on Understanding Emotions
We have talked about two phases that are related to the spiritual journey: purity of body and purity of thought. Emotions are at a deeper level than the body and thoughts. The purity of Emotions is the most important quality. On the spiritual journey and in meditation, the purity of emotions is more useful than that of body and of thoughts. This is so because man does not live so much according to thoughts, he lives more according to his emotions. It is said that man is a rational animal, but this is not true. You don’t do very many things in your life as a result of thinking; most of what you do is influenced by your emotions. Your hatred, your anger, your love __ al these are related to your emotions, not to your thoughts.
Most of the activities in life originate from the world of emotions, not from the world thoughts. You must also have noticed that you think one thing, and when the time comes you do something else. The reason for this is that there is a fundamental difference between emotions and thinking. You may decide that you will not become angry; you may think that anger is bad, but when gets hold of you thinking is left aside and you become angry.
As long as a transformation in the world of emotions does not happen, just thinking and contemplation alone cannot bring about a revolution in life. That’s why on the spiritual journey the most basic point is the emotions. So this morning we will discuss how to bring about the purification of the emotions.
Of the many dimensions that emotions cover I would like to emphasize four. I will talk about the four aspects through which emotions can become pure. These are also the four aspects that can reverse and become a womb for impure feelings. The first of these aspects is friendliness, the second is compassion, the third is cheerfulness and the forth is gratitude. If you were to include these four emotions in your life, you would achieve purity of emotions.
These four each have their opposite. The opposite of friendliness is hatred and enmity, the opposite of compassion is cruelty, violence and unkindness, the opposite of cheerfulness is sadness, misery, anguish and worry, the opposite of gratitude is ingratitude. Someone whose life and emotions are in the four opposite aspects is in a state of impure emotions, and someone who is rooted in the first four aspects is rooted in pure emotions.
You should find out what influences your emotions, what moves your emotions. Is it true that instead of friendliness, enmity and hostility are more prominent in your life? Is it true that instead of friendliness you are more easily moved by enmity, by hostility? Are you more easily impressed by it? Are you easily triggered by it? Do you get more energy from it? As I said earlier anger has energy, but friendliness also has energy. Someone who only knows how to generate the energy of anger will miss a major dimension in his life. Someone who has not learned how to awaken the energy of friendliness is someone who is powerful only in hostile situation and becomes weak in friendly situations.
You might not be aware that all the nations in the world become weaker during times of peace, and during times of war they become more powerful. Why? __ because they don’t know how to create the energy of friendliness. Silence is not a strength for you, it is a weakness. This is reason why India, a nation that has talked so much about peace and love, became so powerless __ because ordinarily the only way to feel strength is to be hostile.
Hitler wrote in his autobiography: if you want to make a nation powerful then pretend that you have enemies or create real enemies. Tell the nation that there are enemies everywhere, even if there are not. When people believe that they are surrounded by enemies, it will generate much strength and energy.
This is why Hitler pretended that the Jews were the enemy __ it was not true __ and for ten years he preached and explained to the whole country that, “The Jews are our enemies and we will have to protect ourselves from them.” Much energy was generated. All the Germany’s strength came out of hostility, all of Japan’s strength came out of hostility. Today, the power of America and Russia also comes out of hostility.
Up to now the history of mankind shows that we only know how to generate the energy of enmity; we don’t know about the energy of friendliness. Mahavira, Buddha, and Christ laid the foundation for the energy of friendliness. They have said that non-violence is power. Christ said “Love is power”; Buddha said “Compassion is power.” You hear it, but you don’t understand.
So I say to you, think about your life. When do you feel powerful? __ is it when you feel animosity towards someone or is it when you are feeling peaceful and full of love towards someone? And you will see that you feel powerful in hostile conditions; and when you are in a state of awareness and silence your become powerless and weak. This means that you are being ruled by impure emotions. And the stronger the impure emotions are, the less you can enter within yourself.
What is that prevents you from entering yourself? Try to understand this very important point. Your hostility is always focused on the outside; this means that hostility happens towards someone who is outside of you. If there were no one on the outside, hostility could not arise in you.
But I tell you that love is not focused on the outside; even if there is no one on the outside, love can still happen within you. Love is intrinsic, friendliness is intrinsic. Hostility needs the other, it is related to the other. Hatred is triggered by the outside, love wells up inside. The spring of love flows from within, the reaction of hatred is provoked from without. Impure emotions are created on the outside, pure emotions flow from within.
