"The path of evolution becomes certain only when you are becoming more conscious; then each successive life is on a higher plane."
"But how many people are trying to be conscious? On the contrary, most of the people in the world are trying to be as much unconscious as possible, because what little consciousness they know of is nothing but anxiety, anguish, worry. It is a torture, a tension. And there is no certainty that what you are deciding is the right thing, so there is a great fear, a hesitation. In the small consciousness that man has, he is always in the position of either/or -- divided, split, torn apart -- one part pulling in one direction, another part pulling in another direction. He is simply miserable."
"It is not an accident that alcohol and other drugs which can drown your consciousness in the vast unconscious are as old as man. Thousands of times it has been impressed on man that he should drop these things. He has been punished for them -- he has suffered imprisonment, fines -- but these drugs give him something greater than the fear of your punishment."
"All religions are basically against drugs, all governments are basically against drugs, all educational systems are against drugs. It is very strange: everybody is against drugs; then why do drugs continue? And there is not a single individual to stand up and ask why."
"Drugs are as old as man and the effort to drop them is also as old as man, and every effort has failed -- and the efforts are being made by the powers against individuals who have no powers. But still they have not been able to eradicate drugs from human life. And I don't think they will ever be able to eradicate them, because they don't take into account the basic cause -- why man wants to be unconscious. They just go on fighting with the symptoms, which is simply stupid."
"None of the religions, none of the governments, provide the exact reason why man wants to become unconscious. In fact they could not say it even if they knew it, because it is a condemnation of their whole society. The way they have created the world is so ugly that people don't want to be conscious. People want to become unconscious; people want to forget all about it. They are ready to take punishment, they are ready to go to jail, but they are not ready to drop drugs, because in the world that these so-called powers and so-called religions have created, it is not worth being conscious; it is simply terrible."
"And unless we change the situation... either we make the conscious life of man so beautiful, so loving, so blissful, that he would not like to become unconscious -- he would like to become more conscious -- or we have to make man himself completely free from all these things that can make him miserable. Then he would not like to be unconscious."
"Then he would like to be more and more conscious, because the more conscious he is, the more life becomes juicy, the more life becomes an adventure, the more he comes to know of the mysteries of existence."
"He wants to become more conscious, and this longing for more consciousness will not stop until he has attained absolute consciousness -- until he is pure consciousness and there is not even a small corner of darkness and unconsciousness in him, until he is full of light, just light."
"The whole history of man is a history of making man more and more unconscious, and drugs are not the only way. There are other things which make man unconscious. So it is possible that sometimes a man may not be interested in drugs but that does not mean that he is interested in remaining conscious; he has found some other kind of drug which is not known as a drug -- for example a man who is full of the lust for power. That is also a drug, but he cannot afford to be totally unconscious; he has to fight for power, and he has to remain conscious."
"Politics is a drug of the same category as marijuana, LSD, perhaps more dangerous because the people who have been taking marijuana or LSD or hashish have done no harm to the world. They may have harmed themselves but they have not harmed anybody. But the politicians? They have done nothing but harm. The whole history is full of blood. Now, the people who have been taking marijuana and things like that, they don't create history, they don't create Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadir Shah, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler. They don't create those kinds of monsters.
Their drug is very innocent in comparison to politics."
"Somebody may be after money... money becomes almost a drug to him."
(The Path of the Mystic # 11)
"All the cultures, all the religions have been condemning alcohol, opium, hashish, marijuana -- but their condemnation seems to have no effect. Humanity goes on taking drugs, and nobody bothers to ask, if so many wise people are against it, why are people taking these drugs? And the strange thing is that so many of these wise people who are against it are taking drugs themselves -- perhaps in different ways.
"In one country, marijuana may be illegal, hashish may be illegal, LSD may be illegal, but alcohol is not. And alcohol is more dangerous than any of the other three. Why isn't alcohol illegal? -- because Jesus used to drink it. Christianity cannot make it illegal; otherwise Jesus would be proved a criminal -- and not an ordinary criminal, because he was even making water into alcohol."
"And the countries who have tried.... For example, India, which is not a Christian country, has tried hard to prohibit alcohol, but has failed. Prohibition makes things even worse. People start making alcohol on their own, in their own homes. And thousands of people have died from poisoning because they don't know what they are drinking. It is being sold underground, and they don't know how it is being prepared. And finally those prohibitions have to be withdrawn."
"One thing that I want to make clear to you is that all the people who have been against the laws and governments and religions and who are still going for drugs have a certain argument. And that is that they want their personality to be forgotten. Their person is so painful, so ugly, that they are ready to commit any illegal act, just to forget it for a few hours."
"The influence of intoxicating drugs proves only one thing: man, in his ordinary personality, is living in despair. He wants for a few hours at least to forget all about the worries and the problems and the anxieties, and there seems to be no other way.
