The story is told of Mother Theresa that when an interviewer asked her, “What do you say when you pray?” she answered, “I listen.”
The reporter paused a moment, then asked, “Then what does God say?” and she replied, “He listens.”
It is hard to imagine a more succinct way to get at the intimacy of contemplative prayer.
“… rewire this mind
so that everything you do
is connected in loving union
with the moment…”
What you see is your well-being. You stick to that! Tomorrow it looks like horror to you. It doesn’t matter; you stick to it! It feels like hell; you stick to it! That’s well-being. If you keep shifting, nothing happens.
Sadhguru, you’re talking about perception and clarity. But at the same time, illusion also seems so very real. Now, where is the fine line between illusion and perception? Because, when I say, both are of the mind… now how do I really rationalize between, Look, I’m in an illusory state, or I’m in perfect clarity. Because, when I’m in that state of clarity also, how is it that, whatever has been recorded, or whatever I have gone through, is what is reacting to the situation. So how do I really make that distinction at any given moment?
So now you are asking for trouble.
So you’re talking about the fine line between illusion and perception. There is no fine line. It is all one big illusion. By the time you know it, life has passed by.
But you don’t have to worry! Because passing by is also an illusion. Nothing passes by.
So if everything is illusion, isn’t enlightenment one big illusion?
In a way it is!
In a way it is…
That’s why I’ve been talking not about knowing, but about ignorance. I think I’ve been telling you, in one of these programs I’ve been telling people; earlier we used to make our brochures like this:
From Ordinary to Extraordinary;
Do this yoga and you will move from ordinary to extraordinary.
People thought they are going to become very special. When they came in –after they enrolled, paid their money; before that we never said [laughter]– after all that happened, then we told them:
This is about becoming more ordinary than others; extra ordinary. [Laughter] This is not about becoming special.
The enlightened club, club of the enlightened ones, is a place, there –there is no such thing as illusion and perception– where everything is illusion. [Holding up his hands] I have twenty-four fingers, can you see? [Laughter] Why? Can you see or no? No? What can I do? That’s ignorance! Lack of perception! [Laughter and applause] This is lack of perception. You don’t see my twenty-four fingers. You missed it.
Now. You tell me.
Is number 10 a less of an illusion than number 1?
Mm? Is it?
Is 100 a more of a reality than number 1?
Is it so?
Everything is made-up, isn’t it so? The only reality is zero. Rest is all made-up. It’s not incidental that zero is discovered in India. Because this is the only place where people spend a maximum amount of time with their eyes closed.
If you sit, eyes closed; any silly fantasies will go on, chattering will go on, gods will come, devils will come… If you simply sit, sit, sit, sit, sit… Then you will see, you are one big vacuum. You are just one big zero.
So, if you perceive that you are an empty shell, would you call that “perception”? Or would you call that “realization” of what an illusion you are? M? What would you call it? It’s up to you what you call it.
But there is no fine line. That’s the whole problem.
Or that’s the beauty of it! There is no fine line… There are no lines to cross… It’s just fine, the way it is.
But the problem is, you’re in a certain state of compulsiveness, that you have to move somewhere. This compulsiveness has essentially come as a consequence of the huge accumulation that you have made within yourself. This accumulation has happened because you have the illusion that you are perceiving something. Because you believe that you are perceiving something, the accumulation has happened.
If you realize; experientially, not intellectually; experientially if you realize that you are actually not perceiving anything… You actually are not!
Tell me, after all these years of being with me, what have you perceived? [Laughs with himself] And whatever you perceive, and you’re feeling wonderful, two days later I come back and demolish it anyway! Whatever you think we have attained, I come back and trample it anyway!
So what have you perceived? In these many years?
Slowly, you are beginning to make yourself comfortable in your own ignorance. That’s good! Because that’s the only place you can be. And that’s not some kind of damnation. That is the beauty and the mystery of life.
If you become… you become, a total illusion –you are right now; but you don’t know; you think you are something!– why… In so many ways we told this to you, in the Isha Yoga itself, we told you you’re nothing, but you said “I am a cobbler”; I said OK.
Didn’t we tell you you’re nothing? In the introduction itself I told you! That you are actually nothing…
But then you said, “No, I am a doctor”; “I am an engineer”; “I am this…”
I said alright. Let’s play the game for some time.