Try to understand this difference between impure emotions and pure emotions. The emotions that are triggered by outside are not pure; so your love, the passion that you call love is not pure because it is triggered by the outside. Only the love that flows from within, that is not triggered by the outside, is pure. That’s why in the East there is a difference between love and passion: we separate passion from love. Passion is triggered by the outside. Buddha or Mahavira have no passion in their hearts, they have love.
Jesus was passing through a town. It was noon and he was very tired. The sun was very hot so he stopped to rest in a garden under a tree. The house and garden belonged to a prostitute. She saw Jesus resting under the tree in her garden. No one like this ever stopped to rest in her garden; she had never seen anyone like this before. She had seen many beautiful people, she had seen many powerful people, but this beauty was different, this wholeness was something not of this world. She was so pulled by her attraction to him that before she realized it, she already reached the tree.
When she went close to Jesus and began to look at him, his eyes opened and he got up to leave. He thanked her saying, “Thank you for the shade that your tree has given me. Now I’m going. I have a long way to go.”
But the prostitute said, ”If you don’t come inside my house for a little while, I will feel offended. Please stay for a while. This is the first time that I am inviting someone into my house. People come to my door and I send them away. This is the first time in my life that I am inviting someone in.”
Jesus said, “Once you have invited me into your heart, I have already become your guest. But I have a long way to go, so please allow me to leave. I have already received your hospitality.”
But the prostitute said, “This hurts me. Won’t you even show enough love to enter my house?”
Jesus told her, “Remember, I’m the only person who can love you. All the other men who come to your door don’t love you. I am the only person who can love you. The others who come to your door don’t love you because they don’t have love. They have come because of you. With me, my love is within me.”
Love is like the light of a lamp: if no one were here the light would still continue to fall on emptiness, and if someone were to pass, it would fall on them. But passion and desire are not like light: when they are triggered by someone, these energies move toward them. That’s why passion is a tension. Love is not a tension. There is no passion in love, love is a state of absolute calmness.
Impure emotions are those which are influenced by the outside. The winds from the outside give rise to impure emotions within you. And pure emotions are those which come from within you; the winds from outside don’t influence them. We don’t think of Maharira or Buddha in this way, that they love __ but I tell you that they were the only people who loved. But there is a difference between their love and yours. Your love is in relation to someone; their love is not a relationship __their love is not in relation to someone else, it is their state of being. They are compelled to love, because they have no other choice.
It is said about Mahavira that people insulted him, they threw stones at him, they put nails into his ears and he forgave everything. I say that this is not true: Mahavira didn’t forgive anyone because only people who get angry can forgive. And Mahavira did not have pity on them because only those who are cruel can have pity. And Mahavira didn’t think that he shouldn’t behave badly with these people because only people who behave badly think like that.
So what did Mahavira do? Mahavira was helpless, he had nothing to give except love. No matter what was done to him, his only answer would be love. If you throw a stone at a tree full of fruit you will get only fruit as an answer, there is no other way. The tree is not doing anything, this is its helplessness. And if you drop any kind of bucket into a river full of water, whether the bucket is dirty or clean, made of gold or iron, the river has no choice but to give you water. There is nothing great about the river, it is helpless to do otherwise. So when love is a state of being it is a kind of choicelessness __ one has to give, there is no other way.
So the emotions which come from within, which don’t pull you from outside, which cannot be pulled from the outside, are pure emotions. And the waves of emotions that the storms outside create within you are impure emotions. Emotions created by the outside will cause restlessness and worry inside you, and the ones that arise from within you will fill you with bliss.
So remember this first thing about pure and impure emotions: pure emotion is a state of being, impure emotion is a distortion of being, not a state. Impure emotion is a result of outside influence on being, pure emotion is an inner expansion of being. So think about this: do the emotions that move you come from within you, or do other people create them in you
I am walking on the street and you insult me: if I get angry this is impure emotion because you have created it in me. I am walking on the street: you show me respect and I am pleased __ this is impure emotion because you have created it in me. But if my inner state remains the same as it was before the insult or the praise, whether you swear at me or you praise me, this is pure emotion because you did not create it in me, it is my own. That which is my own is pure. That which is my own is pure and that which comes from outside is impure. What comes from outside is a creation, an echo.
Recently I went to a place you can hear echoes. If you make a sound there the mountains repeat it. I have said that most people only echo: if you say something they will repeat it. They don’t have anything of their own to say, they are like echo chambers. If you scream they scream back __it is not theirs, you have created it. And what you gave me was not yours, someone else created it in you. You are all echo chambers: you don’t have any sound of your own, any life of your own. You do not have any feeling of your own. All your emotions are impure because they belong to others, they are borrowed.