"What do you want to protect your person for? Your person is your problem. And if you are intelligent enough, and you can find some presence where your person starts melting and disappearing -- without any intoxication, without any drugs -- then can you conceive of a greater blessing? Let the person disappear; it is simply a burden, a torture, a pain in the neck for which there is no medicine."
(Beyond Enlightenment # 12)
"You will be surprised to know that the ancient most scriptures of the Hindus talk about a certain drug, somras, which used to be found in the Himalayas and perhaps is still available but we don't know how to recognize it. It was the usual practice for all religious people to drink somras."
"One of the most intelligent men of this century, Aldous Huxley, was very much impressed when LSD was discovered – he was the first promoter of LSD. He lived under the illusion that through LSD you can achieve to the same spiritual experiences that Gautam Buddha had, that Kabir had, that Nanak had. Thinking of the somras of the VEDAS, he has written in his book, HEAVEN AND HELL, that in the future the ultimate drug will be created by science – synthetic. Its name will be in the memory of the first drug used by the religious people: somras. Its name will be soma."
"And since RIGVEDA, in India, Hindu sannyasins, Hindu religious people have been taking all kinds of drugs in order to experience their imaginary gods. To such a point, that I have come across a follower of Kabir... they go on drinking all kinds of drugs, and a point comes when they become immune. Then they start keeping cobra snakes, and they make the cobras bite on their tongues.
"Only that gives them the religious experience. I have seen one monastery of the followers of Kabir where they had big cobras, dangerous cobras – just one bite and you are finished, there is no cure. But those monks needed it because no other drug was effective anymore."
(The Rebel # 35)
"It is not just a coincidence that in the West the younger generation has become interested in both the things together: in drugs, and in the East. They come to the East to find some way to experience something beyond the ordinary, mundane world of which they have seen enough. Now sex is no longer appealing, alcohol is no longer interesting, so they start coming to the East to find some techniques to create a reality. And in most of the ashramas in the East, they will find techniques which help your imagination. They are subtle kinds of drugs. And in the West, many have taken to drugs. Now there are thousands of young people – men and women – suffering in jails in Europe and America for taking drugs."
"But as far as I'm concerned, I see it in a different light. I see it as the beginning of a search for something beyond the ordinary world; although they are searching in a wrong way – drugs won't give them the reality. They can create a reality, but it is going to last for a few hours; then you have to inject the drug again. And each time you have to inject more and more quantities because you go on becoming immune.
"But there is a great upsurge in the younger people, which has never been seen before, for drugs. They are ready to suffer imprisonment, and they come out and they are still taking drugs. In fact, if they have money, they even manage in jail to get drugs from the officers of the jail, the staff of the jail; you just have to give money to them."
"But I don't see it as a bad sign. I simply see it as a misdirected young generation. The intention is right, but there is nobody to tell them that drugs won't fulfill your desire and your longing. Only meditation, only silence, only transcending beyond your mind is going to give you contentment and fulfillment."
"But they cannot be condemned as they are being condemned and punished. The older generation is responsible because you don't have alternatives for them."
"I propose the only alternative: as you become more and more meditative, you don't need anything else. You don't need to create a reality because you start seeing the reality itself. And a created reality is just false, it is a dream – maybe a sweet dream, but a dream is a dream, after all."
"The thirst is right, just that they are wandering. And their religious leaders, their political leaders, their governments, their educational institutions are not capable of giving them a right direction."
"I take it as a symptom of a great search which has to be welcomed. Just a right direction has to be given – which the old religions cannot give, which the old society is impotent to give. We need, urgently, the birth of a new man; we need, urgently, the rebel to change all this sickness and ugliness which is destroying many, many people in the world."
"Everybody needs to know himself, his reality. And it is good that the desire has arisen. Sooner or later, we will be able to turn our younger people in the right direction. The people who have become sannyasins have gone through all the drug trips. And as they became sannyasins and started meditating, by and by their drugs disappeared. Now they don't need it. No punishment, no jail, just a right direction – and the reality is so fulfilling, is such a benediction that you cannot expect more."
(The Rebel # 35)
"Any ordinary drug makes you simply unconscious. Meditation brings awareness, but awareness is such a big phenomenon that you are bound to be drowned. And in the beginning the experience is so much, so intense, that you are almost erased, as if you have disappeared. But it is not illusion. It is not any kind of hallucination."
"And to call it divine wine is just being poetic. It is pure awareness which does the same work that is expected by people through intoxicating drugs. Intoxicating drugs remove symptoms; awareness removes the very cause. Drugs simply give you a few hours of forgetfulness, and again the misery is there -- and with a vengeance, because it has to wait for six hours; it becomes more intense."
"Awareness cuts the very root of being miserable, in anxiety, in anguish. And because it cuts the very roots, after you have come down from the heights of awareness you don't find misery -- you find a peace, a silence, a very mild sweetness and a very subtle fragrance, left behind the tide, the tidal wave that had come and overtaken you."