When we say you are nothing, does it mean… “Can nothing be perceived?” Or “It is an illusion?” Nothingness means non-existence. That means, you are an illusion yourself. You are a make-believe happening.
But, when you say, “The illusion looks real”…
Only illusion looks real. What else can?
If you go to your cinema, don’t you see, people in the cinema screen, they are only two-dimensional? All the great heroes that you have seen, and you may have joined the fan club… Whether you are Rajinikanth club, or Robert Redford club, or whatever, all that you saw of them was just flat on the screen! They were not even three-dimensional, isn’t it? Just a little bit of light playing; if you… if you raised your hand a little bit, your hand would be there instead of his face; isn’t it so? Did you ever try it? Did you interrupt… You must do these things! [Laughter] If you raised your hand, the great hero’s face would be gone and your hand would be there! Isn’t it? That’s how fragile it was. But didn’t he look larger than life? Don’t you worship him today, more than all the people around you, who are flesh and blood? You only saw light and sound! But, hasn’t it become more real than the real? Isn’t a cinema theater, what happens in the cinema, much more real than the reality of life?
So illusion is always exaggerated. So it always definitely looks more real than the real.
If you… You’ve heard of Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Ramakrishna became a devotee of Kali. For him, Kali was not a deity; Kali was a living reality. She’s danced in front of him, she ate from his own hands, he called and she came. And she left him dripping with ecstasy. This was real. Actually happening. You could have tested him if you wanted, chemically; he was all ecstasy!
One day, he was sitting on the banks of Ganga, the Hooghly River, and a very great yogi –a rare yogi; very few like that have ever happened– Totapuri, came his way. Because, though Ramakrishna’s body, mind and emotion was dripping with ecstasy, his being was longing to go beyond this ecstasy, and somewhere there is an awareness that that itself is a bondage.
When I tell people simple things about their lives, when I say everybody has the choice right now, to be either this way or that way, people say, “That’s easy for you, Sadhguru. You are aware.”
Tell me, who is not aware? Please look at yourself and see. Even in an extreme moment of emotional anger, there is a spark of awareness even in you! Isn’t it so? Isn’t it there? If it is not there, that means you’ve become pathologically ill. Otherwise, even in the most extreme moments of emotion within you, there is one dart of awareness. It is just that you are empowering the emotion –because you have an investment there– and you are not empowering the awareness. That’s all.
Have you ever had a situation in your life, when there was not even a spot of awareness in you? It was always there. It is just that you did not invest in that. You are betting on the wrong horse; you are betting on the horse that you are used to; a known horse. So, because of your friendship with your anger, friendship with your love, friendship with pleasure, friendship with… whatever sweet emotions that can happen within you; you’re investing in that. You are not investing in that tiny spot of awareness which has always been there with you. There is nobody who has not been aware; there is nobody who is not aware. It is just that most people have not empowered their awareness. They have empowered something else. So accordingly life is happening.
So, Ramakrishna was longing somewhere, but the sweetness of ecstasy that he was experiencing was too much to leave and go.
This is not any different… –hm, this shouldn’t be misunderstood– but, this is not any different from a drunkard being addicted to his drink, a drug addict addicted to some substance; it is not any different! The only thing that is different is; alcohol and drug may be damaging the system, this may not be damaging the system; because this is internal. But the addiction is same, the attachment is same, the longing for that is same. And the limitation is also same.
There’s no question about it.
So, Ramakrishna, whenever he had contact with Kali, his object of devotion, he would be dripping with ecstasy, and he was fine with that. He didn’t want to leave the beauty of that and move on.
So when Totapuri came, this transpired between them. Totapuri said, “This is very simple. You have the necessary energy; you just have to empower your awareness. You are empowering your emotion. You are empowering your body. You are empowering the chemistry within you. You are not empowering your awareness. So Ramakrishna said, “OK, I will empower my awareness,” and sits like this… The moment he has a vision of Kali, he’s again gone. Into uncontrollable states of love and ecstasy. Any number of times he sat down, the moment he sees Kali, he just flies off.
Then Totapuri said, “Next time Kali appears, you have to take a sword and cut her into pieces.”
Ramakrishna asked, “Where do I get the sword from?”
Totapuri said, “From the same place where you get Kali from. If you are able to create a whole Kali, why can’t you create a sword? You can do it! If you are able to create a goddess, why can’t you create a sword to cut her? Get at it!”