So remember this first key: emotion should be your own. It should not be your reaction, it should be the state of your being.
I have divided this state of being into four parts. The first is friendliness. Friendliness is a quality that has to be developed. Friendliness has to be developed because there is a source of friendliness within you, but life gives very few opportunities for it to develop. It remains undeveloped, it remains like a seed in the soil of your being __ it cannot grow.
The seed of enmity is very developed. Why? There are natural reasons for this…..because it also is needed. It may be needed, but it is not meant to be a lifelong companion. There re times when it is needed and there is also a time when letting go of it is needed.
When a child is born his first experience is not an experience of love. What a child experiences when he is born is fear. This is natural. The small child was very comfortable in his mother’s womb where he had no problem, no worries about earning his living, eating __ no worries. He was resting in a very blissful sleep. When he comes out of the mother’s womb, the small child, weak in everyway, his first experience is of fear. And if he gets a shock of fear he will not feel love towards the first person he sees, he will be afraid of that person. And if he is afraid of someone he will start to hate them.
Take this as a basic principle: fear never creates love. If someone says that there can be no love without fear, their statement is completely wrong. If there is fear, there is no possibility of love. There can never be love with fear. Even if love is shown superficially there is no love inside.
Most of the love that we see in this world is based on fear. And a love that is based on fear is false. That’s why on the surface there is love but hatred keeps slipping out from inside. You also hate the person you love. Love is on the surface and hatred is below because you are afraid of people. Remember this: a person who intimidates others is missing the opportunity to receive love. If the father is intimidating his son, he will not be able to get his love. If a husband is intimidating his wife, he will not be able to get her love.
He will get a pretence of love but he won’t get love because love grows only in fearlessness, it does not grow in fear.
As soon as a child is born he experiences fear __ and that’s where the source of hatred is activated. The energy source of love is not activated. Most people die without this source of love ever becoming activated because life doesn’t give it a chance. You think you love someone: that is not also love, it is only lust. Even that is only lust, even that is not love. Love can grow only through meditation.
This is why the source of love and friendliness within you has to be developed. It is to be developed in spite of all the primitive instincts which don’t give it a chance to develop. The life that you lead doesn’t allow it to grow, only hatred is developed. And what you call friendliness is only hypocrisy and politeness. Your friendliness is only an arrangement to escape from hatred __ but it is not friendliness.
Friendliness is a completely different thing. How can you develop that source? How can feelings of friendliness begin to happen within you? You have to constantly create a milieu of friendliness around yourself. A message of friendliness has to be conveyed to all the people who are around you. Waves of friendliness have to be sent. And inside yourself you have to give it energy, you have to activate that space of friendliness.
When you are sitting on the bank of a river, give love to the river. I am talking about the river because to give love to a person could be a little difficult. Give love to a tree __ I am talking about a tree because it may be hard to give love to a person. First of all, send love to nature, the anahat chakra, the heart center can flow more easily towards nature because nature is not wounding you.
In the ancient days people were amazing: they would send messages of love to the whole world! When the sun rose in the morning they would greet it with folded hands saying, “Glory to you! In your infinite compassion you give us light and radiance.” And this worship was not pagan, it was not out of ignorance; it had meaning, it had great meaning. It would be impossible for someone who was filled with love for the sun, who just by calling the river his mother becomes filled with love, who calls the earth his mother and by remembering this is filled with love, to harbor or dislike for people for very long. It is not possible.
These were amazing people who gave the messages of love to all of nature. They cultivated prayer, love and devotion everywhere. This is needed. If you want the seed of love inside you to sprout, the very first thing is to send messages of love to nature. But you are such strange people: the moon will be in the sky the whole night and you will be sitting and playing cards, and you will be calculating how much you have won or lost. The moon will be up there and a beautiful opportunity for love will be lost for nothing. The moon could have awakened that center of love within you. If you could sit with the moon for a few enchanted moments and convey a message of love, its rays could move something inside you, some essence, and you would be filled with love.
There are opportunities everywhere…. here are opportunities everywhere. Existence is full of amazing things __ give love to them. Whenever you get an opportunity to love, don’t let it pass, use it. For example, you are walking along the road and there is a stone on the road __ move it aside. This is an opportunity that comes completely free of charge, and it will transform your whole life. This work is very inexpensive! What could be a more inexpensive meditation than this? __ you are walking on the road and you see a stone; you pick it up and put it on the side of the road. Who knows who might be passing by, and who knows who might be injured by the stone? You have carried out an act of love. I am telling you this because very small things in life cultivate the seed of love within you, very small, small things.
