The ultimate truth is not far away, it is not distant. It is near you, close, closer than you are to yourself, but still you go on missing it.
This continuous missing has become a habit.
Unless this habit is broken, the closest remains the most distant; unless this habit is transcended, God, truth,
or whatsoever we may call it, remains just a myth, a theory, a doctrine, a belief, but not an experience.
And unless the divine is your experience, the belief is futile. It is not going to help you; on the contrary it may hinder you, because just by believing in it you deceive yourself that somehow you have known it. The belief becomes the deception.
It doesn't become an opening, it closes you. It makes you knowledgeable without knowing it; it gives you a feeling of knowledge without any intimate experience of it.
I have heard one Sufi story. Once it happened that a fish in the ocean heard somebody talking about the ocean, and the fish heard for the first time that there exists something like the ocean. She started to search, she started to ask and inquire, but nobody knew where the ocean was. She asked many fish, great and small, known and unknown, famous and not so famous, but nobody was capable of answering where the ocean is. They all said they have heard about it; they all said, "Sometime in the past our ancestors knew it -- it is written in the scriptures." And the ocean was all around! They were in the ocean; they were talking, living in the ocean.
Remember, untruth is not such a great hindrance as the belief in the truth.
If you believe you stop seeking; if you believe you have already taken it for granted.
It cannot be so. You will have to pass through a mutation; really you will have to die and be born again. Unless the seed that you are dies, the new life cannot sprout out of it. Belief becomes a barrier; it gives you a false assurance that you have known -- but that is all you have got. Belief is just borrowed. A Buddha says something, a Jesus says something, or a Mohammed, and then we go on following it, believing in it. This can create such a situation within you that the distant will appear close and the closest will continue to appear distant -- it creates an illusory mind.
Sometimes it happens that the closest, the nearest, is so obvious that you can forget it. The nearest is so near that you cannot look at it, because even to look at something a certain distance is needed, space is needed. And there is no space between you and the divine; there is no space between the fish and the ocean -- no gap. The fish is part of the ocean, just like a wave; or the ocean is just the infinite spread of the being of the fish. They are not two; they exist together, their being is joined together. The same is the situation with us.
We go on asking about God â€“ whether God exists or not â€“ and we argue much for and against.
Some believe, some disbelieve; some say it is just a myth and some say it is the only truth, but they all depend on scriptures, nobody has an immediate experience. When I say immediate experience I mean experience that has grown into you, or into which you have grown... intimate, so intimate that you cannot feel where you end and that experience begins.
God cannot be an object of any search; he remains the very subjectivity. You are not going to find him somewhere because he is everywhere, and if you start looking for him somewhere you will not find him anywhere. All that is, is divine. God just means the whole existence, the totality, the ocean that surrounds you, the ocean of life.
The first thing to remember before we enter into this intimate search and inquiry, into this intimate experience that people have always called God, or Buddha has called nirvana, or Jesus has called the kingdom of God â€“ names differ, but the experience indicated is the same -- the first thing to remember is: it is not far away, it is where you are. Right now you are sitting in him, breathing in him, breathing him, through him.
This has to be continuously remembered, constantly remembered; don't forget it for a single moment, because the moment you forget it the whole search becomes wrong. Then you start looking somewhere. Maintain it; remember it continuously at least for these eight or nine days -- that it is exactly where you are. The very center of your being is its center also.
If this is remembered the whole search will become qualitatively different. Then you are not in search of something outside, but something inner. Then you are not in search of something which is going to happen in the future, it can happen right now; it is already happening. And then the whole thing becomes very relaxed. If the truth is somewhere in the future then you are bound to be tense, then you are bound to be worried, a deep anxiety is bound to be there. Who knows whether it will happen in the future or not? The future is uncertain; you may miss it -- you have been missing so long. But if the divine is here and now, the very existence, the very breath, the very you, then there is no uncertainty, then there is no worry, no anxiety.