(The Invitation # 15)
"The path of the drug and the path of meditation are totally different."
"Don't be bothered by any experiences that people who are taking drugs will tell you about. Meditation is not concerned with experiences but with the experiencer. Experiences are outside things."
"Meditation is concerned with you, not what happens to you, not what you see.... A beautiful rose – certainly under the influence of a drug it will look more beautiful, more radiant but still, what is the use? You remain the same person. Your heart does not open its petals, you are as dead as before."
"Except for meditation there is no way. Drugs can give you hallucinations, illusory experiences.... I am not in any way against anything. My whole approach is to use everything in such a way that it can become nourishment to life, an evolution to consciousness. I am not against drugs either. It is such foolishness on the part of governments all over the world that alcohol is not condemned, although alcohol is more dangerous than any of the drugs."
"This is how you can see that you are being dominated by fools. Alcohol is allowed, and drugs.... Many of them are harmless, but thousands of people and particularly young men and women are in jails because they were taking drugs that the governments decided should not be taken."
"It is strange that the government does not ask the medical colleges to investigate whether they are harmful or not, and if some drug is harmful, but gives a beautiful experience – illusory, hallucinatory, but at least something in this world which is just like a desert... If some drug has some harmful effects, medical science is advanced enough to remove those harmful effects. Drugs can be purified to such an extent that anybody can take them and have the experience. Because no government has the right to prevent anybody from having any experience. He is not harming anybody...."
"The function of the government should be to take care of people. There are so many medical colleges around the world – do research, find something which gives beautiful experiences to people, nourishment to the body, health to the mind. And you will be surprised at why I am saying this. I am saying this because if good, harmless drugs are made available and people are allowed to take them, these people are soon going to be fed up with the drugs and their experiences."
"Sooner or later they are going to move towards meditation – there is no other way. We will have used the drugs. Without harming the person we will have managed it so that the drug has given him some experience and now he wants something more which the drug cannot give."
"And in fact, as you take a drug every day its impact goes on declining. Every day you have to add more quantity. But finally, every drug becomes useless, your body becomes immune to it. I have been with people who have taken all sorts of drugs but they are not drug-addicted people; they are following an ancient path which has used drugs. And then the moment comes when drugs don't affect them at all. You can give them as much quantity as possible, and nothing happens to them."
"So drugs have been used in the East for centuries as a help to meditation. Now they have destroyed all possibility in the man that any poison, any drug can create illusion. His consciousness is far stronger now. No poison can kill him, no poison can make him even unconscious – he remains alert and conscious."
"As far as I am concerned these people were doing the right thing and it will be good if rather than behaving fascistically, we allow our people to have the experience if they want – but give it in such a way that soon it can indicate to them the path leading towards some meditation."
"I am not against drugs. I am not against anything, because everything can be used in the right way and everything can be used in a wrong way. Poison can be medicine and medicine can be poison, it all depends."
(Sermons in Stones # 8)
"This has been my experience in India, because in my childhood days in India no drug was prohibited, and particularly those in the same family as marijuana. In India it is called bhang, but it is the same family and the same drug. At each festival, on each festive occasion, in marriages bhang is used,
and I have watched – people under the influence of bhang are so real, so authentic...."
"In Eastern religions, for thousands of years drugs have been used just to make you aware that you are not your personality that you go on projecting in the world, that you are much more. The personality is just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper down is your bigger reality – nine times more than your conscious mind."
"Drugs can certainly be used to make people psychologically healthy. They can be used to make people again one, to destroy their split. What psychoanalysis does in three, five, seven years with thousands of dollars wasted, thousands of hours wasted, drugs can do within hours. But religions are against them. Politicians are against them. Governments are against them."
"Why so much antagonism? I can understand there may be some bad side effects, but we have so much scientific knowledge today that all those elements which have bad side effects can be removed from the drugs. Rather than forcing millions of people into jails around the world, rather than wasting money on all these prisoners, the better and wiser way will be to give the money and the project to the scientists. LSD can be more purified; can be more ecstatic, without having any side effects. But nobody is ready to do it."
"Why are they not ready to do it? The governments are afraid that if people are not split, they will have so much energy that they will not be controllable. To enslave a split person is easy, because he is fighting with himself; he has no time to fight with anybody else. Politicians don't want you to become one."
"Religions don't want you to become one because if you become one, who is going to be guilty? Who is going to confess to the priest? Who is going to bother about God and church and all kinds of nonsense? No, they want you to remain psychologically split. They want you to remain in this sickness where only guilt arises. But guilt leads you to religion, to God, to prayer."
"To cut the roots of guilt is to destroy all hocus-pocus religions which are dominating man."
