Buddha says, ‘Fortunate is the man who has found a Master.’
I myself was not as fortunate as you are: I was working without a Master. I searched and I could not find one. It was not that I had not searched, I had searched long enough, but I could not find one. It is very rare to find a Master, rare to find a being who has become a non-being, rare to find a presence who is almost an absence, rare to find a man who Is simply a door to the divine, an open door to the divine which will not hinder you, through which you can pass. It is very difficult .
The Sikhs call their temple the gurudwara, the door of the Master. That is exactly what the Master is—the door. Jesus says again and again, ‘I am the gate, I am the way, I am the truth. Come follow me, pass through me. And unless you pass through me you will not be able to reach.’
Yes, sometimes it happens that a person has to work without a Master. If the Master is not available then one has to work without a Master, but then the journey is very hazardous.
For one year I was in the state…. For one year it was almost impossible to know what was happening. For one year continuously it was even difficult to keep myself alive. Just to keep myself alive was a very difficult thing—because all appetite disappeared. Days would pass and I would not feel any hunger, days would pass and I would not feel any thirst. I had to force myself to eat, force myself to drink. The body was so non-existential that I had to hurt myself to feel that I was still in the body. I had to knock my head against the wall to feel whether my head was still there or not. Only when it hurt would I be a little in the body.
Every morning and every evening I would run for five to eight miles. People used to think that I was mad. Why was I running so much? Sixteen miles a day! It was just to feel myself, to feel that I still was, not to lose contact with myself—just to wait until my eyes became attuned to the new that was happening.
And I had to keep myself close to myself. I would not talk to anybody because everything had become so inconsistent that even to formulate one sentence was difficult. In the middle of the sentence I would forget what I was saying in the middle of the way I would forget where I was going. Then I would have to come back. I would read a book—I would read fifty pages—and then suddenly I would remember, ‘What am I reading? I don’t remember at all.’
My situation was such:
The door of the psychiatrist’s office burst open and a man rushed in.
’Doctor!’ he cried. ‘You’ve got to help me. I’m sure I’m losing my mind. I can’t remember anything—what happened a year ago, or even what happened yesterday. I must be going crazy!’
‘Hmmmmmmm,’ pondered the headshrinker. ‘Just when did you first become aware of this problem?’
The man looked puzzled, ‘What problem?’
This was my situation! Even to complete a full sentence was difficult. I had to keep myself shut in my room. I made it a point not to talk, not to say anything, because to say anything was to say that I was mad.
For one year it persisted. I would simply lie on the floor and look at the ceiling and count from one to a hundred then back from a hundred to one. Just to remain capable of counting was at least something. Again and again I would forget. It took one year for me to gain a focus again, to have a perspective.
It happened. It was a miracle. But it was difficult. There was nobody to support me, there was nobody to say where I was going and what was happening. In fact, everybody was against it my teachers, my friends, my well-wishers. All were against it. But they could not do anything, they could only condemn, they could only ask what I was doing.
I was not doing anything! Now it was beyond me; it was happening. I had done something, unknowingly I had knocked at the door, now the door had opened. I had been meditating for many years, just sitting silently doing nothing, and by and by I started getting into that space, that heartspace, where you are and you are not doing anything, you are simply there, a presence, a watcher.
You are not even a watcher because you are not watching—you are just a presence. Words are not adequate because whatsoever word is used it seems as if it is being done. No, I was not doing it. I was simply lying, sitting, walking—deep down there was no doer. I had lost all ambition; there was no desire to be anybody, no desire to reach anywhere—not even God, not even nirvana. The Buddha-disease had completely disappeared. I was simply thrown to myself.
It was an emptiness and emptiness drives one crazy. But emptiness is the only door to God. That means that only those who are ready to go mad ever attain, nobody else. [tao209]
I have been looking for the door to enlightenment as long as I remember—from my very childhood. I must have carried that idea from my past life, because I don’t remember a single day in my childhood in this life that I was not looking for it.
And as far as my craziness is concerned, naturally I was thought crazy by everybody. I never played with any children. I never could find any way to communicate with the children of my own age. To me they looked stupid, doing all kinds of idiotic things. I never joined any football team, volleyball team, hockey team. Of course, they all thought me crazy. And as far as I was concerned, as I grew I started looking at the whole world as crazy.
In the last year, when I was twenty-one, it was a time of nervous breakdown and breakthrough. Naturally, those who loved me, my family, my friends, my professors, could understand a little bit what was going on in me—why I was so different from other children, why I would go on sitting for hours with closed eyes, why I sat by the bank of the river and went on looking at the sky for hours, sometimes for the whole night. Naturally, the people who could not understand such things—and I did not expect them to understand—thought me mad.
In my own home I had become almost absent….