A child is crying on the street and you just pass by __ can’t you wait a few seconds and wipe the tears from his eyes?
Abraham Lincoln was in a Senate meeting when a pig got stuck in a gutter. He ran out of the meeting saying, “Hold the discussion for a minute, I’ll be right back.”
This was a very strange thing to do. The American parliament had probably never been stopped for such a thing. He ran out to free the pig! His clothes were all covered in mud. He took the pig out of the gutter and then went back inside. The people asked, “W hat was it? Why did you stop the meeting and run out so agitated?” He answered, “A life was in danger.”
This was such a simple act of love, but so amazing! And these small, small things…… And I see people who filter their water before drinking it so that no organism is killed, but there is no love inside them. Filtering water has no value; it is a very mechanical habit to filter the water before drinking it. And they don’t eat at night for fear that some organism will be killed, but there is no love in their hearts, so this is meaningless. It doesn’t matter that they filter the water before drinking it or that they don’t eat at nights or that they don’t eat meat __ none of this matters. A Brahmin or a Jaina will not eat meat, but don’t think that it is because he is full of love inside __ it is just a matter of habit. It is his conditioning, but he has no love inside him. Yes, if this develops through your love it will be an extraordinary thing.
Non-violence is the ultimate religion only when it has evolved through love. If it has reached by reading scriptures or by following some tradition, then it is not religion. In life there are many small, small things, very small things. and you have forgotten…..
What I am saying to you is that if you put your hand on someone’s shoulder, then send him all the love in your heart through your hand. Let all your life-energy, your whole heart gather in your hand and then let it all go out. You will be surprised, magic will happen. When you look into someone’s eyes, pour your whole heart through your eyes and you will be surprised, your eyes will become magical and they will move something inside the other person. Not only will your love awaken, but it may happen that you become the medium, the cause for someone else’s love to awaken. When a man loves rightly, love becomes active inside thousands of people.
Don’t miss any opportunity to awaken this center for friendliness and love. And to grasp this opportunity, remember this key: every day, during the course of these twenty-four hours, remember to do one or two things for which you expect nothing in return. You work for twenty-four hours a day and you do that because you want something in return. Regularly, every day, do something for which you don’t expect to get anything in return. These will be acts of love and they will help to give birth to love inside you. If a person just does one thing everyday for which he expects to get nothing back, he will get much out of it because this will activate and develop the love-center inside him.
So do something for which you don’t want anything in return, nothing at all. That way, friendliness will slowly, slowly grow. A moment will come when you will be able to be friendly with someone who is a stranger. Then there will be more growth, and a moment will come when you will even be able to be friendly with someone who is your enemy. And then a moment will come when you will not discriminate between who is a friend and who is an enemy.
Mahavira has said, “Everyone is my friend. I feel no enmity towards anyone.”
This is not a thought, it is a feeling. It is not a thought in the mind but a state in which you feel that no one is your enemy. And when does that ‘no one is my enemy’ state arise? It arises when you are no longer anyone’s enemy. It is possible that Mahavira still had some enemies, but Mahavira is saying that no one is his enemy. What does this mean? It means that he was carrying no enmity. Mahavira is saying that he harbors no enmity. What a joyous moment that must be!
When you love a person so much joy arises: then, can there be a limit to the joy someone experiences who is able to love the whole world? This does not cost anything, you lose nothing and you gain much. That’s why I don’t say that Mahavira and Buddha are renunciates: in this world they are the ones who have enjoyed life more than anyone. In this world they have enjoyed the most. You may be renunciates, but not them. They have opened so many doors of unlimited, infinite bliss. They have drunk and known the most supreme, the most beautiful, the divine in this world. And what do you know? __ you don’t know anything except poison. They have experienced the elixir.
You have to disciple your life for the ultimate moment when you will be able to extend your love to the whole world and rays of love will radiate from your heart. But for that to happen it will need a discipline. Make sure that you do a small act of love everyday. Do it consciously. The whole day gives thousands of opportunities for you to express your love. But you have many bad habits: you will miss all opportunities to express your love, but you don’t miss a single opportunity to express your hatred. The more opportunities you miss to express your hatred the better, and the more opportunities you can take to express your love, the better. Let the opportunities to hate pass by. Once in a while, let them pass by unused. And once in a while use the opportunities to love consciously. This will speed up the process of your meditation tremendously.
So the first key was friendliness, and the second key is compassion. Compassion is also a form of friendliness, but I am mentioning it separately because it also contains some other elements. What I mean by ‘other elements’ is that if you look at other people around you, you will feel compassion for them. Right now many people are sitting here: one never knows by the evening one of them may have died. On some evening everyone will be dead anyway, one day we will all be gone. And if I realize that among all people who are sitting in front of me I may not ever see one of their faces again, will my heart not fill with compassion for them?