You may have missed him for so many many times, but really you have never missed him because he has always been hidden there, waiting for you to turn within. You have been looking outside, you have been focused on the objective world, and that which you are seeking is hidden within, it is your subjectivity.
God is not an object; God doesn't exist as an object. Whatsoever theologians say, they are absolutely wrong â€“ God doesn't exist as an object. You cannot worship, because he is hidden in the worshipper. You cannot pray, because he is hidden there from where the prayer arises. You cannot seek him without, because he is your within-ness.
The first thing to remember is this, because if it is remembered then the whole effort becomes qualitatively different. Then you are not going somewhere, then there is no hurry, then there is no impatience. Rather, on the contrary, the more patience that happens to you, the easier becomes the search; the more you are not seeking him, the closer he is to you. When you are not seeking at all, when you are just being, not going anywhere, after anything, you have reached, the thing has happened. This search is going to be qualitatively different. This search is, in a way, a no-search; this seeking is, in a way, a no-seeking. The more you seek, the more you will miss. If he was far away then it would have been alright. He is here, he is now. This very moment God is happening to you, because you cannot be without him.
So don't be in a hurry and don't be impatient. There is no goal; the very effort is the goal. We will not be meditating to gain something, to achieve something; the very meditation is the goal. Meditation is not a means, it is the end. So don't force yourself; rather, relax. Don't run after something, some ultimate, some God, some x, y, z; rather stand still. The moment you are in a total standstill you have reached. Then there is no more. And this can be done any moment. If you understand, this can happen this very moment. God is life, God is existence, God is the case.
BUT there are problems; theologians have created them.
The first problem they have created, and because of which this remembering becomes impossible -- “ to remember that you are already divine becomes impossible" -- is a very deep condemnatory attitude. You go on condemning yourself: you are the sinner. They have created guilt in you. So how can a sinner be, right this very moment, the divine? He will have to get rid of the sin; he will have to suffer for his sins, and time will be needed. He will have to pass through purifications, and only when he has become holy, a saint, will he have a glimpse of the divine.
Particularly in the West, Christianity has given everybody a deep guilt complex. Everybody is guilty -- not only about your own sins that you have committed, but also about the sin that Adam committed in the very beginning. You are guilty for it. You carry a burden, a long burden of guilt, so how can you think, imagine, conceive, that right this very moment God is happening to you?
The Devil can happen, can be imagined, but not God. You can think of yourself as the Devil but never as the divine. This creation of a guilt complex was needed not for you, but for religions. Their business can continue only if they create guilt in you. The whole business of religion depends on the guilt feelings that they can create in the masses. Churches, temples, religions exist on your guilt. God has not created them, your guilt has created them. When you feel guilty you need a priest to confess to; when you feel guilty you need someone to lead you, to purify you.
When you feel guilty you have lost your center -- now somebody can lead you.
You can become a follower only when you have lost your center. If you are right in your center, no question of following arises. You can become part of a crowd only when you are not yourself. So you belong to Christianity, or Hinduism, or Mohammedanism -- these "belongings" are simply guilt feelings. You cannot be alone. You are so guilty you cannot rely on yourself, you cannot depend on yourself, you cannot be independent. Somebody, some great organization, some cult, creed, is needed, so under its blanket you can hide, and you can forget your guilt.
This is the second thing to remember: don't condemn yourself, otherwise nothing can be done. Don't reject yourself, don't be an enemy to yourself. Be loving, be friendly, and accept whatsoever you are. I am not saying that there is nothing wrong in you. I am not saying that you don't need any transformation. You need it, there are many wrongs, wrongs done in your ignorance of who you really are.
When you commit a mistake you don't condemn yourself, you try to understand why you committed it. The mistake is condemned but not you. When you call it a sin, you are condemned -- you are wrong, not an act.
Your acts may be wrong, but you are not. You are totally accepted as you are.
Your being is the highest flower that has happened to this earth. You are the salt of this earth.
Howsoever erroneous, you are the very glory of existence.
