how to sing Farida. And all those beautiful singers... all those beautiful moments.... Punjabi has a quality of its own. Every language has a quality of its own. But Punjabi is certainly a sword, you cannot sharpen anything more.
I forgot the
Rubayat. Tears are coming to my eyes. I can apologize for forgetting
everything else but not the Rubayat. Omar Khayyam... I can only cry, weep.
I can only apologize with my tears, words won′t do. The Rubayat 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. Rubayat is
symbolic, and the translator was a very straight Englishman, what in America
they would call a square, not hip at all. To understand Rubayat you need a
little bit of hip in you.
The Rubayat 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. Rubayat is so misunderstood, perhaps that is why I forgot it.
Masnavi of Jalaluddin Rumi. It is a book of small parables. The great can only be expressed in parables. Jesus speaks in parables: so speaks the Masnavi. Why did I forget it? I love parables; I should not have forgotten it. I have used hundreds of parables from it. Perhaps it has become so much of my own that I forgot to mention it separately. But that is no excuse, apology is still required.(Osho in Books I Have Loved)
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.(Osho in Books I Have Loved)
My eleventh choice is Bijak. Bijak is Kabir′s selection of songs. Bijak means ′the seed′ - and of course the seed is subtle, very subtle, invisible. You cannot see it unless it sprouts and becomes a tree.(Osho in Books I Have Loved)
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.
Once, Hassan came to her searching, seeking. One morning while staying with her he asked for the Koran for his morning prayer. Rabiya gave him her own book. Hassan was aghast; he said, "This is condemnable. Who has done this?" Rabiya had corrected the Koran! She had crossed out many words in many places. She had even cut out whole passages. Hassan said, "This is not allowed. The Koran cannot be edited. Who can edit the prophet - the last messenger of God?" That′s why the Mohammedans call him the last messenger - because there will be no more prophets after Mohammed, so who can correct his words? He is correct, and not correctable.
Rabiya laughed and said, "I don′t care about tradition. I have seen God face to face, and I have changed the book according to my experience. This is my book," she said; "you cannot raise any objection. It is my possession. You should be thankful that I allowed you to go through it. I have to be true to my experience, not to anybody else′s."
This is Rabiya, the incredible woman. I include her in my list. She is enough to put Madame Blavatsky in her place. Again, Rabiya′s words are not written by her, but are just disciples′ notes, like Devageet′s. Rabiya would say something out of context - nobody could figure out any context; suddenly she would say something and it was noted down.
So were the anecdotes she related and the anecdotes that her life itself became. I love that.
Meera is beautiful, but without salt, just sweet. Rabiya is very salty. As you know I am a diabetic, and I cannot eat or drink too much of Meera - Devaraj (Osho′s physican) won′t allow it. But Rabiya is okay, I can have as much salt as I want. In fact I hate sugar, and I hate saccharin even more, the artificial sugar created especially for diabetics - but I love the salt.
Jesus said to his disciples: Ye are the salt of the earth. I can say of Rabiya: Rabiya, you are the salt of all the women that have existed and will ever exist on the earth.
an enlightened man like Rinzai, but very close. Hazrat Inayat Khan, the man
who introduced Sufism to the West. He did not write a book, but all his
lectures have been collected into twelve volumes. Here and there they are
beautiful. Forgive me, I cannot say they are all beautiful, but here and
there, once in a while, particularly when he is talking about a Sufi story,
he is beautiful.
He was also a musician; in that way he was really a maestro. He was not a master in the spiritual world, but in the world of music he certainly was. But once in a while he flew to the spiritual, he rose beyond the clouds... to fall back with a thud, of course. He must have suffered from... Devaraj, what do you call it? Multi-fracture? Multiple fractures, perhaps that′s the right word.
The son of Hazrat Inayat Khan. His name is well known to the seekers in the West: Hazrat Vilayat Ali Khan. He is a beautiful man. He is still living. The father is dead, Vilayat is alive, and when I say alive I really mean it - not only breathing... breathing of course, but not only breathing. All his books are also included hereby. Vilayat Ali Khan is also a musician, just like his father, only of a higher quality, of a greater depth. He is more profound... and - listen to this pause - more silent too.(Osho in Books I Have Loved)
The book I am going to talk about is a Sufi one, The Book of Bahauddin. The original Sufi mystic, Bahauddin created the tradition of Sufism. In his small book everything is contained. It is like a seed. Love, meditation, life, death... he has not left anything out whatsoever. Meditate over it.(Osho in Books I Have Loved)
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 taxcollector – 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.
I apologize because this morning I did not mention a few books that I should have mentioned. I was so overwhelmed by Zarathustra, Mirdad, Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Jesus and Krishna that I forgot a few of the books which are even far more significant. I could not believe how I could forget Kahlil Gibran′s The Prophet. It is still torturing me. I want to unburden – that′s why I say I am sorry, but not to anybody in particular....