By and by they stopped asking me anything, and slowly, slowly they started feeling as if I were not there. And I loved it, the way I had become a nothingness, a nobody, an absence. That one year was tremendous. I was surrounded with nothingness, emptiness. I had lost all contact with the world. If they reminded me to take a bath, I would go on taking the bath for hours. Then they had to knock on the door: “Now come out of the bathroom. You have taken enough bath for one month. Just come out.” If they reminded me to eat, I ate; otherwise, days would pass and I would not eat. Not that I was fasting—I had no idea about eating or fasting. My whole concern was to go deeper and deeper into myself. And the door was so magnetic, the pull was so immense—like what physicists now call black holes.
They say there are black holes in existence. If a star comes by chance to a black hole it is pulled into the black hole; there is no way to resist that pull, and to go into the black hole is to go into destruction. We don’t know what happens on the other side. My idea, for which some physicist has to find evidence, is that the black hole on this side is a white hole on the other side. The hole cannot be just one side; it is a tunnel.
I have experienced it in myself. Perhaps on a bigger scale the same happens in the universe. The star dies; as far as we can see, it disappears. But every moment new stars are being born. From where? Where is their womb? It is simple arithmetic that the black hole was just a womb—the old disappeared into it and the new is born. This I have experienced in myself—I am not a physicist. That one year of tremendous pull made me farther and farther away from people, so much so that I would not recognize my own mother, I might not recognize my own father; so far that there were times I forgot my own name. I tried hard, but there was no way to find what my name used to be.
Naturally, to everybody that one year I was mad. But to me that madness became meditation, and the peak of that madness opened the door. I passed through it. I am now beyond enlightenment—on the other side of the door. [last120]
I was taken to a vaidya, to a physician. In fact, I was taken to many doctors and to many physicians but only one ayurvedic vaidya told my father, “He is not ill. Don’t waste your time.” Of course, they were dragging me from one place to another. And many people would give me medicines and I would tell my father, “Why are you worried? I am perfectly okay.” But nobody would believe what I was saying. They would say, “You keep quiet. You just take the medicine. What is wrong in it?” So I used to take all sorts of medicines.
There was only one vaidya who was a man of insight—his name was Pundit Bhaghirath Prasad…. That old man has gone but he was a rare man of insight. He looked at me and he said, “He is not ill.” And he started crying and said, “I have been searching for this state myself. He is fortunate. In this life I have missed this state. Don’t take him to anybody. He is reaching home.” And he cried tears of happiness.
He was a seeker. He had been searching all over the country from this end to that. His whole life was a search and enquiry. He had some idea of what it was about. He became my protector—my protector against the doctors and other physicians. He said to my father, “You leave it to me. I will take care.” He never gave me any medicine. When my father insisted, he just gave me sugar pills and told me, “These are sugar pills. Just to console them you can take them. They will not harm, they will not help. In fact, there is no help possible.” [tao209]
In my university days, and people thought that I was crazy. Suddenly I would stop, and then I would remain in that spot for half an hour, an hour, unless I started enjoying walking again. My professors were so afraid that when there were examinations they would put me in a car and take me to the university hall. They would leave me at the door and wait there: had I reached to my desk or not? If I was taking my bath and suddenly I realized that I was not enjoying it, I would stop. What is the point then? If I was eating and I recognized suddenly that I was not enjoying, then I would stop….
And, by and by, it became a key. I suddenly recognized that whenever you are enjoying something, you are centered. Enjoyment is just the sound of being centered. Whenever you are not enjoying something, you are off-center. Then don’t force it; there is no need. If people think you crazy, let them think you crazy. Within a few days you will, by your own experience, find how you were missing yourself. You were doing a thousand and one things which you never enjoyed, and still you were doing them because you were taught to. You were just fulfilling your duties. [trans404]
I used to go for a morning walk, and I used to pass a beautiful house every day—that was my route. And one day, when I was coming back, the sun was just shining on my face; I was perspiring—I had gone for four, five miles, and just…I could not move from that place. I must have been eighteen or seventeen.
Something happened between the sun and the beautiful morning, that I simply forgot that I have to go home. I simply forgot that I am. I was simply standing there.
But the man who owned the house, he has been watching me for almost a year—that I come and go by the side of the house; today, what has happened? I am simply frozen. But frozen in such ecstasy!
He came and shook me, and it was like coming down from a very far away place, rushing into my body. He said, “What has happened?”
I said, “That’s what I was going to ask you. Something certainly happened, and something that I would like to happen forever. I was not. You unnecessarily got worried, shook me, and brought me back. I had moved into some space which was absolutely new to me—and it was pure isness.”
Anything can do, it seems that just your preparedness, knowingly or unknowingly, your closeness to the point where the phenomenon can be triggered…. But this kind of experience is not within your power. It happens to you like lightning. [trans12]
To be continued…2