Just now I visited a garden and the flowers that bloomed there will have withered by the evening. Their life is very short: they bloom in the morning and by the evening they are gone. When you remember the fact that these flowers that are smiling now will wither and fall and mix with the dust by evening, doesn’t this fill you with compassion for them? Doesn’t the idea that some of the stars in the night sky break off and fall, fill you with compassion for the stars? If there were a deeper understanding, as we look at everything around us, we would feel compassionate towards everything, we would feel very sympathetic towards everything. Our meeting is so short, this life is so difficult, this opportunity is so rare; so much passion, so many desires, so much pain inside each person…..and still we are somehow living and loving and creating works of art __ how much compassion might this note create?
A man once spat at Buddha. The man got so angry that he spat at him. Buddha wiped the spittle off and said to the man, “Do you want to say something more?”
Ananda, the disciple who was sitting with Buddha, said, “what are you talking about? Has he said anything? Just give me the order and I will take care of him. This is the limit, that he spits at you!”
But the Buddha said, “He is trying to say something and he has no language for it. He is trying to say something and his language is powerless and his inner impulse is intense. He couldn’t say it, so he has said it through actions.”
This I call , the Buddha felt sympathy for the man because his language was so powerless. The man was trying to say something, he was trying to express something and he was very angry. He couldn’t find the words, so he expressed it by spitting. When someone comes to me with love and holds my hand, I feel so much compassion: he is trying to say something but language is inadequate. That person is trying to say something by holding my hands. When a person is hugging someone, language is inadequate. Man is so helpless and he is trying to say something, so he brings his heart close to the other’s, because he cannot find another ways.
Yesterday as I was leaving here some people started touching my feet, and I felt so much compassion. How helpless man is! He is trying to say something and he is not able to, so he touches the other’s feet. One of my close friends was walking behind me; he is very rational and he said, “No, no! Don’t do that!” He was also right. It is so sad what has happened to this world. The ones who are touching another’s feet are authentic, but now there are people who want you to touch their feet. So in fact what he said was right, “No, no! Don’t do that!”
I found what he said to be both right and wrong. He was right when he said that it s wrong for anyone in this world to allow someone else to touch their feet, but it would also be a wrong world if there were no people left whose feet one might feel like touching. And it would also be a wrong world if there were no longer any hearts that could bow down at someone’s feet. A world where we are not overwhelmed with feelings that can be expressed only by touching someone’s feet, would be a sad world.
Do you understand what I am saying? __ it would also be a sad world if we were never overwhelmed with feelings that that could only be expressed by touching someone’s feet. Man would become very dry, without meaning. And I have been amazed that when I see someone bowing down and touching my feet, I can see that he is not touching my feet, he is seeing something in my feet: for him, he is touching the feet of godliness. I am reminding you of this. and up to now, whenever anyone has bowed down at someone else’s feet __ if he has been forced that is a different matter __ but whenever he has bowed down, he is really bowing to the feet of the divine. After all, what does anyone have in their feet that is worthy of bowing down to? But there are feelings inside, which can be expressed in no other way.
Yesterday someone who loves me was in my room with me. In the evening, when I started to go for my shower, I switched on the light and he said, “Now that it is light, let me touch your feet.”
I was really amazed! And he touched my feet and I saw tears in his eyes. There is nothing more beautiful on earth than those tears. On this earth no poetry, no song is more beautiful than those tears, tears that come in a moment of love. And if you understand, if you remember, if you can see, how can you not filled with compassion?
But what do you see? __ you see things in people that don’t give rise to compassion in you but to criticism. You are seeing in people what triggers your cruelty instead of your compassion. You are looking at the inauthentic in people, at what is not their heart but their helplessness.
A man swears at me __is this his heart? No, it must be his helplessness. There is a heart inside the worse of men, and if you are able to see it, you will be filled with compassion, you will be filled with great compassion.
Buddha said on that morning, “I feel compassion, so much compassion. Language is so inadequate, Ananda. Man’s heart is trying to say so much and it cannot manage it.” He simply asked the man, “Would you like to say something more?”
What more could the man have said? Now it was difficult to say anything. The man left. In the night he repented so much that the next day he went to Buddha to apologize. He fell at Buddha’s feet and started crying. Buddha said, “Ananda, do you see how inadequate language is? Now again he wants to say something and he is not able to. Yesterday he was trying to say something and he was not able to and he behaved in a certain way, and now again he is behaving in a certain way. Ananda, language is very inadequate and man deserves great compassion.”