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I could easily drop The Prophet for the simple reason that it is only an echo of Friedrich Nietzsche′s Thus Spake Zarathustra. In our world nobody speaks the truth. We are such liars, so formal, so full of etiquette.... The Prophet is only beautiful because it echoes Zarathustra....
It is a strange phenomenon: Kahlil Gibran wrote his masterpiece The Prophet when he was only eighteen years old, and struggled his whole life to create something better but could not. Ouspensky could not go beyond Tertium Organum even though he met Gurdjieff, lived and worked with him for many years. And such is the case with J. Krishnamurti: his book The First and Last Freedom is really the first and the last.
Kahlil Gibran wrote many books in his mother tongue. Those that he wrote in
English are well known: the most famous, The Prophet and The Madman... and there
are many others. But he wrote many in his own language, few of which are
translated. Of course translations cannot be the same, but Kahlil Gibran is so
great that even in translation you can find something valuable.
I am going to refer to a few translations today. The third is Kahlil Gibran′s The Garden of the Prophet. It is a translation, but it reminds me of the great Epicurus. I don′t know that anybody except me has ever called Epicurus great. He has been condemned down the ages. But I know that when the masses condemn a man there is bound to be something great in him.
Kahlil Gibran′s book, The Garden of the Prophet reminds me of Epicurus because he used to call his commune The Garden. Everything a person does represents him. Plato called his commune The Academy – naturally; he was an academician, a great intellectual philosopher. Epicurus called his commune The Garden. They lived under the trees, under the stars.
Once the king came to see Epicurus because he had heard how these people are immensely happy. He wanted to know, he was curious as to why these people were so happy: What could be the cause? – because they didn′t have anything. He was puzzled, because they were really happy, they were singing and dancing.
The king said, "I feel very pleased with you and your people, Epicurus. Would you like a gift from me?"
Epicurus said to the king, "If you come again, you could bring a little butter, because for many years my people have not known butter. They are eating just bread without butter. And one thing more: if you come again please don′t stand like an outsider; at least for the time you are here become part of us. Participate, be one of us. Dance, sing. We don′t have anything else to offer you."
Kahlil Gibran′s book reminds me of Epicurus. I am sorry that I have not mentioned Epicurus, but I am not responsible for it. His book was burned, destroyed by the Christians. All the copies that were available were destroyed hundreds of years ago. So I cannot mention his book, but I have brought him in through Kahlil Gibran and his The Garden of the Prophet.
...Another translation of Kahlil Gibran, The Voice of the Master. It must
have been a very beautiful book in the original, because even in translation
here and there are traces of beauty, footprints. But that is bound to be so. The
language that Kahlil Gibran spoke is very close to the language of Jesus. They
are neighbors. Kahlil Gibran′s home was Lebanon. He was born in the hills of
Lebanon, under the cedars. They are the greatest trees in the world. Looking at
a cedar of Lebanon you can believe van Gogh, that trees are the desire of the
earth to reach the stars. They are hundreds of feet high and thousands of years
Kahlil Gibran represents Jesus in some way; he belongs to the same dimension, although he was not a christ. He could have been. Just like Confucius, he also missed. There were people alive in Gibran′s lifetime to whom he could have gone, but the poor fellow was roaming in the dirty streets of New York. He should have gone to Maharshi Ramana, who was still alive, who was a christ, a buddha.
Kahlil Gibran would have been immensely benefited if he had gone to Maharshi Ramana. Then he would have heard The Voice of the Master. Maharshi Ramana would also have been benefited by Kahlil Gibran, because he could write like nobody else. Ramana was a poor writer; Kahlil Gibran was a poor man but a great writer. Both together would have been a blessing to the world.
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
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.
What a con-man I am! Even with closed eyes I am watching Devageet not only trying to say things – he is even using his leg, which is not very gentlemanly, and behind the back of a master...! What to do, this is how the world is.
Another book by Kahlil Gibran, The Spiritual Sayings. Now I must object,
even though the objection is against Kahlil Gibran whom I love. He cannot be
allowed to write "spiritual sayings". Spiritual? – although the book is
beautiful it would have been better if he had called it Beautiful Sayings.
Beautiful, not spiritual. To call it spiritual is just absurd. But still I love
the book, just as I love all absurdities.
I am reminded of Tertullian, whose book – forgive me – I have not included. It was impossible for me to include them all, but at least I can mention his name. Tertullian′s famous saying is: credo quia absurdum – I believe because it is absurd. I don′t think there is another saying in all the languages of the world which is more pregnant than this one. And Tertullian is a Christian saint! Yes, when I see beauty I appreciate it – even in a Christian saint.