Ramakrishna said, the moment Kali came, he burst into ecstasy, and forgot about the sword and the awareness and everything.
So Totapuri said, “You sit this time; the moment Kali comes, see here,” he picked a piece of glass, and he said, “With this piece of glass, I am going to cut you! Where you are stuck, that I am going to cut. When I cut that, you create the sword, and cut Kali down.”
So he went; Ramakrishna was just on the edge of ecstasy, Kali appeared in his vision. Totapuri took a piece of glass and cut him really deep across his forehead. Then Ramakrishna created the sword and cut Kali down. And he became free from the mother, and the ecstasy of feeding off her.
And that’s when he truly became a paramahamsa. Till then, he was a lover. He was a devotee. He was a child to the mother goddess that he created.
So this is not something that you go about, making distinction between what is reality and what is illusion. You don’t do that. Whatever is happening within you, it doesn’t matter what’s happening within you. You keep your steering wheel straight. As I’ve been telling you for some time now, you keep your direction straight. Whatever is happening within you, it doesn’t matter. You just gas it and gas it and gas it. As long as you’re traveling straight, you just keep the throttle down. Illusion is happening, keep the throttle down; reality is happening, keep the throttle down; you are hallucinating, keep the throttle down. Don’t let go of the gas pedal. Just down and down and down. That’s all. That’s your business. Rest I will take it. Your business is to put your right foot down. Not the other one. Just your right foot down all the time. See? Left foot up, right foot down. If you put the other one down, it may touch the brakes or the clutch; then you will simply rev in the same place, you won’t go anywhere. All the time, a leaden foot down. Whatever is happening. Illusion is happening, gas it. Reality is happening, gas it. God is happening, gas it. Devil is happening, gas it. You have to break through all of that. You don’t think, “OK, this is reality, let me settle down here; this is illusion, let me discard this.” No. You just gas your way through all that. It doesn’t matter. You don’t try to decipher what is illusion, what is reality. The moment you try to do that, it’ll become endless intellectual circus. Too much circus it will lead to. An endless circus. And a purposeless circus, because it’ll not get you anywhere. It will make you look smart among people, but existence will see you as stupid, because it doesn’t open its doors for you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are with people; how smart you are in the society. This existence will not open its doors; it will open its doors only to the smartEST.
And the smartest is also the dumbest.
“So shall I be dumb?”
You can’t be dumb. Just see that. If you try to be dumb, you’re trying to be smart, isn’t it? You see this. Do you see you can’t try to be stupid? If you’re acting stupid, that means you’re trying to be smart, isn’t it so? You’re being super smart.
So you can’t do that. That’s why I say; Always, whatever is happening, see that you’re stupid, because you can’t do that. You can’t do nothingness, isn’t it? You can do some-thing. You cannot do no-thingness. You can be a somebody, but you cannot be a nobody. “I am a nobody” is a great assertion of your somebodiness, isn’t it?
You can’t do it.
When you tire, and simply sit quietly…
… it happens!
Your effort has to tire.
All you need is phenomenal intelligence to go beyond effort. Right now, whatever is happening, you’re only trying to get out of it. You are driving through the mountain, you are trying to get out of it. You are driving through wonderful planes, you are hurrying up to get out of it. All the time, gas pedal down. Wherever you are, however beautiful it is, as quickly as possible you want to get out of it. That should be your intention. Always. However wonderful it is. You are in God’s lap; you must be getting out of it as quick as possible.
If you’re doing that constantly, then you will get to that ultimate stupidity where you don’t have to try to be smart. You’ve given up on that. Then you are at ease. Absolute ease. Life is at ease.
When this life comes to absolute ease, then the whole existence is wide open. No door is closed. Everything is open. Just everything. Creation and Creator is accesible to you. Simply because this has come to ease. Total ease.
Sadhguru transcribed by Leon Hieros
A pink smart-ass?
A fatalistic doormat?
Is that all some see?
Forgive them, then.
Forgive them, Love.
You could best avoid
even blaming them,
feeling this prayer,
our hearts in One.
It’s no one’s fault,
not yours, not theirs,
and they feel more
than they admit
(too threatening now
for pain so deep).
In time they will.
Not by your will.
Know what you are,