Life is short, just a few days. I am saying this as though it is just a few days long, but in reality not even the next few moment are a certainty. And if these few moments of life we don’t learn compassion for each other, we have not been human; we have not known life, we have not recognized it.
So spread compassion all around you. Look around you __ people are so unhappy, don’t add to their unhappiness. Your compassion will lessen their unhappiness; just one word of compassion will lessen their unhappiness. Don’t add to their unhappiness. You are all adding to each other’s unhappiness. Every single man has many people behind him making him unhappy. If an understanding of compassion is there, then you will change all the ways that you cause unhappiness in others. And if you can bring happiness to someone’s life, you will find a way to do it.
Remember one thing: the one who brings unhappiness to others in the end becomes unhappy himself, and the one who brings happiness to others, in the end reaches to the heights of happiness. That’s why I am saying that someone who tries to give happiness, develops the center of happiness inside himself, and someone who tries to bring unhappiness to others develops the center of unhappiness inside himself. The fruit does not come from outside, the fruit is created within you. Whatever you do, you develop a receptivity for it inside yourself. Someone who wants love should give his love. Someone who wants bliss should start sharing his bliss. Someone who wants flowers to shower in his home should shower flowers in other people’s homes. There is no other way. So compassion is an emotion that each person has to develop in order to enter into meditation.
The third key is joy, happiness, delight, a sense of bliss and a lack of anguish. You are all so full of anguish. You are sad and tired people; you are beaten people just dragging yourselves on the road of defeat to a bitter end. You walk as if you have already died. There is no energy, no life in your walk; there is no life in your day-to-day life. You are lethargic, sad, broken, defeated. This is wrong because however short life may be, however certain death may be, someone who has a little understanding will not be sad.
Socrates was dying. He had been given the poison __ and he was laughing! One of his disciples, Creto, asked him, “you are laughing and your eyes are filled with tears. Death is very near __ this is a time for sadness.”
Socrates said, “Where is this sadness? If I die and I die completely, where is the sadness? There will be no one left to experience sadness. And if I die and I still remain, where is the need for sadness? What will be lost is not me; I am that which remains.”
So he said, “I am happy. Death can do only two things: it can either completely destroy me, and if it completely destroys me I will be happy because I will not be there to experience sadness; and if part of me remains, I will be happy because the part that is not me will have been destroyed. I will still remain. Death can only do two things, that’s why I am laughing.” And, Socrates said, “I am happy because what can death take away from me? It will either completely annihilate me…….. but then what has it taken away from me? __ because then the one it has taken from will also not be here. And if I remain, everything remains. If I remain then everything remains because that which was taken away was not me. This is why I say I am happy.”
He is happy even as he faces death, and here you are, unhappy, even to be alive. You are alive, and still you are unhappy; yet there have been people who were happy even in the face of death.
Mansoor was tortured to death. His legs were cut off, his arms were cut off, they poked his eyes out. No one in history has been tortured more brutally. Christ was put to death quickly, Gandhi was killed quickly, with a bullet, Socrates was poisoned __ but Mansoor is the one person who was put to the most painful death in history. First they cut off his legs, and when the blood started pouring out of his legs, he took the blood and put it on his hands.
A large crowd has gathered around him; they were throwing stones at him. Someone asked him, “What are you doing?”He said, “I am performing the vaju (vozu), washing my hands before prayer.” Mohammadans wash their hands before they pray. He washed his hands with his blood and he said, “I am performing the vaju.” Then he said __ remember these words of Mansoor __ “The vaju of love, the real vaju of love, is done with blood, not with water. And only someone who performs the vaju with his own blood can enter into prayer.”
People were at loss. They thought he was mad. First his legs were cut off, then his arms were cut off, then they gouged out his eyes. Thousands of people had gathered: they were throwing stones at him and one by one his body parts were being cut off. And when they pierced his eyes he cried, “Oh God, remember that Mansoor has won.”
And people asked, “What do you mean? What have you won?”
He answered, “I am asking God to remember that Mansoor has won. I was afraid that in the midst of so much animosity and hatred, maybe love would not survive. God, remember that Mansoor has won __my love is unending. Whatever these people are doing to me, they haven’t succeeded in destroying my love. They haven’t been able to do what they are trying to do. This live is eternal.” And he said, “This is my prayer, this is my worship.”
Even then he was laughing! Even then he was drunk with the divine.