Credo quia absurdum – this should be written in diamonds, not even in golden letters. Gold is too cheap. This saying: I believe because it is absurd, is so valuable. Tertullian could have written a book entitled Spiritual Sayings but not Kahlil Gibran.
I have always appreciated Kahlil Gibran; I would like to appreciate him once
more before I condemn him. don′t worry, I am not just saying the word condemn
lightly, I am really saying it.
Ninth is Kahlil Gibran′s book Prose Poems – beautiful. Nobody in the modern world, except Rabindranath Tagore, can write such prose poetry. It is strange that both are foreigners to the English language. Perhaps that is why they can write such poetic language. They come from different languages: Kahlil Gibran from Arabic, which is immensely poetic, pure poetry; and Rabindranath from Bengali, which is even more poetic than Arabic. In fact if you see two Bengalis fighting you will be surprised because you will think that they are exchanging loving words among themselves. You will not be able to conceive that they are fighting. Even in fighting the Bengali is poetic.
I know it from my own experience. I was in Bengal and saw people fighting – sheer poetry! I was amazed. When I came to Maharashtra I saw people just talking, gossiping, and I was worried: were they fighting? Should the police be informed? Marathi is such a language that you cannot say sweet nothings in it. It is harsh, hard. It is a fighting language.
It is strange that the English have appreciated both Kahlil Gibran and Rabindranath, but they have not learned anything from them. They have not learned the secret of their success. What is the secret of their success? Their ′poeticness′.
This is a book by Kahlil Gibran which I never wanted to condemn publicly,
because I love the man. But I have to do it so that it is on record that I can
condemn a man even though I love him, if his words do not represent the truth.
The book is Thoughts And Meditations. Now, I cannot agree with it, and because of it I know that Kahlil Gibran never knew what meditation is. In this book ′meditations′ are nothing but ′contemplations′; only then can they go with thoughts. Ashu, you don′t have to go with thoughts, you have to go with meditation – with me, not with Kahlil Gibran. So go higher. Unless you achieve it I am going to stop talking like this very soon. I want to affirm my transcendence in every way. No buddha has done it before. I want to be a pioneer.
I am against this tenth book because I am against thought. I am also against it because Kahlil Gibran uses the word meditation in the Western sense. In the West meditation simply means to think about something concentratedly. That is not meditation. In the East meditation means to not think at all. It has nothing to do with ′about this or that′, it is non-objective. There is no object in it, only pure subjectivity. Soren Kierkegaard said: The innermost core of man is pure subjectivity. That′s what meditation is.
A book by a man Junnaid would have loved: Meher Baba. He was silent for
thirty years. Nobody has been silent for so long. Mahavira was silent for only
twelve years, that was the record. Meher Baba broke all records. Thirty years of
silence! He used to make gestures with his hands, as I do when I speak, because
there are a few things which can only be said through gestures. Meher Baba
dropped the words, but he could not drop the gestures. We are fortunate that he
did not drop gestures too. The intimate ones who lived with him started writing
notes through his gestures, and the book that was published after thirty years
of Meher Baba′s silence has a strange title, as it should have. The title of the
book is God Speaks.
Meher Baba lived in silence and died in silence. He never spoke, but his silence was itself his statement, his expression, his song. So it is not really strange to title the book God Speaks. There is a Zen book which says: The flower does not speak. It is wrong, absolutely wrong. The flower speaks too. Of course it does not speak in English or Japanese or Sanskrit; it speaks in the language of flowers. It speaks through its perfume. I know it well because I am allergic to perfume. I can hear a flower speaking from miles away, so I am speaking from my own experience.
It is not a metaphor. I say again, a flower speaks too, but its language is that of flowers. God Speaks, however it sounds, is true about Meher Baba. He spoke without speaking at all.
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.
Mojud was a man of bright prospects to whom one day Khidr appeared, and since then his life was never the same.
Start with the negative and you don′t need to think about the positive at all. If you meditate on the negative, if you go deeply into it, to
the deepest root of it, suddenly an explosion happens: the negative disappears and the positive has arrived. In fact it has always been there, hidden behind the negative. The
negative was a shelter. The negative was needed because you were not yet worthy enough; the negative was needed so that you could become worthy enough to receive the positive.
The world is the negative pole of God. You need not renounce it, you have simply to be meditative in it. And one day you will see the world has disappeared and there is God and only God.
Bayazid of Bistam, a Sufi mystic, used to say in his later years, "First I used to ask people, ′Where is God?′ And then one day it happened, I started asking people, ′Where God is NOT?′. One day there was no God and I was asking where he is; the next day there was only God, and I was asking ′Is there a place where he is not?′"
The same world, but your eyes are different now; you are not the same.