[From Death to Deathlessness # 25]
"Meditation is an adventure, an adventure into the unknown -- the greatest adventure that the human mind can take."
"Meditation is just to be, not doing anything -- no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy."
"When you are not doing anything at all – bodily, mentally, on no level – when all activity has ceased and you simply are, just being, that's what meditation is. You cannot do it, you cannot practice it; you have only to understand it."
"Whenever you can find time for just being, drop all doing. Thinking is also doing, concentration is also doing, and contemplation is also doing. Even if for a single moment you are not doing anything and you are just at your center, utterly relaxed – that is meditation. And once you have got the knack of it, you can remain in that state as long as you want; finally you can remain in that state for twenty-four hours a day."
"Once you have become aware of the way your being can remain undisturbed, then slowly you can start doing things, keeping alert that your being is not stirred. That is the second part of meditation.
"First, learning how just to be, and then learning little actions: cleaning the floor, taking a shower, but keeping yourself centered. Then you can do complicated things."
"For example, I am speaking to you, but my meditation is not disturbed. I can go on speaking, but at my very center there is not even a ripple; it is just silent, utterly silent."
So meditation is not against action.
"It is not that you have to escape from life."
It simply teaches you a new way of life: You become the center of the cyclone. Your life goes on, it goes on really more intensely – with more joy, with more clarity, more vision, more creativity – yet you are aloof, just a watcher on the hills, simply seeing all that is happening around you."
"You are not the doer, you are the watcher."
"That's the whole secret of meditation that you become the watcher. Doing continues on its own level, there is no problem: chopping wood, drawing water from the well. You can do all small and big things; only one thing is not allowed and that is, your centering should not be lost."
"That awareness, that watchfulness, should remain absolutely unclouded, undisturbed."
"The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness. You are seeing a tree: You are there, the tree is there, but can't you find one thing more? – that you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing you seeing the tree."
"Watching is meditation. What you watch is irrelevant. You can watch the trees, you can watch the river, you can watch the clouds, and you can watch children playing around. Watching is meditation. What you watch is not the point; the object is not the point. The quality of observation, the quality of being aware and alert – that's what meditation is."
"Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly. Sitting can be a meditation if you sit alertly. Listening to the birds can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful. The whole point is: one should not move in sleep. Then whatsoever you do is meditation."
"The first step in awareness is to be watchful of your body. Slowly, slowly one becomes alert about each gesture, each movement. And as you become aware, a miracle starts happening: many things that you used to do before simply disappear; your body becomes more relaxed, your body becomes more attuned. A deep peace starts prevailing even in your body; a subtle music pulsates in your body."
"Then start becoming aware of your thoughts; the same has to be done with thoughts. They are more subtle than the body and of course, more dangerous too. And when you become aware of you thoughts, you will be surprised what goes on inside you. If you write down whatsoever is going on at any moment, you are in for a great surprise. You will not believe that this is what is going on inside you."
"And after ten minutes read it – you will see a mad mind inside! Because we are not aware, this whole madness goes on running like an under-current. It affects whatsoever you are doing, it affects whatsoever you are not doing; it affects everything. And the sum total of it is going to be your life! So this madman has to be changed. And the miracle of awareness is that you need not to do anything except just become aware. The very phenomenon of watching it changes it. Slowly slowly the madman disappears, slowly slowly the thoughts starts falling into a certain pattern; there chaos is no more, they become more of cosmos. And then again, a deeper peace prevails. And when your body and your mind are at peace you will see that they are attuned to each other too, there is a bridge. Now they are not running in different directions, they are not riding different horses. For the first time there is accord, and that accord helps immensely to work on the third step – that is becoming aware of your feelings, emotions, moods."
"That is the subtlest layer and the most difficult, but if you can be aware of the thoughts then it is just one step more. A little more intense awareness is needed and you start reflecting your moods, your emotions, your feelings. Once you are aware of all these three they all become joined into one phenomenon. And when all these three are one – functioning together perfectly, humming together, you can feel the music of all the three; they have become an orchestra – then the fourth happens, which you cannot do. It happens on its own accord. It is a gift from the whole; it is a reward for those who have done these three."
"And the fourth is the ultimate awareness that makes one awakened. One becomes aware of one's awareness – that is the fourth. That makes a Buddha, the awakened. And only in that awakening does one come to know what bliss is. The body knows pleasure, the mind knows happiness, the heart knows joys, the fourth knows bliss. Bliss is the goal of sannyas, of being a seeker, and awareness is the path towards it."
"The important thing is that you are watchful, that you have not forgotten to watch, that you are watching... watching... watching."
"And slowly slowly, as the watcher becomes more and more solid, stable, unwavering, a transformation happens. The things that you were watching disappear."
"For the first time, the watcher itself becomes the watched; the observer itself becomes the observed."
"You have come home."
(Meditation: The First and Last Freedom)
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