People have faced death laughing and happy, but you sit with long faces, sad and miserable even as you face life. This is a wrong way. A person who is full of enmity cannot go on the spiritual journey. For the spiritual journey cheerfulness is needed; for the spiritual journey you need a spirit full of bliss.
So be cheerful all the time. These are just habits __sadness is just a habit that you have formed. Cheerfulness is also a habit that you can form. To support cheerfulness you have to look at the aspects of life, which are full of light, not darkness. If I tell you that I have a friend who sings very beautifully or plays the flute very beautifully, you will say, “Maybe __but how can this man play the flute when we have seen him drinking in the pub?” if I tell you that this friend plays the flute very beautifully, you will say to me, “How can this be when we have seen him drinking alcohol in the pub?” this is supporting darkness. If I tell you, “This is my friend, he drinks alcohol, “ and you say to me, “Maybe so, but he also plays the flute very beautifully!” __ this is looking on the bright side of life. Someone who wants to be happy will look on the bright side, someone who wants to be happy will see that there is one night between two days, and someone who wants to feel miserable will see that there is one day between two nights.
The way we look at life has a direct affect on what develops inside us. So don’t look at the dark side of life, look at the bright side of life.
When I was small my father was poor. With great difficulty he built himself a house. He was poor and he was also ignorant; he had never built a house before. He managed to build this house with great difficulty. He must have done it without knowing how to do it, because when it was finished, before we could move into it the rains came and it collapsed. I was small and I was very sad. My father was not in town, so I sent a message to him that the house had collapsed and all the hopes we had before moving into it had turned to dust.
When he arrived he distributed sweets to the people of the town! And he said, “I am very grateful to God. If the house had collapsed eight days later, not a single child of mine would be alive.” We were supposed to move into the house eight days later. After that, for his whole life he was happy about the fact that the house had collapsed eight days earlier. If it had collapsed eight days later it would have been a tragedy.
Life can be looked at in this way as well __ so much joy and bliss arises in the life of someone who looks at it in this way. It all depends on how you look at life. Life has no meaning on its own: it all depends on how you look at it. Your attitude, your way of looking at it, your understanding is what makes it or breaks it.
Ask yourself what it is that you focus on. Have you ever come across a person so evil that he does not possess even one saintly quality? And if you can find such a quality then focus on it __ that is the real essence of the man. In life, look for radiance and for light everywhere because through this, radiance and light will be born within you. This is joyfulness.
The third feeling is to become filled with joy. You become so full of joy that it negates death and misery. You become so blissful that death and misery shrivel up and die; you don’t even realize that death and misery exist.
A person who cultivates cheerfulness and bliss inside himself will make progress in his meditation. This is very, very important for the progress of meditation.
There was once a saint who was so happy with life that people were puzzled, because they had never seen him sad or in pain. When the time of death came he said, “Now in three days I will be gone. And I am letting you know this so that you remember not to cry on the grave of a man who has laughed his whole life. I am letting you know this so that no sadness falls on this hut. It has always been blissful here, it has always been cheerful here. So make my death a celebration, don’t make it into a reason for mourning. Don’t mourn my death, make it into a celebration.”
But the people became sad, they became very sad. He was such an amazing man and the more amazing he was the deeper was the sorrow of the people. There were many people who loved him. For three days they all started gathering around him, and until he died he was telling people jokes, making them laugh and talking to them with love. Then in the morning before he died he sang a song and after finishing the song he said, “remember, don’t take off my clothes. Put my body with these clothes on the funeral pyre. And don’t give me a bath!”
Those were his last instructions, and then he died. He was burned on the funeral pyre with his clothes on. And while he was burning on the funeral pyre and the people were standing around feeling sad, suddenly they were shocked. He had hidden fireworks and sparklers in his clothes, and when he was put on the funeral pyre the sparklers and fireworks started going off. His funeral pyre became a celebration! The people started laughing and said, “He made us laugh in his life, and he also made us laugh in his death.”
Life has to be transformed into laughter. Life has to be made a joy and even death has to be made a joy. And a person who succeeds in doing this, will be blessed and filled with gratitude. A person who enters meditation in this space will move faster than one can imagine, he will become like an arrow.
Someone who enters meditation with a burdened mind has tied stones to the arrow __ then how far will the arrow go? The faster you want to go the more carefree and light your mind needs to be. The farther you want the arrow to go, the lighter the arrow must be. And the higher you want to climb, the more luggage you will have to leave at the bottom. And the biggest burden is your misery, your sadness, your enmity. There is no bigger burden than this.