Not that there is going to be no transformation, but that only through this acceptance transformation becomes possible. Once you accept your being there is no suppression, once you accept your being the whole being comes into consciousness. There is no need to hide and to push some parts, fragments, into the darkness, into the unconscious.
The unconscious is a by-product of Christianity. There is nothing like the unconscious. If you accept yourself, your whole mind will be conscious. If you deny, reject, condemn, then the condemned parts will move into darkness.
Not that they will not act now, they will act more, but their action will be now hidden, perverted, disguised.
It will not be apparent, it will take a hidden course.
You cannot face it directly but it goes on working.
The unconscious is created by guilt.
Once you accept that there is no unconscious, the barrier has gone, the boundary disappeared, and the conscious and unconscious become one -- as they are really, as they should be. And when your conscious and unconscious are one you can meditate, never before it. Once your inner divisions disappear, once you become one inside, a deep silence descends upon you, a great blissful moment is reached -- just by the disappearance of the boundaries, divisions, fragments.
When you become one you become healthy; when you become one you feel a silent wellbeing. Moment to moment you feel grateful to existence, a gratitude happens to you, and this gratitude I call prayer. It is not a prayer to some god. This gratitude is an inner attitude towards existence which has given you life, love, light; towards this existence which has blessed you in millions and millions of ways, and which goes on showering upon you more and more blessings -- but a unity is needed within.
So this is the second point to remember: don't feel guilty, don't feel that you are wrong. If you were wrong you would not have been. You are there because God wants to preserve you. You are there because God loves you. You are there, that's why the whole existence supports you. You are there because you are worth the trouble. Accept yourself, have a loving attitude towards yourself.
Jesus says somewhere:
"Love your enemies as yourself."
But no one loves himself, so how can you love your enemies as yourself?
You simply hate yourself.
If you love yourself, to me you have become religious.
And a person who loves himself, only he can love others;
a person who hates himself deep down cannot love anybody.
There should be no division, not within you, not in the community of human consciousness.
The Mission of our Lord Jesus Christ is a Mission of Love and Unity.
Accept who you are, as you would accept your enemy. Only then can there be forgiveness,
when we have stopped condemning each other and ourselves.
If you cannot love yourself how can you love anybody? If you cannot accept yourself how can you accept anybody? So your so-called saints who go on condemning themselves, they go on condemning the whole world â€“ they are condemning everybody. The moment they condemn themselves they condemn the whole world. You are the nearest; if existence in you is condemned, then how can you accept existence that is far away from you, existing in others? No guilt, no condemnation.
"God, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Wrongs are there, but those wrongs are not in your being but in your doing;
in your acts, not in you. And your acts are wrong because you are not aware.
Those wrongs exist because you are not alert.
Those wrongs exist because you are not alert to the Divine Consciousness which is in you.
Drops of Divine Consciousness is asleep in you, fast asleep;
sometimes you can even hear the snoring -- fast asleep.
My effort in this camp is to wake that Consciousness, to disturb the inner sleep, to help him awake. It is not condemnatory. And once you start being alert, you have started being different. Perfectly aware, you are reaching to yourself; perfectly aware, you are in nirvana, in the kingdom of God.
The third thing to remember: in this camp we will be doing many things,
many techniques, many methods, but hidden behind every technique and
method is the basic thing and that is, search for awareness, search for more
consciousness. So whatsoever you are doing here, remain alert, remain
conscious, remain a witness. Doing meditation remain conscious, remain a
witness. Doing meditation, dancing, doing kirtan and singing, remain alert,
don't become unconscious.
Whatsoever is happening, a center within you goes on looking at it, a center remains a watcher. Your body may be going mad, your body may be jumping, shrieking, screaming, your mind may have become a whirlpool -- but a watcher remains. Go on constantly remembering that you are watching,
because that watcher is the thing. That watcher has to be brought more and more into force. So while your body is doing many things, your mind is doing many things, one thing deeply hidden within you goes on looking at it all.
Don't lose contact with that.
thus, I share what I discovered, an English Discourse
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
Talks on the Akshya Upanishad
Talks given from