Have you watched people? __ they walk as if they are being weighted down, as though they are carrying a heavy burden on their heads. Drop this burden and say yes to joy! Give a lion’s roar of joy! Let the world know that no matter what kind of life you have, it can be made into a song, it can be filled with joy. Life can become music. Remember this third thing __ joy.
And the fourth thing is gratitude: gratitude is divine. In this century, if anything has been lost, it is gratitude.
Do you know that when you are breathing in, it is not you who is breathing in? __because the moment the breath does not come in, you will not be able to take it in. are you sure that it was you who was born? No, it was not you. You did not play a conscious role in your birth, it was not your decision. Are you aware how amazing the small body that you have received is? It is the greatest miracle on earth. You eat a little food and this small stomach of yours digests it __ this is a great miracle.
Science has advanced so much, but if we were to open up large factories and engage thousands of specialists it would still be difficult to digest a single chappati and turn it into blood. It is so difficult to digest a chappati and transform it into blood, and this body of yours is performing miracles twenty-four hours a day __ this small body, a few bones, a little flesh. Scientists say that the body is made up of materials that would cost four or at most five rupees. It is not made of costly materials. Such a great miracle is with you for twenty-four hours a day and you are not grateful to it!
Have you ever loved your body? Have you ever kissed your hands? Have you ever loved your eyes? Have you ever realized what an amazing thing is taking place? It is very unusual to find someone among you who has loved his eyes and who has kissed his hands, who has experienced gratitude that this amazing thing is happening without his knowledge and even without his participation.
So first of all be grateful to your body. Only someone who is grateful to his body can be grateful to other people’s bodies. First of all become filled with love for your body, because only someone who is filled with love for his own body is capable of loving other people’s bodies. The people who are teaching you to be against your body are irreligious. The people who are telling you that the body is your enemy, that it is evil, that it is this and that, are irreligious. The body is a great miracle. The body is amazingly helpful __ be grateful to it.
What is this body? This body is made up of five elements __ be grateful to the body, be grateful to these five elements.
What will happen to you if one day the sun dies? Scientists say that in four million years the sun will die: it has given enough light, it is becoming empty, and a day will come when it will die. Right now we are under the impression that the sun will rise every day. But a day will come where people will go to bed thinking that the sun will rise tomorrow and it will not rise. And then what will happen? Not only will the sun die, life itself will die, because life is sustained by it, because all the heat and energy are sustained by it.
You sit by the side of the ocean: have you ever thought that seventy percent of your body consist of ocean water? Man was born on land, but micro-organisms first came into existence in the ocean. And you will be surprised to know that even now the proportion of salt to water in your body is the same as in the ocean. And when this proportion in the body is slightly disturbed you get sick.
Sitting by the side of the ocean, do you ever remember that you also have something of the ocean inside you. You should be grateful to the ocean for the ocean, which is inside you, and you should be grateful to the sunlight for the sun which is inside you, and you should be grateful to the wind which is moving your breath. You should be grateful to the sky and earth that made you. This, I cal gratitude, divine gratitude.
You cannot become religious without this gratitude. How can an ungrateful man become religious? Once you begin to experience this gratitude constantly, you will be surprised __ this gratitude will fill you with so much peace, with so much mystery. And then you will understand one thing: that you are not worthy of being given all these things, but because you have all these things you will be filled with thankfulness. You will be filled with gratitude because what you have received will give you a sense of fulfillment.
Express your gratitude. Find ways to develop gratefulness and your meditation will deepen through it. And not only your meditation, but your whole life will change tremendously. Your life become very different, it will become something completely new.
Jesus was crucified and when he was dying he said, “Father, forgive them. Please forgive them because one, they don’t know what they are doing” __ that was his compassion __ “and two, there was a distance between you and me, and now that gap has closed. They have helped me to drop the distance that was there between us. For that, I am grateful to them.”
So when you relate with anyone in your life, constantly remember your gratitude. You will find your life becoming full of wonder.
I have told you four things that are necessary for the purity of emotions: friendliness, compassion, cheerfulness and gratitude. There are other things, but these four are enough. If you meditate over them the rest will automatically follow on their own. This is how the emotions will become pure.
I have told you how the body can be purified, how your thoughts can be purified and how emotions can be purified. Even if you can only manage these three, you will still enter into a new and amazing world. Even if you manage only these three, much will happen.
I will talk about the three main principles later on. I will discuss emptiness of the body, emptiness of the mind and emptiness of the emotions. I have been talking about purification; later I will be talking about emptiness. And when purity and emptiness meet, samadhi, enlightenment happen…..”
OshoThe Path of MeditationUnderstanding EmotionsChapter five (pp 118-146)